Carmilla Karnstein aka Ingrid Pitt has passed into the great beyond...
Fathergeek here... European horror queen Ingrid Pitt collapsed in a London street on her way to a fan event and died later in a local hospital of heart failure on November 21st. Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland on November 21, 1937 she survived 3 years in a Nazi concentration camp, escaped from communist East Berlin, and became a well known star of stage, screen, and TV.
Known to most as the seductive bisexual vampire Carmilla in1970's The Vampire Lovers, Ingrid became a staple in the Hammer Films horror line up starring in 73's Wicker Man, as well as 1971's House That Dripped Blood and Countess Dracula, and several others. However she did enjoy a productive non-horror film career as well, appearing in motion pictures like Chimes at Midnight, Doctor Zhivago, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, and 1968's Where Eagles Dare. She appeared in 5 episodes of the BBC's renowned Doctor Who series and many other TV shows in England and the USA. Her last film role was as Anna in 2008's Sea of Dust.
Meeting Ingrid is one of old Fathergeek's unfilled desires, alas, it was not ment to be, but hanging on the wall here at geek headquarters in a shadowbox is a book that once belonged to Forry Ackerman signed by Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Paul Naschy and other vampires of note including Ingrid Pitt. Farewell dear Ingrid, sleep well.
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Nov. 23, 2010, 10:51 p.m. CST
Great lady. She was by all accounts a very nice person, beyond her iconic status.
Nov. 23, 2010, 10:55 p.m. CST
Nov. 23, 2010, 10:58 p.m. CST
"The Vampire Lovers" is my favorite Hammer production. Knowing now of her hardship during WWII makes me appreciate her even more.
Nov. 23, 2010, 11:37 p.m. CST
Nov. 23, 2010, 11:38 p.m. CST
Her and Mary Ure were hot action babes in that movie.
Nov. 23, 2010, 11:39 p.m. CST
Another reason the Wicker Man was so great. I wish more girls would look like her instead of beanpoles.
Nov. 23, 2010, 11:43 p.m. CST
Ingrid Pitt, Caroline Munro and Barbara Steele were, in my opinion, the royalty of horror ladies when I was a kid. She will be dearly missed.
Nov. 23, 2010, 11:43 p.m. CST
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:03 a.m. CST
by Margot Tenenbaum
One of the greats of 70s genre films. I had no idea about her WWII background.
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:12 a.m. CST
they will probably make a movie about her someday.
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:17 a.m. CST
I can't say I saw her in much besides Hammer's vampire movies and "Wicker Man," but those are memorable. <p> Now I find out she wrote books, spoke seven languages, and was a nice person. <p> I've been watching TCM's Hammer horror movies recently, and they are some great work. Jacquelyn Pearce is another notable actress, and fortunately she's still with us.
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST
FYI... "The Wicker Man" and "The House That Dripped Blood" are not, repeat, NOT Hammer films. Come to think of it, I believe Ms. Pitt only appeared in TWO Hammer productions, "The Vampire Lovers" and "Countess Dracula" -- hardly a staple. Even so, she was a sexy '70s genre presence and will be missed. R.I.P., ma'am.
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:32 a.m. CST
but just another random death in terms of my worldview
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST
by James Westfall
Thanks for all the great memories and fun movies, Ingrid Pitt. Amazingly beautiful, talented and charismatic. Sad, sad day. =(
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST
by Wilfy Fredericks
to a very talented actress - nice to see so much of her non horror work acknowledged as well. (Great shout on Jacqueline Pearce as well Kabong) RIP
Nov. 24, 2010, 1:30 a.m. CST
As a child reared in Hammer lore,seing Ms Pitt always made me feel funny down there...
Nov. 24, 2010, 2:01 a.m. CST
in the UK's Shivers magazine called The Pitt of Horror, which was always an entertaining read. Her passing is very sad.
Nov. 24, 2010, 3:23 a.m. CST
Great Lady, rest in peace.
Nov. 24, 2010, 4:51 a.m. CST
Nov. 24, 2010, 4:56 a.m. CST
My condolecences and sympathies for her family, friends and fans.
Nov. 24, 2010, 4:57 a.m. CST
She was one of the most beautiful actresses of the 60s and very gracious to her fans as well. I asked her for an interview for my old fanzine years ago and she was extremely polite and helpful. I wrote a small obituary this morning as well: http://www.crowsnbones.com/2010/11/ingrid-pitt-1937-2010/ Rest in Peace
Nov. 24, 2010, 5:21 a.m. CST
I'll always remember her fondly for the bonkers character she played in the Peter Davison Doctor Who story "Warriors of the Deep".
Nov. 24, 2010, 6:43 a.m. CST
I met her a few times, she used to be a guest on the Shopping Channel i worked for in the UK, She was lovely and hilarious and was always a pleasure to work with, And told some Eye opening stories about Where Eagles Dare. She will be greatly missed.
Nov. 24, 2010, 7:42 a.m. CST
Very sad. She was one of those women who made the first real impression on my pubescent mind back in the day. Very sexy woman and a true asset to the horror genre in the 60s & 70s. <p> R.I.P.
Nov. 24, 2010, 8:50 a.m. CST
I'll always remember her fondly, as she foolishly tries to karate-kick an electric sea monster to death...
Nov. 24, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST
The Hammer movies were such a great part of my childhood. Watching creature double feature on channel 48 in Philly was a Saturday afternoon ritual which I dearly miss.
Nov. 24, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST
by jasper Stillwell
A REAL woman in every sense of the word - We will miss you Ingrid - R.I.P.
Nov. 24, 2010, 9:03 a.m. CST
'Countess Dracula' wasn't part of Hammer's Karnstein trilogy. The series consisted of 'The Vampire Lovers' (1970), 'Lust for a Vampire' (1971) and 'Twins of Evil' (1971).
Nov. 24, 2010, 9:29 a.m. CST
Alas she has left the building and returned to the grave.
Nov. 24, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST
by Carl's hat
scared the shit out of me. That first story about the writer seeing his fictional stangler stalking him around the estate, with those teeth and that smile; shit that's creepy.
Nov. 24, 2010, 12:50 p.m. CST
I too enjoyed her work. I saw Vampire Lovers as a teen and "Oh Boy!" It may explain my facination with Christina Hendricks.<p>She is great in "Where Eagles Dare." There she is on screen with Eastwood and Burton and she holds her own. I never knew she was a Holocaust Survivor. That just makes her even more amazing. Again, Farewell.-----m
Nov. 24, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST
In my youth I could sneak issues of Castle Of Frankenstein past my parents, because it was "just one of those monster magazines he loves so much". But with Playboy and such out of reach, it was an influential exploration of the female form that I could access whenever I wanted. Thank you Miss Pitt and CoF for your many pictorials.
Nov. 24, 2010, 3:06 p.m. CST
I didn't see this mentioned here yet, but she was the narrator for Cradle of Filth's Cruelty and the Beast album. On that album, Pitt reprised her role from the film Countess Dracula.
Nov. 24, 2010, 3:16 p.m. CST
having a bet to see who would bed her first on the set of "Where Eagles Dare"; later on they told her and she coolly responded "who won?"
Nov. 24, 2010, 3:33 p.m. CST
I had the great fortune to meet Ingrid a few times at the memorabilia event here in the UK. I was with a pal walking the aisles and saw an image of Ingrid in a bath, the water JUST covering her modesty - absolutely the most potent image of sexuality and overwhelming sexiness and womanhood you could hope to conjour. After a day of spotting vaguely attractive cosplayers and former page 3 girls I pointed to the image and said quite clearly, "Now THAT's what a woman looks like." Of course, just below the image was Ingrid, who gave me that knockout smile and thanked me for 'making her day'. What a lady...
Nov. 24, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST
Well, she actually had the only two good things.
Nov. 24, 2010, 3:51 p.m. CST
met her at Chiller in NJ a few times always pleasant to fans. She got loaded in the bar and was still quite the flirt. She will be missed.
Nov. 24, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST
Met her a couple of times at UK conventions - mad as a box of frogs, flirty as you like and quite frankly loved having men queue to buy her drinks. Good work, Ingrid.
Nov. 24, 2010, 7:27 p.m. CST
by peter skellen
Is great fun. It's an Amicus anthology with Pitt, Cushing and Christopher Lee amongst others. The fact that the person who wrote the tribute to Pitt doesn't even know the difference between Amicus and Hammer is somewhat depressing considering this is supposed to be a huge geek film site.
Nov. 24, 2010, 10:02 p.m. CST
Would have been a great movie or book title.<p><p>Only knew of her from the movies, how ironic that she passed away on her Birthday!<p><p>R.I.P. Miss Pitt
Nov. 24, 2010, 10:49 p.m. CST
Nov. 25, 2010, 10:26 a.m. CST
Nov. 25, 2010, 1:11 p.m. CST
Fitfeen year old boys don't know they're born these days. I'll never forget the Friday night horror double bills on BBC2 and discovering Ingrids's Carmilla. Ahhh sweet memories!
Nov. 25, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST
I was obsessed with her as a five years old-kid when I first saw The Vampire Lovers, staying up to watch it on 'Appointment With Fear' (the Friday night horror movie slot on British TV) with my nan back in 1975. A truly amazing lady. Nice tribute FG.
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