Anouska Hempel—Could Have Been a Bond Girl, Definitely a Hammer Woman

Women in Horror for Women’s History Month 2023

Anouska Hempel’s big break was as “the Australian girl” in the James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), but her first featured role was as Tania in Scars of Dracula (1970), directed by Roy Ward Baker. Isn’t it difficult to choose your favorite Hammer director?

Hempel’s television work includes her playing SHADO Radio Operator, Tamara Paulson, in three episodes, and Skydiver Operative, in one episode of marionette-tv-show creator Gerry Anderson‘s live action tv series UFO (1971). She starred alongside Anton Rodgers in the six episode, short-lived but interesting looking Zodiac (1974), as an astrologer who teams up with a police detective. She also appeared in one episode of Space: 1999 (1976). IMDB lists her as uncredited for Larry in the Tales From the Crypt season 3 episode 1 “Loved to Death.” When Andrew McCarthy’s character arrives in a cloudy heaven, a man and woman pass by who are uncredited. It must be her. Why is heaven cloudy? Must be the smog.

Movie-wise she played the lead titular character in Tiffany Jones (1973), an adaptation of a spy parody comic strip directed by—today known as a horror director—Pete Walker. And she played a kidnapped mistress in the crime thriller Double Exposure (1977).

In Scars of Dracula, playboy Paul Carlson, played by Christopher Matthews, escapes out of a window through the roof of an empty carriage below, and the horses take off. He eventually winds up outside a mysterious castle where he falls. When he looks up, standing before him, as if she appeared out of thin air is Anouska Hempel’s Tania, statuesque in a beautiful purple dress and black hair. For the rest of her career she went with a dirty blonde look typical of the 1970s.

Tania is one of Count Dracula’s vampiric thralls. She visits Paul in his room telling him she’s a prisoner in the castle. When she wakes up next to him in the morning she contemplates Paul’s neck, baring her fangs, and she goes for it. She, however, is rudely interrupted by Christopher Lee’s Dracula, who stabs her with a knife, which is rather uncharacteristically of him. Though her screen time is fairly short as Tania, Anouska Hempel shines in each scene, enough that we wish her character had lasted longer. Hempel left acting and became successful and well-known in interior design and the hotel industry. She is still active with a website and on her Instagram account where she posts examples of her interior designs and landscaping. Check it out.

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