Tuesday 23 November 2010

Hammer horror star Ingrid Pitt dies at 73

Ingrid Pitt, the Polish-born actress best-known for a string of horror films in the early '70s, has passed away at the age of 73.

Pitt's earliest screen appearances were bit parts in films such as Doctor Zhivago (1965, uncredited) and Where Eagles Dare (1968, as Heidi), but she was to find international stardom in the Hammer movies The Vampire Lovers (1970, as Sheridan Le Fanu's vampiress Carmilla) and Countess Dracula (1971, as Hungarian murderess Elisabeth Bathory). Although she only appeared in three films for the studio--one of which was the 2008 online video Beyond the Rave--her name became synonymous with Hammer horror.

She also starred as a vampire in the Amicus anthology The House That Dripped Blood (1970), had a cameo in the classic The Wicker Man (1973), alongside Christopher Lee, and appeared in several episodes of the BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who.

Pitt was a fan favourite at horror conventions worldwide.

Hammer stalwart Roy Ward Baker, who directed Pitt in The Vampire Lovers, passed away earlier this year, aged 93.