Pine Bluff native Keaton known for horror films

Three new welcome signs greet travelers coming into Pine Bluff.
Three new welcome signs greet travelers coming into Pine Bluff.

Camille Keaton is a Pine Bluff native known for her work in the horror genre with films like "I Spit on Your Grave" and "Savage Vengeance."

Keaton was born on July 20, 1947, in Pine Bluff. In 1960, she and her family moved from Eudora, Ark., to Atlanta. In 1971, she relocated to Italy, signed with a talent agent and appeared in several commercials.

In 1972, she starred as the lead actress in "What Have You Done to Solange?" a murder mystery film by Italian director Massimo Dallamano. Although a relatively small role, her physique garnered her immediate attention.

"She truly steals every scene she's in, simply drifting in and out of each of her scenes, her face and mannerisms mysterious and alluring," said American talent manager and film producer Robert Marcucci.

Later that year, she appeared in "Tragic Ceremony," an Italian horror movie. In November 1972, Keaton was a centerfold in Playmen, an Italian men's entertainment magazine. In September 1974, she was on the cover. In 1975, she moved back to the United States, settling in New York City.

In 1978, she appeared in the controversial slasher film "I Spit on Your Grave" about a rape victim who takes vengeance on her attackers. That year she attended the Sitges-Catalan International Film Festival in Spain, where she won the Medalla Sitges en Plata de Ley (Sitges Sterling Silver Medal) Best Actress award.

In 1979, she married Meir Zarchi, the director of "I Spit on Your Grave," and moved to Los Angeles shortly after the film's release. Keaton and Zarchi divorced in 1982. In the 1980s, Keaton's career slowed down, so she worked as a hostess on an Amtrak train. In the late '80s, she met Donald Farmer, a director of unique "cult horror movies." She starred in two of his horror films, "No Justice" and "Savage Vengeance."

On March 20, 1993, she married film producer Sidney Luft, who was formerly married to actress Judy Garland. The two remained married until his death in 2005.

In 2012, Keaton appeared in an uncredited role in Rob Zombie's "The Lords of Salem." Her most recent films include "Plan 9," "Terror in Woods Creek," and Samuel Farmer's home-invasion thriller "The Last House." In 2015, she reprised her role as Jennifer Hill in "I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu," the sequel to 1978's "I Spit on Your Grave."

In 2019, on the day of the film's Blu-ray release, it was in the top 100 films on It was also No. 1 in the horror category. Though film critics gave the film negative reviews, Keaton and Jamie Bernadette, one of the film's original stars, received rave reviews for their performances. Keaton still makes appearances at horror conventions across the U.S. to promote her work and connect with her fans.

This article is from, a program of the Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission. Sources: -- Camille Keaton; -- Camille Keaton Trivia; -- I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu.

This story was written by Ninfa O. Barnard for

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