During the late Fifties to mid-Sixties blonde nymphets, in the tradition of the thumb-sucking Carroll Baker in Baby Doll, ruled the silver screen. There was Sandra Dee, Connie Stevens, Sue Lyon, and Diane McBain. But the three with the most potential and who always seemed on the verge of superstardom were Tuesday Weld, Yvette Mimieux and Carol Lynley. These gorgeous gals were interchangable as a litter of puppies. Glancing at movie magazines of the time, you couldn’t tell one from the other.

Mimieux excelled playing the fragile beauty who seemed to be always on the verge of a breakdown (Where the Boys Are; A Light in the Piazza; Joy in the Morning) or fantasy figure come to life on (one of the Enui in The Time Machine; a princess in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm).

Weld had more of an edge to her and in keeping with her real life wild child persona played the mischievous teenager (Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys; Bachelor Flat; Soldier in the Rain); the tramp (Wild in the Country); the selfish sex kitten (Lord Love a Duck); or psycho (Pretty Poison).

Lynley tried to juggle playing both the good girls (the pregnant unwed teen in Blue Denim; aspiring author Alison McKenzie in Return to Peyton Place; a virginal coed living platonically with her boyfriend in Under the Yum Yum Tree) with the bad (the good Catholic-turned-prostitute in The Cardinal; the pouty secretary longing for her married boss in The Pleasure Seekers).

None of them became superstars. Weld had the talent but turned downed such movies as Bonnie and Clyde, Rosemary’s Baby, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice keeping her a cult favorite at best. Mimieux was typecast far too long as the ingenue until well into her thirties when she had to write her own movie Hit Lady to break free but it was too little, too late. Lynley had an opportuniy after giving a superlative performance in Bunny Lake Is Missing but drivel like Danger Route, The Maltese Bippy and Norwood sunk her chances of becoming a major actress.

Click here to see a wonderful tribute to these three beauties.



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