French-Canadian-born actress Barbarella Catton, also known as Haji, has died at the age of 67. The news was revealed via a Facebook post by the actress Francesca Natividad, writing Friday, “Today I lost my dear friend Haji… I love you and miss you so so much… RIP.”
Best known for her role in the 1965 cult classic Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, filmmaker Russ Meyer discovered Catton working as a dancer in a club and asked her to read for a small role in his film Motor Psycho (1965), in which she was eventually cast, according to BBC.
Haji revealed in an interview that she “didn't know the first thing about acting,” but that Meyer, “told me, 'Don't worry baby, just stick with me. I'll teach you everything.' So I just sort of did it, I wasn't terrific, but it was fun.”
In Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Haji played one of three dancers who go on a murder spree. Quentin Tarantino has cited the film as an inspiration and it remains a favorite in the art house film circuit nearly five decades later. Haji also appeared in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and John Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Her final film role was in Killer Drag Queens on Dope in 2003 and she continued to perform live burlesque up until last year.