Descent into the Pitt

Sad news for genre film fans today: Ingrid Pitt, one of the leading ladies of horror movies during the 1970s, has died — this time, for real — at the age of 73.

Ingrid Pitt, horror superstar

Pitt became a cult star by way of her appearances in Hammer Films’ The Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula, The House That Dripped Blood from Amicus Productions (generally thought of as “Hammer Lite”), and the seminal psychological thriller, The Wicker Man (the original 1973 classic, not the insipid Nicolas Cage remake).

What many aficionados didn’t realize at the time was that the Polish-born Pitt — née Ingoushka Petrov — was a World War II concentration camp survivor, the daughter of a Jewish mother and a German father. I’m thinking that after enduring the atrocities of Nazi barbarism, facing vampires and other fictional monsters must have been a piece of strudel.

Despite her horror pedigree, Pitt assayed numerous film and TV roles outside the genre, often to positive reviews. She frequently played villainous women who got their fatal comeuppances in the final act. Not content with her onscreen work, Pitt also became a successful writer, penning a dozen or so books, plus reams of magazine and online articles, columns, and stories.

I was a major Hammer horror geek back in my misspent youth. I retain many fond memories of Ingrid Pitt… although in my heart of hearts, I was always a Barbara Shelley man.

Rest in peace, Countess Dracula.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Celebritiana, Cinemania, Dead People Got No Reason to Live, Reminiscing, Ripped From the Headlines

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