15 July 2024

Huge fans of Pamela Franklin here. She was born in 1950 in Yokohama, Japan to British parents. Because of her father's export business, she grew up in a variety of places around the world including Hong Kong and Australia.

When she was ten, the young girl went to England to study dance at the Elmhurst Ballet School. Dancing was what she really wanted to do...but that all changed one day when photos of the students were taken for a film company that was casting a movie called The Innocents, based on Henry James' Turn of the Screw.

The actress recalled, "A few days later, a car came to collect me and take me to London where I was asked to read some lines. I got the part and suddenly, I was an actress."

Playing the young Flora in the 1961 picture, Franklin was lucky enough to be cast alongside the great Deborah Kerr and got her first taste of horror. It was a smart spookfest and Franklin's intelligence and intensity was already apparent.

The rest of the '60s saw Franklin working regularly, most notably in Hammer's 1965 The Nanny. By the end of the decade, she had moved on from Bette Davis to clash horns with Maggie Smith in the excellent drama The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969).

An utterly worthwhile thriller endeavor saw Franklin in And Soon the Darkness (1970). Two young girls are biking on vacation through the French countryside. When her friend mysteriously goes missing, Franklin decides to investigate and gets more than she bargained for. Now a mature woman, the actress commands the sparsely detailed suspenser, filling out the spaces with her strength and energy.

She brought that spirit to 1972's Necromancy AKA The Witching as Lori Brandon, fighting big, bad Orson Welles and the occult.

Franklin dropped in for the haunted house spooker The Legend of Hell House (1973). Playing a psychic medium among a group of researchers studying creepy Belasco House, she turned in another memorable performance and maintained her confidence in the genre.

1973 also saw Franklin in the well made TV shocker Satan's School for Girls. Skeptical that her sister's mysterious death is a 'suicide,' her character enrolls at the girl's school - only to find a coven of witches.

In 1975, she appeared in two other Made-for-TV efforts...as part of the British series Thriller. Screamer (1975) has Franklin as a young woman raped while on vacation and who turns to vigilante justice. The other project had the wonderfully dramatic title (typical of the series): Won't Write Home Mom, I'm Dead.

After appearing in Food of the Gods, the nature gone awry film based on the novel by H. G. Wells (in which the cast is attacked by giant mosquitoes, rats and chickens) the actress inexplicably retired from the big screen.

She continued to act for the next couple of years on TV, gracing The Love Boat, Vega$, Trapper John, M.D. and several episodes of Fantasy Island with her presence.

Although Franklin has since gone off the radar, she will always be remembered by The Terror Trap for her winsome charm, subtle continental flavor and feisty energy.

And Soon the Darkness 1970
Food of the Gods 1976
The Innocents 1961
The Legend of Hell House 1973
The Nanny 1965
Necromancy 1972
Satan's School for Girls 1973
Screamer 1975
Won't Write Home Mom, I'm Dead 1975
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