CANDY JOHNSON WILL SHIMMY NO MORE
Sadly, just heard that Beach Party fave Candy Johnson passed away last week from undisclosed causes in Corona, California where she had been living quietly for years. Her screen career was as fast and fleeting as her dancing but for fans of the beach movies she was beloved by all.
Dubbed “Miss Perpetual Motion” by a Las Vegas columnist, Candy Johnson was the early ‘60s most famous go-go dancer. The energetic bouffant blond twisted her way into nightclub fame and then into drive-in movie nirvana with appearances in four beach movies—Beach Party (1963), Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), and Pajama Party (1964)—where she did little more than shake her fanny in tassled minidresses or bathing suits knocking the surfers off their boards with her wild gyrations and enthralling audiences worldwide.
Though Candy Johnson did not make any films for AIP during 1965, she was still touring for the studio promoting the beach films. New York City audiences finally got a chance to see her exciting stage act as she headlined the Gay New Orleans Nightclub on Bourbon Street at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and 1965. Reportedly, she twisted her way down Broadway for an International Variety Club charity event and performed during intermission of a double-header Mets – Braves baseball game at Shea Stadium. She then disappeared from the public eye. Rumor had it she became a choreographer or that she married a golf pro and settled down to a life of domesticity. I could not verify either as I tried a few times to track her down for an interview without any luck.