British horror movie actress Veronica Carlson, known for her roles in Dracula Has Risen From the Grave and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, died on March 1 of natural causes in her Bluffton, South Carolina home. She was 77 years old.
Carlson worked on the trilogy of Hammer horror flicks alongside stars like Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ralph Bates, Kate O'Mara, and David Prowse –– who would eventually become Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. She also starred in the 1970's dark comedy Horror of Frankenstein.
Carlson was discovered by Hammer executive Jimmy Carreras after seeing her performance in both Casino Royale and Smashing Time. "I had a photograph of me coming out of the waves in a white bikini on the front page of a tabloid newspaper," she remembered in a 2014 interview. "Jimmy Carreras saw that photograph and said he wanted me in his next Hammer movie. So, I went for an audition and I ended up with Dracula Has Risen From the Grave."
In Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, she played the daughter of a clergyman who finds herself enticed and eventually bitten by Lee's Dracula. In her follow-up film, she put a much darker experience at the forefront of audiences' minds by going through with a rape scene opposite Cushing's Frankenstein character. Years after the film hit the big screen, Carlson opened up about the scene saying Cushing "got me through that awful rape scene that was thrown into [the movie]," she said. "We worked on that together, and he resolved the problems as best he possibly could." She and Cushing would later reunite on The Ghoul (1975) and with other Hammer stars in House of the Gorgon (2019).
Carlson was born on Sept. 18, 1944, in Yorkshire, England. The actress graduated from High Wycombe College of Technology and Design and attended art school. She's survived by her two sons Adam and Marcus; a slew of grandchildren: Cadence, Canon, Nova, Conor, Alexander, Jaxson, and Ava; her son-in-law Jon; daughters-in-law Ashley and Rachel; step-daughters Janie and Sally; and nephews Marc and Paul.