Suzanna Leigh – actress

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Suzanna Leigh (26 July 1945 – 11 December 2017) was a British actress, primarily known for her film and television roles in the 1960s and 1970s.

Born Sandra Eileen Anne Smith on 26 July 1945, Leigh grew up in Berkshire, England. She began working in films while still a child, appearing as an extra. She then changed her name to Suzanna Leigh, whilst under the tutelage of her godmother, Vivien Leigh.

Having appeared in Hollywood movies such as the comedy comedy Boeing Boeing (1965) and Elvis Presley vehicle Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), Leigh returned to the UK and starred as heroine Vicki Robbins in the Robert Bloch scripted Amicus production The Deadly Bees (1966).

For Hammer Films, she appeared in Michael Carreras’ idiosyncratic fantasy The Lost Continent (1968) as Unity Webster, one of steamer ship passengers who find themselves marooned in a mist-enshrouded Sargasso Sea surrounded by killer seaweed, murderous crustaceans and previously marooned descendants of Spanish Conquistadores and pirates. For fans of strange cinema, this is a must-see.

Leigh was also in Hammer’s Journey to the Unknown TV series, Lust for a Vampire (1971), as the delightfully-named Janet Playfair.

Other horror-related appearances were in Robert Hartford-Davis’ serial killer thriller The Fiend aka Beware my Brethren (1971), and the Harry Nilsson/Ringo Starr vanity project comedy rock horror musical Son of Dracula (1973).

In 2000, she wrote an autobiography, Paradise, Suzanna Style.

Image credits: Cathode Ray Tube

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