CUSHING FEMME FATALE FOUR: YVONNE THERESE MARIE CAMILLE BEDAT DE MONLAUR was born in France, the daughter of a French poet and a Russian ballerina and pianist. As a youngster she was trained for ballet and in her late teens worked as a model for Elle fashion magazine. By the mid-1950's, she also began appearing in French and Italian films. Her good looks and some positive reviews paved the way to bigger roles towards the end of the decade. With this came increased publicity. In June 1959, she was featured on the cover of the weekly Milanese news publication Tempo. Another Italian paper heralded her as the year's 'most promising actress'.
IN 1959 YVONNE MONLAUR suddenly became THE FACE and was a hot property across Europe. The flash point, of all the excitement was an Italian magazine, that voted her, the year's sexiest screen newcomer. Her face was featured on the cover of a June issue of Tempo magazine that called her 'the year's most promising actress'.
ABOVE : YVONNE MONLAUR DANCES AT THE PARTY IN 'AVVENTURA A CAPRI'
DURING THE SHOOTING of the comedy 'Avventura a Capri/Adventure on Capri' (Giuseppe Lipartiti, 1959) she had a serious accident. She suffered bad facial burns in a speedboat accident, which resulted in months of recovery in hospital. But, just as things seemed to be at their worst, Hammer films producer contacted Yvonne having seen her in 'Avventura a Capri'. Hinds invited her invited her to England where she was cast in a little-seen television drama, 'Women in Love' (1958). A writer for the Daily Mail described this -- her first credited part in an English language production -- "as bubbly as a glass of champagne".
IN 1959 YVONNE MONLAUR traveled, accompanied by her mother, to England for a series of films. First she co-starred in the comedy 'Inn for Trouble' (C.M. Pennington-Richards, 1960). Yvonne's introduction to the horror genre came via 'CIRCUS OF HORRORS' (1960), made by Anglo-Amalgamated. She still had some difficulties with English, but recalled receiving some benevolent mentoring from her co-star Anton Diffring.
AT HER BLOG I recalled in 2008, ' I always loved the circus world. I did not hesitate for one second before accepting this opportunity to share the life of travelling artists by playing the part of Nicole, adoptive daughter to the fiendish Dr Rossiter, played by Anton Diffring.The film crew was staying within the circus grounds. As for me, I slept in a caravan, close to an Italian trapeze girl artist and Russian clowns.'
'The make-up cabin had been set up near the menagerie, which led to funny situations. For my circus acts, I wore a splendid set of feathers, that the monkeys always tried to catch when I had to pass along their cages on my way out. When I was not shooting, I was rehearsing my horse riding act, like any other artist of the Billy Smart Circus. Generally speaking, I have very good memories of my fellow actors. I particularly remember Diffring and Conrad Phillips'.
'Sometimes, professional acting relationships mimic those of the characters they play. Such was the case with Diffring, as charming and protective to me as Dr Rossiter was in the movie. It also happened with Erika Remberg, but this time I regretted it, because she was playing the circus artist who could not stand feminine rivalry… in the ring or real life !'
SOON PART TWO OF YVONNE MONLAUR : LITTLE BIRD OF CINEMA
WITH THE EXPOSURE from appearing in 'Women in Love' and 'Circus of Horrors', the direction of Yvonne's career would soon be taking a sharp turn, into the land of 'dark forests and whispers'. NEXT she would be sharing company with one of the most charming of fellows, the most evil of sons and a whole nest of trouble and horrors. The year 1961, would see her walk down the aisle, but first she would become, a BRIDE of DRACULA . . .
YVONNE MONLAUR: THE LITTLE BIRD OF CINEMA:
PART TWO COMING SOON!
PLEASE VISIT Yvonne Monlaur's wonderful OFFICIAL BLOG. Since her sad passing earlier this year, her son and her editor have decided that it should remain in the public area, for her fans and friends to visit, in her memory. You can find it by clicking :HERE