I’ve been meaning to get this posted, but between being busy every night, and the fact that it took me forever to find this photo of the lovely Ilsa and myself at a Cinema Wasteland, but here it is.
As I’m sure most of you know, Dyanne Thorne passed away recently. She was mainly known for her role in the three official Ilsa movies: Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975), Isla, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976), Ilsa, the Tigress of Siberia (1977), and the one un-official sequel directed by Jess Franco, Wanda, the Wicked Warden (1977). But she also appeared in an episode of the original Star Trek, as well as titles like Point of Terror (1971) and Blood Sabbath (1972), which might not have been Oscar caliber, but at least for us fans of the grindhouse/exploitation type films, we enjoyed them.
She may have been an evil of a character in the movies, but in real life, she was an ordained, non-denominational minister in Las Vegas, where, along with her husband, Howard Maurer, would get couples traveling from all over the world to be married by the one and only Ilsa! Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Ilsa movies, which are not my particular cup of tea. But I’ve had the occasions to meet her a couple of times at the different Cinema Wasteland shows and she is another one of these actors that creates one of the most terrible of characters, but is total opposite of what they are like in real life. The photo to the right here was taken at her last Wasteland appearance, after she stopped by our table and chatted with me for more than a few minutes. When the conversation was done, she insisted that we take picture together. Such a sweet soul, kind and generous with her time with her fans, that it was so cool to have a chat with her. And she really did seem to love meeting her fans.
While she was worried that the Ilsa movies would hurt her career (which they did), she still didn’t let it bother her. In fact, this quote below from her really defines how she felt about her infamous character, and what it meant to meet her fans.
“I know I’ve brought pleasure to a certain group of people. If I had been in more conventional Hollywood films, perhaps I would have been lost in the shuffle.”
She definitely has not been lost in any shuffle and will always be remembered fondly, by myself, and thousand of other fans. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family. Rest in Peace.