Top Ten Scream Queens of all time

queen1The Scream Queens are actresses who contribute a lot to the drama and tension created in a horror film.  It is not a demeaning role, but one with an important contribution to making the film’s villains or peril work well.  They were a rare variety back in the day before every teen on Earth entered the scene.  A healthy set of lungs were heavily recruited and many actresses found work through use of dubbing, adding their unique voices to the action and drama.  These are some of the most famous scream queens of all time:

queen210.  Jamie Lee Curtis – Jamie Lee Curtis established herself as the modern day scream queen in Halloween in 1978.  Her role is very memorable.  Her voice is unique, and she keeps us on the edge of our seats with her reactions to Michael.

9.  Barbara Shelley – Barbara Shelley is the Hammer Horror scream queen extraordinaire.  She was the number one female star for Hammer in the 60s, appearing in many of their films, including Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966) and The Gorgon (1964).

8.  Hazel Court – Hazel Court is Roger Corman’s favorite red-headed scream queen.  She gained her notoriety from an early appearance in Hammer’s Curse of Frankenstein in 1957.  She then appeared in many other films, including Corman’s popular Edgar Allan Poe horror flicks, such as The Raven in 1963.

7.  Evelyn Ankers – Ankers was the number one scream queen of the 40s for Universal.  She was only 23 when she appeared in  The Wolf Man in 1941.  She appeared in many other Universal films.

6.  Peggy Moran – Moran was the number one B-Movie scream queen.  She made seven to ten films a year from 1938 to 1941.  All of them were forgettable and all of them had great monster effects to put her great voice to use.  She also appeared in many of the low-budget Mummy sequels for Universal.

5.  Lori Nelson – Nelson was also a B-Movie scream queen, but her career stretched over many years, which included television.  Her most infamous early role was in The Cyclops (1957).

4.  Carroll Borland – Borland is known for creating the famous look of a female vampire. Her waist-length hair and solemn face were later copied by other movies and television, such as for the characters of Morticia on The Addams Family and Lily on The Munsters.   

3.  Linnea Quigley – Quigley is famous for her B-Movie roles of the 80s.  Her most memorable appearance was in Return of the Living Dead (1985).  She lent her voice for Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and has appeared in dozens of other low-budget movies.  She is truly a scream queen.

2.  Beverly Garland – Garland had a very long television and film career, earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work.  Describing her as a scream queen is not giving her enough credit, but she paid her dues early on in such Roger Corman classics as Swamp Diamonds (1955) and It Conquered the World (1956).  

1.  Fay Wray – The original scream queen is none other than Fay Wray.  Her acting career spanned 57 years.  She starred in King Kong in 1933 and other horror films of the 30s.  She single-handedly saved RKO from bankruptcy thanks to her contributions to King Kong.  She made an immense contribution to film.  The Empire State Building dimmed its lights when she died in 2004.

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