Connie Stevens Part One

Connie Stevens Part One

Connie Stevens Part One

I checked, and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t done her, so I’m doing Connie Stevens Part One, so please enjoy.

Connie Stevens (born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia; August 8, 1938) is an American actress, director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor and singer. She played the role of Cricket Blake in the television series Hawaiian Eye.

Connie Stevens

Connie Stevens - still.jpg

Stevens in the 1960s

Born

Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia
August 8, 1938 ( age 81).

Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.


Occupations

Actress, director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, singer.


Years Active

1957 present.


Spouses

James Stacy.
( m. 1963; div. 1966).
Eddie Fisher.
( m. 1967; div. 1969).


Children

Joely Fisher.
Tricia Leigh Fisher.


Relatives

John Megna (half-brother).



Early Life


Stevens was born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of musician Peter Ingoglia (known as Teddy Stevens) and singer Eleanor McGinleyHer mother was of half Irish and half Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Stevens is ofItalian, Irish, German-Jewish and Polish-Jewish descent. She adopted her father‘s stage name of Stevens as her own. Her parents divorced and she lived with her grandparents and attended Catholic boarding schools. Actor John Megna (19521995) was her half-brother.

At the age of 12, she witnessed a murder in Brooklyn and was sent to live with family friends in Boonville, Missouri.
Coming from a musical family, Stevens joined the singing group called The Fourmost with Tony Butala, who went on to fame as founder of The Lettermen. Stevens moved to Los Angeles with her father in 1953.

When she was 16, she replaced the alto in a singing group, The Three Debs. She enrolled at a professional school (The Georgia Massey Professional School in the San Fernando Valley), sang professionally, and appeared in local repertory theater.



Career


Early Films


Her first notable film role was in Young and Dangerous (1957) with Mark Damon, alow budget teen movie. She could also be seen in Eighteen and Anxious (1957 ); an episode of The Bob Cummings Show ( Bob Goes Hillbilly); and a teen car chase movie, Dragstrip Riot (1958 ).

Stevens big break came when Jerry Lewis saw her in the latter and recommended her for Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958) as the young girl who loves Lewis, made at Paramount. In December 1957 she signed a seven year contract with Paramount starting at $600 a week going up to $1,500 a week.
Stevens made another film with Damon, The Party Crashers (1958 ), also at Paramount. Paramount dropped her.



Warner Bros. and Hawaiian Eye


In May 1959 she signed a seven year contract with Warner Bros. starting at $300 week. Like many Warners contract players, Stevens was kept busy guest-starring on their regular TV shows like The Ann Sothern Show, Maverick, Tenderfoot, 77 Sunset Strip and Cheyenne.

Stardom came when she was cast as Cricket Blake in the popular television detective series Hawaiian Eye from 1959 to 1963, a role that made her famousher principal costar was Robert Conrad.

First televised on December 23, 1960, she appeared (uncredited) in The Dresden Doll, Episode 15 of Season 3 of 77 Sunset Strip as her character from HawaiianEye, Cricket Blake.
In a televised interview on August 26, 2003, on CNN‘s Larry King Live, Stevens recounted that while on the set of Hawaiian Eye she was told she had a telephone call from Elvis Presley. She didn’t believe it, but in fact it was Elvis, who invited her to a party and said that he would come to her house and pick her up personally; they subsequently dated.

 

Still of Stevens and James Garnerfrom a 1959 episode of Maverick


Music Career

Stevens first album was titled Concetta (1958 ). She had minor single hits with the standards Blame It On My Youth (music by Oscar Levant and lyrics by Edward Heyman), Looking For A Boy (music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin), and Spring Is Here (music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart).
She appeared opposite James Garner in a comedy episode of the TV Western series Maverick entitled Two Tickets to Ten Strike, and after making several appearances on the Warner Bros. hit TV series 77 Sunset Strip, she recorded the hit novelty song Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb) (1959 ), a duet with one of the stars of the program, Edd Byrnes, that reached # 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. She and Byrnes also appeared together on ABC‘s The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom.
She had hit singles as a solo artist with Sixteen Reasons (1960 ), her biggest hit, reaching # 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, (# 9 in the UK) and a minor # 71 hitToo Young to Go Steady (1960) (music by Jimmy McHugh and lyrics by Harold Adamson). Other single releases were Apollo, Why ‘d You Wan na Make Me Cry?, Something Beautiful, Mr. Songwriter, Now That You‘ve Gone, and Keep Growing Strong (which was remade by the Stylistics under the title Betcha by Golly, Wow).





Film Stardom

Stevens popularity on the small screen and as a recording star encouraged Warners to try her in films. She starred in three films for the studio, all opposite Troy Donahue: Parrish (1961 ), as a rural girl; Susan Slade (1962 ), playing the title role, an unwed mother; and Palm Springs Weekend (1963 ), a teen romantic comedy. In 1962 Warners suspended her briefly for refusing to go on a publicity tour. She performed in Wizard of Oz on stage in Kansas.
When Hawaiian Eye ended Stevens guest-starred on Temple Houston and The Red Skelton Show. She played the lead in a horror film, Two on a Guillotine( 1965),for Warners.

Stevens later starred as Wendy Conway in the television sitcom Wendy and Me (1964 1965) with George Burns, who also produced the show with Warners and played an older man who watched Wendy‘s exploits upstairs on the TV in his apartment. She had a percentage of the show, and had three and a half years left on her contract with Warners. She said, I‘ve done the teenage epics and want to moveup into something like Virginia Woolf or Any Wednesday. I want to be a big star but do I have to throw tantrums and behave badly to get there? Can’t I just be talented and work hard and be happily married?
Stevens had the juvenile lead in Never Too Late( 1965 ), released by Warners. She signed a new contract with Warners to make one film a year for six years.

She reprised her stage performance of Wizard of Oz at Carousel Theatre, Californiathen followed it with Any Wednesday, at Melodyland, Anaheim California. Stevenswas reunited with Lewis in Way Way Out( 1966 ).

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