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Archive for July 26, 2012

Susan George

Susan Melody George (born 26 July 1950) is an English film and television actress, film producer and Arabian horse breeder.

She trained at the Stage School, Corona Theatre School and has acted since the age of four, appearing on both television and film. In the early 1970s George came to be associated with rather provocative, sometimes (as in Straw Dogs) controversial, roles and became quite type-cast. Cinema writer Leslie Halliwell’s rather terse summary of her career was: “British leading lady, former child actress; usually typed as sexpot”

She featured as Lucy Weston in the television adaptation of Dracula (1968), part of the series Mystery and Imagination, before her most notable role as Amy Sumner in Straw Dogs (1971) opposite Dustin Hoffman. Straw Dogs is a psychological thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah based upon the 1969 novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm by Gordon Williams. The film is noted for its violent concluding sequences and a complicated rape scene that critics point to as an example of Peckinpah’s (and Hollywood’s) debasement of women. Released theatrically the same year as A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection, and Dirty Harry, the film sparked heated controversy over the perceived increase of violence in cinema. Although controversial in 1971, Straw Dogs is considered by many to be one of Peckinpah’s greatest films.

George then followed up with a series of horror thrillers such as Die Screaming, Marianne (also Die, Beautiful Marianne) (1971), and Fright (1971), about a homicidal escapee from a mental asylum terrorises a babysitter (George) who is looking after his son. She also had a great role as Mary Coombs in the cult car-chase movie Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), with Peter Fonda.

She featured in a few minor 7o’s movies and on TV in Tales of the Unexpected, before starring in Venom (1981) as a maid trapped in a house with a deadly Black Mamba, and The House Where Evil Dwells (1892), an American/Japanese horror film with Doug McClure about an American family that moves into a reputed haunted house in the hills of Japan.

George has also produced Stealing Heaven (1988), Djavolji raj (1989) and The House that Mary Bought (1995).