Marisa Mell (born Marlies Theres Moitzi) was an Austrian actress. Typecast as a femme fatale in European arthouse and genre films, she is best regarded for her performances as Eva Kant in Mario Bava's critically re-assessed Danger: Diabolik (1968), and the dual role of Susan Dumurrier/Monica Weston in Lucio Fulci's giallo One on Top of the Other (1969). After garnering popularity by appearing in such films as Venusberg (1963), French Dressing (1964), Masquerade (1965), Casanova 70 (1965) and Secret Agent Super Dragon (1966), Mell's attempt to launch a Broadway and Hollywood career ended with the failure of her debut musical Mata Hari. She settled in Italy, where her high-profile love life and long association with Pier Luigi Torri, a playboy who later became one of the world's most-wanted fugitives, made her familiar to readers of tabloid press stories about the European jet set and elite Roman nightclubs. Her other notable films during this period include Anyone Can Play (1968), Marta (1971), Ben and Charlie (1972), Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972), Gang War in Milan (1973), Mahogany (1975), Casanova & Co. (1977) and Mad Dog Killer (1977). Despite her typically resilient onscreen persona, Mell was privately a vulnerable figure who suffered from bad luck, ill-judged personal choices, and drug use. By the late 1980s, these factors had eroded the qualities that had earned her initial stardom, and she was forced to spend the remainder of her life in Austria, where she subsisted in straitened circumstances.
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