Welcome to fans and would-be fans of Miss Hazel Court. This page has been created because of my conviction that the fabulous red haired glamour girl from Great Britain deserves far more recognition than she has heretofore been accorded.
Despite her long career on both sides of the Atlantic, many film fans know of Hazel Court only from appearances in such productions as The Masque of the Red Death and The Raven. But Miss Court is far more than just someone who once appeared in a Vincent Price movie. The purpose of this page is to call attention to the other aspects of her long and varied career.
Hazel Court was born February 10, 1926, in Sutton Coldfield, England. The daughter of a well-known cricketer, she also became quite a good bowler. While working for an optician, she also attended the Birmingham School of Drama and appeared in a number of local stage productions. Subsequently, she landed a cameo role in the film "Champagne Charlie" and went on to be among the so-called "Gainsborough girls," actresses associated with the production company that put the British film industry on the map following the end of World War II.
Miss Court first appeared in British films at the age of 18. She has the distinction of having appeared in both Hammer Studios' early horror films in England as well as in Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe horror films from American International Productions in the United States. In the words of Danny Peary's "Cult Movie Stars" (Simon & Schuster, 1991): "Rather than playing sweet vulnerable heroines, she often took the other major female roles, typically regal-looking women who are dominated by the powerful, sadistic men they love."
In the 1940s, Hazel married British actor Dermot Walsh and starred in at least five films with him over a period of more than 10 years. The 30-year old Miss Court got her big break in 1957, when she was tapped to star opposite Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in the first of Hammer Studios' horror films "The Curse of Frankenstein." As reported in the British movie magazine "Picturegoer:"
As a dewy teenager she was proclaimed a star by the Rank Organization. But the fanfare cracked. Soon she was in "B" films. Now her ... comeback is shaking up British show business. American producer Sheldon Reynolds has stepped in smartly and signed her to a two-year contract to make pictures here and in Hollywood.
Hazel Court was married in 1964 to Don Taylor, a successful actor and director in his own right. Mr. Taylor died, December 28, 1998, at the age of 78, and I am sad to report that Miss Court passed away April 15, 2008, at the age of 82.
In addition her well known film career, Miss Court was also a skilled painter and sculptress. You may wish to examine an example of her handiwork, a nice painting that presently resides in the hands of a private collector. She studied sculpting in Italy and examples of her work have been shown both in this country and in Europe. Pieces may also be found in several prominent collections. Indeed, this pursuit is said to have been her latter-day passion. Surprising? Perhaps, but I would expect no less of such a talented lady.
Hazel Court has made numerous films and appearances in television series over a period of some 35 years. The following is as complete a list as you are likely to find. Details and lots of great images of Miss Court may be found on the separate Film and TV episode page.
A highlighted title indicates that credits, synopsis, and/or a review is available on the connected page. A date in pink indicates that the connected page also provides access to one or more images (or a poster) from the film. Those entries which have no link to detail on the connected page indicate, where known, the name of the character played by Miss Court. The list does not include the five or six retrospective documentary films, made between 1996 and 2000 in which Hazel appears as herself and which may have been released on video only. See the Internet Movie Database for details.
A "♥" following the title means that the film is believed to be available on video.
Hazel Court appeared in the guest cast of many popular American television series over a period of roughly 15 years. The following list, while the most extensive you will find, is probably incomplete. Details of many shows and several nice images may be found on the separate Film and TV episode page. What little information I have about telecasts shown only in the UK is presented on a separate British television page.
A highlighted title indicates that credits, synopsis, and/or remarks are available on the connected page. Where known, the episode title is given in parentheses. An episode title in pink indicates that the connected page also provides access to an image from the show.Starring Role in Television Series
Dick and the Duchess (1957) CBS TV Series
Guest Appearances in Television Series
Incidentally, I have been told that Miss Court was the first choice to star in "The Avengers," but that she chose to go to Hollywood instead. Hazel in the Dianna Rigg part? Now that would have been something to see!
I have no details on this, but some sources state that Miss Court appeared on the stage in productions of "Laura," "Random Harvest," and "Othello."
THE HAZEL COURT PHOTO GALLERY
What would a glamour girl page be without a pin-up gallery? There are plenty of great images on the separate Film and TV episode page, but for those of you who will not venture to that level of detail, herewith is access to nine pin-up publicity-type photos. You may click on the image of your choice for a larger version.
Yes, Miss Court was perhaps best known for a certain area of her anatomy, although it was always that beautiful smile that always caught my attention. In any case, she was no slouch in the legs department as to which these three photos, probably taken between 1947 and 1957, will certainly attest.
Studios always do their best to get up and coming stars on the covers of as many magazines as possible. This was certainly the case with those promoting the career of Hazel Court. A selection of covers from British, German, and Italian magazines is available for your examination.
HAZEL COURT: AUDIO TREATS
Assuming you have an audio player on your system, you may now hear some pretty obscure stuff featuring the voice of the lovely Miss Court:
HAZEL COURT TODAY!
Miss Court, who had been living in the Lake Tahoe area, passed away on April 15, 2008, at the age of 82. In recent years, she has made occasional appearances at a science-fiction fan conventions and was schedule to appear at the Monster Bash convention in June of this year. The picture shown here was taken on October 26, 1996, during the Halloween edition of the Chiller Theatre convention, held in Secaucus, New Jersey. Miss Court (right) is shown with Anne Francis (center) and Lori Nelson.
In September 1999, Miss Court was presented with the coveted SOFFIA award at the 10th International Festival of Fantastic Films, in Manchester, England. This photo was generously sent to me by Bruce Sachs of Tomahawk Press in Britain. The press release relating to, and other details about, the publication of the Hazel Court autobiography, as well as additional recent photos, may be seen on this separate page.
A short interview with Hazel Court, conducted by Bruce Hallenbeck in October 1990 is available whenever you are ready to view it. It's worth a look, if only for the discussion of the "European version" of "The Man Who Could Cheat Death."
Another interview, well worth the reading, may be found in "Fangoria" magazine (#91), the April 1990 issue. Among the interesting tidbits revealed therein is that Miss Court's young daughter appeared as the 3 or 4 year old Hazel in a flashback scene in Curse of Frankenstein. Yet another interview, conducted in Lake Tahoe, is available at Moonshine Ink.
Finally, there is a Fall 2002 short interview, together with a current picture, in the Squaw Valley News that is worth a look.
Ie never met, or even spoke to, Miss Court, but I can tell you this much. She must have been a pretty good sport. There is no other explanation for agreeing to autograph a picture such as this one.
True fans will want to visit the separate Film and TV episode page.
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