Barbara Shelley, for the best and the vampires

Her calm and elegant features but without coldness, like a matte silver coin, first earned her a career as a model. Poisoned gift in England in the 1950s where she met with success but where the doors suddenly close when she tries to venture on the stage or the cinema. He will have to go through Italy to finally find his way out. Enlisted in a drama by Luigi Capuano in 1954, she has made a dozen films there in two years, from tragic bluette to cosmic pantalonnade. Decided to access more ambitious productions, she returned to the United Kingdom in 1957, where she landed the headliner of Cat Girl, Fantastic low budget film that will allow him to be spotted by the Hammer, famous British production company.

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<img alt="BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE, Barbara Shelley, 1958 Extract Extract | BREverettCollection20170123_2132″ class=”i_orig” data-responsive=”1″ src=”″ width=”100%”/>Barbara Shelley in the blood of the vampire by Henry Cass, in 1958. Photo Everett Collection. Abaca

Propelled sensual and weeping tornado of gothic horror, she will do wonders in the Gorgon, Rasputin, the mad monk and especially Dracula, prince of darkness, Terence Fisher’s stainless classic and one of the British production house’s most iconic films. Great lover of science fiction, we will also see her in the Village of the Damned, classic sixties of MGM, and Space monsters, less known here but object of a delirious cult in England where he has given many sequels and adaptations, especially in the form of series. Barbara Shelley’s cinematographic career will end at the end of the 60s, however, where she will turn to television, in more classic productions even if she will briefly reconnect with her thaumaturgical connections by appearing in a few episodes of the series. Dr Who in 1984. She will definitively disappear from the screens at the beginning of the 90s to devote herself to a completely different profession: interior decoration. Decreased by an attack in 2007, she had wanted to meet her audience one last time at London Comic-Con in 2019 for a “final signing”. She died Monday, from the Covid-19, at the age of 88.

Barbara Shelley in the episode Lily of St. Golarre of a television adaptation of the work of Alexandre Dumas the three Musketeers, in Rome, February 10, 1955. Photo Keystone. Hulton Archive. Getty Images

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