Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Rants and Raves: Tura Satana

R.I.P. Varla

The incomparable Tura Satana in

Credit: Eve Productions

Above: The incomparable Tura Satana in "Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill."

I am deeply saddened to report that cult vixen Tura Satana passed away yesterday at the age of 73. You can watch a clip of her at her best as Varla in Russ Meyer's "Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill."

I can't remember the first time I saw Tura Satana on screen but I was still young and I can't tell you what an impression she made on me when I saw her in Russ Meyer's "Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill." She was dressed in black with a plunging neckline that revealed some awe-inspiring cleavage. She also had black boots and black leather gloves that seemed to imply she was ready for any kind of action that could come her way. She had long black hair with severe bangs that framed her face in a dramatic and hard way. But what was most memorable was how she obeyed no rules. She was like a force of nature that ripped through a film, and nothing and no one could contain or control her. She was simply breathtaking to watch because she oozed danger and you never knew what she might do.

As a young woman it was impressive to see a woman on screen who was supremely confident and thoroughly unconcerned with what society or anyone thought of her behavior. She was also like sex incarnate, but not a sex object like so many women in Hollywood were. She was like a film noir femme fatale on steroids. She was dangerous like them and able to operate in a man's world. But those 40s femme fatales had to use sex to manipulate men and succeed in a man's world. Tura didn't need to use sex to get what she wanted, she just took whatever she wanted. But she used men -- and even women -- to feed what seemed like an insatiable sexual appetite. Here's just a little taste of her onscreen charisma in "Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill."

Clip: 'Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill'

A clip of Tura Satana in "Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill."

Tura Satana was a unique icon. No one before or after her has had quite the same ferocious vitality and sexuality. She will be deeply missed. I may have to turn my "Faster Pussycat" lunchbox into a shrine for her.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.