Haji, Star of Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill!, Is Dead
08/11/2013 AT 08:30 AM EDT
Her Double-D Avenger costar Kitten Natividad shared the news of her passing on her Facebook page on Saturday. No cause of death was given.
The voluptuous raven-haired actress best known for her role as Rosie in the 1965 Russ Meyer film was born Barbarella Catton in Quebec City and was an exotic dancer at the age of 14 before moving to California and working as a performer in a topless bar, where she was discovered by the director (a former Playboy photographer).
"I was dancing at a nightclub and someone sent Russ to see me," Haji recalled in a 2005 interview. [He] said he was a director with a small part in a film, and would I read for it … [I] ended up getting the lead. This terrified me. Before I had never even considered acting."
In addition to playing one of his go-go dancing vixens, Haji also helped the director behind the scenes as a casting director and production assistant.
She went on to star in four more of his sexploitation films, including 1970's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which was written by the movie critic Roger Ebert, who died this year. (Meyer died in 2004).
Her career tapered off in the 1970s, but she returned to acting in The Double-D Avenger in 2001, and followed it up two years later with a role in Killer Drag Queens on Dope, as a character named Moonji.