Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Suzanna Leigh was born on July 26, 1945 in Belgrave, England, where she later attended convent school. her first film gig was as an extra in Tom Thumb (1958), followed by a small role in Oscar Wilde (1960) with Robert Morley. in 1965, producer Hal Wallis saw some photos of Suzanna dressed as Madame Du Barry for a London costume ball which tickled his fancy, so he signed her to a contract. Leigh's first Hollywood role came in Boeing Boeing (1965), starring Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis.
Suzanna's next venture with Wallis would bring her to work with the king himself in one of my favourite of his films: Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1965). this is not one of Elvis' shining moments, to say the least, but there is a kitschy charm to this one that never fails to delight me.
the second of three king flicks filmed in Hawaii, there is little to no plot to follow as Elvis travels the country wooing wahinis and singing god-awful songs to children and dogs along the way. Suzanna plays Elvis' assistant Judy Hudson who pretends to be married to the king in order to help him ward off unwanted advances from lusty clients of their helicopter touring business :)
soon after working with Elvis, Suzanna returned to her movie career in England, appearring mostly in chillers, such as The Deadly Bees (1967) and Lust for a Vampire (1971).
in 1998, Suzanna published an autobiography entitled Paradise, Suzanna Style. [*snicker*]