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At the age of 16, instead of accepting a scholarship offered by the University of Washington, she took off for New York and soon married actor/director John Falvo who was only 20 at the time.
Fay worked in a tie shop to supplement the few acting jobs she landed and received a break when Walter Winchell mentioned her his column: “If that gal selling neckwear in the Cardigan Shop on Broadway and 45th looks familiar, you’re right. She’s Fay Spain, teevy’s [sic] new ingénue click [sic], who still takes a turn with cravats when things get dull in video.”
Although she was called by a studio for screen tests as a result of Winchell’s column, she was told she wasn’t “pretty enough for Hollywood.” But she didn’t give up and continued to try to land roles but her career was interrupted by the birth of her son, Jock Falvo, in 1954. But despite now being a mother, Fay was chosen in 1955 as a WAMPUS Baby Stars of 1956--all females. WAMPUS was a promotional campaign by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers--now a defunct association. The “stars” would come out in a party that was called the “Frolic” and highly covered by the press the way the Academy Awards are today.
Fay filed for divorce from Falvo--date unknown--and took her son and moved to Los Angeles. She and Falvo remained on amiable terms. Fay eventually had four husbands, a marriage to a man named Altoon, one marriage to hairstylist, Imo Ughini, lasted less than a year. Her last husband, Philip Fulmer Westerbrook, Jr., outlived her.
After leaving Falvo, Fay supported herself as a model but was hired by Samuel Goldwyn (who saw her in a comercial for a weight -loss vibrator called “The Relaxacisor”) to appear in the movie Shark Fighter with Charleston Heston but when Heston dropped out of the project, Victor Mature was hired and Fay was replaced by Karen Steele (guest star in “The Tin Badge“ of Bonanza.)
Nevertheless, Fay was persistent and took on any part she was given. She therefore became known as a B-movie bad girl; she became a pin-up girl and posed for many suggestive photo shoots. (I can’t show any here.)
Fay was and is still best known for playing “Darlin’ Jill,” an “inbred temptress” in Erskine Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre. This role set her reputation more than anything else. According to the critics, she was extremely convincing in the part and it was said that no one could play “shanty tramps and trailer trash with more gusto,” than she.
Actually, Fay Spain was a highly prolific actress and seemed to enjoy television roles more than movie roles. Her lengthy list of appearances is here on IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0816670/
The only Hollywood actors with whom she was romantically linked are Eric Fleming (she said about their relationship, “…it’s just a friendly thing.”) and Robert Vaughn. Although Fay and Vaughn made the gossip columns and it appears that their romance may have been serious, nothing came from it and Spain married Ughini, the hairstylist, soon after.
Fay Spain’s last role was in 1972 when she played Marcia Roth in The Godfather, Part II, the wife of mobster Hyman Roth played by the famous acting coach, Lee Strasberg. It’s interesting that she played this part because at 17, Fay lied about her age and worked as a change-girl at the Nevada Club in Reno. She took her son and left when her boss was murdered by the mob.
Fay Spain died at the age of 49/50 (disputed) of lymphatic cancer in Los Angeles.
Hercules and the Captive Women Mannix: Catalogue of Sinners a pin-up photo a promotional photo Sources:
http://www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscree ... index.html
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