Rosalba Neri (born in Forlì, 19 June 1939), sometimes credited as Sara Bey or Sara Bay, is a retired Italian actress.
Born in Forlì, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Neri was regarded for her beauty even in youth, winning a beauty pageant when she was still young. Eventually pursuing an acting career, she attended il Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (The Center for Experimental Cinematography). She also received an offer to attend the Actors Studio in the United States, but did not accept.
Early film career
She began her film career a year prior to that, at the age of 15 with a role in the film I Pinguini ci guardano (The Penguins Watch Us) in which the animals at the zoo watched the humans around them and cultivated some very interesting thoughts. Many sources, however, list her first film as Mogli pericolose. She is uncredited in this comedy which was directory by Luigi Comencini.
In 1960, she appeared in two sword and sandal films set in the Ancient world. The first was Il Sepolcro dei Re (The Tomb of the King). This film tells the story of Nemorat, an Egyptian pharaoh who was instrumental in the creation of the pyramids of Giza due to the intrigues surrounding his death and entombment.
The second was Raoul Walsh’s Esther and the King, starring Joan Collins as the Biblical Jewish Queen. Rosalba played Keresh and was assassinated by someone who mistook her for the Queen. Because of her dark, sultry beauty, Rosalba was often a natural fit to play certain legendary characters. She was Ramses’ intended bride in the Hercules Adventure, Il Leone de Thebe (The Lion of Thebes) in 1966. She was also in Ercole contro i figli del sole (Hercules against the Sons of the Sun) in 1964. She played Delilah, the Biblical beauty who was the downfall of the Old Testament hero, Samson, in I Grandi Condottieri (The Great Guides).
Although starring roles were few and far between for Rosalba, she worked steadily throughout the 60s and 70s in supporting and sometimes, nondescript roles, such as her turn as a harem girl in (1961’s) El Cid.
Rosalba also had quite a few roles in Eurospy intrigue films, often playing a less than saintly character. She was Faddja in 1965’s Il Superseven Chiama Cairo (Superseven Calls on Cairo), one of the dangerous ‘women’ that the spy, a James Bond-like character, comes into contact with. Also in 1965, she appeared in Due Mafiosi contro Goldfinger (Two Mafioso against Goldfinger). Here she was credited as Sara Bay and played a character called “The Secretary.”In 1967, she was Amalia in Password: Uccidete Agente Gordon (Password: Kill Agent Gordon).
She had roles in several 19 spaghetti westerns over the years. In 1965’s, Dinamite Jim, she played Margaret; and, in ’67 she was Rosita in Emimmo Salvi’s Wanted: Johnny Texas. That year she also appeared in Johnny Yuma, which was directed by Romolo Guerrieri followed by Long Days of Hate.
Rosalba, the bombshell, was also much in demand for erotic Giallo thrillers, horror, and sexploitation films. She was in Jess Franco’s 99 Women (1969), one of the first women in prison films, and Top Sensation, aka The Seducers (1969) opposite Edwige Fenech. In 1972 she played Farley Granger’s wife in Alla Ricerca del piacere (Amuck, aka Leather & Whips). Granger plays a wealthy author who hires a beautiful secretary (Barbara Bouchet) and engages in kinky sex games with her and his wife.
Bouchet and Neri would team up in another movie combining sex with horror, Casa d’appuntamento (French Sex Murders, 1972). A jewel thief is accused of murdering a prostitute but is decapitated in a motorcycle accident prior to the trial. When those involved in the trial start dying, everyone wonders if the dead man has come back to exact a little revenge.
Perhaps Rosalba’s best-known films are from the horror genre. This is also where she is often credited as Sara Bay (or Bey), much to her fans’ chagrin. She played Tania Frankenstein, the daughter of the monster’s creator, in 1972’s Lady Frankenstein. Tania was willing to take her father’s work to new – and frightening – levels. It’s considered a “B” movie classic. She also played Lady Dracula, a vampire who uses the ring of Dracula to lure young virgins to her home so she can murder them and bathe in their blood (à la the medieval Countess Elizabeth of Báthory). The film, which was directed by Luigi Batzella, is often referred to as The Devil’s Wedding Night. The Italian name is Il Plenilunio dell Vergini (the Full Moon of the Virgins).
Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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