Barbara Steele

Barbara Steele (born 29 December 1937) is an English film actress known for starring in Italian gothic horror films of the 1960s. She has been referred to as the "Queen of All Scream Queens"[2] and "Britain's first lady of horror".[3] She played the dual role of Asa and Katia Vajda in Mario Bava's landmark film Black Sunday (1960), and starred in The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962), The Long Hair of Death (1964), and Castle of Blood (1964).

Barbara Steele
Barbara Steele publicity photo 1965.png
Steele in a 1965 publicity photo
Born (1937-12-29) 29 December 1937 (age 84)[1]
Birkenhead, England
OccupationActress
Years active1958–present
Spouse
(m. 1969; div. 1978)
Children1

Additionally, Steele had supporting roles in Federico Fellini's (1963), David Cronenberg's Shivers (1975), and Louis Malle's Pretty Baby (1978), and appeared on television in the 1991 TV series Dark Shadows. She won a Primetime Emmy Award for producing the American television miniseries War and Remembrance (1988–1989). Steele appeared in several films in the 2010s, including a lead role in The Butterfly Room (2012) and supporting role in Ryan Gosling's Lost River (2014).

Early lifeEdit

Steele was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.[4] She studied art at the Chelsea Art School and in Paris at the Sorbonne.[4]

CareerEdit

During the 1960s, Steele starred in a string of Italian horror films, including Black Sunday (1960), The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962), The Ghost (1963), The Long Hair of Death (1964), Castle of Blood (1964), Terror-Creatures from the Grave and Nightmare Castle (both 1965). She also starred in Roger Corman's adaptation of The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story of the same title, and the British film Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968).

Steele guest starred in British television shows including the spy drama, Danger Man (aka Secret Agent) starring Patrick McGoohan in 1965. She made her American television debut in 1960 as Dolores in the "Daughter of Illusion" episode of the ABC series, Adventures in Paradise, starring Gardner McKay. In that same year, she was replaced by Barbara Eden in the Elvis Presley film Flaming Star after a disagreement with director Don Siegel. In 1961, she appeared as Phyllis in the "Beta Delta Gamma" episode of CBS's Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She also had an supporting role in Federico Fellini's (1963), and in 1966 appeared in the second-season episode of NBC's I Spy, "Bridge of Spies".

Steele returned to the horror genre in the later 1970s, appearing in three horror films: David Cronenberg's Shivers (a.k.a. They Came From Within) (1975), Piranha (1978), and The Silent Scream (1979).[5]

Steele served as associate producer of the TV miniseries, The Winds of War (1983), and was a producer for its sequel, War and Remembrance (1988), for which she shared the 1989 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special with executive producer Dan Curtis.

Steele was cast as Julia Hoffman in the 1991 remake of the 1960s ABC television series Dark Shadows. In 2010, she was a guest star in the Dark Shadows audio drama, The Night Whispers.

In 2010, actor-writer Mark Gatiss interviewed Steele about her role in Black Sunday for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror.[6][7] In 2012, Gatiss again interviewed Steele about her role in Shivers for his follow-up documentary, Horror Europa. In 2014, she appeared in Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, the drama-fantasy thriller film Lost River,[8] in which she portrayed the character Belladonna in a supporting role.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Steele was married to American screenwriter James Poe.[1] They were married in 1969 and divorced in 1978.[citation needed]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes Refs.
1958 Bachelor of Hearts Fiona [10]
1959 Sapphire Student [citation needed]
The Heart of a Man Girl Scenes deleted [citation needed]
Upstairs and Downstairs Mary [citation needed]
1960 Your Money or Your Wife Juliet Frost [11]
Black Sunday Asa Vajda / Katia Vajda [12]
1961 The Pit and the Pendulum Elizabeth Barnard Medina [13]
1962 Il capitano di ferro Floriana [14][15]
The Horrible Dr. Hichcock Cynthia [16][16]
1963 Gloria Morin [17]
The Hours of Love Leila [18]
The Ghost Margaret [19]
1964 The Long Hair of Death Helen Karnstein / Mary Karnstein [20]
I maniaci Barbara / Signora Brugnoli [citation needed]
A Sentimental Attempt Silvia [citation needed]
Castle of Blood Elisabeth Blackwood [21]
White Voices Giulia [22]
1965 I soldi Unknown [citation needed]
Nightmare Castle Muriel and Jenny [23]
Terror-Creatures from the Grave Cleo Hauff [24]
Once Upon a Tractor Short film [25][26]
1966 L'armata Brancaleone Teodora [27][28]
The She Beast Veronica [29][30]
Young Törless Bozena [31]
An Angel for Satan Harriet Montebruno / Belinda [32]
1968 Curse of the Crimson Altar Lavinia Morley [33]
1974 Caged Heat Superintendent McQueen [34]
1975 Shivers Betts [35]
1977 I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Idat Scenes deleted [citation needed]
1978 Pretty Baby Josephine [36]
Piranha Dr. Mengers [37]
1979 Silent Scream Victoria Engels [38][39]
2012 The Butterfly Room Ann [40][41]
2014 Lost River Grandmother [42][43]
2016 Le Fantôme Unknown Short film [44]
2016 Minutes Past Midnight The Apparition of the Mill [citation needed]

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1955 Dial 999 Toni Miller 1 episode
1961 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Phyllis 1 episode
1964 Les baisers Thelma 1 episode
1965 Danger Man Cleo 1 episode "The Man On The Beach"
1972 Night Gallery The Widow Craighill 1 episode
1983 The Winds of War Mrs. Stoller Miniseries
1988 War and Remembrance Elsa MacMahon Miniseries
1991 Dark Shadows Dr. Julia Hoffman / Countess Natalie Du Pres Miniseries
2020 Castlevania Miranda (voice) Main Cast

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Barbara Steele". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  2. ^ Davis, Christopher (11 June 2018). "Queen of All Scream Queens: Barbara Steele". VAULT OF THOUGHTS. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Barbara Steele: the accidental scream queen". the Guardian. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  4. ^ a b Frank 1982, p. 175.
  5. ^ Hogan 1997, p. 309.
  6. ^ Clarke, Donald. "Mark Gatiss's History of Horror". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  7. ^ "A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss – Home Counties Horror Ep 2/3". BBC. 18 October 2010.
  8. ^ "Lost River". BD. 18 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Lost River". BD. 18 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Bachelor of Hearts". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Your Money or Your Wife". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  12. ^ Curti 2015, p. 37.
  13. ^ "The Pit and the Pendulum". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Release". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Cast". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  16. ^ a b Curti 2015, p. 68.
  17. ^ "8½". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  18. ^ "The Hours of Love". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 1 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  19. ^ Curti 2015, p. 88.
  20. ^ Curti 2015, p. 124.
  21. ^ Curti 2015, p. 109.
  22. ^ "White Voices". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  23. ^ Curti 2015, p. 143.
  24. ^ Curti 2015, p. 149.
  25. ^ "Release". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Cast". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  27. ^ "Release". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Cast". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  29. ^ Halligan 2003, p. 49.
  30. ^ "The She Beast". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 2 April 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  31. ^ "Young Törless". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  32. ^ Curti 2015, p. 155.
  33. ^ "The Crimson Cult". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  34. ^ "Caged Heat!". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  35. ^ "Parasite Murders". Collections Canada. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  36. ^ "Pretty Baby". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  37. ^ "Piranha]". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  38. ^ "Silent Scream". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  39. ^ "The Silent Scream". Tulare Advance-Register. Tulare, California. 15 November 1979. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com.
  40. ^ "Butterfly Room (The)". BIFFF Official Website. Brussels International Fantasy Film Festival. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012.
  41. ^ Newman, Kim (12 December 2012). "The Butterfly Room". Screen Daily. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  42. ^ "Lost River". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  43. ^ "Inside Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Premiere in Cannes (Photos)". The Wrap. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  44. ^ "Award-Winning Actor Mads Mikkelsen Stars in New Short Film 'Le Fantome' For Fored Edge Campaign". Ford. 16 October 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2019.

Works cited

External linksEdit