Connie Stevens Biography

Concetta Ann Ingolia, 8 August 1938, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Stevens was an actress and singer, whose antecedents are said to have been Italian, Irish, English and Mohican. Stevens entered showbusiness at the age of 16 and in 1959, after making several appearances on the Warner Brothers’ hit television series 77 Sunset Strip, had a chart hit with the novelty, ‘Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)’, in collaboration with one of the show’s stars, Edd Byrnes. The record sold over a million copies, as did Stevens’ first and only solo hit, ‘Sixteen Reasons’ (1960). Her other 60s releases included ‘Why’d You Wanna Make Me Cry?’, ‘Mr. Songwriter’ and ‘Now That You’ve Gone’, Connie Stevens and Sings The Hank Williams Songbook. Stevens’ other television work included the drama, The Littlest Angel, with Fred Gwynne, E.G. Marshall and Cab Calloway; and Wendy And Me, a series in which she co-starred with comedian George Burns, shortly after his wife Gracie, retired. From 1959-62, Stevens starred with Robert Conrad, Anthony Eisley and Grant Williams in another Warner ‘episodic/action’ series, Hawaiian Eye. She also appeared in the theatre, and shortly after starring on Broadway with Tony Perkins in Neil Simon’s play, Star Spangled Girl, she followed Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor, and became singer Eddie Fisher’s third wife - they later divorced. After making her big screen debut in 1957 with Young And Dangerous, she appeared with Jerry Lewis and Marilyn Maxwell in Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958), with songs by the unusual combination of Harry Warren and Sammy Cahn. Her other movies included a couple of 1961 soap operas, Parrish and Susan Slade, the ghostly Two On A Guillotine (1965), a film version of the hit Broadway play Never Too Late (1965), a re-make of the 1948 UK film No Orchids For Miss Blandish and television movies, such as Mr. Jericho, and The Sex Symbol. The latter project was plagued by legal action because of its similarity to Marilyn Monroe’s life story. Stevens’ other television projects, in the 80s and early 90s, included an appearance on Bob Hope’s Christmas Show from the Persian Gulf (1988), Bring Me The Head Of Dobie Gillis, Tape Heads and Murder She Wrote. In 1987 she was reunited with Edd Byrnes, this time on the big screen, in Back To The Beach, a nostalgic look back at the surf/beach-type movies of the 60s, with several of the original stars, such as Frankie Avalon and Annette.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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