Sunday, September 7, 2014

MST3K Article Series: #1

Here's a look at the women who were not only riffed on MST3K, but posed for Playboy as Centerfolds. This list is excluded to centerfold models only.

Jean Moorehead (Violent Years) Miss October 1955
Jean was born in 1936 and was crowned Miss Hollywood in 1953. She appeared in her first movie at age 11; an uncredited role in the family film Banjo (1947). Her centerfold was photographed by Hal Adams in 1955 which lead to parts in several B-Movies and on television (Death Valley Days).

First seen by MSTies as the gal in the tub in the Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Jeans most notable 3k appearance was as Paula Parkens in Ed Woods Violent Years (1956). Her rich bad girl drew raves from the boys on the SOL, during a scene where she and her gang take a guy out into the woods to do... well, things that make him scream for some strange reason.

Sally Jo Todd (Unearthly) Miss February 1957
Sally was born on June 7th, 1934 in Tucson, Arizona. In 1952 she won the "Miss Tucson Beauty Contest" - the grand prize being a trip to Hollywood for a screen test with 20th Century-Fox. Her first role was as the dance hall hhostess in The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956), which was directed by the great Raoul Walsh. This nice start didn't materialize into work with other brilliant directors though, as she followed this up with The Unearthly and The Viking Women and the Sea Serpent in 1957. Sally had better luck on TV, guesting on top rated shows like Dragnet and Gunsmoke and was the highest paid model on TV in 1956. In 1958 she was injured in a Freeway accident, which culminated with her flying through the window of her sports car in Hollywood. Sally, who had dated both Jack Webb and Troy Donahue, married and retired from show biz in 1960. Today she runs an antique shop in Big Sur.

Dawn Richard (I Was a Teenage Werewolf) Miss May 1957
Born Margaret Dawn Richard on March 5th, 1936 in L.A. Her first movie role came in 1955, as one of the Pharaohs daughters in the "Ten Commandments". Her line... "What is it Bithla, what did you find?" A Month after posing for Playboy, the film "I Was A Teenage Werewolf" was released and she became the focus of movie stills - She's the gal in the gym who is attacked by Landon's Werewolf. On May 11th, 1958 Dawn married Producer David L. Wolper and retired from acting. She has since divorced Wolper and resides in Burbank.

Marlene Callahan (Magic Sword) Miss November 1957
Born on August 24th, 1937. Ventura, Ca. After posing in Playboy, Marlene acted for a short time in 1962. MSTies know her as Princess Grace, one of the fair maidens fed to Lodacs dragon. But her real claim to fame came under the name Marlene Wallace. Where she is known as one of the most renowned portrait photographers of her time. She has authored two books of her photography, and her work has been published in magazines and exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution. To see her photo's, visit her website...

Mara Corday (Black Scorpion) Miss October 1958
(She shared the centerfold with Pat Sheehan) - Mara Corday (born Marilyn Watts on January 3, 1930 in Santa Monica, California) was a showgirl and had a long career in Hollywood. MSTies know her as the Tersa Alvarez in Black Scorpion. She also acted in the MSTable "Giant Claw" and "Tarantula", where she met and befriended Clint Eastwood. Though seen in many a B-Movie, Mara was considered a decent actress. Critic Leonard Maltin is quoted as saying that she had "more acting ability than she was permitted to exhibit."

She was married to Richard Long and after her husband's passing in 1974, Corday's friend Clint Eastwood gave her roles in several of his features, such as The Gauntlet (1977), Sudden Impact (1983), Pink Cadillac (1989) and The Rookie.

Marilyn Hanold (Brain That Wouldn't Die) Miss June 1959
Born in Jamaica, Long Island, NY on July 9th 1938 - was a showgirl and later a champion freestyle swimmer. After posing for Playboy, she married oil tycoon Rulon Keaton Neilson and the two had 3 daughters. Marilyn had a few notable roles in the 60's. As Doe on the Batman TV series, and before that, as Princess Marcuzan in the B-Movie classic, Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster (1965). MSTies know her for her small part as Peggy Howard, a beauty contestant in the movie The Brain That Wouldn't Die.

Today, Marilyn lives in Salt Lake City, where she is active in charities and promoting local performing arts.

Yvette Vickers (Giant Leeches) Miss July 1959
Born August 26, 1936 in Kansas City, Missouri, Yvette is the daughter of jazz musicians Charles and Maria Vedder. In fact, later in life she will record a Jazz album in tribute to her parents. 

Her first role was an uncredited bit in the classic Sunset Boulevard (1950) and in 1951, at the age of 16, she took writing classes UCLA but became involved with acting and changed her major to drama. In 1954 she made a Shampoo commercial (as the "White Rain" girl) and appeared in James Cagney's only directorial effort, Short Cut To Hell (1957). In 1959 she not only posed for Playboy (Photographed by Russ Meyer), but acts in the movie we MSTies all know and love her for, The Attack of the Giant Leeches. Yvette, who dated Cary Grant and had a long relationship with Jim Hutton, is still active today with her music

Marya Carter (Phantom Planet) Miss May 1962
Born Zella Maria Grajeda on 12 May 1942. In her Playboy profile she listed her goal as "Becoming a great actress" but throughout the 60's and 70's she appeared mostly in B-movies and guest roles on television. Marya worked under several names; among them... Sally Carter, Sally Carter Hunt, Sally Carter Ihnat and Sally Ihnat.

She married Steve Ihnat (He played Captain Garth of Izar in the Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Destroy"). They had two children. Ihnat died in 1972 of a heart attack. In 1977, Marya married Peter Marshall, the host of Hollywood Squares. They divorced in 1988.

Marya's MSTed moment is a brief one, she was one of the un-named jurors in Phantom Planet.

Merissa Mathes (Phantom Planet) Miss June 1962
Merissa also stated that she wanted to be a dramatic actress and with Marya, she also played a juror in Phantom Planet. Born Marrisa Mathes on January 26th 1940 in Moses Lake, Washington. Merissa left Washington and studied liberal arts and drama at Santa Monica City College and later pursued an acting career, appearing in B-movies and a few shows on television.

Donna Michelle (Agent For H.A.R.M.) Miss December 1963
The girl with the giant thumb in Agent For Harm - Donna Michelle (the adopted name of Donna M. Ronne) was born on December 8th, 1945 in Los Angeles, California. She was not only the Playmate of the Month, but was named the Playmate of the Year for 1964.

A former dancer who performed with the New York City Ballet. Donna went from modeling to a brief acting career (I Spy, Big Valley) before turning to photography. In 2003, Grenada honored Playboy magazine's 50th anniversary with a series of postage stamps. Donna's May 1964 cover photo graces one of those stamps

Sadly, Donna Michelle died on April 9th, 2004 in Ukiah, California. She suffered a heart attack while grocery shopping. She was only 58 years old.

Susan Kiger (Angels Revenge) Miss January 1977
Susan Lynn Kiger was born November 16, 1953 in Pasadena, California. Before she punished MSTies with one of the worst songs ever sung on film, Susan was one of Playboy's most popular models and appeared on its cover 3 times. She was once part of a musical act with other centerfolds. In the late 70's she appeared in a few movies and TV shows (CHIPS)

Rebecca Ferratti (Outlaw) Miss June 1986
Athletic Rebecca Michelle Ferratti was born on November 27th, 1964 in Helena, Montana. Health and fitness is her main career focus, though she has also had parts in over 20 movies (She's the gal who kissed Ned in "The Three Amigos"), several music videos and won in the celebrity edition of American Gladiators (1994). Rebecca claim to MST fame was as Talena, the woman who inexplicably is attracted to the man named Cabot in 1989's Outlaw of Gor (a sequel to 1989's Gor)