RIP, Barbara Shelley.

Barbara Shelley
February 13, 1932 — January 4, 2021

I grew up watching Barbara Shelley in pictures like Dracula – Prince Of Darkness (1966) and Quatermass And The Pit (1968). She was always terrific. She passed away today at 88.

Miss Shelley was one of those actors or actresses that didn’t look down on material like this, and her performances were as good as the genre ever saw. I’d have a real hard time picking a favorite — so I guess I’d recommend you watch ’em all. Which is what I plan to do.


Filed under 1966, 1968, Barbara Shelley, Christopher Lee, Hammer Films, Terence Fisher

9 responses to “RIP, Barbara Shelley.

  1. Walter

    Toby, I’m with you where it comes to picking a favorite of Barbara Shelley’s movies. So, yes by all means watch them all, because she is so memorable in them. Too me, she gave a splendid performance as a straitlaced Victorian lady turned into a luscious female vampire in DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS(filmed 1965, released 1966). She portrayed two completely different beings and in my humble opinion, if Barbara Shelley had done nothing else, she would be remembered for this terrific role. In a filmed 2010 interview for the documentary A HISTORY OF HORROR(2010), she reflected, “The scene that I’m most proud of there, is when she’s staked. There’s absolute evil in there when she is struggling and then suddenly she’s stacked. Then there is tremendous serenity. I think that is one of my best moments on film.”


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike Richards

    As my tribute, l watched her in The Gorgon last night, one of Hammer’s better horrors, away from their run of Dracula and Frankenstein films.


    • The Gorgon is the first Hammer picture I ever saw. The guy writing the note as he turned to stone stuck with me for weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mike Richards

        Yes, that’s a good scene. Also good is that Hammer only gave us brief glimpses of The Gorgon throughout the film, unlike some films where the monster is seen too much. Barbara had a good part in that film, right up to the very end!


      • As kids, we always wanted to see more of the monster, but you realize now that they usually revealed just enough. The Thing (1951) is a perfect example of this.


  3. Walter

    Mike, In tribute to Barbara Shelley, I watched what I think is a Classic SCI-Fi movie VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED(filmed 1959, released 1960). I first saw this move on THE CBS LATE MOVIE in January, 1974. VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED had its broadcast TV network premiere on February 25, 1972 on THE CBS LATE MOVIE.


    • Mike Richards

      I’d forgotten about that one, maybe because l haven’t seen it for ages. I watched the trailer last night on YouTube, Barbara is top billed with George Sanders above the credits.


      • Walter

        Mike, Barbara Shelley had such a neat name in VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, which was Anthea Zellaby. This black and white movie told a really good story with top notch acting by all. I really enjoyed George Sanders in a role as a good guy.


  4. Walter

    Mike and Toby, I agree that THE GORGON(1964) is a good Hammer Film production and I liked that this time around, we were seeing a female monster. I’ve read where Barbara Shelley had wanted to simultaneously play the role of Carla Hoffman and the Gorgon. Also, she wanted to use real garden snakes, and to find a way to weave them into a special wig. However, producer Anthony Nelson Keys nixed those ideas.


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