It’s a sad fact that enough years have passed that the cool actors of the 60’s and 70’s are reaching an age where they must leave us. We lost a great one on Tuesday when Ingrid Pitt passed away at the age of 72. For male horror fans of a certain age Ingrid was responsible for imprinting the wonders of cleavage in our brains with her roles in so many great Hammer films. But of course Ingrid was more than a great rack, she brought a certain European class and sensuality to her roles and always seemed to enjoy herself.
Ingrid had the rather unfortunate timing to be born in Poland in 1937 to a Jewish mother and spent the early years of her life in a German concentration camp. Fortunately she survived and grew up in Berlin, where she married an American soldier, moved to Hollywood and eventually found her way into movies when she moved back to Europe.
If Ingrid had done nothing else her role in Hammer’s Vampire Lovers would be enough to secure her status as an all time great female vampire and lust object for generations of horror fans. Featuring some amazing cleavage, a sexy bath scene and the seduction and neck biting of some nubile young virgins, Vampire Lovers was possibly the first mainstream vampire movie to feature such overt sexuality, due in large part to Ingrid’s sensual performance.
But Ingrid wasn’t just another large-breasted starlet. She started her own theater company and performed in many stage productions and TV shows throughout her career, including Doctor Who. She also was a bit of a writer, writing novels and a script for Doctor Who based in real life events of The Philadelphia Experiment. The script never made it to TV but was later produced as an audio play. She also wrote books about ghosts, a history of Hammer Films and an autobiography. Ingrid was a fixture on the convention circuit and most certainly spent her later years knowing how much her fans loved her. You can’t ask for much more than that.