mandag 28. februar 2011

Grand Hotel gallery #5: Susy Andersen

This autographed photo of 1960s starlet Susy Andersen was originally printed in Grand Hotel issue No. 921 from February 15, 1964. Honestly, this photo does her no justice at all as Susy was far more attractive than this picture would have you thinking.

In spite of her blonde hair and Nordic-sounding name, Susy Andersen is actually an Italian actress, and she was born on April 20, 1940 in the Italian town Pola (which is now a part of Croatia) as Maria Antonietta Golgic. She started her career as a fashion model, and under the name Susy Valgoi she made her film debut with a supporting role in Pietro Francisci's peplum adventure The Warrior Empress (1960), which starred American actress Tina Louise. When interviewed by Grand Hotel, Susy revealed that she and Tina Louise didn't get along at all during shooting. Apparantly, Tina felt intimidated by Susy and was particularly bothered by the fact that Susy had better-looking legs, so she ran to director Pietro Francisci and demanded him to not film them below the knees. Francisci, however, doesn't seem to have paid much attention to Tina as both her and Susy's legs are prominently displayed throughout the film. Of course, it's hard to say whether or not this story is actually true - especially since just about every European actress I've read interviews with have made similar claims about driving famous Hollywood divas mad with jealousy - but it's a fun little story nonetheless.

Susy in her first film, The Warrior Empress

Anyway, Susy soon changed her her last name from Valgoi to the more internationally sellable Andersen and quickly started to get leading roles. She appeared in two more peplum adventures: Antonio Leonviola's silly but enjoyable Thor and the Amazon Women (1963) and Giuseppe Vari's interesting War of the Zombies (1964). However, most people remember Susy best for her performance as the beautiful Sdenka in the famous "The Wurdalak" segment from Mario Bava's anthology horror film Black Sabbath (1963). And it's no wonder people tend to remember this role with such affection, as Susy really looks enchantingly beautiful here.

Susy as the gorgeous Sdenka

Susy spent the rest of the 1960s appearing in a wide variety of different films, such as Antonio Pietrangeli's comedy The Magnificent Cuckold (1964), Antonio Margheriti's Eurospy adventure The Killers Are Challenged (1966), Nunzio Malasomma's spaghetti western Fifteen Scaffolds for the Killer (1968), Alfonso Brescia's exploitative mondo-style sex flick The Labyrinth of Sex (1969) and Siro Marcellini's crime movie Gangster's Law (1969).

Unfortunately, Susy seems to have vanished off the face of the earth after 1969 and I have no idea what became of her. She is fondly remembered by a lot of movie fans, though, which is impressive for someone who only appeared in 13 movies - most of which were done over a 7-year period.

Black and white photo of Susy from 1964

Susy in Thor and the Amazon Women

One of Susy's final roles was as a nymphomaniac in the trashy The Labyrinth of Sex

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