VICTORIA VETRI Star of When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth – An interesting Life

Victoria Vetri aka Angela Dorian has led an interesting life to say the least. Although born to Italian parents and raised in the US she told us that she had actually never been to Italy. The highlight of her movie career would have been her starring role in the Hammer film When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth but she had an opportunity to reach even greater heights when she auditioned for the leading role in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita. 


In 1968, she was awarded the title of Playboy Playmate of the Year using the name Angela Dorian and she won a stack of prizes including a pink AMC AMX car. The Astronaut, Pete Conrad, apparently carried a Playboy photo of her during his Apollo 12 walk on the moon.


She had a co starring role in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968) and became a close friend of the Directors then wife Sharon Tate. In 1969 Sharon Tate was murdered by cult leader Charles Manson. Victoria (Angela) was devastated after the murder and lived in fear of Charles Manson so much so that Roman Polanski reportedly gave her his Glock 9mm handgun to her for protection following the shooting.


Years later, on October 16, 2010 she was charged with attempted murder, after she allegedly shot her husband of 25 years, Bruce Rathgeb, from close range in their Hollywood apartment. She reportedly used the same handgun that Roman Polanski had given her back in 1969. The Daily Mail reported Rathgeb said "There is no doubt about it. I took the bullet meant for Charles Manson" but there are other versions for the motivation behind the shooting which remain unclear.


She pled no contest to charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to nine years in prison. In April, 2018 she was released to begin her parole and she has appeared at signings at various Autograph shows since then.


Victoria autographed a When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth daybill for us in Los Angeles in June 2019. The daybill for this Hammer classic is hard enough to find but to find it with the autograph of the star makes it quite unique. All our autographed daybills carry the best provenance – we photograph the stars actually signing the poster and we also publish the time and venue when it was signed. This certainly beats dodgy Certificates of Authenticity!

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)
Director: Val Guest
Writers: Val Guest (written for the screen by), J.G. Ballard (treatment by) (as J.B. Ballard)
Stars: Victoria Vetri, Robin Hawdon, Patrick Allen

Set in the ancient past when humans and dinosaurs lived together, a small tribe is struggling to survive by giving a sacrifice of a blond woman to their god, the sun.

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