Tura Satana has a unique place in film history. She starred in one of the biggest cult films of all time, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Her natural, shall we say, assets were a perfect match for Russ Meyer’s infamous girl gang saga. And this week we lost the woman who breathed life into the vixen Varla in the film. But Tura Satana wasn’t just a bodacious B-list actress and model who also had roles in Irma la Douce, Our Man Flint and The Astro-Zombies . She led a dramatic and extremely fascinating life. Here are 5 facts about the late Tura Satana.
She was an exotic beauty thanks to her actor father who was of Japanese/Filipino descent and her mother who was American Indian (Cheyenne) and Scottish-Irish.
A traumatic thing happened when she was just nine years old. She was gang raped by five adult males. They were never prosecuted and there were rumors that the judge in the case had been paid off. Tura dedicated her life at the time to revenge and became good at martial arts and then “over the next 15 years” her quest was to track down each of her attackers and exact revenge saying ” I made a vow to myself that I would someday, somehow get even with all of them, they never knew who I was until I told them.”
She was married off at the age of 13 to a boy of 17. It was an arranged marriage put together by both sets of parents. She obtained a fake ID, ran away and escaped to Hollywood.
At just 13 she was posing nude, modeling for silent screen legend Harold Lloyd among others.
After having a horrible skin reaction to makeup while modeling, she headed back to Chicago to live with her parents. She began a career, a very successful one at that, as a burlesque dancer. She became pregnant at the age of 19 and continued to dance during 8 months of the pregnancy!
She passed away in Reno, Nevada and leaves behind two grown children.