Actress Tura Satana died yesterday in Reno, Nev., according to the New York Times. Satana appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, including Billy Wilder’s 1963 film Irma la Douce. The colorful and curvaceous actress also worked as an exotic dancer and once turned down a proposal of marriage from Elvis Presley. But it was her role as the sexy, violent Varla in Russ Meyer’s 1965 film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! which would ultimately turn her into a cult icon as, over time, the movie acquired an army of diehard fans. John Waters once described the film as ”the best movie ever made, and possibly better than any movie that will ever be made.”

“A woman, like my character, was able to show the male species that we’re not helpless and not entirely dependent on them,” Satana said of Varla, in 2008. “People picked up on the fact that women could be gorgeous and sexy and still kick a–.”

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