14 January 2017

Teresa Ann Savoy (1955-2017)

On 9 January 2017, British actress Teresa Ann Savoy passed away. She lived in Italy, where she made most of her films, including the Tinto Brass films Salon Kitty (1976) and Caligula (1979). She was 61.

Teresa Ann Savoy (1955-2017)
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

A SS spy that poses as a prostitute

Teresa Ann Savoy was born in 1955 in London, England. 'Terry' fled from home at 16. She lived in a hippie community in Sicily and soon came to the attention of the press.

Savoy was 18 years old when she appeared in the Italian adult magazine Playmen (October 1973). In 1974, her acting career began when film director Alberto Lattuada gave her her first role as a sexy teenager in Le farò da padre/I'll Take Her Like a Father (Alberto Lattuada, 1974).

Her next film was Vizi privati, pubbliche virtù/Private Vices, Public Pleasures (1975) directed by the Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó. The film told the story of the Crown Prince Rudolf, son of the Austrian-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph and his rebellion against his father. Teresa played the baroness Mary Vetsera, Rudolf's lover, but in Jancso's vision, she appears as a hermaphrodite.

In 1975 Savoy met Tinto Brass and they worked together in the successful but bizarre film Salon Kitty (1976) with Helmut Berger and Ingrid Thulin. In the film she played a young BDM girl (League of German Maidens, a female Nazi youth organization) who becomes a spy that poses as a prostitute for the SS Nazi paramilitary organization.

In 1976, Brass was involved in Caligola/Caligula, produced by Bob Guccione, the owner of Penthouse magazine. It tells about the rise and fall of the notorious Roman Emperor Caligula (Malcolm McDowell). Originally, Maria Schneider was cast as Drusilla, the beloved sister and lover of Caligula, but she walked out of the project and was replaced by Savoy.

Helmut Berger
Helmut Berger. Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

A terrorist in search of a traitor partner for killing

In 1981, Teresa Ann Savoy made a return to cinema with La disubbidienza/The disobedience (Aldo Lado, 1981), where she played Edith, an attractive Jewish governess. The film, based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, covered events under the reign of the Republic of Salò.

In the same year, she worked again with director Miklós Jancsó in the historical film A zsarnok szíve, avagy Boccaccio Magyarországon/The Tyrant's Heart (1981) in which she acted alongside Ninetto Davoli.

In the 1980s, she mainly played secondary roles such as in the TV mini-series La Certosa di Parma/The Charterhouse of Parma (Mauro Bolognini, 1982), featuring Marthe Keller. In 1984, Savoy was a terrorist in search of a traitor partner for killing in Il Ragazzo di Ebalus/The Boy from Ebalus (Giuseppe Schito, 1984) alongside Saverio Marconi.

Her most important secondary role in this period was that of Maria di Gallese, the first wife of the writer and poet Gabriele D'Annunzio (played by Robert Powell), in the film D'Annunzio (Sergio Nasca, 1987). She played another memorable part in the episode Addio Maschio Crudele/Goodbye Cruel Male from the TV series Quando Arriva il Giudice/When the judge arrives (Giulio Questi, 1986).

In 2000, she made her last film appearance in La Fabbrica del Vapore/The Steam Factory
(Ettore Pasculli, 2000), the first Italian digital film. She received the title of Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1989.

Teresa Ann Savoy died of cancer on 9 January 2017 in Milan, where she lived with her husband and two children.

Trailer for Salon Kitty (Tinto Brass, 1976). Source: ShortFormCinema (YouTube).

Trailer for Caligola/Caligula (Tinto Brass, 1976). Source: British Secret Agent 007 (YouTube).

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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