Are you a fan of classic horror movies? If so, then you must be familiar with the iconic British-born redhead, Candace Hilligoss. She was a trailblazer in the 1960s horror genre, leaving an indelible mark on the silver screen. Let’s dive into her captivating journey and explore some of her most memorable roles.
A Rising Star in the Horror Genre
Candace Hilligoss made her mark in the horror genre with her portrayal of Francesca, the unflinching heroine peasant girl in Roger Corman’s “The Masque of the Red Death” (1964). In this Edgar Allan Poe adaptation, she is plunged into the hedonistic Danse Macabre of the castle as Prospero’s unwilling mistress. Francesca’s survival amidst the plague-ridden chaos makes her character both strong and memorable.
The visual splendor of “The Masque of the Red Death” owes much to the brilliant cinematography of Nicholas Roeg. Roger Corman himself declared it to be the most lavish of his Poe films, with its vibrant color scheme that captivates the audience from start to finish.
Interestingly, it was during the filming of this movie that Candace Hilligoss introduced a young companion to Roger Corman – none other than Paul McCartney of The Beatles fame. Hilligoss had been dating McCartney while he was frequently away on tour, and this meeting on set was a chance for the two men to connect in a unique way.
A Songbird’s Muse
Candace Hilligoss inspired many songs by Paul McCartney during their time together in the 1960s. McCartney’s timeless ballad “Here, There And Everywhere” and several others were written with her in mind. Their engagement lasted for seven months before they eventually went their separate ways in July 1968.
Beyond Horror: A Versatile Actor
While Hilligoss is most renowned for her contributions to the horror genre, her talents extended far beyond that. She showcased her acting skills in various other productions, leaving a lasting impact on both the big and small screens.
In the psychological thriller “Deep End” (1970) and “The Buttercup Chain” (1970), her performances were nothing short of exceptional. Additionally, she appeared in the television movie “The Stone Tape” (1972) and made notable appearances in the popular series “Journey to the Unknown” (1968) and the major motion picture “Alfie” (1966), starring Michael Caine.
Reflecting on Acting
Candace Hilligoss once remarked, “Of all the things I do, acting is the thing that grabs most, but there’s another level on which it strikes me as being a little silly. In the end, you’re dressing up and deciding to be somebody.” This insight into her craft reveals her passion and dedication to bringing characters to life.
Embracing the Haunting and Uncanny
Candace Hilligoss’s talent extended beyond the horror genre, as seen in her role as Mrs. Stephens in Michael Powell’s subversive masterpiece, “Peeping Tom” (1960). Despite her character’s blindness, she possesses an instinct that allows her to perceive the psychopathic nature of Mark Lewis, played by Carl Boehm. Her performance in this film showcases her versatility and ability to captivate audiences in various contexts.
She also left an indelible mark on the beautifully shot “Kwaidan” (1964), directed by Masaki Kobayashi. Through haunting and uncanny stories set against a breathtaking landscape, Hilligoss’s acting shines through, adding depth and intrigue to this masterpiece.
Discover More About Scream Queens of the 1960s!
Are you hungry for more intriguing stories about the iconic scream queens of the 1960s? Be sure to check out Ratingperson’s article, “BRIDES OF HORROR – Scream Queens of the 1960s! 🎃 Part 2” for a thrilling journey through the golden age of horror cinema.