When Hazel Court died earlier this year, most attention was given to her later work as a Scream Queen in some of Roger Corman's better work, but that ignores her respectable run in British cinema as one of the loveliest actresses of the post-war period.
Hazel Court was born in Sutton Coldfield. After studying at LAMDA, she got her first break in show business when her sister showed her photograph to Anthony Asquith. This got her a contract with Rank and a line in Champagne Charlie. Her next two film roles were leads, and soon she was supporting her way through Gainsborough's lesser films and getting herself noticed. She played a Huggett in Holiday Camp but didn't stick around for the series.
She married Dermott Walsh in 1949 and that, and the disintegration of Rank, seems to have put a brake on her career for a while. The films she made in the 50s were rather dispiriting - she didn't even get the title role in Devil Girl From Mars - and it took the The Curse of Frankenstein to put her back on the map. Towards the end of the 50s she spent more time in America mainly working on TV but she did fit in the roles for which she was best remembered, culminating in The Masque of the Red Death. In this she played Vincent Price's regal wife and showed just how much her talent had been wasted in the 50s.
After her divorce from Walsh in 1963, she married director Don Taylor and relocated to California. She gave up her career in favour of her family, charitable works and sculpture, but still enjoyed her status as a Scream Queen. Her autobiography was published in the week of her death.
|1947||The Root of All Evil|
|1947||Meet Me at Dawn|
|1948||My Sister and I|
|1954||Tale of Three Women|
|1954||Devil Girl From Mars|
|1956||The Narrowing Circle|
|1956||Behind the Headlines|
|1957||Hour of Decision|
|1957||The Curse of Frankenstein|
|1958||A Woman of Mystery|
|1959||Model for Murder|
|1959||The Man Who Could Cheat Death|
|1961||Doctor Blood's Coffin|
|1961||Mary Had a Little...|
|1963||The Masque of the Red Death|
|1981||Omen III: The Final Conflict|
Hazel Court at Amazon UK
Hazel Court at Amazon US