She was sometimes referred to as “The Countess of Cleavage” and was known more through her tabloid visibility and for looking glamorous while attending premieres and parties than for her film work. Nevertheless, British beauty Imogen Hassell left her indelible mark on several B-films films of the early 70s.

Imogen Hassall was born on August 25th 1942 in Woking, Surrey, England. She was the daughter of lyricist Christopher Hassall and the goddaughter of actor/composer Ivor Novello (one of the character’s immortalized in Robert Altman’s film ‘Gosford Park’). She studied acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company but was never really excelled in the field --- however she did know how to capture the camera’s eye.

She began her film career at the age of 21 in ‘Position of Trust’ (1963). A slew of other films followed -- ‘The Long Duel’ (1967), ‘Bedtime (1967), ‘The Early Bird’ (1965), etc. Her first real racksandrazors part came in 1969 when she had a supporting role in the terribly twisted and deliciously perverse ‘Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, and Girly’ for director Freddie Francis (whose credits include ‘The Torture Garden’, ‘Dracula Has Risen from the Grave’, ‘The Creeping Flesh’, ‘Paranoiac’, ‘The Son of Dracula’, ‘Hysteria’, etc.) In ‘Mumsy…’ Imogen was cast as “the girlfriend” and falls to her death from slide at a playground, Sonny and Girly (Howard Trevor and Vanessa Howard) hide the girl’s body at home and have endless fun dragging her corpse about to play pranks and fool with her boyfriend. Like I said, this flick is very twisted. This is one of those insane little inbred family creep-fests that merits a viewing if you haven’t seen it. And Imogen is absolutely gorgeous --- even as a corpse.

Next came perhaps her greatest claim to public fame -- she was Jenny Grubb in the longstanding British ‘Carry On’ film series in ‘Carry On Loving’ (1970). After that she was Dolores (the same year) in the ultra-violent B-western ‘El Condor’ with the great B-cast -- Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef, Patrick O’Neal, Marianna Hill, Iron Eyes Cody, and Elisha Cook Jr. The same year she also managed to find time to make ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Take a Girl Like You, and ‘The Virgin and the Gypsy’ --- as well as her Hammer-ific role as Ayak in the Tyrannosaurus Sex cleavage classic ‘When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth’ which was based on a story by J.G. Ballard! Imogen plays the mate of fisherman Tara who grows increasingly jealous of the saved blonde damsel Sanna (Victoria Vetri). It’s good silly fun with clay-mation carnivores, catfights, and heaving bosoms galore. This is BC (Big Chests) at its best.

In 1971 Imogen made another horrific classic ‘’Bloodsuckers’. In this cult film favorite she stars as Chirseis, a deliciously seductive vampire who bewitches a young man on vacation in Greece and holds him captive in an old castle. Will he be rescued from her evil charms and returned to the motherland of England? Well, if you’ve ever seen a film you should be able to answer that question. This delicious piece of fang-tastic cinema costars British horror stalwarts Peter Cushing, Edward Woodward, and Patrick Macnee. Ms. Hassall has some nude scenes and once again displays her breathtaking beauty and form rather than any arresting acting abilities for the camera.

Imogene followed this with only 3 more films -- ‘Images’ (1972), ‘White Cargo (1973) and her final film the James Bond spoof (starring Gareth Hunt) ‘Licensed to Love and Kill’ (1979). In her brief career she was also featured in episodes of such TV series as ‘The Saint’ and ‘The Avengers’.

On the morning of November 16th 1980 the twice married Imogene Hassall was found dead when she failed to meet a friend for a planned holiday. She had committed suicide in London by overdose of the barbiturate Tuinal that is in effect a combination of the 2 barbiturates secobarbital and amobarbital. Her memorial is in Wimbleton Cemetery.

There is even a book about her fast-lane life entitled Tuesday’s Child: The Life and Death of Imogen Hassall by Dan Leissner.