Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beauty Icon Of The Month: Joey Heatherton


Early life
Christened Davenie Johanna Heatherton and nicknamed "Joey," she was raised in Rockville Centre, New York, a suburb of New York City. There she attended St. Agnes Cathedral School, a Catholic grade and high school. Her father Ray Heatherton was a Broadway star (Babes in Arms) and television pioneer.


Heatherton began her career as a child actress, appearing in 1959 as a member of the ensemble and an understudy in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, and received her first sustained national exposure that same year as a semi-regular on The Perry Como Show, playing an exuberant teenager with a perpetual crush on Perry Como. She also appeared extensively on The Dean Martin ShowDean Martin invited her to perform numerous times on the show, starting with the premiere episode of September 16, 1965. From June to September 1968, along with Frank Sinatra, Jr., she co-hosted Martin's summer substitute musical comedy hour, Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers. She also made multiple appearances on 1960s television shows such as The Andy Williams ShowThe Hollywood PalaceThe Ed Sullivan Show, and This is Tom Jones. She first appeared on television on her father's show The Merry Mailman, a popular children's show in New York.

In May 1969, she appeared on the Tonight Show, where she energetically coached Johnny Carson on the finer points of dancing "The Frug." During that era, she also appeared in Bob Hope's USO troupe between 1965 and 1977, entertaining the GIs with her singing, dancing and provocative outfits. Excerpts from the USO tours were televised as part of Hope's long-running series of NBC monthly specials, culminating in the top-rated Christmas shows, where Heatherton's segments were regularly featured.


Throughout the 1960s, Heatherton interspersed her variety show appearances with dramatic turns in three theatrical films and on numerous episodes of series such as Route 66(playing a 15-year-old temptress in the November 18, 1960 teleplay), Mr. NovakThe VirginianChanningArrest and TrialThe Nurses, and Breaking Point.

Heatherton also appeared in the movies Twilight of Honor (1963), Where Love Has Gone, (1964) and My Blood Runs Cold (1965), alongside veteran actors such as Claude RainsBette Davis and Susan Hayward. In Twilight of Honor, her film debut, she played the young wife of an accused murderer (Oscar-nominee Nick Adams).
The only one of the three films to be made in color, 1964s Where Love Has Gone, was a big-budget melodrama based on Harold Robbinsroman-a-clef about the scandalous Lana TurnerCheryl CraneJohnny Stompanato manslaughter case, with Heatherton playing the daughter of the Turner character (Susan Hayward).
Finally, she appeared in Blood, the second of three 1965 horror-suspense films directed by William Conrad, alongside Troy Donohue.


In 1972, Heatherton had a #24 pop hit with the 1957 Ferlin Husky song "Gone". Her album, The Joey Heatherton Album, did not do as well on the charts as her single.

By the 1970s, Heatherton's career was slowing down, but she was still popular enough to do a series of TV ads for RC Cola and Serta Mattresses. A brief high point came in July 1975 when she headlined Joey & Dad, a four-week Sunday night summer replacement series for Cher's 1975-76 variety show in which she performed alongside her own father. Each episode would involve Ray Heatherton waxing nostalgic over life with his daughter, while rooting through his attic.

In subsequent years, Heatherton performed in Las Vegas and acted in a few scattered TV shows and films, including the 1972 Bluebeard (with Richard Burton in the title role). Additionally, she played the starring role as Xaviera Hollander in 1977's Watergate-inspired The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington.

In April 1997, Heatherton appeared nude in an issue of Playboy. Her most recent acting role was in the 2002 Damon Packard film Reflections of Evil.]

Personal life

In 1969, Heatherton married Lance Rentzel, a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. In 1970, Rentzel was arrested for indecent exposure in front of a 10-year-old girl. They separated shortly afterward and divorced in 1972.

Joey's brother, Dick Heatherton, was a prominent radio disc jockey in New York, on CBS-FM in the 1970s and 1980s.
Father is Ray Heatherton
Joey Heatherton was the Mystery Guest on the November 7, 1965, episode of "What's My Line?" (1950) Longtime panelist Dorothy Kilgallen, 52, was found dead just hours after the program aired live. Four years to the day after Dorothy's death, Joey appeared as a guest in a "Color Honeymooners" episode of "The Jackie Gleason Show" (1966) which originally aired November 8, 1969.

She had a brief, basically unsuccessful recording career, with a minor hit covering Ferlin Husky's "Gone" in 1972.
Measurements: 34-20-32 (at age 20 in 1965), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Subject of Jill Sobule's song "Joey" (2004).
Writing about a USO tour, Bob Hope described Joey and her costume as "nine feet of girl in four feet of leopard skin.".

In the 1960s her brother, Dick Heatherton, was a disk jockey on WPOP in Hartford, Connecticut.
Was largely the basis for, and part namesake of, the "Lola Heatherton" character as played by Catherine O'Hara on "SCTV" (1976) and "SCTV Network" (1981).

Mykie Note: Joey Heatherton Oh how i love thee, ever since i was a small boy, i guess I must have watched The Happy Hooker on late night cable on the Z channel back in the day. I always felt she was way more talented then she was allowed to be, not only an under ratted actress, she was an amazing dancer and yes singer.
To me she was very Twiggy-esque, I have the Chance to meet her a few years back at one of the wrap party's for a film i just completed and she was amazing, "Hey I heard you can really shake it out there, wanna dance? She said to me, Hum, Yes I do, and we had the most amazing time, I mean I got to dance with Joey Heatherton, I could have just died right there. She will always be special for me, since then I have had the pleasure of her company , she still has the pipes too, singer to the end. Love, peach and Joey Heatherton forever!

My favorite films from Joey Heatherton

1964- Where Love Has Gone
1965- My Blood Runs Cold
1972- Bluebeard
1977-The Happy Hooker Goes To Washington


  1. A very cool post about a woman too few people remember. As usual, lots of good background info and pics. I teach dance, and in class I have this line I always yell when I'm frustrated with their performance: "Where are our future Joey Heathertons going to come from?" Of course, none of them have any idea who I'm speaking of and invariably assume it's a guy. Hope to write a review of "Bluebeard" soon, but in the meantime, thanks for the memories!


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