A musical appearance on an Oscar broadcast (singing the title song from Bachelor in Paradise made Hollywood sit up and take notice of this Illinois-raised Swedish beauty. Her combination of squeaky-clean, all-American looks and uninhibited dancing led to a spate of fluffy roles, but she eventually matured into a talented dramatic actress as well. She first appeared on film in Pocketful of Miracles (1961) and State Fair (1962) in vapid but appealing ingenue roles. Her movie career picked up once she established her vibrant, youthful screen persona with the tuneful Bye Bye Birdie (1963) and Viva Las Vegas (1964, with Elvis Presley). She also achieved a kind of immortality in an animated guest appearance as "Ann-Margrock" on an episode of "The Flintstones." But with musicals already out, she floundered in various floozy roles throughout the 1960s, reaching a nadir of sorts in the campus rebellion drama R.P.M (1970). Daringly cast in Mike Nichols' frank drama Carnal Knowledge (1971), she sparkled as a pathetically needy sexpot and received an Academy Award nomination. (She was nominated again in 1975 for her role in the rock opera Tommy).
A 22-foot fall from a platform in 1972 nearly ended her career and her life, but she made a near-miraculous recovery. In 1978 she gave a mature, perfectly realized performance in Magic a psychothriller costarring Anthony Hopkins. Since then, she's settled into lusty-older-woman roles in middling-to-bad movies such as Lookin' to Get Out (1982), Twice in a Lifetime (1985), A Tiger's Tale (1987), A New Life (1988), Newsies (1992), and Grumpy Old Men (1993). She has had more success on the small screen, with fine work in TV movies like Who Will Love My Children? (1983) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1984) and the miniseries "The Two Mrs. Grenvilles" (1987), "Alex Haley's Queen" (1993) and "Scarlett" (1994, as Belle Watling). She published her autobiography in 1994.
I think she is beautiful and a good singer too. I like her best in Bye Bye Birdie and Viva Las Vegas. Does anyone else like her?
__________________ "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." - James Dean