Friday, May 29, 2015

#72 Barbara Rush *

* - author has her autograph

“The epitome of poise, charm, style, and grace” (IMDb), Barbara Rush nonetheless managed to appear in some real turkeys. A decent actress, she actually got a Golden Globe for one of them, the classic It Came from Outer Space.

Barbara switched to TV about halfway through her career, notching 110 total credits before retiring less than ten years ago. TV credits feature plenty of cheese as well, including All My Children, Fantasy Island, Batman (as the villainess Nora Clavicle), and many more.

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Star of the Future, COMPO National Audience Award

Embarrassing Movies

  • Taza, Son of Cochise
  • Moon of the Wolf *
  • Strategy of Terror
  • It Came from Outer Space
  • It Conquered the World * (and in that order)
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • Fantastic sights leap at you!
  • In scientifically perfected, eye-resting, full sepia Monocolor!
  • XENOMORPHS INVADE OUR WORLD! They can look like humans or change to objects of awesome terror!
And all from It Came from Outer Space!

With ex Jeffrey Hunter

Number of Marriages:  3

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends

  • Writer Budd Schulberg
  • Playwright Clifford Odets
  • Hotelier Conrad Hilton
  • Actor Ben Gazzara

Interesting Tidbits
  • Discovered by Billy Wilder at a local playhouse
  • Her daughter Claudia is on the air with Fox News
  • Got a mention in Shampoo when Warren Beatty said “Barbara Rush? I do her hair.”

Where can I learn more?

Big hair!

<#73          #71> 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

#73 Dorothy Hart

An elegant and statuesque brunette, Dorothy Hart never really got the break she wanted. She deserted Hollywood in frustration after five years and about 15 credits of supporting roles in A’s and starring roles in B’s. She then did a couple of years of sporadic TV work in New York (including quiz shows), then gave it all up for “more meaningful” work with the Red Cross and U.N. (Seriously now, though, what could be more meaningful than Tarzan’s Savage Fury?)

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Cleveland

Cheesy Pageant Titles

  • Homecoming Queen, Case Western Reserve
  • National Cover Girl, Columbia Pictures
  • Air Races Queen

Embarrassing Movies

  • Vacancy for a Death
  • The Naked City
  • Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison
  • I Was a Communist for the FBI *
  • Tarzan’s Savage Fury
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • A Musical Ice-Travaganza!
  • Sensation-Upon-Sensation! The whole undercover operation of the most danger-laden assignment in the entire history of the F.B.I.!

Embarrassing Characters

  • Helena Glory
  • Jane (yup, that Jane)
  • The New Terpsichore

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends

  • John Randolph Hearst (son of William Randolph Hearst)
  • William S. Paley (CEO of CBS)

Interesting Tidbits
  • Had a BA from Case Western Reserve
  • Was a cover girl for Cosmopolitan, McCalls, and Esquire
  • Made the best-dressed list of Vogue and Harper's Bazzar
  • Was photographed by Cecil Beaton and sketched by Matisse
  • Not to be confused with Dolores Hart, an Elvis babe who became a nun

Where can I learn more?

 Have a  creepy Easter!

<#74          #72>

Saturday, May 16, 2015

#74 Lynn Merrick

Lynn Merrick was a sultry-looking brown-eyed blonde (a knockout combination, but not a very typical one). She was in plenty of oaters (as the sweetheart), but also got in some other B-grade genre pieces as well. Her entire career lasted only about seven years, though she did manage to bag 45 big-screen credits in that short time.

Real Name:  Marilyn Llewellyn (too many L’s?)

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Fort Worth

Cheesy Pageant Titles

  • Zoom Girl, San Diego Naval Air Station Torpedo Shop
  • Baby Star, Western Association of Motion Pictures Advertisers
  • The Perfect Figure Girl

Embarrassing Movies

  • Meet Miss Bobby Sox
  • Youth on Parade
  • The Gay Vagabond
  • Dangerous Blondes
  • Escape from Terror

Inadvertently Suggestive Taglines

  • A Gay Threesome OUT FOR FUN!

Rather Odd Taglines

  • IT'S A CYCLONE OF SIX-GUNS! A blitzkrieg of bullets and badmen!
  • The Strange Case of the HAUNTED Lighthouse!
  • Blazing Action in the Land of Thrills as the First Telegraph Goes Up in the West!
  • Marked NG by the MVD!

Boring Characters

  • Joan Perry
  • Caroline Johnson
  • Betty Dixon
  • Linda Weaver
  • Mary Phillips
  • Barbara Taylor
  • Helen Carter
  • Susan Parker
  • Ruth Norton
  • Sue Martin

Shortest Marriage:  2 years

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends

  • John Ringling North (of the circus family)
  • Marquess of Milford Haven

Whiffs of Scandal

  • Suicide attempt
  • 1st husband was 25 years her senior
  • Eloped w/ 2nd husband
  • 2nd husband disowned by mother, Princess Riabouchinsky of Florence, when he married her

Interesting tidbits
  • AKA Marilyn Merrick
  • Originally a model, and then later an executive director at Barbizon
  • No relation to Doris

Where can I learn more?

Possibly the weirdest pic in this whole blog

<#75          #73>

Saturday, May 9, 2015

#75 Leslie Parrish / Marjorie Hellen

Many actresses adopt stage names. Mostly, though, they do so to ditch something ugly and embarrassing (Irma Plotz, say) for something chic and glamorous (Destinee LePlume anyone?). They also seem to adopt that stage name early in their career, then stick with it.

Not our Leslie/Marjorie though. First of all, I really just can’t detect any difference between the two. Was Leslie more fashionable in 1959 (when she made the change) and Marjorie hopelessly déclassé? Did having two first names spell cinematic doom?

Second of all, Marjorie/Leslie already had 15 credits and five years’ worth of work under the old name. Talk about switching ponies in the central part of the creek, huh? (Did I get that right?)

Be that as it may, Marjorie/Leslie Hellen/Parrish was a stunner, with particularly attractive reddish-gold hair, a knockout figure, and a pert little nose. She was actually in some bigger movies (Lil’ Abner and The Manchurian Candidate), but – as Wikipedia puts it – “she made a number of films of the B-movie and science fiction genres.”

In particular, she was a Bond babe (actually, a pilot in Pussy Galore’s flight school in Goldfinger), a Star Trek sweetie, and a Batman beauty as well (as Glacia Glaze). That’s like a B babe trifecta!

Real Name:  Marjorie Hellen (she legally changed her name to Leslie Parrish in 1959)

Unglamorous Real Birthplace:  Melrose, MA

Cheesy Pageant Titles

  • Hollywood Deb Star, 1959
  • Queen, 1955 California Ceramic Hobby Show

Embarrassing Movies

  • Missile to the Moon *
  • The Invisible Strangler *
  • The Giant Spider Invasion *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • The first day brought the CANDY MAN ... the second day brought TERROR!
  • They're the dregs of the prisons... scum of the chain-gangs... welded into a shock squad to smash an Underworld Empire the law can't touch!
  • Lunar She-Devils Lure Earthmen into Their Lair of Doom!
  • A Giant Fiendish Creature!
  • Unmatched terror in a jungle of lust and forgotten souls!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Ev
  • Zema
  • Daisy Mae
  • Daisy June
  • Mary Lou Mauve
  • Sunny Golden
  • Bubbles LaPeer

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends:  Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Interesting Tidbits

  • Promising piano student at Philadelphia Conservatory of Music
  • Was human test pattern for testing of color TV transmission at NBC
  • One of first female producers in Hollywood
  • Active in protesting the Vietnam War and other social causes (and actually got clubbed by the police)
  • Lived with husband Richard Bach on an island off the Oregon coast

Where can I learn more?

Hello pretty lady

<#76          #74>

Friday, May 1, 2015

#76 Doris Merrick

Beautiful blonde Doris Merrick had a career of 13 years, but only compiled 21 credits in that time. She seems to have done mostly light comedy in her early career, later branching out into more B grade stuff.  It’s a pity there’s isn’t more out there on her.

Embarrassing Real Name:  Doris Simpson

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Chicago’s Playsuit Girl

Embarrassing Movies

  • Sensation Hunters
  • Child of Divorce
  • Untamed Women
  • The Neanderthal Man *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • Mike Shayne in a killer-diller of a chiller-diller ... with no time out to count the corpses!
  • THE DRAMA OF A GIRL'S DEGRADATION ... through the evil influences of a SOUL-DESTROYING POWER!
  • What primitive passions ... what mad desires drove him on? He held them all in the grip of deadly terror ... nothing could keep him from the woman he claimed as his own!

Number of Marriages: 3

Whiffs of Scandal:  First marriage at age 17

Interesting Tidbits

  • One of ten children
  • Tried out “Beth Drake” before settling on “Doris Merrick”
  • No relation to Lynn
  • Will celebrate her 96th birthday in June

Where can I learn more?

<#77          #75>