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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Julie Ege 1943-2008

We've now lost two former Hammer babes in less than a month's time. Julie Hege, star of Creatures the World Forgot (1971) and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), and the studio's most promising starlet of the early '70s, succumbed one week ago after a six-year battle with lung cancer, at the age of 64.

The Norwegian knockout was born Julie Dzuli in Sandnes, Norway. She won the Miss Norway pageant at age 18 and competed for Miss Universe, and later became one of the earliest Penthouse Pets. She began acting in the late 1960s, both in her native Norway and in the United Kingdom, appearing in the infamous George Lazenby Bond flick On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

With her killer body, she was a natural for the kind of sex farces that were popular in Britain in the 1970s, and such comedies make up a large part of her work. The rest is composed of horror films like Craze (1974) with Jack Palance and The Mutations (1974) with Donald Pleasance and Tom "Dr. Who" Baker.

When Hammer got a hold of her in 1971, they made her the star of their One Million Years BC knock-off Creatures the World Forgot. Apparently, the idea was to make her the U.K.'s answer to Racquel Welch, because Hammer invested a great deal in her, dubbing her "The New Sex Symbol of the '70s" and sending her on a whirlwind promotional tour that included two appearances on The Tonight Show.

Nevertheless, the movie was not one of Hammer's successes. They paired her with Peter Cushing three years later in The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, but she never became the star they intended her to be. In 1976, she retired from acting altogether and became a registered nurse in Oslo.

Ege survived breast cancer in the 1980s, but 15 years later would be diagnosed with the lung cancer that eventually took her life.

1 comment:

Ryne said...

Wow, breast cancer and lung cancer?
That's sad.
Rest in peace!

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