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

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