Friday, August 5, 2011

Saturday Scream Queen: Barbara Lass

Polish-born Barbara Lass' was on track to a career as a dancer when, at the age of 17 in 1957, she won a contest hosted by a movie magazine and was offered a film role as a result. By 1959, she left Poland for western Europe and an international film career that spanned three decades and 30 films. She also changed her last name from the very Polish Kwiatkowska to the very simple Lass.

Lass was seen mostly in comedies, as befitting her cute appearance, but she did manage to squeeze in a few horror roles, such as "Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory", "Effie Breist" and "The Thorn in the Flesh."

Barbara Lass was once married to convicted child rapist Roman Polanski. She married him in 1959 when she was 19 and he was 26, but they divorced in 1961. It's easy to see what attracted Polanski to Lass, and even easier to imagine why she divorced him.

Lass died in 1995 at the age of 54 from a brain hemorrhage.