Tuesday, March 04, 2014

McNeil's Movie Korner: Fourth Beach Girl

Welcome once again to McNeil's Movie Korner, your one spot on the "internet" for things you don't care anything about. Here is an intriguing paragraph from a recent McNeil email: "So I was at my parents the other day and they casually mentioned that when they were in high school, someone they knew left town after graduation and took off for Hollywood. It wasn't long before they saw this gal in a Jerry Lewis movie as well as an episode of Petticoat Junction. I have no idea why I hadn't heard this story before. To top it off, my parents began arguing over her name. Her real name was Mary Lee H_______. She had two sisters: Mary Ruth and Mary Ann. But when Mary Lee went to Hollywood she changed her name to, my mom says, Marilee Summers. My dad disagreed, of course, having nothing to do with my mom's obvious fabrication of this Marilee business. Anyway, it went on and on....Then my mom couldn't remember if she were actually in HS when she saw the pic or not...or if Dean Martin was with JLew or not. I went through a lot of 'full cast and crew' lists looking for Marilee Summers. Turns out everyone was wrong. The real girl is Lorrie Summers. She was on Beverly Hillbillies, not PJ....and Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, and The Man with the X Ray Eyes instead of The Patsy (which is what I was rooting for). Anyway, Lorrie Summers ended up marrying the heir to the Lear Jet fortune - so I guess she didn't move back to Mississippi." Some editorial notes here! First, McNeil's Mom was right. The "internet" tells me that Lorrie Summers played "Fourth Beach Girl" on THE BEVERY HILLBILLIES under the name "Marilee Summers." And here is the interesting part (ha ha! It is not interesting). On imdb, we see that Ms. Summers was in one movie uncredited, one TV show as Marilee Summers, and TWO MOVIES as "Lorie Summers" - that's right, with one r! And that is her entire filmography. So why is her given name on imdb Lorrie Summers with TWO r's, A NAME UNDER WHICH SHE NEVER ACTED? What is behind this conspiracy, imdb? Merely by doing a "Google Image Search" using the one-r variation, I immediately found this variety-show publicity still of McNeil's parents' old high school chum with Bill Dana (speaking of comedians you have never heard of), suggesting that this is only the beginning of... eh, I'm tired now.