Go, Lori Williams! Kill! Kill!

Lori Williams (b. 1946). We give her the nod today because she is the third member of the head-stompin’ yet curvaceous trio in Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) and we have already done profiles on Tura Santana and Haji, so we must complete the set.  Williams stands out in the film by being all “wholesome”, blond and Anglo, a contrast with her two exotic cohorts, and a fact which makes her seem particularly unpredictable and unhinged somehow. And while an actual go-go dancer just like her co-stars, Williams was by her own report a clean-living young lady offscreen. (Only newbies would find that contradictory. I’ve met so so many “nice girls” and “girls next door” in the burlesque world it really does rewire your head on the subject. It defies stereotype as well as male logic. The fact that a young lady likes to dance and show her body implies…nothing. The idea that it does imply something about what else she does is a prejudice that has proved quite literally dangerous for centuries).

So Williams was a nice girl from Pittsburgh. I learned from this 2003 interview that she studied acting a little. And Faster proves to have been her biggest film role. Just about all of her other film credits are in extra parts, often as a dancer. Her first credit is dancing in a nightclub scene in the Paul Newman thriller The Prize (1963). Then she dances in several Elvis movies: Kissin’ Cousin (1964), Viva Las Vegas (1964), Girl Happy (1965), and Tickle Me (1965). 1965 & 1966 were her busiest years, including her moment in the sun in Faster! plus The Incredible Sex Revolution (1965), A Swingin’ Summer (1965) and Our Man Flint (1966), and numerous tv shows including an episode of Honey West. In 1967 she’s in It’s a Bikini World with Tommy Kirk and Bobby “Boris” Pickett. Then several episodes of Love, American Style in the late 60s. At this stage, as she reports in her interview, casting directors begin to decide that she is “old”, so the bikini and go-go dancer parts stop and she gets cast as a regular extra. She is a passenger in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), and a murder victim in John Frankenheimer’s 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974). She also claims to have done episodes of Baretta and Charlie’s Angels, although those credits don’t appear on her IMDB page. After this, she became a casting director.