Virginia Mayo

All posts tagged Virginia Mayo

Unsung Heroines of Horror: Virginia Mayo

Published June 6, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

Perhaps only rivalled, credit-wise, by Yvonne De Carlo, her luscious raven haired cinematic counterpart, the delicious Virginia Mayo spent the moonlight years of her career occupying space in a number of horror projects. Granted, with major roles in projects like Silent Scream, Cellar Dweller, American Gothic and Play Dead (along with her overpowering The Munsters cache), De Carlo was certainly the Queen Bee of the Former Technicolor Starlets set. But Mayo definitely gave her a run for her money. 

While the ’60s and ’70s found Mayo decorating such cinematic fare as Castle of Evil (1966) and Haunted (1977) (with 1990 cheapie Evil Spirits providing her employment during the VHS invasion), she is perhaps at her most effective (and eternally beautiful) as the sympathetic Carrie Crane in The Diary (1971), a second season episode of Rod Serling’s early ’70s spook show Night Gallery. As Crane, a faded, scandal plagued actress, Mayo radiates with a bruised and tender strength of purpose here. Digging her shiny yet well-trod heels into her scenes with Patty Duke’s venomous Holly Schaeffer, a gossip journalist who is out to destroy her, Mayo’s years in the Hollywood trenches are given a resourceful workout during the various character beats in this revenge fueled tale. 

Indeed, Crane’s gifting of a mysterious journal to Schaeffer soon sends that pesky muckracker into a gothic downward spiral full of death and despair – proving what many diva-worshipping fellas already know, that Mayo will forever be a prominent force in every style of cinema – terror fueled and otherwise.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Carol Douglas

Published February 14, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

With her take on Doctor’s Orders, the well-rounded Carol Douglas found herself swimming through the upper echelons of disco ballrooms, worldwide. The popularity of that song earned her a special mention in the background of Saturday Night Fever, but her preceding stints on television shows like The Patty Duke Show and several appearances in off-Broadway productions already proved she was a talent to be reckoned with.

Nicely, one of her more interesting assignments during her ‘70s heyday was providing the dance tune for the truly eclectic soundtrack of Haunted, a dusty look at the revenge that a ghost of a Civil War witch takes on the ancestors of those who murdered her.

Like the film itself, which mixed such Hollywood notables as Virginia Mayo co-starring with such newcomers as Playboy model Ann Michelle, the music here features dramatic story songs like Billy Vera’s Indian Woman, Freya Cayne’s gooey love ballad A Distant Time and Douglas’ exuberant vocalizing on the club ready You Make Me Feel the Music.

Thankfully, for all fans of that Summers’ Era of Boogying, Douglas is still making those bright lights shine positively at Carol Douglas | Facebook.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Va-Va-Villainess: Patrice Wymore

Published October 29, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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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.

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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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Virginia Mayo

Published October 27, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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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 Lives and (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 Spirits and an episode of Night Gallery understandably 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.

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Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Patty Duke’s Horrific (Eternal) New Year’s Eve!

Published December 31, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

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Despite his selfishness and intense body odor, I always find myself on an endless loop when it comes to my desire for that French cooking zombie down the hall.

diary2Similarly, as vengeful tabloid reporter Holly Schaeffer on The Diary segment of a 1971 episode of Night Gallery, Patty Duke (and lots and lots of hair) finds herself frantically believing that every single day is the beginning of the new year.diary3

Gifted a deadly, prophetic diary by her frequent target, a faded Hollywood actress named Carrie Crane (Virginia Mayo), Duke’s Holly soon finds herself surrounded by death and destruction. Ultimately, she finds herself locked away in an asylum, madly experiencing time as it runs in endless circles.
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Filled with an exquisite sense of mercurial cattiness, this gem allows Duke (who, also, appeared in such TV terrors as 76s Look What Happened to Rosemary’s Baby and 89s Amityville: The Evil Escapes) and former musical star Mayo (66s Castle of Evil and 77s Haunted) to go at with both guns firing. Viewers will, also, get a kick out of discovering Lindsay Wagner in an early role, as a nurse, as well.
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Wishing a Happy (Ginger Wigged) 2014 to all!

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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