Stunningly comely and slinky brunette Lina Romay rates highly as one of the most bold, sensuous, and enticing actresses to ever appear with tremendous frequency in a large volume of European horror and exploitation features made from the early 1970's to the present day. Romay was born as Rosa Maria Almirall on June 25, 1954 in Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain.
Her cinematic pseudonym was taken from a singer/actress in mambo king Xavier Cugat's band in the 1940's. Following graduation from high school Romay studied the arts, married actor/photographer Raymond Hardy (they later divorced), and began acting in stage productions. Lina first met infamous and prolific maverick Spanish independent filmmaker Jess Franco in the early 1970's. Romay and Franco eventually became a couple. Although they never officially tied the knot, Romay was Franco's common law wife.
Lina made her film debut as a gypsy girl in The Erotic Rites Of Frankenstein
. She had small parts in a few other Franco movies before playing more substantial lead and co-starring roles. (Romay acted in over a hundred Franco films.) Despite her lack of formal training, Lina nonetheless naturally projected an extremely brazen, earthy and uninhibited screen presence that's both alluring and captivating in equal measure. In fact, Romay's open, unabashed and downright aggressive sexuality led to her willing and enthusiastic participation in explicit scenes in hardcore porno fare. Lina's most memorable roles include the voracious Countess Irina Karlstein in Female Vampire
, brutalized innocent Maria in the sensationally sleazy Barbed Wire Dolls
, vicious top con Juana in the similarly scuzzy Ilsa, The Wicked Warden
, especially inspired in a dual part in Doriana Gray
, and bawdy prostitute Marika in the gloomy Jack The Ripper
Romay posed for nude pictorials in such men's magazines as Cinema X
and Sex Stars System
. In addition to acting, Lina worked on a handful of films as a writer, director, producer and assistant editor. In real life Lina Romay was the total radical opposite of her wild and outrageous screen persona: she was very quiet, soft-spoken and self-effacing woman who usually dresses in frumpy clothes.
On February 15, 2012, Lina died, aged 57, from cancer in Málaga, Spain.
From the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).