A beauty queen, most notable for her placement as the third runner up in the 1959 Miss Universe contest, the beguiling Pamela Searle made a dozen film and television appearances throughout her short lived career.
Her movie credits, which included Bells Are Ringing (with Judy Holiday and Dean Martin) and If A Man Answers (with Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin), often capitalized on her looks and gave her little to do besides provide an attractive background ascetic.
TV was a bit kinder, giving her characters with names like Roxy Dozy to play on shows like Route 66 and Bachelor Father. Her most significant part for lovers of spook, though, is definitely that of Meg Payton on the A Wig for Miss Devore episode of Thriller. As an enchantress being hung for her crimes against humanity in the story’s enjoyable opening sequence, Searle beguiles with both touching modesty and a wickedly sharp edge. As Meg flatters her executioners with precision, Searle brings out of all the nuances of the role, proving that as a performer she is truly an unsung (anti) heroine of horror.
In fact, one definitely feels shades of Barbara Steele’s Princess Asa Vadja from Black Sunday and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus in Searle’s inflections, two very distinctive personalities that give credence to the excellence of this underappreciated actress’s work.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!