A very special birthday remembrance needs to go out today for actress Hazel Court. Most famous for her roles in 1950's and 60's British horror films, she seemed particularly well suited to Gothic period pieces such as Hammer's CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) and THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH (1959) where she would always bring a touch of class (along with a heaving bosom) to her roles.
My personal favorite Hazel role is Juliana in Roger Corman's MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964). Playing the wife to to Vincent Price's Prince Prospero), she wonderfully projects an air of sexual evilness that comes to the fore in a satanic ritual that one of the highlights of the A.I.P. "Poe" series.
After meeting actor Don Taylor (BATTLEGROUND) on an episode of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS in 1961 they were married and she retired from acting in 1964. Moving to California she later appeared in a couple of TV shows in the 70's and had a small role in OMEN III in 1981. Hazel passed away in 2008 and will always be a vital (and very lovely) icon from the golden age of British horror.
Roger, Hazel and Jane Asher on the set of MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH