Carol Lynley

In 1984, Carol Lynley had one of her best TV roles on Tales of the Unexpected as an insecure older woman desperate to hold on to her young lover (MacKenzie Allen, ex-Jim Speed, Ryan’s Hope). They even off her husband so they can live off his money but her vanity does her in when the husband’s secret mistress (Randall Edwards, ex-Delia, Ryan’s Hope) plots with her boy toy against her.

In my recent interview with Randall Edwards for a book on Ryan’s Hope, she remarked, “I was in awe of Carol Lynley and thought she was amazing. I could not believe I was doing a TV show with her. We did not have a lot of social interaction but she was very professional and was like what people have said about me—internally doing their work and staying in this little bubble. She was absolutely lovely.” Read more about the episode in my BearManor Media book Carol Lynley: Her Film & TV Career in Thrillers, Fantasy & Suspense.

The patsy.
The boy toy
The vengeful mistress

Carol Lynley

1972 was a banner year for Carol Lynley. It began with her playing the supportive girlfriend to reporter Darren McGavin in the Dan Curtis-produced made-for-TV vampire horror film The Night Stalker, the highest rated TV-movie up to that point in time with over 50% of all households TVs tuned in, and ended the year as a terrified hippie rock singer in the classic disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure the highest grossing movie of 1973. Read more in my BearManor Media book Carol Lynley: Her Film & TV Career in Thrillers, Fantasy & Suspense


Although my Carol Lynley book (it is NOT a bio, as some disappointed folks seemed to believe, but a career retrospective) focuses on her genre work, I do discuss her work in comedies, romances, melodramas, etc. One of her most praise-worthy roles was that of the ill-fated Mona Fermoyle who goes from nice Irish Catholic girl to a tango-dancing prostitute in Otto Preminger’s Golden Globe-winning, multi-million dollar epic The Cardinal (1963). It traced the rise of Steven Fermoyle (Tom Tryon) from parish priest in Boston ca. 1910s to Cardinal in the 1940s. When the runaway Mona is found she is about to give birth and her priest brother must decide to either save the mother or the baby. He chooses the later due to Catholic dogma, and the final scene of Mona being rolled to her death and letting out one final scream, “Steve!” is chilling.