Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WOMAN OF THE WEEK: Hazel Court

Yes, this is a sparatic post from my campus' computer lab! Yay! I'm getting plenty of awkward stares as I shuffle through horror blogs and the like, but you know what...screw 'em! I'm awesome, and they're jealous. This edition of WotW showcases a woman that I feel left us too soon. She's my favorite red head next to Lucielle Ball and my sister. The first pinup girl for the Hammer Horror franchise was only in two films for the company! She was named number 11 on The Vault of Horror & Day of the Woman's 20 Hottest Women of Horror, and by the looks of that picture alone, I'm sure you know why. Her autobiography published shortly after her death was called Horror Queen, and that's exactly what she was.

Despite her long career on both sides of the Atlantic, many film fans know of Hazel Court only from appearances in such productions as The Masque of the Red Death and The Raven. But Miss Court is far more than just someone who once appeared in a Vincent Price movie. The purpose of this page is to call attention to the other aspects of her long and varied career.

A promising British starlet in the 1940s and early 1950s, Court hit her stride appearing in crime dramas and mysteries--even appearing in several of them with her then-husband Dermot Walsh. In 1954, she starred in the offbeat English sci-fi flick Devil Girl from Mars, and before long was specializing in horror pictures. Court was the female lead in two early Hammer productions: The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959). In the former, she played Elizabeth, fiance to Peter Cushing's Dr. Frankenstein.

Later, she starred alongside the likes of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre in three of Roger Corman's classic Edgar Allen Poe adaptations, Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964). In between her Hammer and Corman stints, she topped the 1961 British cult favorite Doctor Blood's Coffin.
Perhaps it was her experience with Corman--in addition to her marriage to American actor Don Taylor--that encouraged Court to relocate to Hollywood in 1964. From that point on, focused on raising her daughter Sally (who, incidentally, played her as a child in Curse of Frankenstein). She also did occasionally work in television, appearing on shows like The Twilight Zone, The Wild Wild West and Mission: Impossible. In 1981, she made one final film appearance, an uncredited walk-on in Omen III: The Final Conflict (a horror picture, naturally). (thevaultofhorror.net)


She was a redheaded, leggy, green-eyed dansel who was an iconic film actress and a pinup girl in England in the 1950s, and who went on to make dozens of guest appearances on American television. Hazel Court had a long and varied professional life, including a second career as a sculptor. However it was her cleavage and screaming that made her the Scream Queen that we all know and love her as.

5 comment(s):

Al Bruno III said...

Bravo on this one my dear!


i have had a crush on Ms. Court since like... forever!

Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

Uh-huh. Me too!

B-Sol said...

Do I get royalties for this? ;-)

Ramey said...

Just a quick aside: sparatic = sporadic.

Enjoyed the post!

Nate Y. said...

I blubbered like a moron when I found out that she died. In fact, one of my co-workers asked why I was so visibly upset and I explained that my Aunt Hazel had died, because I don't think they would've understood that I was shedding tears over an actress I'd never met.

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