Ingrid Pitt

  1. Rita Tushingham, Doctor Zhivago, 1964.  The Pitt legend goes that that the Polish-born East Berlin stage actress was tested for the fairly anonymous role of The Girl.  Certainly, she was working in Spain at the time – and, apparently, wound up playing five different walk-on and/or extra roles. Next stop, London. And Clint Eastwood’s Where Eagles Dare. And Hammer Films.
  2. Honor Blackman, Shalako, 1968.     Wisely quit the Brigitte Bardot-Sean Connery Western to go to war withthe much better double act of Richard Burton and Clint Eastwoodin Where Eagles Dare. Next stop: Hammer. She decided to sit on the corner of James Carreras’ desk like Brigittge Bardot in La Parisienne [she meant En cas de malheur], Result:He offered three films- “not three films, three parts…”
  3. Yutte Stensgaard, Lust For A Vampire, 1971.     Terrible script, she said. And certainly it was the weakest of Hammer’s three versions of Sheridan Le Fan’s Carmilla/Mircalla. However, then main reason seemed to be her fury at being dubbed in her previous Hammer that year, Countess Dracula.
  4. Katya Wyeth, Twins of Evil, 1971.     Pitt refused again when offered the cameo of Countess Mircalla – realising all the publicity would be grabbed by Playboy’s nude centrefold twins,Mary and Madeline Collinson. Good year for the Polish-born Katya – she was also in A Clockwork Orange
  5. Wanda Ventham, Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter, 1972.   Pitch: “The only man alive feared by the walking dead.” Not quite.  As the series it was meant to be fell at the first fence. ”The acting is terrible,” warned Vincent Canby  in The New York Times.  After ruling out two Hammer offerings – The Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula – Pitt obviously refused a little cameo as the bedridden Lady Durward. And so, Wanda (future mother of Benedict Cumberbatch) joined what screenwriter Brian Clemens clled the ethos of hammer. “Blood, boobs and a good title.”
  6. Joan Sims, Doctor Who #143: The Trial of a Time Lord, TV, 1986.       When Joan Sims is competing with Sylvia Syms… not to mention Ingrid Pitt, Beryl Reid versus Honor Blackman, Billie Whitelaw… you realise a certain desperation has entered the casting process. Indeed, never had so many women – 20 – been flagpoled for one part… The other Katryca contenders were Linda Baron, Jill Bennett, Isla Blair, Brenda Bruce, Adrienne Corri, Sheila Hancock, Janet Henfrey, Rosemary Leach, Jean Marsh, Sian Phillips, Dinah Sheridan, Elizabeth Spriggs, Wanda Ventham (the mother of Benedict Cumberbatch) and Fiona Walker. The winner was, inexplicably, Sims. She didn’t enjoy it one bit. So she did not… carry on. Pitt had been Galleia in #64: The Time Monster, 1972, and Dr Saolow in #130: Warriors of the Deep, 1984.


 Birth year: 1937Death year: 2010Other name: Casting Calls:  6