Terrific Biography Of “Cult Movie” Actress Claudia Jennings Is On Wednesday’s Bookmobile!

Wednesday’s Bookmobile Has The Story Of Claudia Jennings!

She was an Actress and Model who starred in some of the best “drive-in” movies of the 70’s – but as you will see from Wednesday’s Bookmobile, she was so much more than “Gator Bait.”

With the film “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” opening soon, this story seems appropriate – as it’s a REAL Hollywood tale of the 70’s.

Author Eric J. Karell tells the story of Claudia Jennings, who starred in classic cult films like “Deathsport”, and knew lots of Hollywood’s power elite – like the “King Of Late Night” Johnny Carson.

The best part is that Karell had complete access to Caludia’s family and friends, and the book is filled with candid stories of life as a Hollywood star in the 70’s – and you hear from many of her co-workers as well…it’s a terrific look at making it in Tinseltown…

Claudia Jennings started as a model – and soon was featured in Playboy, and she quickly became one of the “Queens Of Cult Cinema.”

While her roles included cult gems like “Deathsport”, she also acted in some of the best films of the 70’s, like “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.

Author Karell tells her story with candor and respect – highlighting her professional career achievements while not avoiding some of the more tumultuous aspects of her personal life.

I reached out to the Author and he sent me this note explaining why he wanted to tell her story:

“I wrote the book in order to dispel many of the misconceptions about her life and career. I was also concerned she and her legacy were being forgotten by both the movie going public and cult cineates.”

I’m glad he did, because the book is fascinating: extremely well written and researched, and much more than just her life story – it’s the story of Hollywood in the 70’s.

Among Claudia’s many films was this “B” movie classic:

“Gator Bait” was Jennings at her best. Written by Beverly Sebastian specifically for Claudia, the entire film was shot in ten days. As Karell writes in his book:

“Claudia shows off her physical skills nicely, perching on a tree branch, hopping silently through the bayou and, in a spectacular tour de force, driving a speed boat with her foot while blasting away with a shotgun.”

Talk about classic “drive-in” movie mayhem!

Jennings also starred in a number of other great exploitation films of the 70’s:

However, Jennings had a career that far surpassed drive-in action films. As Karell points out in the book:

“An often-overlooked aspect of Caludia’s resume is her work on television. She made frequent appearances on such shows as “The Brady Bunch”, “Cannon” and “The F.B.I.” It may not seem that important an achievement, but television has been the springboard for many future A-list Hollywood movie stars such as Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Will and scores of others.”

The book is a love story to Claudia Jennings, but it’s also candid – such as this story about Jennings’ appearance on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. Jennings had been involved with the Host years before, and the book tells what happened the morning after her appearance on the show to promote her new movie “Deathsport”:


“The doorbell rang, and a deliveryman had this huge gift box for Claudia. She tore it open and there were three hundred pairs of sexy panties from a shop called Trashy Lingerie. Inside was a note from Johnn Carson: ‘Thanks for doing the show. I love you, see you at the beach house later, as usual.'”

She was building a powerful resume across all kinds of entertainment – and then tragedy struck.

Just 29 years old, Jennings was killed in a car crash near Malibu…a shocking and sudden end to a great career – and fascinating woman.

The book is well worth reading – bravo to Author Eric J. Karell for keeping her legacy alive!

Here is a story I posted a few years back and looks more closely at her film career:

https://johnrieber.com/2016/07/01/truck-stop-woman-gator-bait-sex-kitten-claudia-jennings-cult-actress-with-tragic-story/

You can find the book on Amazon!



Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Art, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Obscure Movies, Pop Culture, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to check this book out.

  2. What a great tragedy that she died at 29 years old, John. This sounds like a most interesting book. Hollywood was different during this era. It was a time of great iconic stars.

    • Robbie, the book is surprisingly honest, and that is why it’s so fascinating – she was at the center of a great explosion in “drive-in movie” culture…her films were cult classics, but she also was in the inner circle of a lot of powerful Hollywood stuff….and the book is very honest….

  3. I haven’t seen her in any of those ‘B’ films, John. But I certainly remember her in ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’. A strange film, and a perfect vehicle for David Bowie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Captain's Quarters

Exploring sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult novels.

Roberta Writes

How you see life depends on how you look at things

Robbie Cheadle

Books | Poems | Reviews

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Just muddling through life

The ups and downs of a working mum

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Urban Suburban Girl

(adj.) cul – de – sac couture

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

The Planking Traveler

Affordable Travel, Enjoyable Movement, And Healthy Living Inspiration

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Pages, Places, & Plates

Reviews of books, eateries, experiences, and travel.

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

A potpourri of books and things

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

From Michigan to Germany

A family from Michigan living abroad in Germany.

JR-Sploitation!

The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

fancypaper

Little Things Make Us Happy

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Come for Adventure. Stay for the Ride!

a mindful traveler

explore, live, love...

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

%d bloggers like this: