Hollywood is such a funny place…critical and commercial acclaim one day can lead to direct-to-video films the next…the key is to keep working, no matter what the role is…there have been so many great movie stars – and virtually all have unique – and sometimes offbeat films – on their resumes…here’s a look at one such “True Hollywood Story: the talented Actress Olivia Hussey!
Olivia Rocks The Yellow Jumpsuit!
As I mentioned, everyone has a “strange choice, huh?” moment on their resume, and it’s no different for Actress Olivia Hussey. First, some background: she was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and first appeared on the London stage as Jenny in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, opposite Vanessa Redgrave. That’s where Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli first spotted her.
Cue Instant Stardom!
Hussey was chosen out of 500 actresses to star as Juliet in Zeffirelli’s smash hit 1968 film “Romeo and Juliet”.
Hollywood’s New Star Of The Year!
The film’s success led to her winning the Golden Globe Award for “New Star of the Year!”
This was the end of the 60’s, when Sinatra, Dean Martin and his gang still ruled. After the acclaim for her Shakespeare role, Hussey then married one of The Rat Pack’s sons, and was entering Hollywood royalty when tragedy struck.
In 1971, Hussey married actor Dean Paul Martin, son of the singer Dean Martin. They had a son before divorcing in 1978. Dean Paul Martin died in 1987 when his National Guard F-4 Phantom jet fighter crashed in California’s San Bernardino Mountains.
From Shakespeare To Shock!
Known for her classic Shakespeare role, it was one of Hollywood’s darkest horror films that exposed Hussey to a whole new generation of fans…
1974’s “Black Christmas”
This low-budget shocker, directed by Bob Clark, is now one of the most beloved horror films of the 70’s – in fact, “Black Christmas” set the stage for a new wave of horror film like “Halloween”.
The plot was simple: It’s time for Christmas break, and a group of sorority sisters make plans for the holiday – but then the horrifying anonymous phone calls begin.
Here is the extremely creepy trailer for this classic horror film:
Margot Kidder also stars as one of Olivia’s sorority sisters, and she’s got a wicked sense of humor and an acid tongue…
Even though the film is a dark thriller, Hussey says the movie set was a very light and happy between takes. She did admit that Margot Kidder was distant from cast/crew during the filming.
What A Cast!
In addition to Hussey and Kidder, Kier Dullea also stars in the movie – Dullea of course was in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Keir Dullea worked only for a week on this film, never meeting Margot Kidder and barely meeting John Saxon, but the film is edited in such a way that he appears to be present throughout the film…
During an interview with Bob Clark, the Director said Hussey’s decision to star in the film was based upon advice given to her by a psychic. According to Clark, Hussey said her psychic believed that the film would be successful and a wise career choice for her. She took the role.
Meeting Steve Martin!
Hussey continued to act in film and TV for the next decade. Around 1986, she met Steve Martin to discuss a role in his hit film “Roxanne”, and Martin said this to Olivia:
“Oh my God Olivia, you were in one of my all time favorite films”!
Hussey assumed it was for “Romeo and Juliet” – and was surprised to find out that Martin loved “Black Christmas”, claiming to have seen it over 20 times!
Finally, here is that “why would she do this film?” role – one of Hussey’s most unique movies was this sci-fi cult classic:
1981’s “Turkey Shoot!”
This futuristic thriller involved prisoners who were set free so they could be hunted down by rich people! A very unique choice for Hussey:
As I said, when you are a working Actor in Hollywood, the key is to work. And this movie has become a cult classic. One of the most interesting aspects of the film was Hussey’s choice to do a nude shower scene in the film!
The film is full of crazy action sequences – and Hussey does a great job in the film, along with Steve Railsback – “Turkey Shoot” has built up a great cult reputation – and now it’s been remastered on blu-ray! Read all about this thriller by clicking on my story here:
As for Hussey, she is now a very successful voice over talent in “Batman Beyond”, and also voiced the character of Kasan Moor in the PC game, “Star Wars: Rogue Squadron”. She was also in “Star Wars: The Old Republic”.
So there’s a look at a “True Hollywood Star” who did Shakespeare, horror and sci-fi equally well!
As you can see from her credits, Hussey has had a very successful career in entertainment.
I am fascinated by Artists who have long and varied careers…and I am equally interested in Artists who appear once then disappear forever:
“One And Done!”
Anne Sparrow did just that! This Actress starred in the cult euro-sleaze film “The Sinful Dwarf”, then disappeared forever!
That’s right, Anne Sparrow has never been seen in a film again! Read all about this Actress and her notorious motion picture debut by clicking on my story here:
And let me know if you’ve seen Olivia Hussey in this classic horror film!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Australia, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Golden Globes, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Obscure Movies, Politics, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized
Leave a Reply