Tuesday, November 30, 2010

INGRID PITT - IN MEMORIAM













Horror film fans and Hammer Horror fans in particular were saddened last week by the sudden death of Ingrid Pitt. And me? I was stunned. After seeing her obituary in this morning's (Sunday) SEATTLE TIMES I still can't believe it. Miss Pitt was only 73 when she died, apparently collapsing on the way to her birthday party. She died in a London hospital of heart failure. She had been ill off and on for some time.

Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland on November 21, 1937, she was the daughter of a Polish mother and a German father. During World War II she was interned in a concentration camp as a result of her mother's Jewish ancestry. In the 1950s she lived in Berlin and married an American soldier. The marriage didn't last. She lived in California for a while then moved back to Europe. Her film career began with a bit part in SOUND OF HORROR.

Miss Pitt will be remembered most in her roles as a vampire seductress in Hammer Film's THE VAMPIRE LOVERS and COUNTESS DRACULA. I, for one, will never forget the (obvious) impact she had on me as a teenager watching this strangely exotic, European beauty prey on her hapless victims in a way more overtly sexual than I had ever seen before. She will always hold a hallowed place in cinema history as the Hammer Queen of Horror.

In honor of Ingrid Pitt's passing, MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD will devote the rest of the week to her with magazine reprints from various sources. In addition, I have posted the complete film of THE VAMPIRE LOVERS behind the "Watch Movies" tab near the top of this blog.

Countess Karnstein has passed. I could say more, much more, but I will leave this memorial with the thought that, along with other luminaries whose mortal lights have winked out of late, her memory will live on in the legacy that she left behind here on earth. Long live Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Hammer Horror!

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