The Goddesses of Underground Cinema: UTA ERICKSON

Uta Erickson is the second entry into my Goddesses of Underground Cinema feature; I hope to add many more audacious, alluring, ambrosial, adorable and accomplished actress to this feature before year’s end. Ms. Erickson has much in common with my first recipient Darlene Bennett. Like so many of the women who acted in underground cinema through the sixties little is known about either actresses personal life and shortly after the decade was over they both disappeared from filmmaking. Bennett and Erickson worked with many of the same directors, although I don’t think their paths ever intersected role-speaking. Uta Erickson has thirty-nine acting credits to her name; or more accurately her many names. Ms. Erickson may hold a world record for the amount of pseudonyms she used in her eight years of acting in underground cinema. Her aliases included Arti Jane, Artie Giovanni, Sharon Spitz, Tia Trevino, Artimidia Grillet, Jennie Reeves, Carla Costa, Artemida Diannini, Marion Shelton, Carla Erikson, Jo-Ann Perry, Gia Nina, Rose Dunn, Willa Mist, Dyana Alicia and Britt Hansen. Erickson worked with many of my favourite directors of the period including Doris Wishman, Michael Findlay, Joe Sarno and John and Lem Amero. Erickson’s natural beauty and ease in front of the camera made her a real stand-out among her peers. Uta brings a perfect balance of sexy, sweet and shy with intelligence, intensity and strength. Many of Uta’s roles have been dubbed over and others like the excellent Love Toy she speaks very little. Much can be relayed without speaking a word as is the case with so many of Uta’s memorable performances. For a solid representation of Uta Erickson’s work I would recommend checking out Lem and John Amero’s beautiful 1970 film Bacchanale, Michael Findlay’s drug-induced 1969 odyssey of insanity The Ultimate Degenerate, Doris Wishman’s deliciously sleazy 1973 film Love Toy, Joe Sarno’s mesmerizing melodrama Passion in Hot Hollows and the quirky, satan-worshipping, cat-fighting shenanigans of Olga’s Dance Hall Girls whose director is unknown. Below are several pictures of the lovely and talented Uta Erickson as well as her complete film resume.

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Uta (credited as Artimida Grillet) is Maria in Michael Findlay’s The Ultimate Degenerate.

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Uta (credited as Britt Hansen) is Jean in Joe Sarno’s Passion in Hot Hollows.

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Uta (uncredited) is noted as “blonde Sitting on couch” in Olga’s Dance Hall Girls. Despite receiving more screen time than practically any of the other film’s cast, Uta’s character never gets a name and the actress is not credited.

the kiss of her flesh

Uta (credited as Dyana Alicia) is Maria in Michael Findlay’s The Kiss of her Flesh. Pictured also is Earl Hindman (credited as Leo Heinz) who plays Don. Picture courtesy of My Kind of Images.

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Uta in her final film appearance (credited as Willa Mist) is Mary in Doris Wishman’s Love Toy.

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Uta in another uncredited role in Andy Milligan’s Seeds of Sin.

daughters of lesbos

Uta (credited as Carla Costa) is Monika in Peter Woodcock’s Daughters of Lesbos.

the sex killer

Uta in another uncredited role as a hooker in Barry Mahon’s The Sex Killer.

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Uta (credited as Rose Dunn) is Lola in Kenny and Ray Wells’ Wendy’s Palace.

bacchanale

Uta plays Ruth in Lem and John Amero’s Bacchanale. This was the first film I seen Uta in and her appearance and performance left a lasting impression on me. Picture courtesy of My Kind of Images.

***Uta Erickson was often cast alongside the seriously sassy Linda Boyce; the two had some sizzling chemistry together. Below are images from a selection of Ms. Erickson and Ms. Boyce’s onscreen appearances.***

babette

Uta (credited as Carla Costa) is Phyllis and Linda (credited as Claudia Cheer) is Babette in Peter Woodcock’s Return of the Secret Society (aka Babette)

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Uta (credited as Rose Dunn) is Lola and Linda (credited as Mary Poey) plays Wendy in Kenny and Ray Wells Wendy’s Palace.

linda and uta in a thousand pleasures

Uta (credited as Artemidia Grillet) is Maggie and Linda (credited as Linda Mactavish) is Jackie in Michael Findlay’s A Thousand Pleasures. Picture courtesy of My Kind of Images.

the curse of her flesh

Uta is uncredited playing the stage partner to Linda Boyce’s (credited as Lena Brice) character Stella in Michael Findlay’s The Curse of her Flesh. Picture courtesy of My Kind of Images.

Love Toy (1973)
Love Me… Please! (1972)
Dynamite (1972)
Lovers by Appointment (1970)
Torture Me, Kiss Me (1970)
Wendy’s Palace (1970)
Women Women Women Moira (1970)
Only in My Dreams (1970)
Interplay (1970)
Bacchanale (1970)
The Amazing Transplant (1970)
The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful (1970)
Yellow Bird (1970)
Mnasidika (1969)
She’s Doing It Again (1969)
Passion in Hot Hollows (1969)
Monique, My Love (1969)
Marcy (1969)
She Came on the Bus (1969)
Sex Circus (1969)
Donna and Lisa (1969)
Anything Once (1969)
Olga’s Dance Hall Girls (1969)
The Ultimate Degenerate (1969)
Return of the Secret Society (1968)
The Kiss of Her Flesh (1968)
The Curse of Her Flesh (1968)
See How They Come (1968)
Daughters of Lesbos (1968)
Seeds of Sin (1968)
Private Relations (1968)
Beware the Black Widow (1968)
The New Life Style (Just to Be Love) (1968)
A Thousand Pleasures (1968)
The Sex Killer (1967)
Unholy Matrimony (1966)
Sin in the City (1966)
Electronic Lover (1966)
The Love Cult (1966)

7 Responses to “The Goddesses of Underground Cinema: UTA ERICKSON”

  1. Great story. I had no idea who she was, but it’s great that you are keeping cinema history alive…

  2. Uta’s one of those breathtaking girls that I would keep seeing in films and think “Who IS that girl?” and it took awhile for me to find out,since,as your article says, people who made sexploitation pix so often used stage names or went uncredited. She had this really great presence and a hint of smoldering heat under the skin…

    • goregirl Says:

      I actually had this saved in my drafts for a few months hoping I could compile more information on Ms. Erickson…but to no avail; I figured she was worth celebrating just the same.

      • Some of them are a total mystery. I know Lisa Petrucci had alot of trouble tracking some of them down for her article in “Tease!” These ladies are so fascinating! I love Linda Boyce as Stella in “Curse Of Her Flesh”…and the one who played “the baby” in “A Thousand Pleasures”. They did so much work in such a short period. Then you have girls like Stacey Walker,who made just two films and one short,but had a charisma that leaves an indelible impression…in “A Smell Of Honey,A Swallow Of Brine” she’s such a horrible,sociopathic maneater….but you fall in love with her just the same…

  3. Stephen Hartman, Age 65 Says:

    I was in High School, that was 1966, it was a Saturday, and I decided to go into Manhattan, my6destination was the Globe Movie Theatre on Times Square. I first went into the Marlboro Book store, and I saw her. I am blessed or cursed with a great memory for faces. And Uta Erickson is a face I could never forget. I had already found the book I wanted, paid for it and walked out of the book store, I waited for Ms Erickson to exit, walked up to her and asked for her autograph – it was funny, she asked how old I was and where I had seen her before, I told her I was 17, she looked at me and smiled, asked me what I wanted her to sign and I handed her a Five dollar bill. She asked me my name, and she spelled it correctly, again she asked me where I knew her from, I told her I had seen one of her movies, again she smiled. I still have that five dollar bill and wonder what ever happened to her. She was a beautiful woman.

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