Hollywood Tragedy! ’70’s Starlet Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith! The Runaways! “Caged Heat”!

hollywood-sign-vintagedear-old-hollywood--down-three-dark-streets--1954----film-locations-oxqqftdb

Welcome To Hollywood!

It’s the entertainment capital of the world…where dreams come true and anyone can be a star…

Hollywood glamour

It is also a tough place to live – and a brutal business of auditions, networking, and rejection…

Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith

An Appreciation Of Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith…

I wanted to bring attention to an Actress who had success in Hollywood, but also lost her way…the lovely and talented “Rainbeaux” Smith – her nickname given her for being a mainstay at L.A.’s legendary Rainbow Room…

Sunset strip classic bars

‘Rainbeaux’ starred in many films throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, building up a fan base among exploitation movie fans, as well as acting in more mainstream films like “Farewell My Lovely.”

rainbeaux

“Caged” Cult Movie Classics!

Cheryl appeared in a number of classic B-movies throughout the 70’s, like the legendary drive-in classic “Caged Heat!”

Here is the trailer for this drive-in exploitation film:

rainbeaux smith caged heat

In the 70’s, the “drive-in movie” genre was full of cult classics, and Smith also starred in several of them, like “The Swinging Cheerleaders” and “Revenge of the Cheerleaders”!

drive-in classic revenge of the cheerleaders

“The Pom Pom Girls” and “Vice Squad!”

‘Rainbeaux’ also starred in these two classic exploitation films as well – what I always referred to as “good clean naughty fun.” These comedies were R-rated, had the usual amount of nudity and double entendres, and usually involved cheerleader hijinks!

Vice_Squad rainbeaux smith

As Hollywood entered the ’80’s, “Vice Squad” was the new type of popular exploitation of the era: lots of action, nudity and women in peril…

vice squad movie

There are a number of fan sites around the web that discuss Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith, who showed a lot of promise in these films…

The_Swinging_Cheerleaders_FilmPoster

Take a look at this trailer for her cult comedy “The Swinging Cheerleaders!”

Swinging_Cheerleaders_Cheryl Smith

Bill Bixby’s Bunny!

In addition to acting, Smith was a very popular model as well. Cheryl was featured in Playboy as the Magician’s Assistant for Actor Bill Bixby…

1973playboy

Hollywood in the 70’s was the place to be, as exploitation films did big business, and the Sunset Strip was the place to go for music and madness…

RIP Cheryl 'Rainbeaux' Smith

Phantom Of The Paradise!

I’ve posted about this cult classic before, but I didn’t realize Cheryl was in it! This is Brian DePalma’s musical masterpiece starring Paul Williams as a Music Producer who sells his should to the devil. Here is a shot of ‘Rainbeaux’ as a groupie who warms up to songwriter Winslow Leach…

Cheryl Smith Phantom Of The Paradise


Rainbeaux Was A Rocker!

Note only was Cheryl an Actress, but she was once a member of the legendary girl band The Runaways with Joan Jett!

According to wikipedia, Cheryl was briefly associated with The Runaways during the production of the motion picture, “We’re All Crazy Now”, after Sandy West and Lita Ford quit the group. An impromptu group was created on the spot, fronted by Joan Jett with Cheryl on the drums as “Sandy”.

the runaways

Smith was an accomplished musician, and was in a variety of movies, but her career was cut short in what is a too-common Hollywood cautionary tale.

While she continued acting, the film roles dried up after she became addicted to heroin in the mid 1980s.

Runaways girl band

In the late ’80’s she was arrested several times for drug-related offenses, and twice served time in prison. Her acting work went away, and like so many other stars, she just faded away from the public eye…

Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith died on October 25, 2002 of complications from liver disease and hepatitis…

Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith RIP

Remembering ‘Rainbeaux’:

Here is an official website that shares pictures and stories about the actress – to remember the highlights of her career – with stories and a number of the pictures in this story are from the site:

http://rainbeauxsmith.net

There are so many stories about the “golden” days of Hollywood, but it is a tough business, and Cheryl’s is a cautionary tale about how tough it is to survive in this town…so here’s to her great body of work, and to her spirit…

swinging_cheerleaders

Check out the site, which helps to keep her memory alive – she was a great young talent, and her death is a cautionary tale about the perils of Hollywood…

Swinging_Cheerleaders_Cheryl Smith



Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, documentary films, Exploitation films, Film Noir, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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15 replies

  1. Nice tribute. Thank you for remembering her.

  2. Her real date of birth was June 6, 1957. I know because we lived together in Hollywood.

    • Cheryl was born on June 6, 1955 at 10:43 p.m. as stated above at Glendale Community Hospital per her birth certificate. Her mother’s maiden name was Willhite. Birth certificate info is available online.

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  10. Truck Stop Woman! “Gator Bait” Sex Kitten Claudia Jennings! Cult Actress With Tragic Story… – JR-Sploitation!
  11. “Ms. 45”! A Stunning Movie Debut For Zoe Lund! The Shocking True Hollywood Heroin Death Of A Great Young Actress! – JR-Sploitation!
  12. “Gator Bait” Sex Kitten Claudia Jennings! Great Cult Actress With Tragic Story… – JR-Sploitation!

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