HAPPY BIRTHDAY EDY WILLIAMS!
The outrageous Edy Williams arguably had the most determination and drive of most sixties glamour girls to become another Raquel Welch. Standing 5-foot-7 with dark brown hair and brown-green eyes she had a curvaceous body measuring 39-26-37, breathy voice, and captivating personality that men drool over. Loving the camera, Edy posed bikini-clad for numerous cheesecake and pin-up photos. She turned every public appearance into a media event and undeniably became a popular sex goddess of the decade leading up to her most notorious role as porn star Ashley St. Ives in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970).
Edy began her acting career with bit roles in a few movies including For Love or Money (1963) before getting noticed playing call girls in A House Is Not a Home (1964) and more memorably in Sam Fuller’s film noir The Naked Kiss (1964). As with her contemporaries, she landed minor decorative roles on TV including episodes of Burke’s Law, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The ravishing beauty then signed a contract with 20th Century-Fox, ala Raquel Welch, but wherein Raquel landed big movie roles Edy continued to toil on television. Edy was voted a Hollywood Deb Star for 1965 but still was only landing bit parts on the big screen in Nevada Smith (1965), Red Line 7000 (1965), and Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966). She finally got noticed and was simply delectable in The Pad (and How to Use It) (1966) playing one of playboy James Farentino’s girlfriends but went right back to bit parts in the awful Sonny and Cher musical Good Times (1967). It was at this point where Williams went blonde and had one of her best roles in The Secret Life of an American Wife (1968) as the “dumb but well-stacked” suburban neighbor of Anne Jackson who imagines Edy as this sexy siren who can seduce any man. After playing one of sailor Gardner McKay’s shapely shipmates in I Sailed to Tahiti with an All-Girl Crew (1969) and a Vegas showgirl who is sent by casino owner David Janssen to seduce his son Robert Drivas who he suspects of being gay in Where’s It At? (1969), Williams scored big with droll over-the-top performance in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) directed by Russ Meyer. She hit it off so well with her director that they wed shortly after and she co-starred in his next movie the underrated The Seven Minutes (1971) starring Wayne Maunder. You can read my homage to Edy in Beyond, with comments from actors who knew and worked with her, in my upcoming book from BearManor Media entitled Talking Sixties Drive-In Movies.