SWDB Hall of Fame/Leading Actresses
From The Spaghetti Western Database
July 23, 1942 (Brescia, Italy)-
Born Enrica Bianchi Colombatto, Blanc has enjoyed a decades long career in cinema, lending her versatile acting talents to 13 Spaghetti Westerns. She played the lead female role in Blood at Sundown (1966), Shoot, Gringo, Shoot (1968), Fistful of Lead AKA Sartana’s Here, Trade your Pistol for a Coffin (1970), as well as a supporting roles in Django Shoots First (1966) and The Stranger and the Gunfighter (1974). Outside of the western genre, she had notable roles in several cult horror classics. Among them are Mario Bava’s Kill Baby Kill (1966), The Devil’s Nightmare (1971), and The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), in which she did a memorable “Coffin Striptease” scene. Today, she continues to act on television, stage and film, with supporting roles in His Secret Life (2001) and Sacred Heart (2005), for which she was nominated for several Best Supporting Actress awards.
April 15, 1938 (Tunis, Tunisia)-
In a genre in which female characters are rarely ever central to the plot, Cardinale stands out as the most iconic Spaghetti Western actress of them all. Her immortal portrayal of Jill in Sergio Leone’s masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), set the standard for the “Whore with a Heart of Gold” archetype. It also marked the first time Leone ever used a strong, important female character in a film. Cardinale made just one other Euro-western, co-starring with Bridgett Bardot in The Legend of Frenchie King (1971), a French, Italian, Spanish, and UK production. Cardinale has carved out a respectable career in both Hollywood and European cinema, starring in Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ (1963), Blake Edward’s The Pink Panther (1963), Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo (1982), and the Hollywood western, Richard Brook’s The Professionals (1966) and is still active in cinema today.
|Ida Galli aka Evelyn Stewart
April 9, 1942 (Sestola, Italy)-
Perhaps better known by her anglicized pseudonym of Evelyn Stewart, she appeared in 12 Spaghetti westerns. In these roles, Galli often played the sweet, innocent heroine and love interest of the main protagonist. Her best known western roles were playing opposite Giuliano Gemma in two box office hits, One Silver Dollar (1965), and Adios Gringo (1965). Outside of the western genre, she had small roles in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960), and Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (1963). She played much larger roles in two Mario Bava films, Hercules in the Haunted World (1961), and The Whip and the Body (1963). She also starred in Lucio Fulci’s The Psychic (1977), and Sergio Martino’s The Case of the Scorpian’s Tail (1971).
August 19, 1931 (Munich, Germany)-
The German beauty is best known for playing the tormented Mexican peasant Marisol, who is aided by Clint Eastwood’s “Man with no Name” in A Fistful of Dollars (1964). She also appeared in four early German and Spanish co-produced westerns. She would star in only one other Spaghetti Western, Clint, the Nevada Loner (1967). Outside of the western genre, her best known role was in the German WWII drama The Devil’s General (1955). She also had a supporting role in Night People (1954), starring Gregory Peck. She retired from acting in 1971 to pursue a medical career, earning her MD in 1974. Doctor Koch has since been active as a practicing Medical Specialist and as a frequent guest host on German Television.
October 20, 1940 (Madrid, Spain)-
Born Ana María Cazorla Vega, this Spanish dynamo brought her steely, penetrating gaze and fiery Latin passion to 17 European westerns, many of them Spanish co-productions. Originally trained in dance, flamenco, ballet and theatre, she had supporting roles in Euro-westerns such as Chino (1973), Bad Man’s River (1971), Django Shoots First (1966), and California (1977). She also appeared in two Spain-filmed Hollywood westerns, the Texican (1966), where she played the female lead opposite Audie Murphy, and Villa Rides (1968). She was a leading lady in several other lesser known Euro-westerns as well. Outside of the western genre, she is known for her roles in Spanish horror, starring in Jess Franco’s The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962) and Nightmares Come at Night (1970), Amando de Ossorio’s Malenka aka Fangs of the Living Dead (1969) and Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll aka House of Psychotic Women (1976) opposite Paul Naschy. She also appeared in the Hill and Spencer comedy swashbuckler, Blackie the Pirate (1971). Her career declined in the late seventies and she retired from film.
August 1, 1944 (Stuffione, Italy)-
She was cast as the leading actress in six Spaghetti westerns, often playing intense but righteous characters. Her best known role was opposite Burt Reynolds in the Sergio Corbucci western Navajo Joe (1966). Among the other westerns she appeared in were The Hills Run Red (1966), A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (1968), and No Room to Die (1969). She also appeared in a small uncredited role in Face to Face (1967). She played a revenge seeking female gunfighter in the relatively obscure Garter Colt (1968), which was one of the rare instances where a Spaghetti Western featured a female lead protagonist. Outside of the western genre she played a small role in Candy (1968). A descendant of Niccola Machiavelli, she began guiding group tours of her native Italy as well as teaching Italian language classes at the University of Washington after retiring from acting.
|Nieves Navarro aka Susan Scott
November 10, 1938 (Almeria, Spain)-
Perhaps better known internationally by her anglicized pseudonym of Susan Scott, the sultry Navarro specialized in playing seductive, conniving villainesses in Spaghetti Westerns. She appeared in 8 westerns in all, including several blockbuster hits. She had a small but important role as the widowed, ranch owning dominatrix in The Big Gundown (1966). She also appeared in both of Duccio Tessari’s “Ringo” films, Adios Sabata (1971), Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming (1971) AKA A Cloud of Dust... Cry of Death... Sartana Is Coming, and Long Days of Vengeance AKA This Man Can't Die (1967). Outside of the western genre, her best known roles were in the Joe D’Amato Cannibal horror film Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977) and the Sergio Martino giallo, All the Colors of the Dark (1972). She also appeared in several films directed by her husband, Luciano Ercoli.
June 19, 1939 (Forli, Italy)-
As prolific as they come, the dark, tantalizing actress appeared in a total of 17 Spaghetti Westerns, being equally adept at playing both villainesses and heroines. Among some of the better known westerns which she starred in were Johnny Yuma (1966), Arizona Colt (1966), Long Days of Vengeance AKA This Man Can't Die (1967), and Arizona Colt Returns (1970). Besides westerns, she also starred in numerous films in various exploitation genres ranging from peplum to erotic including The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), 99 Women (1969), Lady Frankenstein (1971), Asylum Erotica AKA Slaughter Hotel (1971), and French Sex Murders (1973).
May 3, 1942 (Rome, Italy)-
The red-haired actress appeared in 6 Spaghetti Westerns, but it was her unforgettable portrayal as the strong-willed saloon girl Maria, in Sergio Corbucci’s highly influential Django (1966), opposite Franco Nero, for which she is best known. Her role, more assertive than was typical of a Spaghetti Western heroine, was so popular that she did a sort of reprise of it in the unofficial Django sequel 10,000 Blood Money (1967), this time playing the love interest of Gianni Garko. She also appeared in Seven Dollars to Kill (1966). Outside of westerns, she had a supporting role in A Difficult Life (1961). She retired from films during during the mid 1970s.
1941 (Trieste, Italy)-
The ravishing beauty with the steely gaze is best known for her small but important and memorable role as Maria, the prostitute that gets beaten by Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Of Serbian heritage, her brother was Spaghetti Western leading man, Ivan Rassimov. Her other well known role was opposite Anthony Steffen as the money hungry lead heroine in Django the Bastard aka The Strangers Gundown (1969). She starred in three other westerns including Don’t Wait, Django…Shot! (1967), opposite her brother Ivan. Besides westerns she also had roles in The Seed of Man (1970), Dario Argento’s The Cat o’Nine Tails (1971) and Mario Bava’s Baron Blood (1972). She also starred in the popular French television mini-series Michel Strogoff (1975). Later on, she served as an executive producer for several television specials, two of which one her Primetime Emmy awards, Tosca (1992), and La Traviata (2000).
Born 1939 (Bolzano, Italy)
Her acting career was relatively sporadic, yet the sultry blonde graced the screen in five Spaghetti Westerns, three of which are genre classics. She appeared in two classic westerns directed by then boyfriend Sergio Sollima, a small role in Face to Face (1967), and a more important role as a Salvation army missionary in Run Man Run (1968). Her best known role was as saloon girl Jane, the lover of William Berger’s “Banjo” character in the international hit Sabata (1969). Outside of the Spaghetti Western genre, she appeared uncredited in Jean-Luc Goddard’s Contempt (1963) and had a small role in Roberto Rosselini’s Il Generale Della Rovere (1959). She stopped acting in the early 1970s.
|Simonetta Vitelli aka Simone Blondell
Born June 16, 1950, Italy-
Under her anglicized pseudonym of Simone Blondell, Vitelli appeared in 11 Spaghetti Westerns, eight of them under the direction of her father, Demofilo Fidani AKA Miles Deem. Her best known western role is perhaps Fidani’s best, Showdown for a Badman AKA Coffin Full of Dollars (1971). She also starred in Django and Sartana’s Showdown in the West (1970), and His Name was Sam Walbash, But They Call Him Amen AKA Savage Guns (1971), both directed by Fidani. She occasionally helped out her father as an assistant production and set designer on his films. Her best known western not directed by her father was W Django! AKA Man Called Django (1971). Her acting career was relatively brief, but she also managed a supporting role in the low budget cult horror film, Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (1974), which was to be her last acting credit.