My friend Shaun is always forwarding me interesting starlet-related news, web sites, and video clips. One of his favorite actresses is the multi-faceted Marianna Hill, profiled in my book Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood.
A flaxen-haired beauty who was a natural with dialects and made a career playing various ethnic types as a blonde, brunette or redhead, Marianna was one of the busiest and most versatile actresses to rise from minor decorative roles (New Interns, Roustabout) to second leads (a French tease in the racecar drama Redline 7000, an island cutie in business with Elvis in Paradise, Hawaiian Style) during the Sixties while guest starring on numerous TV shows.
Throughout the Seventies, Marianna played lead roles in a number of cult movies including exciting violent western El Condor (1970) as the often undressed mistress of General Patrick O’Neal; the bizarro The Baby (1973) as a wild-haired member of a wacko family of women who keep their adult brother in diapers and treat him as an infant; and the Clint Eastwood-directed western High Plains Drifter (1973) as a feisty town belle. Her chance for real stardom came when cast as Fredo’s volatile wife in The Godfather, Part II. However, Francis Coppolla cut most of her big scenes. Click below to see that we should have seen much more of Marianna in the movie and much less of the dull Talia Shire.