Tura Satana (born July 10, 1935)was a Japanese-born American actress and former exotic dancer. Known for her role as “Varla” in Russ Meyer’s 1965 cult film, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.
When asked if she had any words to live by, she replied “One of the things that I always said, and it was one of my father’s favorite sayings, ‘Always be good to the people on the way up, because you’re going to meet them on the way down.’ I have always lived by that philosophy.
“The one thing you’ve got to remember is that you just never accept defeat. Remember to never let life get you down, because there is always something new to learn tomorrow. Life is to be lived, and lived well.”
Jose and the Faster Pussycats
Tura Satana - Miss Japan Beautiful: as scanned from the July 1957 issue of Cabaret Magazine.
Tura was born Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan 10 July 1938. Tura’s heritage was quite diverse; her father was of Japanese, and possibly Filipino, descent and her mother was American Indian and Scots-Irish. The family was residing in the United States during WWII, and due to her father’s Japanese heritage, they were forced to reside in an internment camp in Lone Pine, California. After the end of the war, and release from the camp, the family would settle in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of 13 she ran away from home with intentons of becoming a blues singer. When that did not pan out, Tura began modeling and eventually burlesque dancing. Later she would pair up with Russ Meyer to make the cult classic film, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
I can’t believe that the Alamo Drafthouse has been doing Rolling Roadshows for 10 years now! This is Tura Satana, the powerhouse who laughed and kicked her way through Russ Meyer’s Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, and whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the very first Rolling Roadshow, held at the old racetrack near Austin-Bergstrom Airport in the spring of 2002. She was super nice, and when I wrote her an email later thanking her, her reply was even more so. (RIP, you fabulous woman.)
(Scenes from: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, 1965 and The Astro-Zombies, 1969).
“I never try anything. I just do it.”
*Varla aka Tura Satana from Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
My tribute piece for the Tura Satana show September 15th at the M Modern Gallery in Palm Springs, CA. To do this piece has been a long time coming. I just needed a reason to do it.
I first heard of Tura and the Faster Pussycat! movie about thirteen years ago after a co-worker saw how I had an interest in pin-up. He mentioned the movie to me, asking me if I’ve ever seen it? ( I hadn’t ) it wasn’t until years later a bootleg copy of the movie ( before it was available on dvd ) was purchased and a love for Tura was born.
Check out the list of contributing artists and the show. It looks like it’s going to be a blast.
If you’re in the California area, check out the Tura! Tura! Tura! II tribute show! TONS of fantastic art by incredible artists and apparently some guest appearances! I contributed a piece for the show, go check it out!
sweet shirt, i kNo~