Hazel Court

Intro English actress
Was Actor Film actor
From United Kingdom
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio
Gender female
Birth 10 February 1926, Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Death 15 April 2008, Alpine Meadows, USA (aged 82 years)
Star sign Aquarius

Hazel Court (10 February 1926 – 15 April 2008) was an English actress best known for her roles in horror films during the 1950s and early 1960s.

Early life

Court was born in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, lived in the Boldmere area and attended Boldmere School and Highclare College. Her father was G.W. Court, a cricketer who played for Durham CCC. At the age of fourteen, she studied drama at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Alexandra Theatre, also in Birmingham, England.

Career

At the age of sixteen, Court met film director Anthony Asquith in London; the meeting won her a brief part in Champagne Charlie (1944). Court won a British Critics Award for her role as a crippled girl in Carnival (1946) and also appeared in Holiday Camp (1947) and Bond Street (1948). Her first role in a fantasy film was in Ghost Ship (1952). Devil Girl from Mars (1954) was a low-budget film produced by the Danziger Brothers. Court trained at the Rank Organisation's "charm school". She wanted to act in comedy films but also continued to appear in horror films and, in 1957, had what was to become a career-defining role in the first colour Hammer Horror film The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). In the 1957–58 television season, she co-starred in a CBS sitcom filmed in England, Dick and the Duchess, in the role of Jane Starrett, a patrician Englishwoman married to an American insurance claims investigator living in London, a role played by Patrick O'Neal. Court travelled back and forth between Hollywood and England, appearing in four episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She had parts in A Woman of Mystery (1958), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) and Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) among others. By the early 1960s, Court had moved to the United States permanently. She was featured in the Edgar Allan Poe horror films The Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964), the last two with Vincent Price. She appeared on occasion in the popular early 1960s TV series (each episode a stand-alone drama), the Dick Powell Theatre and in the British production, The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre. In 1981 Court appeared briefly in the third Omen film, The Final Conflict, although she was uncredited. She also appeared in episodes of several TV series, including Adventures in Paradise, Mission: Impossible, Bonanza, Dr. Kildare, Danger Man, Twelve O'Clock High, Burke's Law, Sam Benedict, Gidget, McMillan and Wife, Mannix, The Wild Wild West, Thriller, Rawhide "Incident of the Dowry Dundee" and in "The Fear", the penultimate episode of the original 1960's The Twilight Zone.

Personal life

Court was married to Irish actor Dermot Walsh from 1949 until their divorce in 1963. They had a daughter, Sally Walsh, who appeared with her mother in The Curse of Frankenstein. From 1964 until his death in 1998, she was married to American actor Don Taylor, who was divorced in 1955 from actress Phyllis Avery. Court retired from the film acting business in 1964 to concentrate on being a wife and mother. Court and Taylor met while they were shooting an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. They had a son, Jonathan, and a daughter, Courtney. In addition to acting, she was also a painter and sculptress, and studied sculpting in Italy.

Death and legacy

Court died of a heart attack at her home near Lake Tahoe, California, on 15 April 2008, aged 82. Her autobiography, Hazel Court: Horror Queen, was released in the UK a week after her death by Tomahawk Press.

Selected filmography

1944: Champagne Charlie – Tipsy Champagne Drinker (uncredited) 1944: Dreaming – Miss Grey / Wren / Avalah 1946: Gaiety George (a.k.a. Showtime) – Elizabeth Brown 1946: Carnival – May Raeburn 1947: Hungry Hill – Minor Role (uncredited) 1947: The Root of All Evil – Rushie 1947: Meet Me at Dawn – Gabrielle Vermorel 1947: Dear Murderer – Avis Fenton 1947: Holiday Camp – Joan Huggett 1948: My Sister and I – Helena Forsythe 1948: Bond Street – Julia Chester-Barrett 1949: Forbidden – Jeannie Thompson 1952: Ghost Ship – Margaret Thornton 1953: Counterspy (a.k.a. Undercover Agent) – Clare Manning 1954: Devil Girl from Mars – Ellen 1954: The Scarlet Web – Susan Honeywell 1954: A Tale of Three Women – Trude (segment "Wedding Gift' story) 1956: The Narrowing Circle – Rosemary Speed 1956: Behind the Headlines – Maxine 1957: Hour of Decision – Peggy Sanders 1957: The Curse of Frankenstein – Elizabeth 1958: A Woman of Mystery – Joy Grant 1958-1961: Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV Series) – Charlotte Jameson Rutherford / Helen Brathwaite / Lady Gwendolyn Avon / Phyllis Chaundry 1958: The Invisible Man (TV Series) – Penny Page 1959: Model for Murder – Sally Meadows 1959: Breakout – Rita Arkwright 1959: The Man Who Could Cheat Death – Janine Du Bois 1960: The Shakedown – Mildred Eyde 1960: Bonanza (Tv Series, Episode: "The Last Trophy") – Lady Beatrice Dunsford 1960: The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre (TV Series, Episode: "The Man Who Was Nobody") – Marjorie Stedman 1960-1961: Danger Man (TV Series) – Francesca / Noelle Laurence 1961: Dr. Blood's Coffin – Nurse Linda Parker 1961: Thriller (TV Series) – Leonie Vicek 1961: Mary Had a Little… – Laurel Clive 1962: The Premature Burial – Emily Gault 1963: The Raven – Lenore Craven 1964: Rawhide (TV Series, Episode: "Incident of the Dowery Dundee") – Kathleen Dundee 1964: The Twilight Zone (TV Series, Episode: "The Fear") – Charlotte Scott 1964: The Masque of the Red Death – Juliana 1966: Mission: Impossible (TV Series, season 2 ep. 10: "Charity") – Catherine Hagar 1972: McMillan & Wife (TV Series, Episode: "The Face of Murder") – Frances Mayerling 1981: Omen III: The Final Conflict – Champagne Woman At Hunt (uncredited) (final film role)

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