Happy birthday, Chelo Alonso!

Chelo Alonso, the Cuban-born dancer and actress who became a star of 60s European sword-and-sandal films with her steamy dancing and femme fatale antics, turns 76 today. She was born April 10, 1933. As far as I know, she lives in Italy now. She married a film producer back in the 60s and then phased out her film career.

But what a memorable career it was! Check her out in Goliath and the Barbarians with Steve Reeves; Son of Samson with Mark Forest; or Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops with Gordon Mitchell, all readily available on DVD. Nobody was better at playing a feisty barbarian princess or evil queen. When Chelo comes on-screen, you’ll eagerly surrender to the allure of her blazing torches, slashing swords, or crocodile pits.

Last night I was with some friends and we were watching an Italian tv documentary that showed her behind-the-scenes on the set of Goliath and the Barbarians. As sexy as she is when she plays sultry for her scripts, these candid clips that showed her laughing and smiling with co-star Reeves as Reeves gets playful “instructions” from their elderly, gentlemanly director on how to kiss her were even more transcendently beautiful! Many actresses are called “legends” and “goddesses” but for most the term is just not true. But Chelo does not disappoint. In that behind the scenes footage, she also did a dance on a table, and then stepped with her bare foot on a guy’s hand so he could help her to the floor, while balancing herself with her own hand on his balding head! She did it with the fluid effortlessness of a woman who knows she really is some kind of goddess…or at least that some men want to watch her act like one!

These are a few of my favorite Chelo pix, which can be readily found all over the Web. Your life will not be complete unless you see her at least once in a movie! So don’t delay, put “watch Chelo Alonso movie” on your Things to Do List today!

Happy birthday once again, Chelo, you are forever our queen!

"Your queen, hmm? Then fetch me a soda..."