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This Day in WWII 23 March 1942 - 1945


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Chevrolet-March%201943.jpg Chevrolet Ad - March 1943

1942: During World War II, the U.S. government began moving Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to detention centers.

1942: The British convoy, have escaped serious damage are approaching Malta. However, it is here that they come under concentrated air attack which sinks 1 freighter and damages another, although the other two freighters make it safely in to the port of Valleta. However, air attacks against the docks at Valletta made it very difficult to unload.

HazelCourt1.jpg *Hazel Court

1942: The Japanese occupy the Anadaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

1942: Port Moresby is again attacked by Japanese aircraft.

HazelCourt2.jpg Hazel Court

1945: The RAF launches a devastating raid (300 bombers) against Hildesheim near Hannover, a small city of little military and industrial importance.

1945: The U.S. Third Army crosses the Rhine North of Worms, as the British Second and Canadian First Armies begin their assault across the Rhine above the Ruhr.

HazelCourt3.jpg Hazel Court

1945: The Russian reach the outskirts of Danzig and Gotenhafen.

1945: Colonel Benjamin O. Davis prepares to fly cover with the 332nd Fighter Group on a bombing mission over Berlin. Davis will later become the first African-American to be promoted to the rank of Major General.

HazelCourt4.jpg Hazel Court

*Court was born in Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, lived in the Boldmere area and attended Boldmere School and Highclare College. Her father was G.W. Court, a cricketer who played for Durham CCC. At the age of fourteen, she studied drama at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Alexandra Theatre, also in Birmingham, England.

At the age of sixteen Court met film director Anthony Asquith in London, which won her a brief part in Champagne Charlie (1944). Court won a British Critics Award for her role as a crippled girl in Carnival (1946) and also appeared in Holiday Camp (1947) and Bond Street (1948). Her first role in a fantasy film was in Ghost Ship (1952). One of Court's most remembered films is the cult classic Devil Girl from Mars (1954). She trained at the Rank Organisation's "charm school".

Court wanted to act in comedy films but she also continued to appear in horror films and, in 1957, had what was to become a career-defining role in the first colour Hammer Horror film The Curse of Frankenstein. In the 195758 television season, she appeared in a CBS sitcom filmed in England, Dick and the Duchess, in the role of Jane Starrett, a patrician Englishwoman married to an American insurance claims investigator living in London, a role played by Patrick O'Neal. Court traveled back and forth between Hollywood and England, appearing in four episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She had parts in A Woman of Mystery (1958), The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) and Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) among others.

HazelCourt5.jpgHazel Court

By the early 1960s, Court had permanently moved to the United States. She was featured in the Edgar Allan Poe horror films The Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964), the last two with Vincent Price.

In 1981 Court appeared briefly in the third Omen film, The Final Conflict, although she was uncredited. She also appeared in episodes of several TV series, including Adventures in Paradise, Mission: Impossible, Bonanza, Dr. Kildare, Danger Man, Twelve O'Clock High, Burke's Law, Sam Benedict, Gidget, Mannix, The Wild Wild West, "Thriller", and in The Fear, the penultimate episode of the original 1960's The Twilight Zone.

Court was married to Irish actor Dermot Walsh from 1949 until their divorce in 1963. They had a daughter, Sally Walsh, who appeared with her mother in The Curse of Frankenstein.

From 1964 until his death in 1998, she was married to American actor Don Taylor, who was divorced in 1955 from actress Phyllis Avery. Court retired from the film acting business in 1964 to concentrate on being a wife and mother. Court and Taylor met while they were shooting an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. They had a son, Jonathan, and a daughter, Courtney.

In addition to acting, she was also a painter and sculptress, and studied sculpting in Italy. Court wrote her autobiography, Hazel Court Horror Queen, which was published by Tomahawk Press in the UK (April 2008) and in the US (June 2008).

Court died of a heart attack at her home near Lake Tahoe, California, on 15 April 2008, aged 82. She is survived by daughters Sally Walsh and Courtney Taylor, son Jonathon Taylor and two stepdaughters, Anne Taylor Fleming and Avery Taylor. She was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea. Hazel Court once said in an interview "Just in case I should pop off to heaven in the night, I always remember to wash up, plump-up the cushions and straighten up after a dinner party. I wouldn't want everyone to come in and find it a mess. It's very English of me."

Chevrolet-March1945.jpg Chevrolet Ad - March 1945

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