Biography

According to early publicity reports, Polish actress Ingrid Pitt was born in 1943 while her parents were being shipped to a Nazi concentration camp. However, Pitt lists her date of birth as November of 1945, by which time the camps had been abolished. Whatever the case, she survived the war to become a leading actress on the East Berlin stage. She made her film debut in a Spanish bullfighting picture, then spent many years playing decorative roles in international productions filmed on location in Spain: Doctor Zhivago (1965), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), Chimes at Midnight (1967), Where Eagles Dare (1969), among others. Pitt did not attain her "cult" status in films of that nature; instead, she won the hearts of gothic horror fans for her sensuous, stylish work in such films as The Vampire Lovers (1971) -- in which, as lesbian vampire Carmilla, she literally loses her head to Peter Cushing -- Countess Dracula (1973), and The Wicker Man (1977). Ingrid Pitt is most familiar to televiewers for her performance as Elvira in the 1982 British miniseries Smiley's People. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi