The actress, dubbed the Queen of Horror for her roles in classic Hammer films throughout the 1970s, collapsed in London last week (end21Nov10) on her way to a fan event. She passed away on Tuesday morning (23Nov10).
A statement from her daughter Steffanie Pitt reads, "It was heart trouble. She had a couple of bad years, health-wise, but she had fought through. Anyone who knew my mother would say she was incredibly feisty and determined to make a good fist of everything she wanted to do."
Throughout her career Pitt played numerous onscreen seductresses in films including The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula, and she also appeared in 1973 classic The Wicker Man alongside Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee.
The Wicker Man director, Robin Hardy, has been among the first to pay tribute to the actress, stating, "She was a very attractive person in every sense. She was a perfectly good actress but a very decent person as well."
Born Ingoushka Petrov in Poland, Pitt spent three years of her childhood in a Nazi concentration camp before making her name on the East Berlin stage in Germany before becoming a film star in Spain in the mid-1960s.
Her big screen break came in 1968 when she was cast as an undercover agent opposite Clint Eastwood in war movie Where Eagles Dare.
Two years later, she made her first Hammer Horror as vampire Mircalla in The Vampire Lovers (1970). She played a bloodsucker again a year later (71) in horror classics The House That Dripped Blood and Countess Dracula.
The roles helped to turn Pitt into a horror icon and she went on to become a regular at conventions, where her devoted fan club, The Pitt of Horror, would always make sure she was a fixture.
Aside from acting, Pitt has written several horror books and released her autobiography, Life's A Scream, in 1999.