I always get inquiries about the starlets but the one I get asked about the most is the one with perhaps the least amount of screen time and lines–Mary Hughes from the beach-party movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
A sexy statuesque blonde in the tradition of Brigitte Bardot, Hughes was the perpetual Sixties beach bunny and stood out from all the other girls on the shore due to her eye-popping proportions—standing 5-foot-9 and measuring 36-22-36. None of the other gals on the sand could turn as many heads as she. She made her movie debut in Muscle Beach Party (1964) and appeared in all the remaining AIP beach movies right through the last The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966). After the beach ball deflated, she popped up in Fireball 500 (1966), the Matt Helm spy spoof Murderers’ Row (1966), Thunder Alley (1967), and the Elvis musical Double Trouble (1967). She rarely had more than a line or two but due to her beauty and the way she shimmied and shook to a rockin’ beat, always grabbed lots of camera time. Shortly after, she faded from the big screen.
Flash forward to August 2006 where Mary Hughes (along with fellow beach babes Salli Sachse, Patti Chandler, and Linda Opie) was featured in a Vanity Fair article on Malibu surfers of the ‘60s. Still a gorgeous blonde, she has been a personal trainer for thirty years, owns a boogie board, and still can turn heads while traipsing across the sands of Malibu, where she currently resides.
For the record, I wrote to Mary Hughes twice to ask for an interview but disappointingly I never heard from her. I guess I don’t rate like Vanity Fair.