Fantasy Femmes

Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies  by Tom Lisanti  (Soft cover revised edition will be released in late summer 2010)

“I totally loved this book! It seems Lisanti, an obvious expert on 1960s cinema, not to mention a superb writer, has captured it all.” – Laura Wagner, Classic Images

 “Thorough, well-researched and entertaining.”- Katherine Orrison, Cult Movies

 “[an] affectionate tribute.”- Howard Maxford, Film Review

 “A book with a difference. Well written and always interesting, the tome is a veritable feast of Elvis (and sixties pop culture) to be had between its covers.”- Elvis Information Network (

 “The groovy movie comes swinging back to life in all its pill-popping, hip-shaking, psychedelic glory … Lisanti is surely the new patron saint of ‘Where Are They Now.’- John Rowell, Encore

 “wonderful … a must to have in the library of anybody with an interest in film and the history of film.”- Connie Martinson, Connie Martinson Talks Books

“fans of B-pictures from the psychedelic era will have fun with [this book]”- Lou Gaul, Burlington County Times

 “If you love ’60s exploitation flicks, this is an essential acquisition … well-researched and insightful” – Shock Cinema

 “recommended”- Videoscope

“The ginchiest! Tom Lisanti’s fantasty femmes have shared the most intriguing details about themselves, AND their male co-stars. A carefully researched, well-written gem of a book.”- Shaz, The Lively Set.

Beach Bunnies

  • Pamela Tiffin
    An exquisite brunette, this former model became one of the early sixties’ most popular younger actresses appearing in a string of drive-in movies including the Beach Party knock-off, For Those Who Think Young (1964) and the hotrod film, The Lively Set (1964).
  • Lana Wood
    Sixties drive-in movie fans have known all along that Lana Wood was sexier than her more famous sibling, Natalie Wood, as she went from playing bikini-clad cuties in The Girls on the Beach (1965) and For Singles Only (1968) to a hippie chick in Free Grass (1969).
  • Chris Noel
    With her fresh-faced, innocent look, perky blonde Chris Noel, wearing the skimpiest of bikinis, wiggled, danced and acted her way through a gaggle of biker, beach and Elvis films – Girl Happy (1965), Beach Ball (1965), Wild Wild Winter (1966), The Glory Stompers (1967) and For Singles Only (1968).
  • Karen Jensen
    Unlike Beach Party star Annette Funicello, Karen Jensen actually looked like she grew up on the shores of Malibu. With her short-cropped flaxen hair, blue eyes and shapely figure, Jensen was exquisite as a surfing sweetie in Out of Sight (1966).
  • Joy Harmon
    With her big blue eyes and wild blonde mane, actress Joy Harmon giggled her way through a number of teenage films during the sixties including One Way Wahine (1965) playing a beach bunny involved with felons and Village of the Giants (1965) as a delinquent teen who grows to gigantic proportions and terrorizes a town.
  • Deanna Lund
    By the time she landed her star making role as intergalactic castaway Valerie Scott on TV’s Land of the Giants in 1969, Lund honed her craft on film in the beach movie Out of Sight (1966) and the spy spoof Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965), among many others.

Elvis Girls! Girls! Girls!

Celeste Yarnall
Former model and “Miss Rheingold,” Celeste Yarnall swung from being one of the first female Tarzans in Eve (1968) to the arms of Elvis Presley in Live a Little, Love a Little (1968) to sinking her teeth into the necks of a hippie couple as The Velvet Vampire (1970).

Irene Tsu
During the 1960s, beautiful Chinese actress Irene Tsu played a variety of “native” girls in a number of popular drive-in films including How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965), Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1966) and Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), as one of five island beauties being romanced by Elvis.

Shelley Fabares
Purportedly, Elvis’ favorite co-star, Shelley Fabares (fresh from exiting The Donna Reed Show) played opposite the King in three of his films beginning with Girl Happy (1965) as a mobster’s daughter on Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale, plus Spinout (1966) and Clambake (1967).

Joan O’Brien
Lovely blonde Joan O’Brien became a well-respected actress, co-starring opposite such stalwart stars as Cary Grant, John Wayne and Jerry Lewis, but to sixties drive-in film fans she is most remembered for playing hard-to-get with Elvis in It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963) and the musical Get Yourself a College Girl (1964).

Joan Staley
Former Playboy Playmate Joan Staley appeared with Jerry Lewis in The Ladies Man (1961) and Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) but she is best remembered as the put-upon Marge, the waitress who slaps Elvis in Roustabout (1964).

Francine York
Statuesque Francine York progressed from small roles in films with Jerry Lewis and Marlon Brando to one of a number of health spa patrons beguiled by Elvis in Tickle Me (1965) to the female lead of such B-movie extravaganzas as Space Monster (1965) and Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966).

Julie Parrish
Dark-haired Julie Parrish appeared in a number of successful drive-in films opposite some of the sixties’ most popular teen idols including James Stacy in Winter a-Go-Go (1965), Elvis in Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966) and Frankie Avalon and Fabian in Fireball 500 (1966).

Biker Babes & Hippie Chicks

Diane McBain
Though blonde and baby-faced, Diane McBain excelled as the sophisticated bitch who never got her man in such films as Parrish (1961), Claudelle Inglish (1961) and Spinout (1966) with Elvis. In the biker genre, she went from playing the vile leader of The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968) to the terrorized victim of The Sidehackers (1969).

Salli Sachse
After appearing in the background of practically all the Beach Party movies, beginning with Muscle Beach Party (1964), sexy Salli Sachse graduated to bigger roles in The Wild Angels (1966), The Devil’s Angels (1967) and, most famously, as the LSD freak-out girl in The Trip (1967).

Judy Pace
Beautiful Judy Pace was a pioneer of African-American actresses during the sixties and was well known for playing hip college coeds in such films as Three in the Attic (1968) and Up in the Cellar (1970).

Tisha Sterling
Abandoning her ingenue image in 1968, this fragile-looking beauty, the daughter of actors Ann Sothern and Robert Sterling, went on to play rebels and hippies in such films as The Name of the Game Is Kill (1968), Coogan’s Bluff (1968) with Clint Eastwood, Norwood (1970) and The Wild Pack (1971).

Drive-in Divas

Linda Harrison
Sultry Linda Harrison left an indelible impression on sixties moviegoers as the mute Homo sapiens Nova in the classic sci-fi film Planet of the Apes (1968) and its sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970).

Jill Haworth
A saucy, petite blonde, Jill Haworth (best known as the original Sally Bowles in the Broadway musical Cabaret) appeared in three prestigious films for director Otto Preminger but drive-in fans remember her for the horror opuses It! (1966) and The Haunted House of Horror (1969), among others.

Eileen O’Neill
A staple of the small screen during the sixties, the radiant Eileen O’Neill’s big screen appearances were few and included playing a haughty rich girl in the teen musical, Teenage Millionaire (1961) and the damsel-in-distress in the spy spoof, A Man Called Dagger (1967).

Jean Hale
Blonde Jean Hale played a variety of roles during the sixties from a coed stalked by a killer in the teen exploitation shocker, Psychomania (1963) to a man-chasing WAC in the comedy, McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force (1964) to the femme fatale in the spy spoof, In Like Flint (1967).

Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema also contains profiles on Pamela Austin, Joan Blackman, Yvonne Craig, Mimsy Farmer, Annette Funicello, Dolores Hart, Jocelyn Lane, Patty McCormack, Mary Ann Mobley, Nancy Sinatra and others!

(comments disabled)