Friday, 3 November 2017

CUSHING'S FEMME FATALES: No 1# YVONNE ROMAIN


YVONNE ROMAIN (Yvonne Warren) was born in London and was a young graduate of the Italia Conti Academy. From the age of twelve she appeared in children's shows and repertory theatre around the country. Romain started her film career in her late teens. Her exotic, dark looks and 38-22-36 figure saw her often cast in supporting roles as Italian or Spanish maidens in war films, horror films and comedies.


PLAYING 'BETTY', and before she took her professional name of Romain, Yvonne Warren appeared in the 1957 film 'Murder Reporter', was one of her first speaking roles.   




However, it is for her roles in numerous British horror films that she is perhaps most remembered. She has often been quoted as saying she very much enjoyed Corridors of Blood (1958), where she starred alongside Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, and also in Circus of Horrors (1960) with actor Anton Diffring. She was also to star in the later Devil Doll (1964), about a malevolent ventriloquist's dummy.








Romain is probably best known for the Hammer film classic, The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) where she starred with Oliver Reed, in his first major role. In the CURSE, Romain plays a mute servant girl , who spurns the advances of the sadistic Marques. She is thrown into a prison cell with a deranged beggar who proceeds to rape her.




AS A RESULT, she later gives birth on Christmas Day to future lycanthrope Leon (Reed), though the effort kills her. Hammer studio's publicity stills for 'Werewolf' capitalised on Romain's obvious charms by having her photographed in typical 'scream queen' poses, alongside Reed in his werewolf make up. This publicity caused a little confusion, as neither she or Reed share no actual screen time together.







Perhaps her biggest role, was in another Hammer production, Captain Clegg (1962), aka Night Creatures (US title), playing alongside Peter Cushing and Oliver Reed again, this time as his fiancΓ©e. She also appeared alongside Sean Connery twice, in Action of the Tiger (1957), and the gangster film The Frightened City (1961), where she shared equal billing with the pre-Bond star. Romain also costarred in the Danger Man episode titled Sabotage in 1961.





Soon after, Romain moved to Los Angeles and starred alongside Ann-Margret in The Swinger (1966), her last film Hammer films, 'The Brigade of Kandahar' in 1967 and with Elvis Presley in Double Trouble (1967), which she herself calls a 'dreadful film', though she enjoyed the experience. After a break from the screen, Romain emerged from semi-retirement as the title character in the Anthony Perkins/Stephen Sondheim-scripted mystery thriller The Last of Sheila (1973), her last screen role.


Romain married the film composer Leslie Bricusse, who provided the lyrics for the classic James Bond themes Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, and she later turned down a seven-year contract with Federico Fellini because it meant working away from her Hollywood-based husband and young son . . . 




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