Susan Strasberg was the daughter of Method-acting guru Lee Strasberg; her father's reputation preceded her throughout her career. "From the day I first arrived in London to make Taste of Fear people have pestered me about this Method business," she told Hammer's publicist Dennison Thornton in 1960.
Strasberg was, by her own admission, "born into the theatre" and made her Broadway debut at the age of fifteen in The Diary of Anne Frank. She was just twenty-two when she starred in Taste of Fear, but had already enjoyed critical acclaim after appearing in films both in Europe and the United States. She was living in Rome when first approached by Hammer Film Productions Limited.
During production of Taste of Fear at Elstree Studios, Strasberg's mother initially exerted a persuasive influence over her daughter's performance. Susan Strasberg's convincing portrayal of the mysterious Penny Appleby ultimately enriched a film that has since been recognised as the finest thriller ever produced by Hammer.