biography

Born on February 10, 1926, in Handsworth, Birmingham, England, actress Hazel Court took an interest in acting as a young girl. Starting with school plays, by the time she was a teenager she had gained experience on the legitimate stage. The stunning actress with green eyes and auburn hair was signed by the J. Arthur Rank Organization while still in her teens. She also became a popular pin-up in the 1940s. With roles in comedies, dramas, and noir thrillers, Court's film career was on the rise in the late 1940s. In 1949, Court married her frequent co-star, Irish actor Dermot Walsh. After the birth of their daughter in 1950, Court took a couple of years off, returning to acting in 1952 in her first horror film, Ghost Ship (1952), in which she starred with her husband. The release of the campy sci-fi feature Devil Girl from Mars (1954; with Patricia Laffan and Hugh McDermott) earned Court good notices. While remembered as a scream queen, in fact she acted in a number of second-feature crime dramas, including Scarlet Web (1954) and The Narrowing Circle (1956), but these films did her career no favors. So, in 1956, she signed a picture deal with Hammer Film Productions and became the studio's first breakout star. Court's first Hammer film was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957; with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee), which was the first Frankenstein film to be shot in color. Later, she shocked audiences with a topless scene in the European version of Hammer's The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959; with Anton Diffring). The initial release saw the film banned in many locales, and the scene was cut from the U.S. print and is now lost.

Hazel Court

Hazel Court posed for many cheesecake photos in the 1940s and 1950s

In the late 1950s, Court starred in a short-lived sit-com titled Dick and the Duchess (CBS/ITV 1957–1958) alongside Patrick O'Neal. But she was soon drawn back into the horror genre with a role in Dr. Blood's Coffin (1961; with Kieron Moore, which further cemented her horror reputation. With her marriage on the rocks and her career in need of a boost, Court left Britain in 1961, settling in the Los Angeles area. She soon found many roles on popular television shows such as Thriller and The Twilight Zone and in a few American International horror films, including The Premature Burial (1962; with Ray Milland).

the films of hazel court

Meet Me at Dawn (1947)

Hazel Court and William Eythe

With William Eythe in the 20th Century Fox comedy Meet Me at Dawn

Undercover Agent (1953)

Hazel Court

From the drama Undercover Agent

Devil Girl from Mars (1954)

Hazel Court and Patricia Laffan

With 'Devil Girl' Patricia Laffan in the campy British Lion science fiction flick Devil Girl from Mars

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Hazel CourtPeter Cushing and Hazel Court

LEFT: Court in her first Hammer production The Curse of Frankenstein. RIGHT: With Peter Cushing

Breakout (1959)

Hazel Court

From the low-budget drama Breakout. In 1961, the film aired on U.S. television on Kraft Mystery Theater

The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)

Hazel Court and Anton Diffring

From the Hammer horror release The Man Who Could Cheat Death with Anton Diffring

Markham (1959-1960 CBS TV Series)

Ray Milland and Hazel Court

Court guest-starred in a September 1959 episode of the CBS series Markham titled Double Negative. Also pictured is series star Ray Milland

Model for Murder (1959)

Hazel Court and Keith AndesKeith Andes and Hazel Court

With Keith Andes in the British Lion film noir release Model for Murder

The Shakedown (1960)

Hazel Court

From the Rank crime drama The Shakedown

Dr. Blood's Coffin (1961)

Kieron Moore and Hazel Court

From the entertaining United Artists horror flick Dr. Blood's Coffin with Kieron Moore

Mary Had a Little... (1961)

Hazel Court, John Bentley, and Agnes Laurent

From the sex comedy Mary Had a Little... with John Bentley and Agnes Laurent

The Premature Burial (1962)

Ray Milland and Hazel Court

From the AIP Poe-inspired release The Premature Burial with Ray Milland

The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Jane Asher and Hazel Court

With Jane Asher in the American International horror flick The Masque of the Red Death. This was Court's final film

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964 CBS TV Series)

Peter Mark Richman and Hazel Court

From a May 1964 episode of The Twilight Zone titled The Fear with Peter Mark Richman

later years

Roger Corman's American International horror favorite The Raven (1963; with Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre) also proved to be Court's favorite film appearance due to the stellar cast. In 1963, Court and Walsh finalized their long separation with a divorce, and Court married her second husband, American actor and director Don Taylor, shortly thereafter. Court and Taylor met while they were shooting a 1958 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Dermot WalshDon Taylor

LEFT: Late 1940s Rank photo of Court's first husband, actor Dermot Walsh. RIGHT: Universal photo of Court's second husband, actor and director Don Taylor, from 1954


Hazel Court's last film was the American International horror flick The Masque of the Red Death (1964; with Vincent Price and Jane Asher). With the 1965 birth of her daughter and the 1967 birth of her son, Court eventually gave up her acting career with her final television appearance on a 1972 episode of McMillan & Wife. Afterward, she supported Taylor's directing career and took up sculpting and painting, studying her new craft in Italy. Taylor passed away in 1998, and Court passed away on April 15, 2008 at age 82 in Lake Tahoe following a heart attack. She was survived by her two daughters, a son, and two stepdaughters.

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filmography

FILM
The Masque of the Red Death (1964) with Vincent Price, Jane Asher, and Nigel Green
The Raven (1963) with Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, and Jack Nicholson
Premature Burial (1962) with Ray Milland, Heather Angel, Alan Napier, and Dick Miller
Mary Had a Little... (1961) with Jack Watling
Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) with Kieron Moore and Ian Hunter
The Shakedown (1960) with Terence Morgan and Donald Pleasence
The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) with Anton Diffring and Christopher Lee
Breakout (1959) with Lee Patterson
Model for Murder (1959) with Keith Andes, Jean Aubrey, and Michael Gough
A Woman of Mystery (1958) with Dermot Walsh and Jennifer Jayne
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Robert Urquhart
Hour of Decision (1957) with Jeff Morrow, Carl Bernard, and Lionel Jeffries
Behind the Headlines (1956) with Paul Carpenter and Adrienne Corri
The Narrowing Circle (1956) with Paul Carpenter
Scarlet Web (1954) with Griffith Jones
Devil Girl from Mars (1954) with Patricia Laffan, Hugh McDermott, Peter Reynolds, and Adrienne Corri
Tale of Three Women (1954) with Patricia Owens, Karel Stepanek, and Gene Anderson
Undercover Agent (1953) with Dermot Walsh, Hermione Baddeley, and Bill Travers
Ghost Ship (1952) with Dermot Walsh
Forbidden (1949) with Douglass Montgomery
My Sister and I (1948) with Sally Ann Howes, Dermot Walsh, and Martita Hunt
Bond Street (1948) with Roland Young
Holiday Camp (1947) with Flora Robson, Dennis Price, and Jack Warner
Dear Murderer (1947) with Eric Portman, Dennis Price, Jack Warner, and Maxwell Reed
Root of All Evil (1947) with Phyllis Calvert and Michael Rennie
Meet Me at Dawn (1947) with William Eythe, Stanley Holloway, and Margaret Rutherford
Carnival (1946) with Michael Wilding and Stanley Holloway
Showtime (1946) with Richard Greene and Ann Todd
Dreaming (1945) with Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen

TELEVISION SERIES
Dick and the Duchess, 1957-1958 CBS/ITV TV series. Court portrayed Jane Starrett

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
McMillan & Wife, episode The Face of Murder, originally aired January 5, 1972
The Name of the Game, episode Island of Gold and Precious Stones, originally aired January 16, 1970
Mannix, episode A View of Nowhere, originally aired December 14, 1968
Mission: Impossible, episode Charity, originally aired November 12, 1967
Iron Horse, episode Big Deal, originally aired December 12, 1966
The Wild Wild West, episode The Night of the Returning Dead, originally aired October 14, 1966
Gidget, episode In and Out with the In-Laws, originally aired February 3, 1966
The Wackiest Ship in the Army, episode The Lady and the Luluai, originally aired November 21, 1965
Dr. Kildare, episode Aftermath, originally aired November 16, 1965
Dr. Kildare, episode A Little Child Shall Lead, originally aired November 9, 1965
Dr. Kildare, episode Wives and Losers, originally aired November 2, 1965
Dr. Kildare, episode Toast the Golden Couple, originally aired November 1, 1965
Dr. Kildare, episode The Life Machine, originally aired October 26, 1965
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed the Card?, originally aired May 5, 1965
12 O'Clock High, episode Mutiny at Ten Thousand Feet, originally aired March 26, 1965
12 O'Clock High, episode In Search of My Enemy, originally aired January 8, 1965
The Farmer's Daughter, episode Speak for Yourself John Katy, originally aired December 4, 1964
12 O'Clock High, episode Appointment at Liege, originally aired November 20, 1964
12 O'Clock High, episode The Men and the Boys, originally aired October 2, 1964
Twilight Zone, episode The Fear, originally aired May 29, 1964
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed the Eleventh Best Dressed Woman in the World?, originally aired April 24, 1964
Rawhide, episode Incident of the Dowery Dundee, originally aired January 23, 1964
Sam Benedict, episode So Various, So Beautiful, originally aired December 15, 1962
The Dick Powell Theatre, episode Borderline, originally aired November 27, 1962
The Dick Powell Theatre, episode A Swiss Affair, originally aired December 12, 1961
Ghost Squad, episode Death from a Distance, originally aired November 4, 1961
Top Secret, episode Stranger in Cantabria, originally aired September 15, 1961
Kraft Mystery Theater, episode Breakout, originally aired July 5, 1961
Thriller, episode The Terror in Teakwood, originally aired May 16, 1961
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Pearl Necklace, originally aired May 2, 1961
Danger Man, episode The Contessa, originally aired April 2, 1961
Stagecoach West, episode Finn McColl, originally aired January 24, 1961
Danger Man, episode The Lonely Chair, originally aired October 30, 1960
The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, episode The Man Who Was Nobody, originally aired September 15, 1960
G.E. True Theater, episode Hot Footage, originally aired May 29, 1960
Interpol Calling, episode Dressed to Kill, originally aired May 8, 1960
Adventures in Paradise, episode The Violent Journey, originally aired March 28, 1960
Bonanza, episode The Last Trophy, originally aired March 26, 1960
Alcoa Theatre, episode The Tweed Hat, originally aired March 21, 1960
Adventures in Paradise, episode The Pit of Silence, originally aired October 5, 1959
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode Arthur, originally aired September 27, 1959
Markham, episode Double Negative, originally aired September 26, 1959
Invisible Man, episode The Mink Coat, originally aired August 1, 1959
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Avon Emeralds, originally aired March 22, 1959
The Third Man, episode The Angry Young Man, originally aired March 4, 1959
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Crocodile Case, originally aired May 25, 1958
Playhouse 90, episode Bomber's Moon, originally aired May 22, 1958
The Gay Cavalier, episode The Lost Is Found, originally aired August 30, 1957
The Buccaneers, episode Gentleman Jack and the Lady, originally aired December 29, 1956
Adventure Theater, episode The Wedding Gift, originally aired August 18, 1956
Afternoon Film Festival, episode Holiday Champ, originally aired 1956

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Watch Hazel Court in a 1958 episode of The Invisible Man titled The Mink Coat
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