Saturday, October 9, 2010
The Women of Hammer Films - Hazel Court
Hazel appeared in two Hammer films: The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957) and The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959). It is noted that she was Hammer's first pin-up girl. She was born in Birmingham, England in 1926. She was a leading student at her hometown's School of Drama and landed a contract with the J. Arthur Rank Organisation. She starred in numerous films for that company but never really had a big hit. She made her first successful film while loaned out to another studio for Holiday Camp in 1947. During this time, she took off to get married and raise a daughter and her career suffered for it. She appeared in the schockly Devil Girl From Mars in 1954 and nothing else of note until Hammer came calling with The Curse Of Frankenstein. Hazel starred as the prim Elizabeth in the first of Hammer horror films. She was so successful in the film, that Hammer brought her back for The Man Who Could Cheat Death. These two films re-energized Hazel's career and she became known for horror films after that. She made 5 films for Roger Corman including The Raven and The Masque of Red Death with such co-stars as Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre. After film work dried up, Hazel wound up appearing in several TV series during the late 60's and 70's including Gidget, Mission Impossible, Mannix, McMillan & Wife, and The Wild, Wild West. During her later years she was a fan favorite at conventions all around the world. Hazel died in 2008 at the age of 82 of a heart attack. Forever remembered as the first Hammer girl.