Ring Ring #1

It's good to hear your voice, you know it's been so long
If I don't get your call then everything goes wrong
I want to tell you something you've known all along
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone
-Blondie, Oct 1978
(29 years ago)


Smoker #1

I forgot who this is, but it's a cool picture.


Smokin' Ladies

Here are some postcards and cigarette cards
(aka, "tobacco cards").
You can find out more about them


Crain Shots

A little Jeanne Crain. . .

A little more Jeanne Crain. . .


Claudia Jennings

Claudia Jennings was born Mary Eileen Chesterton on December 20, 1949 and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In her teens, she moved to the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, where she graduated from high school in 1968. That same year she got a receptionist job in Playboy magazine's Chicago headquarters and joined the Hull House Theatre Company. She caught the attention of Playboy photographer Pompeo Posar and appeared as the November 1969 Playmate of the Month. In 1970 she became Playmate of the Year and, within a year's time, had appeared in three motion pictures. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, she appeared in another dozen films, including THE UNHOLY ROLLERS, GATOR BAIT, TRUCK STOP WOMEN, and THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE. She lived with songwriter Bobby Hart during the early Seventies and with a Beverly Hills real estate agent named Stan Herman from 1975 onward. On October 3, 1979, Claudia Jennings died in an automobile accident in Malibu, California.


'GATOR BAIT (1973)
40 CARATS (1973)
THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (uncredited, 1976)
She appeared in television shows "The Brady Bunch" (1973), "Cannon" (1974),

"The FBI" (1974), and "The Streets of San Francisco (1976).

There are better biographical sketches of her HERE and HERE.


And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson

I watched The Miracle Worker (1962) on Turner Classic Movies (the best television channel in the world) last week. Anne Bancroft plays Anne Sullivan, the teacher who taught the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate. I had never seen it before. Great story. Great acting. It reminded me how much I like Anne Bancroft.
If you thought she was a sexy older woman in The Graduate (when she was actually 36), you should see her in To Be or Not to Be (when she was 52).
Besides, today is her birthday.
Happy birthday, Mrs. Robinson.


Snow White Spider Baby

Jill Banner. . .the Snow White Spider Baby

Most famous for playing Virginia the "spider baby" in SPIDER BABY (1964), James Coburn's flower child friend in THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST (1967), and a couple of hippie chicks in Jack Webb's television series, Dragnet, actress Jill Banner was born Mary Molumby on November 8, 1946 in Bremerton, Washington. After her father's death in 1949, she and her mother lived in South Dakota and Iowa, near several of their Irish relatives, finally ending up in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale. She studied at the Hollywood Professional School, a K-12 school for working professional children run by Maurice and Bertha Mann. At HPS, classes typically ran from 8:45 AM to 12:45 PM, allowing the students the afternoon off to pursue various jobs or performing careers. The school assemblies, called “Aud. Calls,” were early showcases for the talents of students aspiring to be dancers, singers, and actors. Banner’s classmates included actress Peggy Lipton (TV’s The Mod Squad), Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, and Disney Mouseketeer Cubby O’Brian. She graduated with the Class of 1964.
HPS Yearbook photo Scenes from Spider BabyThe President's Analyst poster
She made her film debut in SPIDER BABY with Sid Haag and Lon Chaney, Jr. Directed by Jack Hill (COFFY, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS), the film was tied up in litigation from 1964 until 1968. Released under various titles, including ATTACK OF THE LIVER EATERS and CANNIBAL ORGY, OR THE MADDEST STORY EVER TOLD, the four-year-old black and white feature quickly faded from view in the tie-dyed electric-Koolaid-acid Sixties. We know of SPIDER BABY today, largely through the efforts of Los Angeles cult film resurrectionist Johnny Legend. The film tells the story of the Merrye family, a clan of bizarre cannibals who suffer from a deteriorating mental condition. They eat bugs, cats, and visitors under the watchful eyes of their caretaker, Lon Chaney, Jr. It was an extremely warped version of the Sixties television family horrors, The Addams Family and The Munsters. Jill was only seventeen when SPIDER BABY was filmed.
Jill on the poster for Spider Baby
While SPIDER BABY remained in legal limbo in the mid-1960s, Banner was reportedly featured in DEADLIER THAN THE MALE (1966), a tongue-in-cheek British thriller about a team of female assassins, starring Nigel Green, Richard Johnson, and European bombshells Elke Sommar and Sylvia Koscina. If Banner actually appeared in DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, she is both uncredited and unnoticeable. The film is more noteworthy as the debut of British model Virginia North, who went on to play Vincent Price’s Vulnavia in THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES.
Jill on Dragnet
Jill played Wendy, one of the wholesome teenagers in C’MON, LET’S LIVE A LITTLE (1967) with singers Jackie DeShannon (“What the World Needs Now is Love” and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”) and Bobby Vee (“Take Good Care of My Baby”), one of the last films of the fading “beach party” genre.
Virginia the Spider Baby
In the psychodelically paranoid spy spoof, THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST (1967), Banner was a flower child named “Snow White,” who temporarily rescues James Coburn (OUR MAN FLINT, IN LIKE FLINT) from a combined conspiracy of the American CIA, the Russian KGB, and The Phone Company (referred to cryptically as “TPC”). Coburn and Banner hide out in a “flower power” van with the rock band Clear Light, featuring Barry McGuire (“Eve of Destruction”). As Coburn’s Dr. Sidney Schaefer makes love to Banner’s ethereal girl in a sunny meadow, the grass around them is teaming with assassins, who only manage to kill each other off. In the film’s publicity, Banner’s Swinging Sixties character is referred to as “the Mod Snow White.”
With Beverly Washburn in Spider Baby
She was featured in several episodes of Jack Webb's police-procedural shows, Dragnet 1967 and Adam-12, usually playing clueless teenagers and spaced-out daytrippers. In the Dragnet story “Forgery,” she played a pot-smoking woman who is duped into a life of check fraud by two hippie dope dealers. In another memorable episode, "The Hammer: Homicide DR-22," Banner played a hardened but stupid juvenile whose sociopath boyfriend has murdered an elderly man for money and a ring. When she is captured Banner’s character shows no remorse, prompting Detective Sgt. Joe Friday to call her a bitch by saying, "I'll bet your mother had a loud bark." In an episode of the Jack Webb-produced show, Adam-12, Jill played a girl who sells her baby, then kidnaps him back again.
Good girl and hippie on Dragnet
She performed in several movies and TV shows in the late 1960s and early Seventies, including SHADOW OVER ELVERON (1968) with Don Ameche and Adam-12 co-star Kent McCord. In THE STRANGER RETURNS (1968), a comic spaghetti western (aka SHOOT FIRST LAUGH LAST and UN UOMO, UN CAVALLO, UNA PISTOLA), Banner played the pretty daughter of a corrupt postal official who falls into the hands of banditos. A nameless hero, “The Stranger,” saves her from being raped by the bandits, only to receive a slap from the rescued girl. She was also featured in HUNTERS ARE FOR KILLING (1970), an early Burt Reynolds movie, also known as HARD FRAME. Burt’s character returns from prison to a hometown filled with secrets and bad memories; Banner plays a tempting teenager who gets in his way. In an interview, Reynolds once joked that such films were shown in prisons and airplanes, because no one in the audience could leave. She also appeared in episodes of the television shows The Bold Ones and Cade’s County (1972).
Snow White in The President's Analyst
Banner had an uncredited bit part in Christian Marquand’s frenetic 1968 movie, CANDY, although it is difficult to tell where. At the time, Banner’s physical resemblance to Marquard’s 22-year-old wife, actress Tina Aumont, was startling; the two actresses were only months apart in age. The psychedelic CANDY also featured Ringo Starr, Richard Burton, John Huston, and Jill’s co-star from THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST, James Coburn. It was while filming CANDY in Rome that she reportedly met Marquand’s friend, actor Marlon Brando, who was playing the role of a charlatan guru in the film. By 1971, Brando was paying the rent on her apartment, and she would travel with him under the name of "Ms. Malumby." According to Charles Higham’s 1987 book, Brando, the Unauthorized Biography (New American Library Books), the couple frequently fought and made up and fought again. The fiftyish Brando was reportedly very possessive of the twenty-something actress. After one argument, Brando bought her a solid gold apple adorned with diamonds and emeralds, which she wore on a necklace. During a later fight on a Hawaiian beach, Brando ripped it off her neck and threw it in the ocean. It was reported that she was romantically involved on and off with both Marlon Brando and his son, Christian (named after Marquand), until 1976 when she abandoned Hollywood for a real estate job in New Mexico. There was talk of her attending law school. Brando’s 1994 autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me (Random House), discusses their relationship, but disguises certain details of her life and refers to her by the name “Weonna.” She returned to Southern California and Brando in the early Eighties, reportedly to develop scripts. In 1982, her Toyota was hit by a truck on Ventura Freeway. Thrown from the vehicle, she died at 3 AM, August 7, 1982, in North Hollywood's Riverside Hospital. She was 35.

Jill Banner Filmography
Spider Baby (1964)

Deadlier Than the Male (1966, uncredited)
The President's Analyst (1967)
C'mon, Let's Live a Little (1967)
Candy (1968, uncredited)
The Stranger Returns (1968)
Shadow Over Elveron (1968)
Hunters Are for Killing (1970)

(There is a Wikipedia entry for Jill, but this is the original.)


Happy Birthday, Fay Wray

I'm going to leave the monkey out of this post.
I'm not even going to mention the monkey's name.
He wasn't even a real monkey, fer chissakes.
vintage fashion
You can get a big copy of the above photo from
those nice folks at Silents Are Golden.
classic Hollywood
King Kong
Thanks to Doctor Macro for the above two.
The Doctor has a marvelous site with really
high quality images. If you own original classic
film star photos, send him a high resolution scan
for his site.
retro fashion
The above picture is quite large. I have a poster
of it on the wall just to my right. The original and
gobs of other Fay Wray pictures can be found at
The Fay Wray Pages.
opera gloves
You can find this picture and a gazillion
other photos of ladies in gloves at
For the Love of Opera Gloves, which is
a very nice, if somewhat confusing web site.
movie poster
This is my favorite Fay Wray poster.
It turns out that the scantily clad woman
with the sword on the poster is played by
Dorothy Burgess in the movie. Alas!
It's the thought that counts.


Ideally. . .

Mala Powers
Delicious Mala Powers
I was watching Mission: Impossible, the complete first
TV season, not the crappy remakes, and I saw actress
Mala Powers in an episode called The Reluctant Dragon.
And I looked her up on eBay and Google Image Search
so I'd have something to share with you. Ideally, that's
sort of the way you got here in the first place. You saw
an obscure actress in something old and looked up the
name on the web and found her at Starlet Showcase.
And you fell in love with her face or eyes or her butt or
whatever, and you bought a pile of B&W 8x10s of her
on eBay. And your girlfriend or boyfriend or wife or
whomever thinks you're crazy. But you're happy and
to hell with them. (There's a guy on eBay with a lot of
Mala Powers pictures, and it's not me.)

Mala Powers
Mala Powers
The nice thing about watching shows like
Mission: Impossible, The Sopranos, The
Shield, The Wire, Combat!, Magnum P.I.,
and Rescue Me is that you can watch them
when you want to, can pause them to take
a leak or talk to your cat, and you don't have
to sit through all the commercials about cars
you can't afford and cell phone service you
don't need and sports scores up in the corner
and late breaking Bush news or Britney news
or celebrity buzz scrolling across the bottom
of the screen. You can take control and skip
all the noise. And you can make cool vidcaps
of Mala Powers in glasses and a wig.
Mala Powers


Anna Karina Day

Anna Karina
Anna seems to have become sort of an
idol in Japan and appears in Myspace
sites like this and this, where they have
tons of better pictures.
Her birthday is Sept 22th.


Berger No Cheese

sexy Senta Berger
All I've got today are these two Senta Berger photos,
because I've gotta go to work. Yeah, I work. Don't you?


Nancy Kwan Day!

Nancy Kwan
It's Nancy Kwan Day here at The Showcase.
No particular reason.
Great legs. (She trained at England's Royal Ballet School.)
She's still pretty as a peach and still working.
Her web site
Nancy Kwan: Hong Kong's Gift to Hollywood
has a lot of great photos.
Nancy Kwan
asian sex
Nancy Kwan
Nancy Kwan
Nancy Kwan
sexy asian
Nancy Kwan
(I was saving this last one for Starlets With
No Pants Day, but it fits better here.)