Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Guest Stars of Doctor Who: Ingrid Pitt

Ingrid Pitt (born November 21, 1937) is an actress best known for her work in horror films of the 1960s and 1970s.

Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland to a German father and a Jewish mother, during World War II she and her family were imprisoned in a concentration camp. She survived, and in Berlin, Germany in the 1950s met and married an American soldier and ended up living in California. After her marriage failed, she returned to Europe but after a small role in a film, she headed to Hollywood where she worked as a waitress while trying to make a career in the movies. Her natural hair colour is brown, though she frequently has lightened it to blonde.

In the early 1960s Pitt was a member of the prestigious Berliner Ensemble, under the guidance of Bertolt Brecht's widow Helene Weigel.

In 1965 she debuted in Doctor Zhivago, playing a minor role.

In 1968 she co-starred in the low budget science fiction film The Omegans and in the same year played in Where Eagles Dare opposite Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.

It was her work with Hammer Film Productions that elevated her to cult figure status. She starred in The Vampire Lovers, a film based on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's novella Carmilla, and Countess Dracula, a film based on the legends around Countess Elizabeth Báthory. She played a brief role of a librarian in cult film The Wicker Man (1973), appearing nude in the bathtub.

Pitt also appeared in the Amicus Horror Anthology film The House That Dripped Blood, a gothic horror film that, along with The Vampire Lovers, marked the first of a string of early 1970s successes for her in that genre.

During the 1980s, Pitt returned to roles in mainstream films and on television but her popularity with horror film buffs saw her in demand for guest appearances at horror conventions and film festivals. Other films Pitt has appeared in outside the horror genre are: Who Dares Wins, (aka The Final Option), Wild Geese 2, Hanna's War etc. Generally cast as a 'baddie', she usually manages to get killed horribly at the end of the final reel. "Being the anti-hero is great - they are always roles you can get your teeth into."

It was at this time that the theatre world also beckoned. Pitt founded her own theatrical touring company and starred in successful productions of Dial M for Murder, Duty Free (aka Don't Bother to Dress), and Woman of Straw.

She has also appeared in many TV shows in the UK and USA - Ironside, Dundee and the Calhane, Doctor Who ("The Time Monster", "Warriors of the Deep"), Smiley's People, etc.

In 1984, Pitt and her husband Tony Rudlin were commissioned to script a Doctor Who adventure. The story, entitled "The Macro Men", was one of a number of ideas submitted by the couple, after she appeared in the season 22 DW story Warriors of the Deep. The plot concerned events surrounding the Philadelphia Experiment - a US military experiment during the Second World War to try to make the naval destroyer USS Eldridge invisible to radar - about which Pitt and Rudlin had read in a book entitled The Philadelphia Experiment by leading paranormal investigator Charles Berlitz. It involved the Doctor, and companion Peri, arriving on board the USS Eldridge in Philadelphia harbour in 1943 and becoming involved in a battle against microscopic humanoid creatures native to Earth but previously unknown to humankind. The writers had several meetings with script editor Eric Saward and carried out numerous revisions, but the story progressed no further than the preparation of a draft first episode script under the new title 'The Macros'.

Pitt made her return to the big screen in the 2000 production The Asylum. The film starred Colin Baker, Patrick Mower, and daughter Steffanie Pitt and was directed by John Stewart.

In 2003, Pitt voiced the role of 'Lady Violator' in Renga Media's production Dominator. The film has the distinction of being the UK's first CGI animated film.

After a period of illness, Pitt returned to the screen in 2006 for the Hammer Films-Mario Bava tribute Sea of Dust, a feature that brought her career full circle.

Of minor note, Pitt also narrates on the 1998 Cradle of Filth album entitled Cruelty and the Beast, though her narration was done strictly in-character as Countess Elizabeth Bathory, whom she had portrayed in Countess Dracula.

The Tell-Tale Heart (2009/I) (pre-production) .... Mrs. Clarion
Sea of Dust (2008) (completed) .... Anna
Beyond the Rave (2008) (V) .... Tooley's Mum
Minotaur (2006) .... The Leper
... aka Minotauro (Italy)
Dominator (2003) (voice) .... Lady Violator
Green Fingers (2000) .... Mrs. Bowen
The Asylum (2000) .... Isobella
Hanna's War (1988) .... Margit
"Bulman" .... Laura (1 episode, 1987)
- Chicken of the Baskervilles (1987) TV episode .... Laura
Underworld (1985) .... Pepperdine
... aka Transmutations (USA)
Wild Geese II (1985) .... Hooker
The House (1984) (TV) .... Countess Von Eisen
"Doctor Who" .... Dr. Solow / ... (5 episodes, 1972-1984)
- Warriors of the Deep: Part 3 (1984) TV episode .... Dr. Solow
- Warriors of the Deep: Part 2 (1984) TV episode .... Dr. Solow
- Warriors of the Deep: Part 1 (1984) TV episode .... Dr. Solow
- The Time Monster: Part 6 (1972) TV episode .... Queen Galleia
- The Time Monster: Part 5 (1972) TV episode .... Queen Galleia
Parker (1984) .... Widow
... aka Bones (USA)
The Comedy of Errors (1983) (TV) .... Courtesan
... aka The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors (USA: video title)
Octopussy (1983) (voice) (uncredited) .... Galley Mistress
"Smiley's People" .... Elvira (2 episodes, 1982)
- Episode #1.2 (1982) TV episode .... Elvira
- Episode #1.1 (1982) TV episode .... Elvira
Who Dares Wins (1982) .... Helga
... aka The Final Option (USA)
Artemis 81 (1981) (TV) .... Hitchcock Blonde
"BBC2 Playhouse" .... Fraulein Baum (1 episode, 1981)
- Unity (1981) TV episode .... Fraulein Baum
"Thriller" .... Ilse (1 episode, 1975)
- Where the Action Is (1975) TV episode .... Ilse
"The Zoo Gang" .... Lyn Martin (1 episode, 1974)
- Mindless Murder (1974) TV episode .... Lyn Martin
The Wicker Man (1973) .... Librarian
... aka Anthony Shaffer's The Wicker Man (UK: complete title)
"The Adventurer" .... Elayna (1 episode, 1973)
- Double Exposure (1973) TV episode .... Elayna
Nobody Ordered Love (1972) .... Alice Allison
"Jason King" .... Nadine (1 episode, 1972)
- Nadine (1972) TV episode .... Nadine
The House That Dripped Blood (1971) .... Carla Lynde (segment "The Cloak")
Countess Dracula (1971) .... Countess Elisabeth Nodosheen
The Vampire Lovers (1970) .... Marcilla / Carmilla / Mircalla Karnstein
Where Eagles Dare (1968) .... Heidi
The Omegans (1968) .... Linda
"Ironside" .... Irene Novas (1 episode, 1967)
... aka "The Raymond Burr Show" (USA: syndication title)
- The Fourteenth Runner (1967) TV episode .... Irene Novas
"Dundee and the Culhane" .... Tallie Montreaux (1 episode, 1967)
- The 1000 Feet Deep Brief (1967) TV episode .... Tallie Montreaux
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) (uncredited) .... Courtesian
Un beso en el puerto (1966)
... aka A Kiss on the Harbour
... aka Kiss in the Harbour
Doctor Zhivago (1965) (uncredited) .... Extra
Campanadas a medianoche (1965) (uncredited)
... aka Falstaff (France) (Switzerland: German title)
... aka Campanades a mitjanit (Spain: Catalan title)
... aka Chimes at Midnight (UK)
El sonido de la muerte (1964) .... Sofia Minelli
... aka Sound from a Million Years Ago
... aka Sound of Horror (USA)
... aka The Prehistoric Sound

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