Tura Satana 1938-2011
Sadly the startling exploitation star died due to heart failure on February 4th 2011.
Most notable for her iconic role in sexploitation king Russ Meyer’s Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! The femme fatale performer led a harshly colourful life fit for the silver screen. Born in Japan a young Satana was moved to the U.S, living in a bleak internment camp then to be relocated to a crime ridden part of Chicago. A self bred fighter, surviving as a child from a mixed oriental family post a recent World War 2 America was no mean feat. Battling classmates daily and sexually assaulted by a gang at the age of 9, an event which the actress astonishingly claimed she personally avenged after mastering martial arts, her race along with early developed curves gained her such dangerously unwanted attention, but also allowed her to begin a career in LA as an erotic model at the scandalous age of 13 aided by a fake I.D. This was after she had been through reform school, led a leather jacketed gang and had an arranged marriage to an older teen, all this before even making it through pre-pubescence.
Throughout her teens Satana established a career as an exotic dancer, even dating Elvis on the down low and in her twenties moved into movies based on early advice from silent film star Harold Lloyd. It was her sexy yet vividly intimidating presence as Varla in Faster Pussycat that made her into an instantly recognisable cult figure, coolly rampaging through the black and white desert serving up violent justice to mean examples of mankind all the while looking as tough as her backdrop and performing her own fight scenes and stunts. Satana’s later years were no less dramatic; during the seventies she was shot by a former lover and in the eighties whilst working as a dispatcher for the LAPD she had her back broken which led her to study and work in nursing after a long recovery process in hospital. Tura lived her recent years basking in much of the deserved adoration that her cult status afforded her, a favourite with many a B-movie, retro and exploitation fanatic. It is near inevitable that such an astonishing life and character will and should be adapted on film, though it’s highly doubtful they could ever find an actress as strikingly powerful and enduring to fill those man stomping Go-Go boots!
A true cult legend in her own right…
(February 10th 2011)