Cynthia Myers: A Doll From Beyond the Valley

A brief birthday appreciation for actress/model Cynthia Myers (1950-2011). My introduction to the Toledo-born beauty came via one of my favorite movies, Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Confusingly, she was not the wife of the similarly surnamed director, but her co-star Edy Williams was. In the film, Myers plays Casey, one third of the all-girl rock band The Carrie Nations, whose most notorious moment (in a movie composed entirely of notorious moments) consists of a lesbian love scene (at a time when that was beyond rare).

Myers first gained fame as Playboy Magazine’s December 1968 Playmate of the Month. (This is probably the only web site on the internet whose photos of her are not topless. Sorry! But as any eight year old can tell you, they’re only a click away for anyone who can type.) After that spread, she had bit parts in The Lost Continent (1968) and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They (1969). Following Beyond the Valley of the Dolls she had one supporting role in the 1972 western Molly and Lawless John with Sam Elliott and Vera Miles.  (Frankly that’s more of a legitimate career than I was expecting).

According to popcultureaddict.com, she was persuaded to retire from the business by her Beyond the Valley of the Dolls co-star Michael Blodgett, with whom she was romantically involved until 1977. She didn’t really re-emerge into the limelight until almost three decades later when she began to appear in documentaries and at publicity events related to her past work. Sadly, she died of lung cancer at age 61.

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