Hammer horror actress Ingrid Pitt dies aged 73

Pitt passes away in London

Hammer horror heroine Ingrid Pitt has died aged 73.

The actress passed away in a south London hospital yesterday (November 23), a few days after collapsing, and two days after her 73rd birthday, reports BBC News.

Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland in 1937, before becoming the star of Hammer horror classics including The House That Dripped Blood and The Vampire Lovers, she survived imprisonment in a concentration camp during the Second World War.

Pitt and her family survived, and she grew up with ambitions to write and act.

However, on the night she planned to make her stage debut, she found herself under threat from the Communist East German authorities. After jumping into the River Spree to escape them, she was rescued by an American soldier, who became her first husband.

Early film roles included 1964’s Sound Of Horror and 1965’s Doctor Zhivago, but it was Where Eagles Dare in 1968 that saw her movie career take off, appearing alongside Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.

She made many appearances for Britain’s Hammer studios in the 1970s. She also had a small role in The Wicker Man in 1973.

Pitt also wrote an autobiography, 1999’s Life’s A Scream, and three volumes of horror trivia, including 2000’s The Ingrid Pitt Book Of Murder, Torture And Depravity.

She is survived by her second husband, actor Tony Rudlin, as well as a daughter and a granddaughter.