Saturday, April 25, 2015

#77 Sally Todd

Sally Todd was your typical Playboy Playmate turned B movie actress. Her very short career (19 credits over five years) did, however, manage to include turns with stars such as Red Skelton, Jerry Lewis, and Elvis – as well as some primo Z-grade schlock. Sorry – not a lot on her out there.

Embarrassing Real Name:  Sally Jo Todd

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Boone, MO

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Miss Tucson Beauty

Embarrassing Movies
  • The Unearthly *
  • Frankenstein’s Daughter *
  • The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Serpent *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • Lured! To the house of monsters ...
  • It reaches from the grave to re-live the horror, the terror!
  • An army of mutants on a mission from hell!
  • Fabulous! Spectacular! Terrifying! The raw courage of women without men lost in a fantastic Hell-on-Earth!

Embarrassing Characters

  • First Girl
  • Beautiful Girl
  • Chorus Girl
  • Bar Girl

Shortest Marriage:  Less than a year

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends

  • Peter Lawford
  • Jack Webb
  • JFK

Whiffs of Scandal

  • Posed for Playboy
  • Also appeared in mags such as Focus, Brief, Bachelor & Sir Knight
  • DWI accident involving four other cars

Interesting Tidbits

  • Was a very popular model
  • Appeared on a number of album covers
  • Currently owns an antique shop in Big Sur

Where can I learn more?   

What's a B movie career without a still with Tor Johnson?

<#78          #76>

Saturday, April 18, 2015

#78 Joan Staley

Joan Staley did things a little differently. Though most people assume she was a Playmate and then became an actress, it was actually the other way around.

Not a bad actress at all, she garnered 61 credits over a 22-year career, including lots of TV, a couple of appearances as an Elvis babe, and bit parts in biggies such as Ocean’s Eleven, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Cape Fear.

She’s rather an interesting person – be sure to check out the “interesting tidbits,” below.

Embarrassing Real Name:  Joan McConchie

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Minneapolis

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Hollywood Deb Star, 1962

Embarrassing Movies
  • Witchcraft a Go Go
  • Valley of the Dragons
  • The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (my all-time favorite movie as a kid) *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • They go a million years back in time ... and land a million miles out in space!
  • Space travelers in a world that time forgot!
  • Mastodons! Dinosaurs! Flying reptiles! Humankind makes its last stand!
  • Battle for survival – against brutal, bestial Neanderthals!
  • Subterranean mole-men inflicting weird tortures on all captives!
And all from Valley of the Dragons.

Joan and friend

Embarrassing Characters
  • Danish Stewardess
  • Prostitute addict
  • Okie Annie
  • Tiger

Whiffs of Scandal:  Playboy Playmate (though being Miss November 1958 means she didn’t even have to get naked)

Interesting Tidbits
  • Was born aboard an airplane
  • Was a child prodigy in the violin
  • First appeared on film as such at age 8
  • Her parents were missionaries, and her father was later an Army chaplain
  • Attended high school in  Munich and Paris
  • Had a decent voice and sang backup for Sam Phillips
  • Is now a consumer advocate and religious counselor for troubled youth

Where can I learn more?    

That's Mr. Chicken on the left

<#79          #77>

Friday, April 10, 2015

#79 Mimsy Farmer

Mimsy Farmer’s an interesting one. She started out as your typical ‘60s drive-in movie babe –– poufy blond hair, hot rod and biker flicks, youth-gone-wild stuff (check out her acid trip on YouTube) …

At some point, though, she did a complete turnaround – cutting her hair and starring in artsy European stuff as an anorexic-looking waif who wanders around with her clothes off. Examples of the latter include The Perfume of the Lady in Black, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, and Her Fragrant Emulsion. Here’s a description of another:

Immigrants Luigi and Lafayette work for Andreas Flaxman at his wax museum in Lower Manhattan. Luigi, an asthmatic middle-aged romantic, works as an artist/sculptor while Lafayette functions as a jack-of-all trades for Flaxman, who is obsessed with Ancient Rome, a preoccupation that most of his exhibits reflect. Lafayette lives in a rat-infested basement some blocks away and carries a whistle with which to scare the rodents, which seem to be endemic to the area. He also works as a stagehand for a feminist theater group in their Off-Off Broadway theater where he suffers their sexist abuses including being forced to wear a leotard. Angelica, one of the beautiful actresses in the troupe is attracted to him, and they begin a relationship. At the same time Luigi comes across a 50-foot model of King Kong in a Hudson River landfill, apparently discarded after the 1976 movie version of King Kong. There he finds an orphaned baby chimpanzee which he takes to be the giant simian's son. (IMDb)

Now retired from le cinema, Mme. Farmer lives in France and works as a sculptress. We’ll forgive her for all that, though, and include her here, based solely on her earlier work.

Embarrassing Real Name:  Merle Farmer (Mimsy was given by her mother and comes from the Lewis Carroll poem The Jabberwocky)

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Hollywood Deb Star, 1963

Embarrassing Movies

  • The Wild Racers
  • Riot on Sunset Strip
  • Devil’s Angels *
  • Hot Rods to Hell
  • Gidget Goes Hawaiian
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • The motorcycle gangs take a back seat when these young animals clear the road for excitement!
  • Meet the Hippies ... the Teenyboppers with their too-tight capris ... and the Pot-Partygoers – out for a new thrill ... a new kick!
  • Their god is violence. And – like rabid dogs ... Lust is the law they live by!

Embarrassing Characters

  • Peachy Keane
  • Miss Permamint
  • The Woman

Interesting Tidbits

  • Her parents were newspaper reporters
  • She came close to replacing Sandra Dee as Gidget

Where can I learn more?

Mimsy Farmer:  The Later Years

<#80          #78>

Saturday, April 4, 2015

#80 Roberta Collins

Some guy on IMDb really likes Roberta Collins. He calls her a “brassy ‘n beautiful blonde,” “fiery ‘n feisty,” and “tall, leggy, shapely and radiant.” He also cites her “earthy good humor, boundless vitality, superior acting ability, strong, forceful personality and smoldering sex appeal.” Actually, I couldn’t agree more.

Embarrassing Real Name:  Roberta Lee Hefley

Cheesy Pageant Titles

  • Miss El Monte
  • National Orange Show Girl
  • Miss Lake Havasu
  • Miss Marine Recruiter
  • Brackett Air Show Queen

Embarrassing Movies

  • Terror on the Beach *
  • Caged Heat 
  • Women in Cages *
  • Death Race 2000
  • Eaten Alive
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • A locker room look at the toughest broads in the world!
  • Soft young girls behind hard prison bars
  • White Hot Desires melting cold prison steel!
  • Naked lust that builds to a climax of death

Embarrassing Characters

  • Alcott
  • Stoke
  • Matilda the Hun

Whiffs of Scandal:  Her son committed suicide

Untimely Demise:  From an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol

Interesting Tidbits:  Started her career as a fitting room model (whatever that happens to be)

Where can I learn more?   

<#81          #79>