Connie Stevens

Active - 1957 - 2016  |   Born - Aug 8, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Mystery

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Brooklyn native Connie Stevens is the daughter of musician Teddy Stevens. She moved with her dad to L.A., where she enrolled at Sacred Professional School, sang professional, and appeared in local repertory productions. After several low-budget teen flicks, Stevens was given a break in an A-picture, Jerry Lewis' Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958). Soon afterward, she was signed by Warner Bros. to play bouncy nightclub thrush Cricket Blake on the TV detective series Hawaiian Eye. She also starred in such WB feature films as Susan Slade (1961), and became a popular recording artist with her rendition of the deathless "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb." Warners suspended Stevens in 1962 over several bones of contention, one of which was her snit-fit after being denied a chance to audition for the lead in the studio's My Fair Lady. She patched up her differences with Warners long enough to play a Gracie Allen clone in the George Burns-produced sitcom Wendy and Me (1964). After her flurry of fame in the 1960s, Stevens kept busy with nightclub appearances and summer theater productions. She appeared in the Broadway production of The Star Spangled Girl, guested in such all-star movie efforts as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and Grease 2, and accepted a regular role on the 1986 TV series Rowdies. Among Connie Stevens' three husbands were actors James Stacy and Eddie Fisher.

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Factsheet

  • Grew up in a musical family and formed a vocal quartet called The Foremost with three male singers who went on to fame as The Lettermen.
  • Living in Hollywood in 1954, she sang in the female trio The Three Debs while trying to break into films.
  • Appeared in a series of B-movies before Jerry Lewis cast her in Rock-A-Bye Baby in 1958.
  • Gained fame as Cricket Blake in the detective series Hawaiian Eye.
  • Was signed by Warner Bros. and scored hit singles with "Sixteen Reasons" and "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb."
  • Starred with George Burns in the 1964-65 sitcom Wendy and Me.
  • Made her Broadway debut in Neil Simon's The Star-Spangled Girl in 1967.
  • In the 1970s achieved fame singing in Ace Hardware commercials. 
  • Re-established her sexy image with roles in the 1974 TV-movie The Sex Symbol, 1982's Grease 2 and numerous parts on The Love Boat.
  • Founded the Windfeather Foundation to award scholarships to Native Americans.
  • Developed her own skin-care product line in the early 1990s called Forever Spring.
  • Directed the acclaimed Vietnam documentary A Healing in 1997.
  • Directed the 2009 thriller Saving Grace B. Jones starring Tatum O'Neal.