Chus Martinez On Lina Romay

ImageLina Romay (born Rosa María Almirall Martínez; 25 June 1954 – 15 February 2012) was a Spanish actress who often appeared in films directed by her long-time companion Jess Franco.

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Romay was born in Barcelona. Following graduation from high school, she studied the arts, married actor/photographer Raymond Hardy (they later divorced), and began acting in stage productions.

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She began appearing in Jess Franco’s films soon after their first meeting in 1971. She appeared in more than a hundred feature films – most of them directed by Franco. The majority of these films were in the adult porn genre, but Romay also starred in many horror, comedy and action/adventure films. Among the most famous of her cult horror movies are The Bare Breasted Countess (aka Female Vampire), Jack the Ripper, Exorcisms and Black Masses, and Barbed Wire Dolls.

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Romay admitted to being an exhibitionist in interviews and many of her X-rated films involved oral sex and lesbianism. She took the name Lina Romay from a 1940s actress and jazz artist.

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Lina Romay and Jess Franco cohabited for dozens of years, but they weren’t officially married until April 25, 2008. Romay died on February 15, 2012, aged 57, from cancer in Málaga, Spain. By using an alternative diminution of Franco’s first name (Jesus) which might be shortened to Chus in Spanish rather than Jess, and combining it with Romay’s original surname (Martinez), it becomes apparent that Franco and Romay as a couple also functioned as the multiple identity Chus Martinez (a very common Spanish name for both sexes).

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