Ewa Brigitta Aulin (born 13 February 1950 in Landskrona, Skåne County) is a former Swedish actress who appeared in a number of Italian and some American films in the 1960s and 1970s. She is remembered for playing the title character in the cult film Candy where she appeared alongside such stars as John Huston, Ringo Starr, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando. She is known to horror film fans for 3 genre films she starred in...Death Smiles at a Murderer, Death Laid an Egg and Ceremonia Sangrienta (aka Legend of Blood Castle).
Ewa Aulin first rose to fame in her native Sweden when she won the title of Miss Teen Sweden in 1965 at age 15. In the same year Aulin had been approached by Gunnar Fischer to appear as the young girl in his short film, Djävulen's Instrument (The Devil's Instrument). Subsequently, she went on to represent Sweden in the first ever Miss Teen International pageant, which was held on April 6, 1966 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Aulin won; thereby earning the title of Miss Teen International 1966.
Aulin's success as Miss Teen International attracted attention not only in Sweden, where she appeared on the popular entertainment show Hylands Hörna, but also in Italy, and in 1967 at age 16 she made her feature-film debut with a supporting role in the comedy Don Giovanni in Sicilia (Don Juan in Sicily), based on the novel by Vitaliano Brancati. This film led to a movie star career for Aulin that would last a little more than 6 years, starting with leading roles in two notable giallo films; the pop art-style Col cuore in gola (With Heart in Mouth, 1967) directed by Tinto Brass, and the bizarre avant-garde-inspired La morte ha fatto l'uovo (Death Laid an Egg, 1968) directed by Giulio Questi. Aulin's co-star in both these films was the acclaimed actor Jean-Louis Trintignant.
In late 1967, Aulin was cast as the title character in her most famous film, the American-Italian-French co-production Candy, directed by Christian Marquand. Aulin learnt that she had the role only the day before filming began in early December 1967. The story involves Aulin's character's search for the meaning of life, which leads to encounters with a variety of different men and always ends in a sexual situation. In spite of the presence of such big names as Marlon Brando, Ringo Starr, and Richard Burton, the film did poorly in America and failed to make an international star out of Aulin. It was more successful in Europe and has gained some popularity as a cult film in later years. Aulin, in particular received praise for performance in the film; earning a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer but she lost to Olivia Hussey for Romeo and Juliet. As a consequence of her appearance in this role, Aulin was stereotyped as something of a 'Blonde Nymphet' by people in the film industry who did not appreciate her desire to be accepted as a professional actress. This stereotype would be something that would overshadow the rest of her career and cause her to appear only in predominantly Italian films as of 1970.
The only other American film Aulin appeared in was Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), a comedy of errors set during the French Revolution. Aulin played a supporting role as Christina of Belgium, and the film starred Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland, but just like Candy, the film did little business in America.
Later in the same year Aulin starred in the experimental film Microscopic Liquid Subway to Oblivion, which was written, produced and directed by Aulin's husband, British writer-director John Shadow, whom she had married secretly in Mexico in early 1968 and who was the father of her son, Shawn, born in 1969. The film itself was barely released anywhere in the world, and Aulin and John Shadow later divorced in 1972.
After this, Aulin only appeared in Italian films. Many of her films were sex comedies set in the Middle Ages but she also managed to make more impact in drama and thriller films. She played one of the leads in the giallo The Double (1971) directed by Romolo Guerrieri, as well as leading roles in Quando l'amore è sensualità (When Love is Lust, 1973) and Jorge Grau's Ceremonia Sangriento (1973), played an undead avenging angel in Joe D'Amato's gothic horror film La morte ha sorriso all'assassino (Death Smiles at a Murderer, 1973) and also appeared in the thriller Una vita lunga un giorno (Long Lasting Days, 1973) all in the same year.
However, feeling unfulfilled with acting, Aulin remarried a builder named Cesare Paladino in 1974 and abandoned her acting career at age 24 to enroll at university and fulfill her childhood ambition of becoming a teacher. Since her retirement, she has only appeared in one other film, Mi fai un favore (Stella's Favor, 1996) in a supporting role.
- Don Juan in Sicily (1967, director: Alberto Lattuada)
- Col cuore in gola (1967, director: Tinto Brass)
- Candy (1968, director: Christian Marquand)
- Death Laid an Egg (1968, director: Giulio Questi)
- Start the Revolution Without Me (1970, director: Bud Yorkin)
- Microscopic Liquid Subway to Oblivion (1970, director: John Shadow)
- The Double (1971, director: Romolo Guerrieri)
- This Kind of Love (1972, director: Alberto Bevilacqua)
- Rosina Fumo viene in città... per farsi il corredo (1972, director: Claudio Gora)
- Fiorina la vacca (1972, director: Vittorio De Sisti)
- My Pleasure Is Your Pleasure (1973, director: Claudio Racca)
- Death Smiles at a Murderer (1973, director: Joe D'Amato)
- Ceremonia sangrienta (1973, director: Jorge Grau)
- When Love is Lust (1973, director: Vittorio De Sisti)
- Long Lasting Days (1973, director: Ferdinando Baldi)
- Stella's Favor (1996, director: Giancarlo Scarchilli)