Friday, July 29, 2016

#14 Valerie Leon

An extremely buxom, raven-haired temptress, Valerie Leon was a staple of British film and TV. She was a Bond girl (twice) and a Hammer scream queen, and also did a considerable amount of Brit TV. She operated primarily in comedies, especially of the standard, wink-wink-nudge-nudge British variety.

Valerie is still very active – on the convention circuit, acting, and doing a one-woman show about her life and career. And she still looks absolutely stunning. Shockingly, though, she is now a blonde!

Embarrassing Movies
  • Can I Keep It Up for a Week (wink, wink)
  • The Ups and Downs of a Handyman (nudge, nudge)
  • Queen Kong
  • Pitfire from Hell
  • Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb

Embarrassing Taglines
  • Stripped for Laughter! 
  • It's Sexcitement in Time and Space
  • A severed hand beckons from an open grave!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Margaret Fuchs
  • Atropos
  • Queen Tera
  • Space Queen
  • Queen of the Nabongas
  • Leda, Leader of the Lubbie Dubbies

Interesting Tidbits
  • Was a buyer for Harrods before acting
  • Her acting debut was as a chorus girl in Barbara Streisand’s Funny Girl
  • Was the Hai Karate girl
  • Was in 7 Carry On flicks
  • Played a dominatrix in The Revenge of the Pink Panther
  • Was the inspiration for Roxy Music's Beauty Queen (and, supposedly, Bryan Ferry's lover)
  • Is 6' 0"

Where can I learn more?

Nice hat!

<#15                    #13>

Friday, July 22, 2016

#15 Soledad Miranda

The quintessential haunted, doomed beauty, Soledad Miranda was killed in auto accident at the age of 27, just on the cusp of having her career really take off.  A discovery of Jess Franco, he changed her (according to Wikipedia) from “a young, dimpled, bubbly starlet” into the “pale, haunted, mysterious icon” anyone who’s a Franco fan has discovered on their own.

Real Name:  Soledad Bueno

Embarrassing Movies
  • Count Dracula
  • Sound of Horror *
  • She Killed in Ecstasy
  • Pyro, the Thing Without a Face
  • Eugenie Sex Happening
  • Vampyros Lesbos
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • A warning for the youth... An alarm call for the parents.
  • Hercules... Atlas... Goliath... Mighty Ursus towers above them all!
  • A Psycho-Sexadelic Horror Freakout!

Embarrassing Characters
  • First Dancer in Blue Dress
  • EugĂ©nie Radeck de Franval
  • Walburga Hassenreuter
  • Piluca

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends:  El Cordobes (Manuel Benitez – arguably the most famous bullfighter ever)

Whiffs of Scandal:  Soft-core porn

Untimely Demise:  In a car accident at age 27

Interesting Tidbits
  • AKA Susan Korday and Susann Korda (her porn name)
  • Given name means “solitude”
  • Drew the name Miranda out of a hat
  • Was half Roma
  • Made her stage debut at age 8 as a flamenco dancer
  • Almost became a nun
  • Cut a couple of records
  • Painted and wrote poetry
  • As with Elvis, there are rumors that she is still alive, with consequent sightings

Where can I learn more?

Nice hat ... and shades

<#16            #14>

Friday, July 15, 2016

#16 Barbara Shelley

Well, what more is there to say about Barbara Shelley? The classic Hammer honey and scream queen should be familiar to everyone who’s ever expressed a liking for classic horror. Glamorous, statuesque, classy, intelligent, and sexy to boot, she was a perfect fit for the Gothic maidens and villainesses of the golden era of “Hammer Glamour.”  She is often referred to as “The Queen of British Horror.”

Real Name:  Barbara Kowin

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Marylebone (actually, a fairly tony part of London)

Embarrassing Movies
  • Five Million Years to Earth
  • Village of the Damned  *
  • The Secret of Blood Island
  • Blood of the Vampire
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • To caress me is to tempt death!
  • What Demonic Force Lurks Behind Those Eyes?
  • No woman alive is safe from the most frightening fiend in the history of horror!
  • Force more powerful than 1,000 H-Bombs unleashed to devastate earth! World in panic! Cities in flames!
  • A Monster With the Power to Turn Living Screaming Flesh into Stone!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Amira
  • Sorasta
  • Queen Flavia 
  • Anthea Zellaby
  • Aisling Ainsworth

Interesting Tidbits
  • Was originally a model
  • First film work was in Italy 
  • Arguably her most famous scream (in Dracula) was actually dubbed by Susan Farmer
  • Now works as an interior decorator
  • Is a big sci fi fan

Where can I learn more?

Everyone knows vampires don't ride bikes

<#17          #15>

Friday, July 8, 2016

#17 Michele Mercier

Michele Mercier is known mainly for playing the part of Angelique, the heroine of a series of bodice-rippers set in 17th Century France and popular in the ‘60s (in France, at least). According to IMDb, this “catapulted her to almost instant stardom, rivaling Brigitte Bardot in her celebrity and popularity.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I definitely see some similarities between the two.

Embarrassing Movies
  • Web of the Spider
  • Summer Frenzy
  • Magnet of Doom
  • The Dance of Death
  • Women of Devil’s Island *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • An Adult Affair in Luscious Color
  • Not Since FRANKENSTEIN Have You Seen Such Horror!
  • Plunder was the law – Love was the booty!
  • The most gruesome day in the calendar of the Undead!
  • A lusty look at a saucy sextet of lovely bawdies!
  • A story that goes beyond the boundaries of the Supernatural to the half-world of the living dead. Where a woman's soul inhabits a fly's body, where Vengeance is only a voice and where vampires suck only the blood of those they love dearest

Embarrassing Characters
  • Wilma Rappi
  • Elvira Acquamano
  • Augusta de Munchenberg
  • Adalheid, Countess von Walldorff
  • Pupa
  • The Wife

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
  • "A shah" (IMDb)
  • "Italian Prince N." (IMDb)
  • Marcello Mastroianni
  • Former Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi
  • Silvio Berlusconi

Whiffs of Scandal
  • Nearly bankrupt after being the victim of a swindle
  • Totally bankrupt after spouse disappeared with all her jewels and money
  • Another spouse, an alcoholic, ended up in a mental hospital

Interesting Tidbits
  • Half Italian
  • Originally a ballet dancer
  • Was in Truffaut’s Shoot the Pianist
  • Leading men have included Marcello Mastroianni, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Aznavour, Charlton Heston, Tony Curtis, and Charles Bronson
  • Worked in France, Italy, Britain, and the USA
  • Is a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
  • Not to be confused with Michel Mercier and his detangling brush

Where can I learn more?

Nice, er, hat!

<#18         #16>

Friday, July 1, 2016

#18 Julie Adams

Probably a pretty familiar face, Julie Adams has been at it since 1949 (with her last appearance coming in 2011). She’s got almost 150 credits to her name, including sci-fi, lots of Westerns, TV, and soaps. She was an Elvis girl, a romantic interest of Sheriff Andy Taylor, and – probably most memorably – the damsel in distress in The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Almost 90, she is still very active on the appearance circuit. She sounds like a really lovely lady.

Embarrassing Real Name:  Betty May Adams

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Waterloo, IA

Cheesy Pageant Titles
  • Miss Melon Patch
  • Miss Little Rock

Embarrassing Movies
  • Francis Joins the WACS (Francis is a mule)
  • Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
  • The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.
  • Psychic Killer
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Embarrassing Taglines
  • Five desperate men ... and a girl who didn't care ... trapped on a mountain of gale-lashed rock!
  • Screeching lead!  Outlaw fury!
  • First it drives you mad, then it kills and kills and kills!

And a Happy New Year to you!

Shortest Marriage:  2 years

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
  • Ted Williams
  • Rock Hudson

Interesting Tidbits
  • Grew up in Arkansas
  • Had her legs insured for $125,000 by Lloyds of London
  • Played the only Perry Mason client to be convicted
  • Won the Golden Boot Award (for her work in Westerns [not soccer])
  • Won a Rondo Award (for her work in horror movies)
  • Is in the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame
  • It’s such a common name, Google gives me a nurse, an educator, a real estate agent, a couple of lawyers, a marketing manager, a pair of doctors, an opera singer, a hair stylist, a state senator, and two professors … as well as our lovely actress

Where can I learn more?

Julie and friend

<#19          #17>