Fiona Lewis, Struggling British Actress, Hollywood Writer

The red-headed beauty was born 52 years ago in Westcliff, England to a lawyer father and an unemotional, traditional housewife mother, Lewis fled to London at 17 to escape the ‘banality’ of her upbringing. ‘In those days you didn’t need a plan. Social and sexual barriers were coming down and if you were a pretty girl you’d be invited out every night and, almost inevitably, would be invited to become a model or actress.

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By the time she matured into her late teens, Lewis occupied a flat in “swinging London” with fledgling starlet Jacqueline Bisset. “We were the original AB FAB girls,” Lewis recalls. “I was friends with Roman Polanski. Jackie did Cul-de-sac (1966). with him. A French producer was in town and said, ‘I’m looking for somebody who looks 12 and can speak fluent French. ‘Well, I just happened to look extremely young and speak fluent French. In those days, especially in France, the attitude was, “Of course you can act! Everybody can act!’ It wasn’t like now. Nobody will pick you off the street and put you in a film.”

Bisset, who was about to find fame as ‘Miss Goodthighs’ in Casino Royale (1967)  (she insisted the director give Lewis a bit-part) and the good times rolled. As a young actress with a small part in Casino Royale, she accidentally walked in on Orson Welles having sex in front of the mirror with another actress. ‘I was shocked by the sheer casualness of it.’

‘Due to his size there was a lot of panting and enthusiastic shouting, a vision which is almost impossible to forget. He shouted cheerily, “I’ll only be a minute!” ‘I wasn’t shocked about the sex itself but by the sheer casualness of it, the fact it was something passed off as an innocent lunchtime romp with an actor who most likely would never speak to her again.’

Beginning her screen career with the leading role in European picture the Dis-moi qui tuer (1965) , she made her genre debut in The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967). “By that point, I considered myself an actress, although god knows I hadn’t the faintest idea what I was doing.” she chuckles. “Roman got me the part in the French movie. Roman then said, ‘Here’s a part in my movie. Do you want to play the maid?’ I didn’t realize what a big deal it actually was to be in. He was very big then. Sharon Tate was in the film. We were all friends. That was my first British picture.”

Roman was wonderful to work with. If I’ve learned anything at all about acting. I learned it from him in about three days. I certainly haven’ learned it from any other director. During rehearsals, he would play all the characters in the scene, even if there were 12 different parts. He’s such a good actor that you knew what he wanted. He taught me to play it very low-key and throwaway, which I had never done before. He’s a terrific director for actors.”

“We took the story and it’s production very seriously,” says Lewis, “Roman is truly brilliant. Because he’s an actor, what he would do is play everybody’s parts. If there was a scene with four people, he literally would do all four parts to show what each character was like and he would be brilliant. With no experience whatsoever, I just copied what he did. He said, “Do it like this, and I said, ‘Okay.’ It was fabulous.

“Even now. I’m surreal though I haven’t seen him in years that he has more energy than anybody I’ve ever seen on a set. When I first met him, he spoke only a few words of English. He spoke only French. Of course, he learned it in about three weeks!

Though a couple of key shots were filmed at the Italian Alps, most of the opulent production was shot on MGM’s London stages. Jill St. John was tapped for the plum role of Sarah, a wistful innkeeper’s daughter who kindles the lust of a vampire killer (Polanski) and his nemesis, the blood (Ferdy Mayne). But St. John was bumped and replaced by starlet Sharon Tate, Polanski’s eventual spouse who was later slaughtered by members of the Charles

“Sharon was a natural,” recounts Lewis, “She was so extraordinarily beautiful, and couldn’t have been sweeter. But the woman who played her mother Jessie Robins) was enormously fat. I remember she was sweet, but she was not a clean person.

“Jack MacGowran, cast as vampire exterminator Professor Abronsius was so sweet and polite. He said to me-whispering My dear, I think you should take a few lessons’. So he sent me to this method act.

Villain (1971)
Villain (1971)

Excuse me?’ English actors don’t believe in method acting. I was willing to try. I remember, for the first week, all we did was pretend to be a tree. After a week I said, You know, I’m sorry. I’m just not getting anywhere. Whatever it is, I’m not getting it.’ In fact, I probably should have stayed on but. of my training.”

The surrealistic Joanna (1968) followed one year later: with a non-existent London as the central setting, characters danced on the railways and customers rode up to Harrod’s on elephants. ” Joanna was a type of film that they used to call ‘kaleidoscope’ movies,” says Lewis. “In the ’60s, you could make a movie about anything. It didn’t matter.” Lewis was subsequently cast in a couple of insignificant films, including Otley (1968), a spy spoof, and Where’s Jack? (1969), the latter a period piece directed by writer Jack Clavell. Villain (1971), a retelling of the notorious Kray Brother’s crime spree, was branded as “stomach churning” by critics: Lewis supported Richard Burton, who’s stormy relationship with spouse Elizabeth Taylor kept the tabloids in business.

Richard Burton made a ‘drunken lunge’ at her on the set of the gangster film Villain but never got any further because his then wife Elizabeth Taylor would turn up on set and ‘watch him like a hawk’.

‘Richard was a gentle soul. During one scene he had to jump out of a cupboard and scream at me. On the day we short he was in my face screaming so ferociously: “Get out of here SLAG! Get out!’ He was so convincing I started shaking. After several bad takes he took me aside, tenderly squeezed my hand and said “Come on, Fiona, you can do it.” He was a gentle soul but Elizabeth knew how dangerous he was around women when he’d been drinking. She’d turn up at lunchtime, dripping in furs and diamonds, and never let him out of her sight.’

Lewis describes co-star Ian McShane as always a very good actor. We were all friends. I was great friends with Ian’s wife, so making the film was a nice experience. It wasn’t bad, it was quite a good movie.”

She was cast as a rather timid heroine in Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), a sequel to the previous year’s The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). Vincent Price and Robert Fuest, who collaborated on the ’71 precursor, encored as star and director of the second installment.

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972

I had no qualms about appearing in another horror movie,” she says. “I was just trying desperately to stay employed. I didn’t mind what kind of picture it was within reason. It was a job, and I had to pay the rent. Actually, it was great fun to make. No one took it too seriously, and it was one of the nicest times I’ve ever had on a film.

Fuest’s trademark wit and art deco sets once again drew laudatory notices, but American International Pictures inexplicably stuck the film on double-bills. “Robert Fuest was wonderful,” Lewis recalls. “He was improvisational, loose…he was fun and enthusiastic. I didn’t know enough, as an actress, about what a director was supposed to be, but he certainly made me feel good in my inexperienced days. He’s definitely an artist.

“He was also crazy. They were a crazy group of people. Vincent Price, of course, was the savior. I remember, on the first day, he said to me, “Oh darling, I just do it for the costumes. I love them! He literally had played that part so often that he just floated through. His life was a ball. He was such fun to be with! I ran into him six years later at a premiere and he hadn’t a clue of who I was. Even when I mentioned the film and my name, he still hadn’t a clue. I think there were so many films that he just couldn’t recall particulars!

According to show biz legend, AIP exec Sam Arkoff gem to Price: the more youthful Robert Quarry was being groomed as the aging horror star’s replacement. “Maybe that’s why Robert was so uptight,” Lewis says. “It didn’t look like he was having a good time. He’s a very nice man, very charming and professional. I don’t remember him ever loosening up, though maybe that was because of the Vincent Price.

As the vampire’s virginal victim Lucy Westenra in director Dan Curtis’ version of Dracula (1973), Lewis competed with Jack Palance’s overbite. “Jack is a method actor, so he was always acting up a storm in his trailer,” she reminisces. “Meanwhile, the English actors just went out there and got on with it. We were constantly waiting for him to get into the right mood. We didn’t tolerate it well when he would be standing behind a tree working up into Dracula. That sort of behavior went down poorly on set.

“The scenes in which Jack bit my neck were a nightmare. As a method actor, he had to be real, so he did everything but actually bite a hole in me. A lot of rough-housing went on. It was exhausting. I was black-and blue most of the time, and not too thrilled to be working with him.

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“I’m not sure what all this preparation means, anyway. As far as I’m concerned, you learn your lines at home, and you come on the set ready to go. You don’t come on the set and then decide how you’re going to play the part. That’s not preparation that’s bullshit.”

Dracula aired on network television in America and played theatrically overseas.

Blueblood (1974) “It turned out so bizarrely that it has never see the light of day,” she relates. “I can barely remember what the story was about. It had something to do with the occult, so there were all these weird shots of people wearing black hoods. I played the mistress of a stately home, and Oliver Reed was the butler.

“I’m so embarrassed by many things I did, so what’s the difference? I suppose it was sort of their version of THE INNOCENTS. At the time I thought, ‘Oh, an Oliver Reed movie. The script looks a little weird, but… An actress like me didn’t get offered the great roles. As an actress, you have to take what you’re offered. “

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Performing some scenes without a wardrobe, Lewis also sang-but doesn’t recall doing so and sauntered on red and blue sacrificial stairs with a baby. “Was it all a fantasy was or it was real?” shrugs Lewis. “I have no idea what that was. I know that we had an incredibly good time on that movie. It was hysterically funny every night.  Heavy, heavy drinking went on every night, Oliver was at his peak drinking at that time. His favorite thing in the pub was unscrewing the light bulbs and eating them down to the wire. “I adore Oliver, and always have. He was a joy to work with and also slightly crazed, to say the least. He’s a serious drinker, so it was always party time on the set. He’s one of those old-fashioned, hard-drinking English actors who can’t think of anything better than doing his own stunts. He was the life of the whole movie. But he’s also very professional, and was extremely generous and helpful to the other actors.’

In fact, it was through Reed’s recommendation that Lewis was cast in her next film, director Ken Russell’s flamboyant fantasy, Lisztomania (1975). “It was an absolutely outrageous movie,” she acknowledges. “I can’t imagine what Ken had in mind. The picture got out of control.  While Daltrey ‘was a sweetheart, never laid a finger on me’, director Ken Russell was a ‘mean, insensitive brute who would yell and scream in the hopes of making you cry’.

Lisztomania (1975)

She just developed a low tolerance for Russell. “What can I say? The tyrant, Ken Russell! His main objective in life was, I think, to destroy every woman he came across. As long as he could get them all to burst into tears.  “I remember this one scene in LISZTOMANIA where it was done as a speeded-up scene, like something out of a silent movie. Of course, Ken-being so perverse-said, ‘No, we’re not going to do it in the camera. You’re going to have to act out all the motions yourselves. ‘I said, ‘Ken, this is ridiculous!’ He said, No, no. You’re going to have to do all the jerky motions yourself.’ It’s very hard to do it consistently take after take after take.”

The final straw was a routine that required Lewis to eat chocolate while mimicking “silent movie” simulation. After what seemed sweets, Lewis’ professionalism was rewarded with a reprimand: “You don’t know how to eat a fucking chocolate, Fiona!” blared Russell. The humiliation was bad enough, but the enfant terrible “communicated” with his cast through a mega phone.

“I went to my dressing room and refused to come out.” recalls Lewis, “I refused to burst into tears like everyone else had. The producer came in and apologized.

“I remember lots and lots of musical numbers. You can imagine how long they took to shoot! The one where I’m sitting on the giant cock, that was his favorite. Yeah right, Ken. I was rather fond of him because, once you have these battles with someone and you go on, you develop a friendship with them. My problem with Ken was that he didn’t really help the actors.”

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“I think what happened with LISZTOMANIA is that I swear there was a point, during production, when Ken got bored with his own film. When he’s let loose, he just sort of goes off the deep end. I think he really wants to be channeled and told, ‘No, this is the subject. This is what we’ll be doing.’ Some of his early films were excellent. He is a bit of a loose cannon.”

She posed nude for two magazine layouts, the first for Fiona Lewis. “I’m not embarrassed about it,” she insists “I was broke and needed the money. Obviously, I wouldn’t pose for Hustler, but I had a very good photographer and we were in a fabulous location, so I couldn’t understand why anyone would take exception to it. If I had felt I was fat and burly, I wouldn’t have wanted pictures taken, but I believed my body was pretty good. I figured: ‘When I’m 40. I won’t have a decent body, so this is the time to go for it. My mother, on the other hand, was very concerned.

Lewis bared all again in a Playboy layout promoting Lisztomania two years later. I was broke again,” she concedes, and they offered me a lot of money. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered. There’s a reason they pay so much money they know damn well that’s the only way you’ll do it. Why else would you want to be in Playboy? To say it’s good for your career is nonsense Posing nude is incredibly boring. They make thousands of photos, and you have to wear lots of body makeup. You do it strictly for the money, and you just hope the pictures turn out well.”

By the time the film was released in 1975, Lewis had packed her bags and left London. “After Lisztomania, I was convinced I would never work again,” she comments. “I decided to move to Los Angeles, because I realized I had absolutely no future in the movie business in England.”

Lewis moved to Los Angeles. Her first date was with Cary Grant, almost three decades her senior. The pair went on a handful of dates but Lewis says she dumped him after he eviscerated her for being an actress. ‘He was plagued by regrets. He told me he regretted his own career in films and that he’d have been better off raising children. He hated movies and said Hollywood was a sham. In the end I stopped returning his calls.’

Lewis admits being a ‘lousy’ actor, adding that ‘my enthusiasm outflanked my ability’.

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Unfortunately, Hollywood offered Fiona Lewis even fewer prestigious acting assignments. After leading roles in two exploitation flicks-Steve Carver’s Drum (1976) and Mark Lester’s Stunts (1977) she was reduced to little more than shark bait in a Mexican Jaws rip off, Tintorera: Killer Shark (1977).

“That was a total con job,” Lewis claims. “It seemed like a perfectly harmless picture to do. The producers told me Susan George would be in it, and they offered me an enormous amount of money for three weeks’ work in Mexico, so it was irresistible. I figured: ‘How bad can it possibly be?’ In fact, it was horrible, but then I never saw it and neither, fortunately, did most people.

Wanda Nevada (1979)
Wanda Nevada (1979)

I had a great time making it, though. We were on a wonderful island and only worked about five hours a day, so I frequently sunbathed. But after I left, they added underwater shots of a nude body double. Everybody presumed it was me, but it wasn’t. I hope she at least had a decent figure.”

She candidly says her modest acting success was ‘due to the fact I was willing to take off my clothes’. She met stars such as Laurence Olivier, Jack Nicholson and artist David Hockney, and became good friends with Mick Jagger, who impressed her because he was always in control. ‘I never saw him off his head. He didn’t do drugs. That’s why he is still going. He never bought into the underworld.’

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Then came Brian De Palma’s The Fury (1978), an adaptation of John Farris’ novel. Powerhouse cast: Kirk Douglas, Amy Irving, John Cassavetes, Charles Durning (Dennis Franz and Daryl Hannah in minor roles). De Palma turned CARRIE, produced for $1.8 million, into a box office bonanza: as a result, his budget for THE FURY expanded into (a then opulent) $5.5 million. The script combined telekinesis. madness, betrayal and dysfunctional families into a modern passion play. Nevertheless, Lewis cast as seductive Susan Charles wasn’t impressed: “I must have gone up for that part about eight times. In fact, there was a whole giant rape scene with Andrew Stevens that we had to act out on the floor of Brian De Palma’s office, obviously not unclothed, which was sort of a nightmare.

“It’s a bit much to go through (though filmed, the “rape scene” was omitted in post-production) “Brian is a very good director, there’s no doubt about that. He knows what he wants. THE FURY was not one of his best pictures, and I thought the script was not very good. I remember saying to my agent, ‘Oh, I don’t know. This is stupid. She said, ‘Fiona, do you or don’t you want to be a star? I said, ‘Well… I…I…I’m rolling around, and there’s blood flowing… Come on! Who are we kidding!’ She said, ‘If you want to be a star, you do this picture.

Lewis’ death scene contributed to the film’s notoriety and critical condemnation. A libidinous teenager (Andrew Stevens)-suspecting that Lewis’ character betrayed him-telepathically levitates and spins her with such centrifugal force that she transforms into a fountain of blood, discharging entrails with aplomb. Hooked into a harness and rotated with blood tubes in her hair and clothing, Lewis liberally sprayed the set with stage blood. A life-size replica of Lewis, designed by Oscar-winning f/x artist Rick Baker, was substituted after redundant, nauseous for the actress.

I wore a harness, and it was in credibly uncomfortable. I also had tubes under my dress connected to a pump on the floor. They even put latex on my face with tubes underneath which came out by my eyes and nose, through which they pumped the blood.

“But Brian being Brian,” sighs Lewis, “he waited quite a long time with me spinning before he put Smith’s model in. He was kind of brutal. I remember the rape scene which was taken out, thank God!, it was too grisly-where I had to literally collapse like I had been hit over the head. It was a little painful: you’re falling, smack!, onto the floor. At about Take 38, you’re really pissed-off because you’re covered in bruises. Despite putting me through that nightmare, I’m really fond of Brian.

Fiona Lewis & Brian De Palma
Fiona Lewis & Brian De Palma

The late director John Cassavetes, who acted in mainstream films to finance his independently-produced features, was among Lewis cheerleaders: “This was while I did my spinning blood. John was covered, head-to-toe, in blood.

Everybody goes to lunch, leaving us there. He says to me, ‘Aren’t you glad you didn’t go to acting school, dear?’ He was very cool. The coolest, maybe the coolest. Not fake cool. Real cool.

A subsequent supporting role in Peter Fonda’s contemporary Western Wanda Nevada (1979) led to Lewis’ marriage to the movie’s executive producer, William Hayward.

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Fiona Lewis came out of her semi-retirement and abandoned her desk on a lark to star with Michael Murphy and Louise Fletcher in Strange Behavior (1981) because she is a friend of directors Michael Laughlin’s and because the script was funny. which is an old-fashioned mad scientist film about a Dr. Mabuse. like figure named Dr. Lesange, a behavioral psychologist who turns a town full of teens into killer devoids. It’s a kind of Hardy Boys Go To Hell. Lewis’s Gwen Parkinson is a sexually repressed assistant to LeSange. In her lab coat and her spiked heels, she is a cold blooded killer with a current of molten lava just beneath her porcelain exterior, and for her performance, she has received the kinds of reviews actors dream about.

strange-invaders-lgStrange Invaders (1983)

Fiona Lewis is too honest with herself to expect Strange Invaders (1983) to automatically revitalize her acting career. Nevertheless, she has picked a pragmatic pair of priorities for the future. “I just want to continue making movies,” she admits, whether writing them or acting in them. Movies are all I know That’s it, movies I’m doomed.”

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Never having portrayed a strange visitor from another planet before, Lewis wanted to make her character weird, but not so weird that the reporter would spot me immediately. I tried to be subtle about it, so that after a minute you think I’m a little odd but you don’t know why. Of course, you can have a great time playing a waitress-you chew gum, scratch your head with a pencil and do a sexy walk. You get to go to town with all those silly little actress things.”

Lewis contributions even extended to devising her makeup and selecting her outfits. This movie was put together so quickly that there wasn’t time for the costumes to be made from scratch,” she explains. So, I went shopping and bought strange 1950s suits. I also decided to wear a wig, because ! wanted to look peculiar. My character wouldn’t make an impact if she looked like! do normally. If you can get the right look, you’re hallway there.”

Although she missed out on that highlight sequence, Lewis had her own complicated special makeup tortures to endure. As she describes it, “Just as I’m about to get the reporter, she shoots me. Then, a huge mass of green slime gushes out of me more liquid than anyone has ever had in their body. I slip down the wall into this green puddle.

“To simulate the gunshot, the special effects man attached a small amount of gunpowder on a lead disc, which could only blow outward. That’s what he assured me. but I was terrified-especially when he asked me if my dress was flammable. The disc was connected by a wire to a plunger he pushed to cause the explosion, which blew a hole in the dress. He also rinsed me with plastic tubes which came out of the hole, through which he pumped the slime.

The entire experience was most unpleasant. We shot the scene at 5 a.m. in Toronto, Canada, and it was very cold. Because of the amount of slime on the floor, I had to stay in one place for the sake of continuity, I was laying in the slime for about 40 minutes, and I was absolutely freezing. They plied me with vodka, but it didn’t help.

Innerspace (1987)
Innerspace (1987)

One benefactor suggested that she write a screenplay: “I sold what I wrote, but didn’t get any made. I got close but once you’re hooked, you think, next one…’ until I did like 13 screenplays. Then I did a script for Showtime where I was a classic situation: I was writing about a woman in Reno in the 1950s. It was a comedy, but not obviously so. It wasn’t farcical and it wasn’t meant to be. But they would say, “Can’t you make it more like WORKING GIRL?’ In what way would I make it more like WORKING GIRL!? There was no talking to them. The difficult thing about writing comedy is that everybody has a different idea of what’s funny. They had a different form of comedy in mind than what I was writing.

I slowly realized that they were never going to make it. I was so depressed and thought, “That’s it. I’m going to write a book. I can’t write one more screenplay! Fortunately, I had a little bit of money to go for about a year and a half. I imagined I could write a book in that amount of time, naive as I was. In fact, it took me three years.”

She collected reject slips until Atlantic Monthly Press contracted her first novel early in 1995—-titled Between Men. It’s a semi-autobiographical story of Alice Wilder, a 35-year-old aspiring screenwriter who be. comes involved with a married film director after her own marriage falls apart. She’s also drawn to a handsome law student and fights a constant battle to find love and career stability in the most unstable of professions. “Obviously, when you’re writing a book you have to be more in-depth than if you were writing a screenplay,” she says. “You have to have something to say. If you’re writing about a woman, you have to have something to say about women. What I knew was having an affair with a married man, the dilemma and all the old problems. I was either going to write that, or a book about growing up with a friend of mine in London during the ’60s.

“I decided which one to do first, and made a conscious decision to make the book about Hollywood. I wanted to get the real stuff about the business in it because even though you read a lot about Hollywood, few authors actually get it right.” Lewis has written a screenplay based on her novel, but toned down its anti-Hollywood polemic to dissuade Tinseltown producers from walking.

Enjoying a privilege denied actresses and screenwriters, Lewis-the novelist-savors the creative freedom: “I didn’t realize that you don’t have to do the corrections if you don’t want to. Editors hey can suggest them, but you can say, ‘I don’t want to,’ and they go, ‘Okay! What a luxury! If you’re smart, you take their advice—but you don’t have to. It’s a great luxury to write a book because who can afford to?

“I wish I could write like Barbara Cartland and Jackie Collins, but I’m not really interested in their kind of writing. I don’t want to get up every morning and write about sex and shopping. I don’t want to get up every morning and do sex and shopping, so if that’s not what interests you, it would be silly to write about it. I’m interested in relationships, friendships, how people survive them and how, most of the time, they don’t. I’m glad I read all the classics before I wrote a book. It gives you a grounding. You have to have that. It’s the same with acting. You also have to be fairly dedicated in what you choose to do.”

Sure enough, Lewis has launched a second novel which chronicles the life and love between two friends over a 20 year period. And she has no immediate plans for a screen comeback: “I made a conscious decision that if I wanted to get somewhere with my writing, I had to drop the acting; otherwise, every day I’d be going out for roles. There’s a lot of tension! If you have an audition tomorrow, you can’t write today. Acting and writing are true opposites. One is very extroverted and the other is very introverted. I found it very difficult to do both, Now, I wouldn’t mind having a few parts, but it’s hard

“The trouble with the business is it’s very addictive and once you’re in it, it kind of takes over. There is always that hope of something breaking through The rewards are enormous if it does break, so you stay in Los Angeles attracts the sort of people looking to escape their backgrounds and become something else. Certainly, when I first came here, I was in a way trying to escape myself. It’s the movie business. The wonderful thing about being in movies is this very fine line between reality and make believe. You can be parking cars and just have this idea that you’re in show business, when you’re not even in it! It’s all a fantasy.”

Even so, Fiona Lewis has grown increasingly dissatisfied with her acting career. Frustrated by her failure to become a leading lady with a more diversified range of roles, she has channeled her creative energies in a different direction. Since settling in Los Angeles, she has written more than a dozen celebrity interviews for the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times.

Her works include Biarritz, about a 14-year-old girl in 1929 France: While Gold, based on an article about cocaine smuggling she wrote for the late New Times magazine: and two scripts in collaboration with Lynn Giler, these projects remain unproduced. She recently sold her screenplay Above Suspicion to United Artists for Norma Rae producers Tamara Asseyev and Alex Rose. Currently, she’s writing an “old-fashioned Screwball comedy with the working title of Anything Goes.

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“I’ve come to a point in my life where I want to choose what I do, Lewis remarks. If I don’t choose now. when am I going to make the decision? If all I had was an acting career, I would probably be tearing my hair out in despair. But I don’t intend to become another neurotic actress worried about growing old and still getting parts. That’s the most depressing thing in the world.

Since I have my writing career, I don’t mind if I’m not offered acting jobs. In fact, I won’t even go up for parts any more. I refuse to sit there and say: ‘My name is Fiona Lewis and I’ve done these films’ to some guy who has been in the business for a year. Then he says: ‘Gosh. I didn’t know you’re English This won’t do at all. It’s humiliating, and I don’t need that.”

SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY
Dis-moi qui tuer (1965) – Pompon
Fumo di Londra (1966) – Elizabeth
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) – Magda, the Maid
Joanna (1968) – Miranda De Hyde
Otley (1968) – Lin
Where’s Jack? (1969) – Edgworth Bess Lyon
The Thirteen Chairs (1969) – ‘Angel Antiques’ salesperson (uncredited)
A Day at the Beach (1970) – Melissa
Villain (1971) – Venetia
The Chairman’s Wife (1971, short) – Elaine Beckwith
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) – Diana Trowbridge
Dracula (1973, TV movie) – Lucy
Blue Blood (1974) – Lily
Lisztomania (1975) – Marie d’Agoult
Drum (1976) – Augusta Chauvet
Tintorera (1977) – Patricia
Stunts (1977) – B.J. Parswell
The Fury (1978) – Susan Charles
Wanda Nevada (1979) – Dorothy Deerfield
Strange Behavior (1981) – Gwen Parkinson
Strange Invaders (1983) – Waitress / Avon Lady
Innerspace (1987) – Dr. Margaret Canker

CREDITS/REFERENCES/SOURCES/BIBLIOGRAPHY
Femme Fatales 06n12
Starlog#079
The Bloody Best of Fangoria#001
Daily Mail UK

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