AND NOW A READING FROM THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. GERBER
Former ’60s starlet Gail Gerber has been invited to be the “special guest” at the Darinka Prose & Poetry Reunion at 7pm on May 5 at Dixon Place in New York City’s East Village. She will be reading from her memoir (co-written by yours truly pictured with Gail) Trippin’ with Terry Southern: What I Think I Remember. Click here for more details. Unfortunately, the book will not be out by then but Gail will be reading from the first chapter about how she met writer Southern and from the Easy Rider chapter.
She was born in Edmonston, Alberta, Canada and began studying ballet at age seven. Extremely talented, at fifteen she became the youngest member of Les Grandes Ballets Canadiennes in Montreal. She quit the ballet troupe in the late ‘50s and moved to Toronto to work as an actress. She appeared on stage and in many live CBC television dramas, and danced and acted on comedians Wayne and Schuster’s Canadian variety show, which led to two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Moving to Hollywood in 1963, the talented blonde with a flair for comedy quickly snagged the lead role in the play Under the Yum Yum Tree at the Ivar Theatre and appeared on such popular TV series as My Three Sons, Perry Mason, and Wagon Train.
She made her film debut in The Girls on the Beach (1965) co-starring The Beach Boys before her agent suggested she change her name and as Gail Gilmore she went on to appear in two Elvis Presley musicals, playing a vacationing coed in Girl Happy (1965) and a dancing gypsy in Harum Scarum (1965).
She then returned to the sands of Malibu to co-star with Edd “Kookie” Byrnes in Beach Ball (1965) before growing to gigantic proportions along with five other delinquent teenagers, including Beau Bridges, who terrorize a town in Village of the Giants (1965).
Gerber met writer Terry Southern on the set of The Loved One (1965) where she had a minor role as a cosmetician and abandoned her career in 1966 to live with him in New York then Connecticut where she remained his longtime companion until his death thirty years later.