The Actress Zone

{November 30, 2012}   Introducing… Belinda Montgomery

Oftentimes an actress is remembered for one role that defined her career.  Very few people might recall that Lucille Ball was a film star, war-era pin-up girl and one of Hollywood’s top beauties before she landed her very own television program that elicited laughs courtesy self-effacing humor.  Lynda Carter is Wonder Woman and Lisa Kudrow will always be remembered as the ditzy Phoebe on the popular sitcom Friends.  Belinda Montgomery, that chameleon-like actress from north of the border, to many, would fit into this bracket of actresses for her role of a boy doctor’s mother in the wildly popular series Doogie Howser M.D.  However, to label the lovely Miss Montgomery as Mrs. Howser and nothing more would be to erroneously sum up Belinda’s solid career.  She has been a working member of the film industry for six decades now, with a diversity of roles not limited to the mommy typecast.


A native of Winnipeg, the lovely fair-haired Canadian began work as an actress in the late 1960s when just a teenager.  A classic beauty, Miss Montgomery’s full rose-tinted cheeks and delicate, enchanting eyes were well-suited for girl-next-door roles, but as a serious actress, Belinda seemed to enjoy accepting roles that failed to adhere to the typecast her soft beauty all but mandated.  Her first role came in the now forgotten television series BARNEY BOOMER.  Two years later she caught her big break in a made-for-tv movie titled HEY CINDERELLA!  Her doll-like beauty, which came with the good-girl typecast, was well-suited to play the title role as Belinda shined in this lesser known adaptation of the famous children’s story.  She ended the decade of the 1960s with a couple guest spots on television.

With a new decade came a new genre for Miss Montgomery.  Her first film of the 1970s was a horror/thriller titled RITUAL OF EVIL that starred Louis Jourdan and the former World War II era pin-up girl Anne Baxter.  Jourdan played a demon-hunter, his second such role, thanks to the popularity of an earlier made-for-tv film, that pitted him against a band of satanists.  Although an entertaining flick, the story was flawed and failed to achieve the success of Jourdan’s first demon-hunting foray.  Belinda left the satanists behind and accepted a few television guest roles in such series as IRONSIDE and ALIAS SMITH AND JONES.  In 1971 she would shock filmgoers with her exceptional portrayal of a wayward youth in the classic social commentary flick titled THE TODD KILLINGS.  The teenagers in a smalltown are enamored with a charismatic young psychopath who sets his lusty, deviant designs on Belinda.  Belinda excels at employing the typecast her looks elicit while spinning that typecast around.  She seems the proper girl but when among the degenerates and cads, Belinda’s sultry Roberta takes a shine to the decadence and becomes the serial killer’s preferred moll.

In the early 1970s Belinda worked mostly in the medium of television, taking on roles on such series as THE SIXTH SENSE and MANNIX.  Miss Montgomery also became a common face in made-for-tv movies during that span with a starring role in the women-in-prison flick WOMEN IN CHAINS.  Perhaps the most toned-down prison flick ever made, most viewers who insert a WIP film into their VCR expect crudeness and breast-baring behavior, but such ingredients weren’t employ in Belinda’s foray behind bars.  In perhaps her finest made-for-tv movie, or, at least, the one in which her character receives plenty screen time, is the horror film THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER.  Starring alongside such notables as Shelley Winters and Jonathan Frid, Belinda plays the distraught daughter of a recently deceased woman who staged an elicit affair with the prince of darkness.  Belinda’s Diane Shaw is destined to become the bride of a demon, but the proper young lady tries to steer fate in another direction.  A well-written horror/thriller, Belinda is exceptional in the main role, exuding her uncommon charm, which only adds to the suspenseful plot given that her character is easy to like.

Belinda would work on MARCUS WELBY M.D. and PETROCELLI during the mid 1970s as her avenue always seemed to lead back towards television.  Her first non-tv role came in the 1975 film THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN opposite Beau Bridges and Marilyn Hassett.  A tear-jerking love story, Belinda was able to sojourn away from television and made-for-tv movie thrillers to offer support for lead Hassett.  Her next film was BREAKING POINT before she returned to familiar confines with roles as guest stars in leading series.  She landed several gigs, although not recurring, in the series MEDICAL CENTER and guest starred in an episode of MOST WANTED in 1977.  A sequel to THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN came in 1978 with Belinda reprising her role as Audra Jo, but around that time she accepted the female lead in the sci-fi cult classic MAN FROM ATLANTIS.  Miss Montgomery played Dr. Elizabeth Merrill in the short-lived series with beefcake Patrick Duffy.  Superhero series were quite popular around that time, with Lynda Carter tantalizing audiences as WONDER WOMAN, but MAN FROM ATLANTIS didn’t quite have twenty episodes produced before it was cancelled.


In 1978, with MAN FROM ATLANTIS no longer in production, Belinda returned to motion pictures and starred in the sleazy thriller BLACKOUT.  Degenerates escape from prison and break into a highrise apartment complex where Belinda resides and terrorize the tenants.  The shapely beauty, of course, arouses the interest of the escaped rapist who tries to lay hands on Belinda.  Although the film is rather weak, with a paper-thin plot and poor script, Belinda has more to do than just offer up a scream here and there.  Her Annie Gallo character assists a cop in helping him nab the intruders.  Her last roles in the 1970s were in the film STONE COLD DEAD with Richard Crenna and a made-for-tv mini-series titled HOW THE WEST WAS WON.

When the 1980s came around, Belinda’s primary medium remained television as the classic beauty found work on FANTASY ISLAND and TRAPPER JOHN, M.D. in guest starring gigs.  In 1982 she accepted a two-episode run on the hit series DYNASTY before making back-to-back tv movies BARE ESSENCE and UNCOMMON VALOR.  In 1984 she returned to the horror genre, albeit not the made-for-tv medium, with the female lead in SILENT MADNESS.  A rather weak entry in the slasher subgenre, Belinda nonetheless shines as Dr. Gilmore, a head doctor who investigates the background of her shady establishment.  But the film was, by most anyone’s standards (to include slasher fans) a weak entry, and Belinda shunned films for a time while making a return to television.  After several guest spots in sitcoms and television series, Belinda landed her most recognizable role in the series DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D. in 1989.

Miss Montgomery had recurring roles in MIAMI VICE and AARON’S WAY before she accepted the role of the mother to boy genius Doogie.  Although the show revolved around a teenybopper’s escapades working at a hospital, Belinda was still a pivotal piece to the puzzle, offering that needed motherly influence.  DOOGIE HOWSER offered Belinda a steady paycheck as she worked on the show for five seasons.  When the show ended in 1993, Belinda returned to that revolving door of tv guest bits she knew all too well.  She brightened up the set of BURKE’S LAW and HOPE ISLAND, but her career on television, after her run as Doogie’s mother, began to slow down, as is the case with most actresses in their forties–screenwriters like to write lead roles for younger gals for some reason.  As of this writing, Belinda’s latest role came in the remake of TRON.





BODY: 7.4


FANMAIL: Northern Exposure Talent, 570 Granville Street #503, Vancouver, BC V6C 3P, Canada

{January 23, 2012}   Introducing… Graem McGavin

Miss McGavin had a short two-year, three-film career in Hollywood before shifting gears and taking on new work.  The petite brunette beauty was never the star in her films but added a fresh face and a perky personality to the films she appeared in.  Graem may not have had the tenure of a Lauren Bacall or the brief stardom of a Marilyn Monroe, but she shined for a brief time and will not be soon forgotten to those who saw her in her few roles.

She received her big break in the 1983 sex comedy MY TUTOR starring Matt Lattanzi and Caren Kaye.  When a student fails French class, his well-to-do parents hire a sexy tutor to instruct him in the foreign tongue.  However, the two can’t keep to their studies and begin to engage in extracurricular activities.  Graem plays Sylvia in this film, a girl closer to the male lead’s own age, who he makes out with in the back seat of his car.  With what she has to work with, in the script, Miss McGavin does a fine job but films like MY TUTOR aren’t rented for a stimulating story but altogether different stimulation.  Graem is asked to go topless in this movie as most films of this ilk have numerous topless dames running about but few of the said dames have the acting skill that Graem possessed.  Her talent wasn’t resigned solely to her chest.

After shooting MY TUTOR, Graem worked on another exploitation film titled ANGEL opposite Donna Wilkes.  Graem plays one of Donna’s prostitute chums who gets sliced and diced in the shower, and since this is a grindhouse-styled film, with all the trappings that implies, Miss McGavin was killed only after baring her breasts.  With two films in the can, and two directors asking her to go topless, Graem landed a role that showcased her talent as a thespian and not her glands in the adequate comedy WEEKEND PASS.  Four sailors on pass search for ladies and the sheepish sailor, intimidated by women, is set up with Graem’s bookish, bespectacled Tawny.  She gives a sensitive performance as a young woman finding love when she least expected it.  Bt alas, it was Graem’s last performance in the film industry and the pretty, jovial brunette with a winning smile took her talents elsewhere where she probably wasn’t asked to have fake blood smeared all over her unclothed torso.  Such is the life of an actress, I’m told.





BODY: 7.1


FANMAIL: unknown

{January 23, 2012}   Introducing… Marilyn Monroe

Hollywood’s most famous sexpot, Miss Monroe gained fame thanks to her looks as well as her work on such box office successes as SOME LIKE IT HOT and  GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES.





BODY: 7.8



{September 5, 2011}   Introducing… Brooke Mills

Brooke Mills was a semi-popular drive-in diva during the 1970s.  The gorgeous redhead from the Midwest starred in a handful of low-budget exploitation films during her days in the film industry.  Always terrific in her roles, Brooke never gave less than her best in her roles.  One of the most ethereal of all screen beauties, Miss Mills had an appeal the likes of which are rarely seen in Hollywood.  Sure, there are numerous sexy actresses running around Tinseltown but only a few of them–nowadays at least–could be described as beautiful.  Beauty and sexiness don’t go hand-in-hand, contrary to popular belief, but in the case of Brooke Mills, they most certainly did.  Not only did she posses the countenance of loveliness perfected but she was also a sensual lady who could melt any man with a casual stare.

Brooke appeared in a movie as background window-dressing in 1968–her first role in the business.  She didn’t have a line in the film LIVE A LITTLE, LOVE A LITTLE, and wasn’t even listed in the end credits.  With an inconspicuous debut, Brooke must have been delighted when she was given more to do in her next gig, which was a guest role on the series THE F.B.I.  The role that would establish the trajectory of her career came next in 1970.  She signed on to play the female lead in the unusual drive-in film DREAM NO EVIL.  Brooke gives a fine performance as a mentally unstable young woman who was raised in an orphanage.  She spends her days hoping for her father’s return and when she does find him, he is laid out dead at the morgue.  However, Brooke wishes him alive and he miraculously is reanimated.  Brooke then spends time connecting with her undead father who has a bit of a murderous streak.

The drive-in themed roles came thereafter.  She starred in the John Carradine/Faith Domergue film LEGACY OF BLOOD in 1971.  Her character, Leslie, was a sexual deviant who must acknowledge her past when she and her siblings return to the family mansion to hear the reading of their father’s will.  Miss Mills gives quite a strong performance, when she is given something to do (her character is essentially bedridden) as the disturbed Leslie.  She is both alluring and wretched at the same time–something few actresses could pull off.  Leslie is a troubled woman but given Brooke’s natural beauty, there lies within a vulnerability that draws you near, which forces the dementia aside and beckons one to enter the heavenly embrace she offers.

Her next film catered to the exploitation crowd as she co-starred opposite Pam Grier, who made a name for herself in this genre, in the women-in-prison flick THE BIG DOLL HOUSE.  Brooke excels as a crazed drug addict, exuding that sexy vulnerability she mastered in LEGACY OF BLOOD.  Like most women-in-prison films, Miss Mills has a shower scene simply for a gratuitous display of her amazing body.  But after shooting THE BIG DOLL HOUSE Brooke took leave of the drive-in set and returned to television with roles in THE MOD SQUAD and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.  However, once the drive-in stamp is upon you, it’s hard to remove it. 

Brooke’s next drive-in feature was the hippy-happy film THE STUDENT TEACHERS.  With a very weak story–most drive-in films suffer from this flaw–THE STUDENT TEACHERS follows the lives of four young women engaged as, you guessed it, student teachers, who rub the stuck-up faculty the wrong way.  Brooke shows up her first day of teaching wearing a purple top that accentuates her breasts and the fact that she goes braless isn’t left to the imagination.  The principal quickly reprimands her but since this is a groovy 1970s flick, we all know the uptight old white people are the villains and sexy Brooke and her gal pals are the heroines.  Although the film is an absolute mess from beginning to end, Miss Mills is quite intoxicating in the film.  She poses nude for her artist boyfriend and teases a bashful male student with an obsession with photography.  Brooke is without question the top actor involved in this horrible motion picture but it’s one that can’t be missed if you’re a fan of Miss Mills.

Although Brooke made a few more forays into film, she seemed to prefer television work as her career settled.  She worked on MARCUS WELBY M.D. and had a recurring role on the series BARBARY COAST.  She co-starred with Bo Svenson in the backwoods revenge flick WALKING TALL PART II and in 1976 she had brief roles in a couple of films, FREAKY FRIDAY and TWO-MINUTE WARNING.  Her last credit came in television during the year of 1977.





BODY: 10


FANMAIL: unknown

{August 30, 2011}   Introducing… Christine Moore

The statuesque Christine Moore made a name for herself in the low-budget horror genre in the late 1980s.  Christine worked occasionally with female horror director Roberta Findlay in some of her fright flicks from that decade.  Most of Findlay’s films have an inkling of professionalism but more often than not her work comes off as a bit too bland.  Fortunately for her she had Christine Moore to turn to.  An underappreciated actress, Christine was oftentimes the only thespian of much talent in her films.  This has a two-pronged effect: it amplifies her natural acting talent but it prohibits her from working in anything of much substance.  The only major film she worked on was the Harrison Ford flick CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER and her role was quite minor.

Miss Moore got her start in the business during the late 1980s.  Her breakout role came courtesy of Robert Findlay who cast her as the female lead in back-to-back horror films in 1988 and ’89.  Christine showed plenty promise as an up-and-coming actress in LURKERS.  In that film she stars as a concert cellist who seems to have everything going for her.  She is engaged to be married to a nice young man and has a stable career, but her past comes back to haunt her.  As a little girl, she watched as her demented mother killed her father and she begins to receive unpleasant visits from ghosts just when her life is at its peak.  Christine gives quite an exceptional performance in LURKERS.  She expertly displays a vulnerability that attracts the viewer.  All too often, roles of tormented women in horror films aren’t handled well by actresses who make their characters too demanding, flighty and unappealing, but Christine refrains from that.  It’s a tribute to her acting skill that she keeps her character sympathetic throughout the film.

Findlay’s next horror film starring Miss Moore was PRIME EVIL.  Working with a budget obviously a bit higher than LURKERS, PRIME EVIL stars Christine again as a tormented woman.  A coven of devil worshipper’s have set their sights on the lovely Christine.  Disguised as monks, the head of their evil sect seems a bit too drawn, physically, to Christine than a man of the cloth ordinarily would be.  It is his design to abscond with the shapely beauty and give her to the prince of darkness.  PRIME EVIL has its moments but is a bit bland and lacking any real punch to separate it from other films of its ilk.  Although Findlay is a female filmmaker, her PRIME EVIL is littered throughout with abundant female nudity.  However, unlike in LURKERS, Christine refrains from exposing her exceptional chest in this film, relying on her acting talent and not her breasts.

Christine worked with little respite in 1989.  She filmed PRIME EVIL that year and accepted the title role in the film ALEXA and had a co-starring role in THRILLED TO DEATH.  Both films were of rather poor quality and Christine is all there is to recommend in both films.  In ALEXA, she plays a prostitute with scruples in an obvious rip-off of the A-List Julia Roberts hit PRETTY WOMAN.  The film is terribly written and the acting is third-rate–with one notable exception: Miss Moore.  The same can be said for THRILLED TO DEATH which centers on a writer of thrillers who does a little research in wife-swapping for his next book.  He and his bride meet up with Christine and her husband who might have more than just a casual interest in the writer as his bride.  Both of these films can be easily described as “quite bad,” but Christine gives it her best in both films and clearly excels her co-stars in the acting department.  The scripts were so horribly written in both cases, Christine has to offer a topless scene just to have something to recommend.

She worked steadily into the 1990s with roles in PUNCH THE CLOCK and MURDER IN BLACK AND WHITE during the first year of the new decade.  After slumming it in direct-to-video films, Christine ventured to television–MURDER IN BLACK AND WHITE her first tv movie.  She had a recurring role in the series THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY which followed a teenage Superman well before that ground was charted by the wildly successful SMALLVILLE.  In 1994 she had her brief fling with the A-List when she had a minor role in CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER.  The following year she guest starred in an episode of HOMICIDE and then took time off from acting.

In 2003 Christine began to do some voice over work in the cartoon genre.  She lent her voice to Japanese cartoons that were dubbed into English for audiences.  She worked in this field in 2003 before returning to acting in 2005 with a guest spot in the British soap DOCTORS.  As of this writing, Christine’s last credit was in 2006.





BODY: 9.7


FANMAIL: unknown

{July 19, 2011}   Introducing… Kim Myers

With an ethereal visage that seems as if a radiant halo rests above her mane of Titian-colored hair, Kim Myers has been typecast in the film industry as the “good girl.”  How could a lady with as wholesome an image play a twisted, evil dame?  Although she doesn’t get the roles that say Sharon Stone is offered, Miss Myers has enjoyed a solid career in the business.  She has worked steadily in the business since 1985, accepting roles in film but far more roles on television.  She might be best remembered as Jarod’s mother in THE PRETENDER, but her most recognizable role might also be the sequel to NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

Kim wasn’t the type of actress who kicked around television with minor roles at the outset of her career.  No, she jumped right into feature films and not as the girl in the background or a cashier at a supermarket with three seconds screen time.  Kim’s fist role was the girl of interest, Lisa Webber, in NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET II.  She didn’t have to toil in the background in some uncredited role but gathered the female lead in the second installment of the Freddy Krueger franchise.  Kim gives a fine rookie performance as Lisa, milking her modest, good-girl image.  Miss Myers is in top form in this film, not showing any of the common discomforts and weak screen presence of a first time thespian.

After shooting NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET II, Kim went the route of other actors and had that minor role most thespians start out with in 1987 when she played an usher in the film IN THE MOOD.  The following year she had a meatier role in the Rob Lowe vehicle ILLEGALLY YOURS, which seems to be on cable television every other day.  A madcap comedy starring Lowe and Colleen Camp, Kim plays, what else, the good girl that dotes on Rob but he’s too preoccupied with the busty Miss Camp to pay much attention to the prim and proper redhead.  The movie has its moments but is essentially a throw-away film you forget shortly after watching it.  Kim does fine work in the film, however.

Miss Myers then went to work in television in the late 1980s.  She landed a role in a soap, STUDIO 5-B, which was quickly cancelled.  She followed that short-lived series with a couple of made-for-tv movies of no importance.  She then made an obscure comedy titled BEST SHOTS in 1990 which can only be found by rubbing on a genie’s lamp and requesting the movie.  Later that year she had a small role in the Susan Sarandon film WHITE PALACE before landing a lead role in a made-for-tv movie titled THE SITTER.  In what might be her strongest bit of acting, Kim is allowed to show her range as a thespian, playing a sweet yet mentally unstable young woman who spends more time with despair than solace.  Kim plays the titled sitter who, already shy a couple of cards in the deck, goes full insane when she believes the girl she is sitting is really her daughter.  Murders ensue, but all the while you’ll have a fragment of remorse for Kim’s Nell, thanks to Miss Myers’ extraordinary performance.

In 1993 she landed a job on another series, KEY WEST, starring Fisher Stevens as a rich writer who moves to Key West and interacts with the zany locals.  Kim played a doctor in the short-lived series.  She then had a guest spot on WALKER, TEXAS RANGER before starring in an early Vince Vaughn film AT RISK.  Miss Myers then returned to her horror roots in 1996 with a co-starring role in HELLRAISER: BLOODLINES.  Kim gives a fine performance as Bruce Ramsay’s wife who must protect their son from Pinhead and his evil cronies.  Playing the housewife was right up Kim’s alley, given her angelic countenance and pleasing disposition.  She effectively conveys love and terror.

After shooting that dark horror flick, Kim went back to television and guest starred on an episode of SEINFELD.  In the episode THE SOUL MATE, Kim plays the titled soul mate, Pam, who Jerry dates but Kramer desires.  Miss Myers gives a graceful performance, clearly the most elegant of all Jerry’s flings on the series, who sets Kramer ablaze with her wholesomeness and no need for makeup.  The hipster doofus that is Kramer is quite taken by Kim’s natural beauty and employs Newman to help him woo her and steal her away from the crude, loveless Jerry.  Two years after her SEINFELD sojourn, Kim starred in the Patrick Swayze vehicle LETTERS FROM A KILLER in 1998.  Around that same time she was called back to the set of THE PRETENDER off and on to appear in a handful of episodes as the lead character’s mother.

After 2000, Kim essentially gave the film industry the finger and went to work exclusively in television.  She guest starred on such series as SIX FEET UNDER and JAG and then had guest spots on JUDGING AMY and THE CLOSER.  In 2007 she returned to film with a co-starring role opposite Henry Thomas in THE LAST SIN EATER.  Last year, 2010, she appeared in a post apocalyptic show 10,000 DAYS.  As of this writing, she is slated to appear in a Sundance-like film titled CARMEL with the veteran actress Lauren Bacall.





BODY: 6.8


FANMAIL: Visionary Entertainment, 1558 N. Stanley Avenue, W. Hollywood, CA 90046

Need a thespian to point to and say, “See, there’s proof positive that Hollywood doesn’t know a good actor when it gets  hold of one?”  Well, look no further than Michelle McBride.  Michelle only had four roles in the industry but she showed plenty of promise in her sojourn into acting.  The curly-haired actress had a hypnotic screen presence that pulled the viewer in and left them wanting more.  Miss McBride, the possessor of piercing, feline eyes, excelled in the brief time she was placed before a camera, but those behind the camera failed to see the quality actress they had before them.

Michelle was fortunate enough to land a rather meaty role in her first ever appearance in the industry.  Many rookie thespians play a background individual or have a brief guest spot on a television series but Michelle had a co-starring role in her first feature film.  Michelle starred as Lillian in Fullmoon Pictures best ever film, SUBSPECIES.  She and friend Laura Tate visit their Romanian foreign exchange student chum Irina Movila in her homeland to study the local area.  The three young ladies instead interfere in a vampire feud between demonic looking evil vamp Anders Hove and his goody-two-shoes brother Stefan.  Miss McBride clearly gives the best performance in this film–Anders Hove is quite good as well–as the bubbly, good time Lillian.  Michelle is able to play the role of the outgoing dame and does a marvelous job with her character.  After she suffers an injury, an open flesh wound on her arm, the evil vampire seeks out her blood and she becomes a creature of the night.  Michelle expertly runs the course with this character, playing Lillian as a spunky tourist, then a shell of herself weakened by an illness and lastly as an animalistic vampire.  She excels in every arena.

Michelle co-starred in the classic vampire flick in 1991 but that same year she landed the lead role in a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH.  A stylistic horror film, the movie has some rather clever death scenes which the makeup department should be applauded for, but has little else going for it.  Like most films based on a Poe story, it completely fails to live up to its source material.  Michelle however gets to tone down the spunkyness she exuded in SUBSPECIES and plays the stoic professional journalist.  She infiltrates an upscale masque but is trapped in the mansion overnight with a deranged killer.  Miss McBride is in great form in this film, carrying the movie with some support from the legendary Herbert Lom and Sylvester Stallone’s brother Frank.  Since the film is set at a costume party, Michelle spends the entire film in a rather sexy Cupid themed getup which employs a short skirt, and a small top that showcases her midriff as well as her cleavage.  The film may have style and Michelle exudes sexiness while also giving a strong performance, but the story is mush and the execution listless. 

In 1991, still her first year of professional acting, Michelle appeared in an episode of LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER.  She closed out 1991–which was a banner year for a new actress.  The next year surely looked promising since she had a lead role in a feature film and gave a great performance in a solid vampire film, but stardom was not forthcoming.  She only had one more credit and it came in 1992 when she had a minor role in the Daphne Zuniga vehicle PREY OF THE CHAMELEON.  Michelle was completely unrecognizable as her lovely, curly auburn hair was hidden under the most atrocious wig ever captured in cinema.  The filmmakers donned Michelle in this nasty, purple beehive mess of a wig that she had to wear for her role.  Whether the obscene wig forced her from the film industry I don’t know, but I do know that it was an unflattering ornament no woman in her right mind would wear.  After shooting this inept little thriller, Michelle never ventured back in front of a camera and Hollywood failed to utilize someone with loads of talent.  Which is quite the shame, given the great number of talentless people they throw in front of cameras nowadays.





BODY: 7.2


FANMAIL: unknown

It’s a rarity when an actor seems out-of-place in a film because the material is so far beneath them.  Catherine McCormack has struggled with this her entire career in film and television.  Whatever the role, Catherine “slums it” in a film that doesn’t deserve her talents.  She starred in DANGEROUS BEAUTY, which was a quality film tailored for her talents, but most of her remaining work has been in roles that Miss McCormack is clearly too elevated a thespian for.  The lovely actress has seemed to counter this by working steadily in her native London on the stage where scripts tend to be of a higher literary standard.

Catherine began working in front of a camera in her early twenties but has always been quite outspoken in her preference for the stage.  She played Rose in the film LOADED in 1994 but would get her breakout role in just her second film when she starred as Mel Gibson’s ill-fated betrothed in the classic BRAVEHEART.  Although on screen for but a brief time, Miss McCormack excelled in her role and folks in the film industry took notice of an up-and-coming talent.  Beautiful and elegant, Catherine showed in her BRAVEHEART exposure that she could give films a dose of class and sophistication.

Although BRAVEHEART got Catherine’s name out there in the film industry, she worked intermittently in front of the camera during the 1990s.  BRAVEHEART came out in 1995 and she made just one film apiece in 1996 and 1997.  But 1998 would be a strong year for Catherine.  She starred alongside Rachel Weisz and Anna Friel in the World War II drama THE LAND GIRLS.  Catherine is in fine form as the conservative Stella who accepts employment at a country estate and essentially battles the other two female leads for the affections of an eccentric.  An adequate film, LAND GIRLS allowed Miss McCormack more screen time than she was given in BRAVEHEART but the film was lacking in dramatic intensity.

That same year, 1998, Catherine was given her greatest role to date when she signed on to play Veronica Franco in DANGEROUS BEAUTY.  Catherine was able to showcase her acting chops by playing a witty, sophisticated courtesan in this classic period piece.  She gives one of the greatest performances in film history, by actor or actress, with the illuminating portrayal of Veronica.  The dialogue is snappy, witty and of great quality and Catherine excels at oratory one-upmanship with actor Oliver Platt.  The British bird gets to do it all in this film: recite classy dialogue, play the tortured heroine and sword fight with husky Mr. Platt.  Although packaged as a “chick flick,” the marketing is misleading as DANGEROUS BEAUTY is one of the finest period piece films made in the last twenty years.  Any filmgoer with an appreciation for a strong story, great lines and superior acting will find much to like about this terrific gem of a film.

But DANGEROUS BEAUTY, although a star-maker for Catherine, came with its concerns.  Where does one go from here?  After filming her best movie, Catherine would never again get a role quite like Veronica Franco, but one must thumb their nose at screenwriters and not actors for the lack of good scripts.  After a few forgettable films in 1999, Catherine joined the cast of SHADOW OF A VAMPIRE for another solid film.  Although the film belongs to leads John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe, Miss McCormack gives a stellar performance as self-absorbed actress Greta Schroder.  Catherine is effectively vacuous as Greta, a woman with one concern and a proclivity for the drugs.  Although a fine film, SHADOW OF A VAMPIRE seemed to place a greater emphasis on Catherine’s chest than her acting skills.  For no apparent reason, Catherine is shown bare-breasted in a drug induced stupor in her motel room.  Near the end of the film, Willem Dafoe, who plays the vampire of the title, feasts on Catherine while squeezing her sizable breasts.  DANGEROUS BEAUTY may have shown Catherine nude as well but at least the story gave her character more to do than showcase a superior torso.

In 2000 Catherine made a solid little thriller titled THE WEIGHT OF WATER.  Although plodding at times, the film holds interest thanks to great performances by both Catherine and Sarah Polley.  Catherine plays an investigative journalist who ventures to an island where a murder was committed many decades ago to go over the case.  The drama of the film concerns her mates in the enterprise: her husband, his brother and his girlfriend played by pretty-face Elizabeth Hurley.  Miss McCormack gives a layered performance as Jean Janes who clashes emotionally with her poet husband, Sean Penn, who discusses heart-wrenching life details as if talking about last night’s baseball game.  Catherine shines when Penn casually talks about their child’s untimely death and, given Catherine’s acting skill and not the script, the viewer can tell its a subject she wants to keep buried.

Catherine made a couple of spy films in 2001: THE TAILOR OF PANAMA and SPY GAME.  Both films were relatively successful but the roles weren’t redeeming and Catherine went back to the stage.  She would resurface in front of the camera again in 2004 when she played Queen Elizabeth in the tv movie GUNPOWDER, TREASON & PLOT.  She would gather another solid role as the title character in ELIZABETH DAVID: A LIFE IN RECIPES.  The real Miss David was kind of the forerunner to dames like Martha Stewart.  And like Martha, Elizabeth David had some demons nestled in her closet.  Catherine made that film in 2006 and then starred in the horror flick 28 WEEKS LATER in 2007.  As of this writing, she has been working on a boxing series on television titled LIGHTS OUT.





BODY: 8.7


FANMAIL: William Morris Talent, 9601 Wilshire Blvd. 3rd floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

{June 18, 2011}   Introducing… Athena Massey

A B-Rate film beauty, Athena Massey is more than just the pretty dame with an enviable figure.  Unlike many low-budget beauties, Athena is as athletic as many men that get paid millions of dollars to play sports.  She isn’t one to sit on the sidelines and file her nails but the type of gal that will jump right in the fray.  Physical and with a toned body, Miss Massey can often be found in action flicks that allow her to jump around and toss her limbs about.  She is the go-to actress for action films because she can handle a great number of stunts and doesn’t need some daredevil dame body-doubling for her when the going gets rough.

Athena’s first credits were in television as she had minor roles on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D. in 1992.  The television world didn’t stick and Athena ventured off to the B-Rate kingdom in the mid 1990s and became a sought after commodity thanks to her beauty, body and ability to hold her own in martial arts roles.  1995 was a busy year for Athena who made the film UNDERCOVER.  An erotic thriller, Athena expertly plays an undercover police officer who beds bad guys in order to instill a little law and order.  She clearly outshined the other performers in the skinflick.  It was her first starring role, but it was a minor film geared towards the late night crowd which put far more emphasis on Athena’s body than her acting skills.  She is asked to go nude on numerous occasions and obliges.

That same year she starred opposite Don “The Dragon” Wilson in VIRTUAL COMBAT.  A weak actor but a strong martial artist, Wilson’s films are typically weak but VIRTUAL COMBAT has some allure because Athena gives a solid performance.  Also in ’95 she would work in the film CYBER-TRACKER II and appeared in two popular television shows: THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW and SEINFELD, where she played a gal that ate her peas one at a time–which vexed Jerry. 

Athena joined the ranks of those actors and actresses who played on THE RED SHOES DIARIES when she starred in the episode titled SLOW TRAIN in 1996.  The television series caters to fans of softcore erotica and as usual, Athena’s terrific acting skills took a backseat to her extraordinary body.  She would branch out and work in an A-List film in 1996 when she had a small role in THE NUTTY PROFESSOR and perhaps her most recognizable role came that same year when she worked on STAR TREK: VOYAGER as an alien.  But after 1996, it was more of the same for Miss Massey: B-Rate films with poor scripts that called for her to shed her threads.

Athena played Rebecca in POISON IVY: THE NEW SEDUCTION and true to her past roles, had a sex scene.  She had to play second fiddle in the POISON IVY film but she took the lead role in an effective B-Rate thriller titled SHADOW OF A SCREAM in 1997.  Athena gives a strong performance as a cop, who, just like her earlier role in UNDERCOVER, goes undercover to nab a serial killer.  Most films of this ilk are quite laughable and only serve as a vehicle for numerous coupling scenes, but SHADOW OF A SCREAM is different.  The difference lies in Miss Massey terrific performance.  She doesn’t just milk the script and play her role by-the-numbers with little emotion, rather, she excels in scenes where she must exhibit raw emotion–when she feels her life is at stake with a murderer in her midst.  Most actresses would just sleepwalk through these scenes and only give a quality showing when they are in bed, but Athena is brilliant out of the sheets as well as shining under them.

In 1998 she starred opposite Steve Railsback in a terrible little Balkan thriller titled TERMINATION MAN.  Railsback is about twenty years too old for the role of a genetically enhanced super soldier, but the role allows him to have his way with Athena near a flowing creek.  A weak film, the producers knew they had to showcase Athena’s many talents in order for anyone to watch the movie so they have her strip several times for no other reason but to show off her sensational torso.  Miss Massey handles the role of a secret agent quite well, but the script was so abysmal there is little for her character to do other than look great.  The following year she worked in the direct-to-video sci-fi film STAR PORTAL and then she had a bit part in the Elisabeth Shue vehicle MOLLY. 

Between two recurring gigs on television, Athena branched out and worked on video games, starring in the COMMAND AND CONQUER series of button-poking behavior.  The two television gigs Athena had were as Dori in the Don Johnson series NASH BRIDGES and Dr. Gail Waters in BLACK SCORPION.  The role in BLACK SCORPION was made-to-order for Athena who was able to engage in fight scenes and wear sexy outfits that enhanced her perfect body as Dr. Waters’ alter-ego Hurricane.  After BLACK SCORPION wrapped, Athena took a hiatus from acting and hasn’t worked on a film or in television since 2001.





BODY: 10


FANMAIL: Abrams Artists Agency, 9200 Sunset Boulevard, 11th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Leggy Canadian cutie Anne-Marie Martin was born Edmonda Benton and her first acting credits came under the handle “Eddie Benton.”  Although she didn’t look like any Eddie most folks were used to, they accepted her name because she was a talented, beautiful thespian that always gave a dynamite performance.  Whether she was the crass bad girl in PROM NIGHT or the professional federal agent in the sitcom SLEDGE HAMMER, Anne-Marie handle the role with class and distinction.

Miss Martin’s first acting gig came in the cult television show WONDER WOMAN starring Lynda Carter.  At the time, Anne-Marie was going by her given name of Eddie Benton.  She worked steadily in television throughout the late 1970s in various television shows and made-for-tv movies.  She played Diane Cooper in the mini-series DOCTORS’ PRIVATE LIVES and had guest spots on such popular shows as BUCK ROGERS and B.J. AND THE BEAR.  When the 70s reached their end, Anne-Marie reached the height of her career.  She accepted one of her most recognizable roles in 1980 when she was cast alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in the slasher flick PROM NIGHT.

In PROM NIGHT, Miss Martin, who was still billed as Eddie Benton (it was her last credit under that name), showed her acting chops, playing the monkey wrench in good girl Jamie Lee Curtis’ plans.  Anne-Marie shines as a cunning, crass, manipulative little vixen who declares open war on Jamie Lee after her boyfriend ditched her for the star of HALLOWEEN.  The old saying that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” was more than adequate when describing the machinations of Anne-Marie’s callous Wendy.  The film opened doors for Miss Martin and she worked without reprieve in 1981.

A good year for Anne-Marie, 1981 saw her work in some of her better films.  She co-starred in the lions-gone-mad film SAVAGE HARVEST which was a solid little thriller, even if it did have man-eating lions descending through a chimney to get their prey.  From there she starred in the solid little horror film THE BOOGENS as Jessica Ford.  This role allowed her to shake free of the bitchy Wendy she slam dunked in PROM NIGHT and play a more domesticated woman.  But she was all fun and games, sporting her cowboy hat and painted on blue jeans, as a libido-crazed dame who gets attacked by savage cave-dwelling mutants.  Anne-Marie has to spend about five minutes wearing nothing but a bath towel as the monsters chase her through her log cabin.  She does a remarkable job in the screaming damsel role.

Reunited with Jamie Lee Curtis in ’81, Miss Martin had a brief cameo in the sequel to John Carpenter’s smash hit HALLOWEEN.  Anne-Marie is on screen for about one minute as she plays a bar-hopping pal to Pamela Susan Shoop’s character.  1981 came to a close with a guest spot on the forgettable television series MR. MERLIN.  She opted to remain in television and landed a recurring role as Gwen Davies in the famous soap DAYS OF OUR LIVES.  She would have only one other film credit in the Tom Selleck vehicle RUNAWAY which was made in 1984. 

After guest starring on such television shows as T.J. HOOKER and ST. ELSEWHERE, Anne-Marie landed perhaps her most recognizable role outside of film when she signed on to play opposite David Rasche in the cult series SLEDGE HAMMER.  Created by an askew fellow named Alan Spencer, SLEDGE HAMMER was an instant cult success with its comedic take on violence.  David Rasche, as the title character, is a no-nonsense cop who speaks lovingly to his handgun and keeps a bazooka in the trunk of his car.  Anne-Marie adds a little sanity to the zany show as Dori Doreau, a professional detective who can kick her fair share of ass when needed.  The role of Dori allowed Anne-Marie to meld her cunning, manipulative Wendy from PROM NIGHT with her more cool and stable Jessica from THE BOOGENS, and she does a masterful job at it.  During the run of SLEDGE HAMMER, Anne-Marie married the mega-wealthy author Michael Crichton and gave up acting.





BODY: 9.4


FANMAIL: 144 South Beverly Drive #405, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

et cetera

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