Her obituary in 2014 highlighted her role as Errol Flynn’s wife (and mother to his daughter), but true cinema fans know there is much more to the glorious Patrice Wymore. In particular, she displayed much grace and beauty as an actress in projects such as Tea for Two and I’ll See You in My Dreams(both with Doris Day).
Significantly, this distinguished beauty also gave the world its first incarnation of Poison Ivy. Almost 15 years before the DC universe introduced their own misguided floral enchantress, Wymore brought Ivy Williams to vengeful fruition in 1952’s She’s Working Her Way Through College. Nicknamed “Poison” by the other characters in this collegiate musical, Wymore invests Williams with a silken determination and steely focus. Jealous of the attention that Virginia Mayo’s sassy burlesque queen Angela Gardner is receiving on campus, Ivy threatens to reveal her brightly spangled past to the conservative college officials. Naturally, blackmailing Gardner backfires, but Wymore’s destructive Ivy pretty much steals the show here. Her icy concentration contrasts perfectly with Mayo’s chummy warmth.
Unfortunately for cinema buffs, caring for the ailing Flynn took Wymore away from the silver screen, prematurely, and she spent her senior years on a plantation in their beloved Jamaica. Still, anyone lucky enough to stumble upon the handful of successful projects she appeared in, is sure to fall in love with her obvious charms.
Horror Hall of Fame:
In a rare latter day credit, Wymore appeared as Vivian in 1966’s fun, star studded Chamber of Horrors.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan
One of the first to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk Fame, the dazzling Virginia Mayo added gleeful zest to such projects as White Heat, (the award winning) The Best Years of Our Livesand (the truly fun) She’s Working Her Way Through College. Her finely tuned acting antics also found spooky purchase in a diverse array of macabre settings. Her performances in Castle of Evil, Haunted, Evil Spiritsand an episode of Night Galleryunderstandably brought her great acclaim.
Some lucky appreciators also got a chance to see her perform onstage in such shows as No, No Nanette, Good News and, perhaps most importantly, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.
The Follies clip is especially notable as it gives people a chance to actually hear Mayo’s singing voice. While her characters often silkily warbled tunes in her movies, she was almost always dubbed, allowing people to concentrate fully on her smooth dance moves as opposed to favoring her dulcet tones.
Mayo, who died at the age of 84 in 2005, also made appearances in such cult films as Midnight Witness, the notorious Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood, and The Silver Chalice, which featured an oft-robed Paul Newman in his first major role.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!