Friday, December 30, 2005

Lost Starlet of the '60s: Stella Stevens

In my posts a few months back on "Lost Starlets of the '60s" -- beautiful, talented actresses who should have been stars, but were unfortunate enough to work in '60s Hollywood when there were no good parts for women -- I unaccountably forgot to mention Stella Stevens. Except for the extra notoriety she gained from posing for Playboy, her story is much like the others': she was gorgeous, she was lovable, she knew what to do in front of a camera, she showed genuine talent as a comedienne and real chemistry with her co-stars (and when you can have chemistry with Jerry Lewis, you must be good), but she never got the star parts she deserved, and mostly served as decoration in guy-centric movies. As with all the other Lost Starlets, there's no reason why she couldn't have carried a movie as the central character, and in another era, I'm sure she would have; like Paula Prentiss, she was a potential comedy superstar in a decade that had no use for female comedy stars.

An in-depth interview with Stevens was conducted a couple of years ago by Bright Lights Film Journal. She also participated in the special features for the upcoming DVD of one of her best movies, with one of her best roles: Sam Peckinpah's The Ballad of Cable Hogue, being released as part of the Sam Peckinpah Legendary Westerns Collection.

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