Though she was the daughter of
one of the century's most influential pop music innovators,
Charlotte Austin shied away from a promising musical career,
and through a series of chance encounters, found herself
appearing in a handful of cult films, two of which are
prime examples of the gorilla film sub-genre we're discussing.
Both Gorilla At Large and The Bride and the
Beast qualify as must-see viewing for anyone interested
in low-budget horror.
How did your film career begin?
CHARLOTTE: My best friend
was getting married, and I was a bridesmaid at the wedding.
I was only 16. She was marrying Richard Newman who was
the nephew of all the Newmans who were at Fox. Lionel
Newman, Alfred Newman, Mark Newman -- I met the whole
family. And Mark Newman, who was an agent, cornered me
and said, "I'm taking you to 20th Century Fox tomorrow."
I said, "No, no, I don't want to." He said, "I think you've
got something, kid." I didn't want to go but I went to
the studio. I had never acted. I worked with a strange
drama coach for about three months, did a screen test
and that was it, they signed me.