Actress Lina Romay, Jess Franco's life partner and muse, who enlivened many of the Spanish director's exploitation films -- including Female Vampire, a.k.a. The Bare Breasted Countess (pictured above), and Barbed Wire Dolls -- with her particular brand of sensuality, has passed away at the age of 57. Details after the jump.
According to the Alt Film Guide, Romay "died of cancer on February 15. She was 57... Born Rosa María Almirall Martínez in Barcelona on June 25, 1954, Romay began her film career while in her late teens. The source for her artistic name was another Lina Romay, a singer with Xavier Cugat's band who had featured roles in movies such as Love Laughs at Andy Hardy and Joe Palooka in the Big Fight.
"The Spanish Romay's movies, however, were anything but G-rated fare. Her gialli and erotica efforts had titles such as Tender and Perverse Emanuelle (1973), Justine and the Whip (1979), The White Slave (1985), and Alone Against Terror (1987). From the early '70s to 2005, she was featured in more than 100 productions.
"Among Romay's movies directed (and oftentimes edited/scored/shot/etc.) by Jesus Franco (aka Jess Franco and countless other pseudonyms) were Swedish Nympho Slaves (1977), The Sadist of Notre Dame (1979), White Cannibal Queen (1981), Hellhole Women (1981), and Macumba Sexual (1983). Romay also helped Franco in the directorial/editing process, and under the pseudonyms Lulu Laverne/Candy Coster directed a dozen movies in the 1980s. Additionally, she was perfectly comfortable performing in sexually explicit fare.
"Needless to say, the Franco-Romay movies were no-budget efforts. Yet, the couple managed to carve out for themselves a lasting place in the realm of erotica/gialli filmmaking.
"'It's said than I am an exhibitionist,' Romay once (supposedly) remarked. 'Every actor is one — I gladly accept that. I'm not a hypocrite.'"