Friday, May 27, 2016

#23 Martha Vickers

For a 40s babe, Martha Vickers sure was hot. I could never quite figure out why she wasn’t a bigger star – something along the lines of a Rita Hayworth or Lauren Bacall. At the same time, I’m sure having your first film credits being Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman and Captive Wild Woman probably didn’t help any.

Real Name:  Martha MacVicar (I guess they didn’t like the alliteration)

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Ann Arbor, MI

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Miss Timber, Northeastern Retail Lumbermen's Association

Embarrassing Movies
  • Bad Boy
  • Hi’ya, Sailor
  • The Mummy’s Ghost
  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman 
  • Captive Wild Woman 

Embarrassing Taglines
  • A trail of perfume ... and violence!
  • Those Hilarious "GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE"
  • Boldly it sweeps ... Across the screen!
  • Nameless! Fleshless! Deathless!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Girl
  • High school girl
  • Miss McLean, a student
  • Carmen Sternwood

Number of Marriages:  3 

Shortest Marriage:  4 months

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
  • Jimmy Stewart
  • Mickey Rooney (she was 6 inches taller than he)

Untimely Demise:  At age 46, of cancer

Interesting Tidbits
  • Former model
  • Popular pinup during WWII
  • Had a big role in the the noir classic The Big Sleep
  • Was a big bowler

Where can I learn more?

Eye of newt ...

<#24          #22>

Friday, May 20, 2016

#24 Rhonda Fleming *

* - author has her autograph

A ravishing redhead (with green eyes!), Rhonda Fleming was known as the Queen of Technicolor. In addition to her 68 movie and TV credits, she was also a singer. Upon retiring, she appears to have devoted herself to philanthropy (which, I’m afraid, doesn’t sound very B movie babe to me at all).

Real Name:  Marilyn Louis

Embarrassing Movies
  • Those Redheads from Seattle
  • Queen of Babylon
  • The Killer Is Loose
  • The Nude Bomb
  • Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood

Embarrassing Taglines
  • When the West was a Shameless Young Hussy!
  • No story...No drama...No performance THIS powerful has ever been seen!
  • Like a blast from the sky...a DRAMATIC THUNDERBOLT that builds to a crashing climax!

Embarrassing Characters
  • Princess Kashmir
  • Vera Royale
  • Alisande Le Carteloise
  • Edith Von Secondburg
  • Izora
  • Nyta
  • Purity

Number of Marriages:  6 (!!!)

Shortest Marriage:  2 years

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
  • Tyrone Power
  • Bing Crosby
  • Prince Aly Khan
  • JFK
  • Ronald Reagan

Interesting Tidbit
  • Discovered at Beverly Hills High School
  • Actually quite a talented actress, she worked with Alfred Hitchock, Fritz Lang, Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Rock Hudson
  • Was in four films with Ronald Reagan
  • Did her own stunts
  • Was in a gospel singing group, the Four Girls, with Jane Russell
  • Cut an LP, Rhonda
  • Is a huge philanthropist and has a clinic named after her at the UCLA Medical Center

Where can I learn more?

<#25          #23>

Friday, May 13, 2016

#25 Martha Hyer *

* - author has her autograph

Martha Hyer was once called “Universal’s Answer to Grace Kelly.” Indeed, she had the same elegance, the same flawless blond beauty (though she was not a natural blonde), and the same jet-setting lifestyle. Not a bad actress, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Vincent Minelli’s Some Came Running.  For some reason, she moved from fairly classy stuff to tons of genuine dreck. Overall, she had over 100 screen and TV credits before retiring.

Embarrassing Real Birthplace:  Fort Worth

Cheesy Pageant Titles:  Azalea Queen

Embarrassing Movies
  • Francis in the Navy (Francis is a mule)
  • Bikini Beach
  • The Delicate Delinquent
  • Oriental Evil
  • Desire in the Dust (no, not the John Waters film)
  • Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
  • Pyro … The Thing Without a Face

Embarrassing Taglines
  • The strange desire that feeds on her cannot be quenched by love alone!
  • He was half Oriental...but he used the women of two continents WITHOUT SHAME OR GUILT!
  • Primitive emotions, savage passions, nature in the raw!
  • It's where the girls are BARE-ing... the guys are DAR-ing and the surf's RARE-ing to GO-GO-GO

Embarrassing Characters
  • Catherine Bailey Struthers III
  • Melinda Marquand
  • Miss Amity Babb
  • Dr. Serena Standish

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends
  • Prince Aly Khan
  • Clark Gable
  • Gene Kelly
  • Danny Kaye
  • Phil Silver

Whiffs of Scandal
  • Trouble with the IRS over back taxes
  • Was sued for failing to keep up with the payments on a fancy Corona del Mar home 
  • Got involved with loan sharks (totally unbeknownst to her very rich husband) to support her expensive lifestyle

Interesting Tidbits
  • Her father was a state senator, international president of the Lions Club, and a judge advocate in the Nuremberg trials
  • Once turned down a lunch date with JFK
  • Northwestern grad (fellow students included Cloris Leachman, Paul Lynde, Charlton Heston, and Patricia Neal)
  • Known for snooty socialite roles
  • Lost out to Janet Leigh for the role in Psycho
  • Owned paintings by Pissarro, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec
  • Convert to Judaism
  • Ended up as a born-again Christian and something of a recluse

Where can I learn more?

Whoa, pardner!

<#26          #24>

Friday, May 6, 2016

#26 Faith Domergue

If there was an Oscar for “bedroom eyes,” Faith Domergue would win in a heartbeat. A protégé of Howard Hughes, the “blockbusters” he put her in were mostly cinematic versions of the Spruce Goose. Domergue would eventually move on to classic sci-fi flicks like This Island Earth and It Came from Beneath the Sea, lots of TV, and a number of Italian cheapies.

Embarrassing Movies
  • The Atomic Man
  • Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet *
  • The House of Seven Corpses *
  • Cult of the Cobra
  • Legacy of Blood *
* - author has seen

Embarrassing Taglines
  • She drives men crazy – torments them to KILL!
  • The Man With The Radio-Active Brain! 
  • The fangs of the Snake Goddess will PIERCE YOUR FLESH!
  • Two mortals trapped in outer space... challenging the unearthly furies of an outlaw planet gone mad!
  • Havoc! Chaos! Destruction!

Number of Marriages:  3

Shortest Marriage:  6 months

Unlikely Spouses & Boyfriends:  Howard Hughes 

Whiffs of Scandal:  Met and started dating Hughes at age 15

Interesting Tidbits
  • Was adopted
  • Was in a life-threatening car accident 
  • Had a slight lisp to go with her otherwise sultry voice
  • Spoke French, Spanish, and Italian
  • Her last name is pronounced “dah-mure”

Where can I learn more?

And a merry Christmas to you!

<#27           #25>