CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Women of Hammer Films: Ingrid Pitt

The beautiful Ingrid...

One of Hammer films most legendary actresses was Ingrid Pitt. She made three films with the studio: The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula, and Beyond the Rave. Pitt was born Ingoushka Petrov on November 21, 1937 in Warsaw Poland. She endured the concentration camp during world war two. Her harsh ordeal is widely known as she endured torture and rape. She came through it and made her way to Berlin. There she met an American soldier and married him. On to California and Europe to try her hand at acting.
Her film debut was a minor role in a very big film, Doctor Zhivago. She would land a much bigger part in 1968's Where Eagles Dare alongside Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.  But it was with her first Hammer film that put her on the map so to speak. As Carmilla in 1970's The Vampire Lovers which cast her as a vampiress feeding on young girls in 19th century Austria. Pitt made an immediate impact, so much that a follow-up film was made the very next year. In Countess Dracula, her character was based on the legend of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. And once again Pitt was unbelievable in the role. I've seen both of these films and they are some of my favorite horror films of all time. I have not seen Beyond The Rave. Pitt would continue on in horror films through-out the 70's including The House That Dripped Blood and The Wicker Man (another fave of mine). 
A scene from The Wicker Man with Ingrid in a spot of trouble...

During the 80's she turned to TV work on such as Unity, Doctor Who, Smiley's People, etc. Theater work would come later in the form of plays Dial M For Murder and Woman Of Straw. Fan conventions popped up during this time and she become a frequent guest. She was married three times and has one daughter Steffanie Pitt, also an actress. Ingrid stood only 5'4" and passed away in 2010 at the age of 73.


Irene Palfy said...

Great hommage to an wonderful actress. Thank you, Monty!

DorianTB said...

Monty, I very much enjoyed your salute to Ingrid Pitt, one of Team Bartilucci's favorites! I was moved and fascinated to learn about her difficult life and her concentration camp ordeal. Great post!

As luck would have it, we wrote a blog post about THE WICKER MAN for Halloween weekend. If you're interested, here's the link:

Keep those terrific posts coming. Happy Halloween!

ClassicBecky said...

I had no idea Ingrid had gone through all that during the war. Horrifying. I loved her in the two vampire films, and like Dorian, remember her well from The Wicker Man, a favorite of mine as well. Very interesting post, Monty, and nice tribute to a lady who came through horrors to make a life for herself.

Theodora Michaels said...

A lovely tribute to a lovely woman. For those interested in learning more about her childhood in the concentration camp, her last project was to narrate her memories for the animated short Ingrid Pitt: Beyond The Forest. It's playing film festivals now.


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