Tuesday Weld

Active - 1956 - 2006  |   Born - Aug 27, 1943   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Jason Ankeny

A leading teen ingénue of the 1950s and 1960s, Tuesday Weld later emerged as one of the more intriguing actresses in Hollywood, delivering a string of well-received performances in the kinds of offbeat and idiosyncratic projects rarely visited by performers of her beauty and glamour. Born Susan Weld August 27, 1943, in New York City, the name "Tuesday" was an extension of a girlhood nickname, "Tu-Tu." She began working as a child model at age four to help support her family after the death of her father, quickly moving from mail-order catalogues to television commercials. She made her film debut in 1963's Rock, Rock, Rock before understudying in Broadway's 1957 production of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. Upon signing a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox, Weld was labeled by the press as "Fox's answer to Sandra Dee," but after just one film, 1959's Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!, the studio dropped her.

Weld shot to prominence through her work in the television comedy The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which premiered in 1959. That same year she appeared on the silver screen opposite Danny Kaye in The Five Pennies, followed in 1960 by the campus drama Because They're Young. Also in 1960, Weld began appearing under schlockmeister Albert Zugsmith, first in Sex Kittens Go to College and later in the following year's The Private Lives of Adam and Eve. Successive roles in Return to Peyton Place and the Elvis Presley vehicle Wild in the Country further crippled her attempts to mount a serious acting career, although her turn in the 1962 Frank Tashlin comedy Bachelor Flat showed signs of life. Weld then turned down the seemingly tailor-made title role in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita in order to study her craft at the Actors' Studio, and after holding her own opposite Steve McQueen and Jackie Gleason in 1963's Soldier in the Rain, she announced she would no longer accept teenage roles.

However, teen roles were all that continued to come Weld's way, and after a two-year absence from the screen she resurfaced in 1965's I'll Take Sweden as the young daughter of star Bob Hope. She followed with an appearance in the McQueen gambling drama The Cincinnati Kid, and in 1966 delivered her strongest performance to date in George Axelrod's little-seen satiric gem Lord Love a Duck. That same year Weld married, later giving birth to her first child. Motherhood brought a temporary halt to her career, forcing her to turn down plum assignments including Bonnie and Clyde, Cactus Flower, True Grit, and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. She returned to work in 1968's Pretty Poison, again earning strong critical notices, but after 1970's I Walk the Line, it was reported that she had moved to Britain and retired from film.

The move was not permanent, for in 1971 Weld appeared in her friend Henry Jaglom's A Safe Place. After 1972's Play It As It Lays, she returned to television work, starring in the TV films Reflections of Murder and F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood. In 1977, Weld appeared in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and a year later she starred in Who'll Stop the Rain? From 1980 to 1985, Weld was married to Dudley Moore, a period during which she appeared in Michael Mann's 1981 thriller Thief and Sergio Leone's 1984 classic Once Upon a Time in America. In the latter half of the decade, however, she appeared more infrequently before the camera, with only a pair of TV-movie credits, 1986's Something in Common and Circle of Violence: A Family Drama, and a lead role in the 1988 feature Heartbreak Hotel. In the 1990s, Tuesday Weld sightings were even more rare, including only 1991's Mistress, 1993's Falling Down, and 1996's Feeling Minnesota.

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