Reign of the Scream Queens: Veronica Carlson

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Hammer Productions kept horror films above water after Universal turned away from the genre in the 1950’s. Hammer started producing films with their own versions of Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, and more, winning over tons of fans for themselves and breathing new life into Universal’s early classics from the 30’s and 40’s. Along for the ride was the strikingly beautiful Veronica Carlson. She starred alongside two titans of the company, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and also shared the screen with the man who would be Darth Vader, David Prowse.

Mrs. Carlson enjoyed working with Hammer Productions, appearing in three films for the company: Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), and The Horror Of Frankenstein (1970). In 1974 she appeared in the horror comedy Vampira and followed that with another horror film with Peter Cushing, The Ghoul (1975). She then stepped away from her career as an actress in order to focus on her family and marriage. One of the reasons that she left the industry was because of her religious upbringing and the demand in the industry for more and more nudity in films.

Carlson also appeared on the television series Spyder’s Web and had a number of guest starring roles primarily on British television. Her final television role came in 1975 on Public Eye. She made appearances in two horror films in 1994 and 1995 and wouldn’t return to the screen until 2016 when she appeared in the science fiction yarn, Stella Quasar and the Scrolls of Dadelia, She next appeared in House of the Gorgon (2019), and independent film created as an homage to Hammer’s classic films. That film also starred two other classic ladies of horror, Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick. Carlson’s final role is Lady Whitehouse in the unreleased as of this writing horror film, The Rectory. She passed away in February of this year.

Although her looks initially got her the attention of filmmakers, Carlson proved to be more than just another pretty face. She was an excellent actress and appeared in three very good Hammer films. For that reason I am dubbing her today’s Scream Queen.

Thanks for checking out today’s post. We’re getting down to the nitty gritty with just a few days left in October! See you tomorrow!

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