These days, the title “Scream Queen” seems to get tossed around whenever referring to actresses who have appeared in horror films. However, as horror fans and pundits know, it takes more than just an appearance or two to be rightfully dubbed a Scream Queen. There is no industry-established criteria for earning Scream Queen status, but if there were, Deborah Dutch would well exceed whatever the standard were set at.
With a film career that spans over 40 years and titles that include Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave, Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell, Death Dancers, and more recently, Natural Born Filmmakers and Hellcat’s Revenge, Deborah is still considered by fans, peers, and directors, to be one of the premiere Scream Queens and B-movie stars on the scene, by any standards. However, her film appearances haven’t been limited to horror, or even just to B-movie fare. The 1984 film Protocol, which starred Goldie Hawn, and a 1987 episode of the TV series Miami Vice are just two of the big budget production roles that can also be found on Deborah’s lengthy resume.
Currently, Deborah is working on “War of the Gods,” which is the sequel to her 2016 film she starred in and directed; Hollywood Warrioress: The Movie. The above photo is Deborah against a green screen during the shooting of that aforementioned film and is courtesy of Deborah herself. Read on for her exclusive interview with Idol Features.
DEBORAH: Thank you Chris! I’m honored that you’ve asked me to be a part of your wonderful site, Idol Features!
CHRIS: It’s my pleasure. So, I know you studied ballet when you were young. Had you not had an injury, do you think you would have pursued a dance career instead of acting?
DEBORAH DUTCH: I began my ballet career at the age of four. I was a prima ballerina and loved dancing. However, when I was 15, I suffered an injury cheerleading that changed my destiny. I was no longer able to practice my four hours of strenuous toe dancing a day, so my plans to be a professional ballet dancer in New York City were changed to becoming an actress who was also a dancer. My uncle, Paul Roebling, a well known actor, was a crucial mentor, guiding me as a young actress in New York City with my career! As a very young girl, growing up in the countryside of New Jersey, I used to pretend, in my imagination, that I was making movies and my puppies that I raised, were my audience and God was my director. I dreamed I’d be a movie star. I would produce, direct, and star in plays, singing and dancing for the neighborhood. I was in all my school plays, from elementary through college. My grandmother brought her friend, (the actress) Agnes Moorehead, to my senior class play to ask her if I had the talent to “make it” in show biz. I played “Millie” in Picnic. She gave me the “nod” and a few years later, when we were roomies in my grandmother’s Upper East Side New York apartment and we were both on Broadway!
DEBORAH: The theater will always be my true love! I basically was brought up and trained on stage in front of a live audience. Beginning my acting career in New York City on Broadway! When I first came to LA as a young actress, I performed in many theater plays. That was how you were seen by casting directors and filmmakers and agents. But now, I only do very selective stage productions, since LA is not known for theater and there’s no money in it.
CHRIS: What was your last stage role?
DEBORAH: My last theater production was with an amazing director who directed me in the Paramount film with Steve Guttenberg, The Man Who Wasn’t There. Bruce Malmuth and he chose me specifically for the role. He made a film out of it; Days of Rage.
CHRIS: Your IMDb film credits go as far back as the 1976 movie Deep Jaws. Was that truly you very first film, or was there something before that?
DEBORAH: No, I wrote and directed an artistic film in Miami for the mass communications department at the University of Miami, entitled Creation, where I rise up from under the waves in a surge of water out of the ocean at Biscayne Bay at sunrise, nude!! It was my story of the “Birth of Woman.” I thought it was very beautiful! Also, in New York City, I starred in an AFI film, directed by an up and coming female director from Israel at NYU, called, The Parts of Anna! It won a few awards. It also was an artistic cult film.
CHRIS: I read that your appearance in the 1976 film Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave, earned you celebrity status in South Korea?
CHRIS: Did you visit South Korea during that time?
DEBORAH: I never went to Korea, but I probably would have if I had accepted the five picture deal that the Korean film company offered me after I finished filming Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave. I turned it down because I wanted to break into major studio productions.
CHRIS: What would you say was the most difficult time you’ve had while shooting a film?
DEBORAH: Good question, Chris! The fans and the public don’t know how challenging it is to act in a film and the stamina and endurance that is required. Especially on location. There have been several incidents that took EVERY ounce of my heart, soul, and energy to overcome! in Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave, I had to do my own stunts. I had to drive down a STEEP hill in the desert in a beat up old Lincoln Continental and do a doughnut at the bottom, creating a sand storm! I prayed the whole time for my life! So I think that ranks up in the top three most difficult films. Second, I probably will say Death Dancers, when I almost fell down the miles high cliff into a rocky river ravine due to the unstable, sandy mountainside by the “Bridge From Nowhere” in the bungee jumping scene and lastly, the final combat scene in my movie, The Hollywood Warrioress! I had just flown in from Toronto, exhausted and was on location in the Pine Barrens in New Jersey. It was 104 degrees, huge mosquitoes biting me. I was in full Warrioress wardrobe, high heeled boots, by the way, the same boots that I was in on the Death Dancer scene, and with a huge sword, I had to fight to the death nine professional sword fighters for six hours in the raging sun!
DEBORAH: My favorite ladies that I have worked with so many, but the two that really stand out are Goldie Hawn for sure, and this was an “A-movie”! She was the most beautiful woman, inside and out! The entire two plus weeks that I spent on the set of Protocol, she treated me like a friend as well as respected me as an actress. She would do aerobics during lunch break and her mother was often on the set. She is a very down-to-earth woman with a big heart and great personality. Of course, I love my girlfriend, Debbie D. We’ve worked together 22 years this October 25th. We’ve been partners as the “Double D’s” and I always felt that we were destined to meet and work together. She co-stars with me in my movie, Hollywood Warrioress: The Movie, playing my evil adversary, “Morgana” and she is fabulous! We have an awesome fight scene to the death and also a HOT sexy seduction scene. Other actresses who also stand out are Donna Hamblin, Brinke Stevens, Dawna Lee Heising, Linnea Quigley, Gail Thackery, Debra Lamb, and the list goes on!
CHRIS: Earlier in your career, you also used the surname “Dare.” Why did you drop that name?
DEBORAH: This is an interesting question. In the early 90’s, I worked and starred in several Roger Corman films. I asked my grandmother, who was my idol and a mentor, what name should I use since I wanted to keep my “A” movie career separate from my “B” Scream Queen status. She suggested that I use my Swedish family name “Dare.” I still use Dare from time to time! I love my Swedish ancestry. They founded Darestown in New Jersey.
DEBORAH: Each decade is different and wonderful! It’s a difficult call, but I guess I have to say the 90s! I worked consistently and became a B-movie star/official Scream Queen from all the fun fantastic roles I had the great good fortune to play and popular films that I worked on! With celebrity comes lots of cool benefits! Traveling, plane fare, and hotel suites taken care of when doing conventions from Japan to New York City, chauffeured in a million dollar bulletproof Mercedes limo, meeting my fans and signing autographs, starting my fan club. Merchandising all kinds of memorabilia, from lip prints to t-shirts and coffee mugs, being asked to star in films without auditioning, doing professional photo shoots, earning nice money, five sets of trading cards, magazine interviews and pictorials! I remember being on the cover of Scream Queen Illustrated, issue 5 and I was at the Fangoria convention at the New York Roosevelt Hotel. There was a line around the corner waiting for the magazine to arrive by helicopter on the roof to buy and get my autograph! It was all sooo exciting! I was a movie star and my hand was so tired at the end of the day, but that didn’t interfere with the fabulous party after the show and dancing all night long!
CHRIS: I’ll mention one of your films from each decade. Give me the first thing that comes to mind with each:
Bruce Lee Fights Bach from the Grave (1976)
DEBORAH: Becoming a Kung-Fu fighter and was kidnapped a lot!
DEBORAH: Going into “golden time” and making unbelievable money. Also, it was the first film that used the “blue screen” effect!
CHRIS: Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold (1995)
DEBORAH: The fun I had with everyone on the set and the cool special effects!
CHRIS: Kill the Scream Queen (2004)
DEBORAH: Being tied up on the wooden cross being tortured. It was SO REAL! I was terrified!
CHRIS: Natural Born Filmmakers (2016)
DEBORAH: The Sex club location was awesome and the beautiful gold masquerade mask that I was given
CHRIS: Are there many film projects you’ve been in that were never completed?
DEBORAH: Yes,but I don’t want to mention the name. I have faith that they will get the financing to finish it!
CHRIS: Fair enough. Of all the appearances you’ve made at fan conventions and events, do you have a favorite?
DEBORAH: There have been sooo many awesome cons! I LOVE the Gotham Collectors Show in New York City, the Chiller Theater, the Fangoria Convention. Also the San Diego Comicon, where I was seated at a table and the fans lined up in a maze cordoned off by red velvet ropes. The champagne reception was phenomenal!
DEBORAH: I’ve been asked to sign almost everything,but my fave is when I signed over a fan’s heart ….both female and male!
CHRIS: When did you first start doing yoga?
DEBORAH: I first started yoga when I was nine years old. Back in the day it wasn’t well known and my mother would have private yoga sessions with her girlfriends by my grandmother’s indoor pool and garden, and I would go.
CHRIS: What else do you do to stay in such good shape?
DEBORAH: I Also LOVE swimming and dancing and do both almost every day!
CHRIS: How long did it take you to find your pastie that you lost while you were filming Hellcat’s Revenge?
DEBORAH: (Laughs) You’ve been talking to Donna Hamblin! I found it on the set pretty fast, no one knew!
CHRIS: You must have a huge wardrobe. Do you keep many of the outfits you’ve worn in films or in photo shoots?
DEBORAH: I have an ENORMOUS wardrobe and I use EVERYTHING as needed! I just got back from filming back east and I used my lingerie, heels and other wardrobe from various movies, photo shoots, and music videos from several years ago and bought a brand new outfit! Also, I have many different wigs that I wear as well. I’m remodeling my closets as we speak to make more room!
DEBORAH: My FAVORITE Photographer is David LaChapelle, whom I worked with on the Elton John music video, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road that we shot in 2007 at his Hollywood production studio and shown while Elton performed at Caesar’s Palace! Also, last month, I photographed with Immo Klink from London. He hired me for an international vintage Levis ad and then did a professional photo shoot, very artistic yet commercial, that he’s going to put on the Internet. But in all fairness, there are so many awesome and famous photographers that I’ve had the honor to work with, both here in LA, NYC, Philadelphia, and in Europe!
CHRIS: Do you have any hobbies or interests that most people don’t know about?
DEBORAH: My hobbies are writing both poetry and my autobiography, subconscious painting, palmistry and astrology!
CHRIS: With that, I’ll thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions, Deborah. In closing, any upcoming projects you’d like to mention or shout-outs to anyone?
DEBORAH: Finally, I want to say my most important film project to date is my movie, Hollywood Warrioress! I star and executive produced it and it has gotten worldwide distribution! It is a 90 minute, SAG feature action, sci-fi, fantasy/horror film! I humbly ask everyone to please check it out on Facebook and Amazon! It was an inspiration of mine and for ten years I challenged and overcame against ALL Odds to make my DREAM COME TRUE! Through my faith and my Buddhist practice of chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,” I made my dream come true!!
I started the sequel, “War of the Gods” in Vegas at the end of May 2017 and have a projected an October 2018 release and premier! Also, I want to promote the newest release, Hellcat’s Revenge, that Donna Hamblin is in and give credit to Len Kabasinski, a very talented filmmaker and lastly, I want to give credit to Jim Wynorski, who cast and directed me in the Roger Corman films in the 90s that made me a B movie star Scream Queen! So, I can encourage everyone to NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!! I Love you all and thank you Chris and Idol Features from deeper than the bottom of my heart for this golden opportunity to share my life, career, dreams, and my heart with you. I will treasure this golden memory in my heart forever!
CHRIS: That’s greatly appreciated and I’m flattered, Deborah! It’s really been my pleasure. Oh, just one last question: Donna Hamblin still has those smashed-up birthday cupcakes in her freezer that you wouldn’t let her throw out. She’d like to know if it’s okay for her to toss them out now or if she should still keep them?
DEBORAH: YES! TOSS them Donna! They were special birthday chocolate with a birthday ring on top and I wanted to celebrate Luc’s, mine, and Donna’s birthdays together in Vegas, which we did! We actually filmed the first scenes for the sequel of my movie Hollywood Warrioress: War of the Gods!
Left: From a poolside photo shoot earlier this year with Ox’s
Photography. Right: At the Tulare Sci-Fi Con last March.
her “magic” crystal. Right: A darker-haired Deborah from a late 1980s Playboy magazine pictorial.
Scene from the 1976 South Korean-made film Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave with Deborah learning some moves from Korean actor and martial artist, Jun Chong. Oddly, Deborah was credited as “Deborah Chaplin” in this film. When asked if that were a stage name she used early in her career, Deborah replied; “It’s ironic that the Korean film company gave me that name because, Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo were influential idols of mine as a young actress.”
Hollywood Warrioress: The Movie official trailer