We have just received the sad news that Carol Lynley has died at the age of 77. Lynley was one of the stars of the very first movie I ever saw in a cinema, and still my SECOND favorite movie, The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Lynley played Nonnie, a pop singer who loses her brother when the ship capsizes and makes it through to the end, despite the fact that she can’t swim, largely with the help of Red Buttons. She lip synced the movie’s hit song “The Morning After”, which was later a hit for Maureen McGovern. Lynley had an interesting vacant quality about the eyes that suited the character, and reminds me a little of both Michael Moriarty and Paul McCartney. Where are you, spacy chick? Lynley’s countenance was sort of like a baby doll’s, with that porcelain looking face and the long eyelashes.
I’ve blogged about her a couple of times in the past. In addition to my Poseidon post, I wrote about Harlow (1965), and Bunny Lake is Missing (1965). Blue Denim (1959) with Brandon de Wilde of Shane was her breakthrough movie. Other interesting stuff included Hound Dog Man (1959) with Fabian, Return to Peyton Place (1961), The Stripper (1963), Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963), Shock Treatment (1964), The Pleasure Seekers (1964), The Shuttered Room (1967), and Rowan and Martin’s The Maltese Bippy (1969). Despite the fact that The Poseidon Adventure was a smash hit, most of her work by the ’70s was in television, on stuff like The Night Stalker, Night Gallery, Quincy, Kojak, The Love Boat, Tales of the Unexpected, and no less than 11 episodes of Fantasy Island. Her last screen credit was over a dozen years ago.
Her name has been linked romantically with David Frost. The cause of death is being reported as a heart attack. The same manner and method of the death of Shelley Winters’ character Belle Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure! “Just because a person’s a li’l overweight, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t once be an ath-a-lete!” Thus does it happen that even our pin-ups one day all become pin-downs.