Friday, July 31, 2015

#63 Francine York

Francine York was a typical ‘70s babe with big hair and even bigger … well … um … you know. Francine got the acting bug at age nine, when she stole the show – as one of the evil stepsisters – from Cinderella. She then put in her time twirling batons, doing pageants, modeling, and being a show girl. 150 credits and a 50-year-career later (including a stint as an Elvis girl as well as lots of classic TV), she’s still going strong – and looking great – today.

Embarrassing Real Name:  Francine Yerich

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Aurora, MN

Cheesy Pageant Titles

  • Miss Eveleth (MN)
  • Miss San Francisco

Embarrassing Movies

  • The Centerfold Girls
  • Wild Ones on Wheels
  • Mutiny in Outer Space *
  • Curse of the Swamp Creature *
  • Astro Zombies: M-3 Cloned
  • Space Probe Taurus
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • The most beautiful girls in the world! He was their JUDGE... JURY... and EXECUTIONER!
  • Astounding adventure from the center of the moon!
  • Horror so incredible it stretches the mind of man beyond the breaking point

Embarrassing Characters

  • Wendy Wendkoski
  • Nurse Norma
  • Lydia Limpet
  • Queen Medusa

Interesting Tidbits

  • Was active in 4H and won several blue ribbons for cooking, up to the state level
  • Was a favorite of Jerry Lewis
  • Once portrayed Marilyn Monroe onscreen (in the classic Marilyn: Alive and Behind Bars)
  • Never married

Where can I learn more? 

Nice, um, er, hat?

<#64          #62>

Friday, July 24, 2015

#64 Triple Feature: Debra Paget / Lisa Gaye / Teala Loring

Now here’s a real stage family. And in addition to the three sisters, we also have a brother (the makeup artist Ruell Shayne) and a mom-and-dad vaudeville act. As for the sisters, Debra was the glamorous one, Lisa was the steady one, and Teala was the obscure one. 

Debra Paget

Embarrassing Real Name:  Debralee Griffin

Cheesy Pageant Titles

  • Azalea Queen
  • Miss Sonic Boom
  • Most Glamorous Chassis
  • Chinchilla Queen

Embarrassing Movies
  • Demetrius and the Gladiators
  • From the Earth to the Moon
  • Tales of Terror
  • The Haunted Palace
  • Mother Is a Freshman

Embarrassing Taglines
  • The storming, slashing, sweeping saga of history's fabulous pirate queen!
  • See the Stampede of 3000 Angry Buffalo!!!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Taura
  • Kalua
  • Shila, Cleopatra's Daughter
  • Seetha the Sheeva dancer
  • Sonseeahray
  • Appearing Day

Number of Marriages:  3

Shortest Marriage:  4 months

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
  • Howard Hughes
  • Elvis

Whiffs of Scandal:  
  • Mom was a burlesque queen
  • Her “Egyptian dance,” from Princess of the Nile was extremely racy for the mid-50s (YouTube)

Interesting Tidbits

  • Maintained a 26-room mansion for 13 relatives
  • Had a strawberry-pink Cadillac covered with rhinestones
  • Had her own private zoo, with a peacock, chimpanzee, and gibbon
  • Became a born-again Christian (click here for her “prophecy”)

Screen Credits:  45

Where can I learn more?

Lisa Gaye

Embarrassing Real Name: Lezlie Griffin

Embarrassing Movies

  • Valley of Mystery
  • Night of Evil
  • Face of Terror
  • Castle of Evil *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • Rock 'n' Roll vs. the Squares
  • A wilderness of danger! An empire of savage hate!
  • So terrifying! We have reserved your coffin ... if you drop dead while watching

Embarrassing Characters
  • Ahza
  • Natula
  • Princess Suvi
  • Sunset
  • Soft Snow
  • June Fitzdingle

Interesting Tidbits
  • Was in Rock Around the Clock
  • Did tons of TV
  • There is another actress out there with the same name (but born in 1990)

Screen Credits:  87

Where can I learn more?

Teala Loring

Embarrassing Real Name:  Marcia Griffin

Embarrassing Movies

  • Delinquent Daughters *
  • Black Market Babies
  • Return of the Ape Man
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • The queen of the tropics finds a new jungle man!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Girl
  • Cigarette Girl
  • Thin Girl
  • Young Hit-and-Run Victim
  • Erato

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends:  Rudy Vallee

Interesting Tidbits:  Was in a number of westerns, but was terrified of horses

Screen Credits:  16

Where can I learn more?

<#65          #63>

Saturday, July 18, 2015

#65 Susan Hart

Want to break into B movies? Try marrying James H. Nicholson, founder of American International Pictures (AIP), a prime producer of B’s like Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, It Conquered the World, and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. That’s what Susan Hart did. Good move, Susan!

Embarrassing Real Name:  Susan Neidhart

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Wenatchee, WA

Cheesy Pageant Title:
Hollywood Deb Star

Embarrassing Movies
  • War-Gods of the Deep 
  • The Slime People *
  • Planet of the Vampires
  • The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini *
  • Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • SURF'S UP! The swingin'est young people's picture of the year!
  • Up from the bowels of the earth ...
  • They Became Pawns in a WAR Beneath the WAVES!
  • It's kill or be killed in a cycle gang-war!
  • Super sexbots... built to kill!

Embarrassing Characters

  • Miss Tennis
  • Mona Monaghan
  • Lili Kalua
  • Outraged Woman at Dog Show

Whiffs of Scandal

  • Appeared in Playboy (non nude)
  • Correspondent in divorce proceedings
  • Lawsuits over ownership of AIP

Interesting Tidbits

  • Was discovered on a Hawaiian beach
  • Her song Is This a Disco or a Honky Tonk? made it to the Top 100
  • Took up competitive figure skating while in her forties
  • Owns the rights to I Was a Teenage Werewolf
  • Not to be confused with Susan Hart the neuroscientist, CFO, business school dean, law professor, or porn star (thanks, Google!)

Where can I learn more?

<#66          #64> 

Friday, July 10, 2015

#66 Diana Lorys

Diana Lorys deserves to be better known. She’s certainly a babe – in that classic Italian/Spanish, 1970s, Jess Franco / Mario Bava B movie kind of way. And she was certainly in her share of B’s – 59 spaghetti westerns, horrors, spy flicks, sci-fi, and soft porn, to be exact.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find much of anything on her. In fact, to learn more, I ended up letting Google translate several pages in Italian and Spanish and German for me. And it’s there that I learned that Diana was:

actually called ana maria vega Cazorla, is one of the actresses of spaghetti, was born in Madrid in 1940 I was formed in the theater and as a classical dancer dance and flamenco.  How often the case, he made the leap from theater to film, where he became a face was regular, but always of B-movies: horror, action, science fiction, spaghetti western, was in the latter genre where a hole was carved, but the decline of himself and his marriage in 1978, also the year of his last film, definitely away from the screens, to pursue his private life.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Real Name:  Ana Maria Vega

Embarrassing Movies

  • Sex Charade
  • The Awful Dr. Orlof *
  • The Playboy and His Sprees
  • Superargo and the Faceless Giants *
  • Fangs of the Living Dead *
  • House of Psychotic Women
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • A warning for the youth... An alarm call for the parents
  • They had taken his bride - and killed her. Now he would take California - and kill it!
  • Submit to the master or be frozen forever in his cold-storage harem!
  • His Shrine Was the Face of Terror!

Embarrassing Characters

  • Bertha Zemis
  • Money
  • Janet Spokane
  • Novie de Rock
  • Gitana, Daylight’s Girl

Where can I learn more?

<#67          #65>

Friday, July 3, 2015

#67 Virginia Grey

A stunning beauty and “one of the hardest-working women in Hollywood,” Virginia Grey never got the break she deserved.  She garnered 140-some credits over a 50-year career, but never moved beyond secondary roles in A films and starring turns in B’s. Louis B. Mayer once told her, "You have everything but luck." 

Primarily a comedienne, she starred with Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and the Marx Brothers. She also took a turn in Westerns, crime dramas, war movies, pre-historics, sci fi, and pretty much everything else out there.

Embarrassing Movies
  • Youth Takes a Fling
  • Jazz Mad
  • House of Horrors
  • Slaughter Trail
  • The Naked Kiss *
  • Tarzan’s New York Adventure
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines

  • Fang and claw killers stalk the city streets!
  • WILD SAVAGE LAW...Tough Flaming Adventure!!
  • Raw Panic The Screen Never Dared Reveal!
  • The boldest story of love you have ever been permitted to see!

Embarrassing Characters

  • Ella Goff Finch
  • Estelle Hohengarten
  • Lorabelle Larkin
  • Camille Quinlaw
  • Consuela MacNish

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends:  Clark Gable (she actually carried a torch for him for the rest of her life, never marrying)

Interesting Tidbits

  • Her father, Ray Grey, was one of the Keystone Kops and then later a director
  • One of her babysitters as a child was Gloria Swanson
  • Discovered waiting for her mom, a film editor
  • Made her film debut at age 10, in the silent version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Was a Mormon and staunch conservative Republican

Where can I learn more?

Ho, ho, ho!

<#68          #66>