EL FRANCONOMICON / I'M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND

Robert Monell & Alex Mendíbil Blog Alliance

MARIA TOWERS ROHM (1945-2018)

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Here is some updated information on the recent, sad passing of the iconic actress Maria Rohm, the wife of Jess Franco’s former producer-writer Harry Alan Towers. She appeared in a series of Jess Franco films, from THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU (1968) to SEX CHARADE (1972), the latter a still lost film. She had acting skill, acquired from her work in the Viennese theater from the age of 5 and developed for decades in numerous productions by Harry Alan Towers and others. She also had class, a lovely woman and warm friend whom her fans will miss.

She was a magical presence, especially as the haunting Wanda in Jess Franco’s VENUS IN FURS (1969). She probably gave her most layered performance in Franco’s EUGENIE.. THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION/DE SADE 70/DIE JUNGFRAU UND DIE PEITSCHE/LES INASSOUVIES (1970).  In that Sade adaptation she plays the stunningly beautiful but devious Madame de St. Ange, the female viper from Sade’s story Philosophy in the Boudoir, who attempts to destroy,  but ends up liberating, the young, innocent Eugenie (Marie Liljedahl). Written by producer Towers, under his Peter Welbeck beard, it’s one of Franco’s best Sade adaptations. The cold blooded Mme St. Ange is perfectly and memorably captured by Maria’s precise performance. Maria was also well cast as Mina Harker in the Franco-Towers EL CONDE DRACULA (1969), as prisoner 99 in Franco’s 1969 hit 99 WOMEN, and as the innocent Mary Gray,  persecuted as a witch in the Towers-Franco historical horror THE BLOODY JUDGE (1970), featuring Christopher Lee as witch-finder Judge Jeffries. She managed to focus attention as both likable characters and as villains, matching wits and holding her own with the imposing Christopher Lee and other international stars.

Thanks to Maria for her emails and messages to me on her appearances and memories in Jess Franco-Harry Alan Towers productions. R.I.P.

The 6e0023b6fb548c6a0218be4b8b201ff4 (1)following is from her FACEBOOK page and includes a new Tribute site:

** FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT YET KNOW + A MEMORIAL SITE HAS BEEN SET UP xo <3 Hunter

Dearest Friends,
It is with great sadness that I share the news that our dear friend Maria Towers / nee Maria Rohm has passed away. She collapsed suddenly and was admitted to hospital unable to walk. At that time it was determined that she had acute leukaemia and a tumour pressing on her spine which was the cause of the paralysis. She had been in pain for months thinking it was sciatica, so by the time the diagnosis was made she was suffering considerably. Her condition deteriorated rapidly and she died within days of entering the hospital.
I’m sure you all have many questions but to answer each one of you individually while processing my own grief and taking care of all practical arrangements on this end may not be timely.

As one of Maria’s final wishes and to bring everyone together a “virtual memorial” and online portal has been set up at

https://maria-towers.muchloved.com/

*****Here you can post photos, condolences, memories, as well as make direct donations to the Canadian Cancer Society and for her final expenses.

This fundraiser has been set up… https://www.gofundme.com/maria-towers-final-expenses , as one of Maria’s final wishes to remove the burden from the few and share the arrangement with the many. Anything you can contribute is greatly appreciated. xoxo

MARIA-TOWERS.MUCHLOVED.COM
Dedicated to the memory of Maria Towers

Written by Robert Monell

26 junio 2018 a 1:18 AM

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