Showing posts from February, 2011

Passings: Tura Satana--Actress, Icon, Tigress

The Conqueror , a gloriously bad 1956 sword-and-sandal flick featuring John Wayne as Genghis Khan (no, I'm not smoking crack...), brims with ridiculous dialogue, but one line in particular has always stuck with me. It's uttered by Khan/Wayne in classic western-drawl style, and he uses it to describe the object of his desire, the fiery Tartar princess Bourtai (played by the not-very-Tartar-but-admittedly-very-hot Susan Hayward): "She is woman...MUCH woman." Tura Satana was one of maybe six women who walked the earth worthy of that bit of minimalist adulation. Satana, who passed away yesterday at the age of 72 , was a Japanese-internment-camp survivor, an exotic dancer, paramour to Elvis Presley, and--most importantly--an energizing and world-changing (no lie) presence in some of the most entertaining cult movies of the 1960's and '70's. And she was much woman. I put Tura under the Petri Dish microscope a couple of years ago, ironically enthusing how