Joey Heatherton Undressed
Joey Heatherton (born Davenie Johanna Heatherton in the Long Island village of Rockville Centre, New York|Rockville Centre on September 14, 1944) is an American actress, dancer, and singer who reached the peak of her popularity in the 1960s.
Heatherton is the daughter of the vaudevillian and television pioneer Ray Heatherton (1909–1997), affectionately remembered by New York area baby boomers as ''The Merry Mailman'', the endearingly cheerful and reassuring host of a long-running (1950-1964) series of children's shows seen over local television. Joey began her career as a child actress, and between 1961 and 1963 was a semi-regular on ''The Perry Como Show'', playing an exuberant teenager with a perpetual crush on the fiftyish Perry Como|"Mr. C". Another middle-aged crooner who was the object of her on-screen adoration was Dean Martin, who invited her to perform numerous times on his popular NBC Thursday night TV variety hour. From June to September of 1968, along with Frank Sinatra, Jr., she co-hosted Martin's summer substitute musical comedy show ''Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers''. She also made multiple appearances on the many other variety shows proliferating 60s television, such as ''The Andy Williams Show'', ''The Hollywood Palace'' and ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. Particularly memorable was her guest shot on a May 1969 ''Tonight Show'', where she energetically coached Johnny Carson on the finer points of doing "The Frug". Vietnam veterans and that era's TV viewers fondly remember her as a long-time (1964-1976) member of Bob Hope's USO troupe, delighting the GIs with her enticing singing, dancing and provocatively revealing outfits. Excerpts from the USO tours were televised as part of Hope's long-running series of NBC monthly specials, culminatating in the high-rated Christmas shows, where Joey's segments were always highly appreciated.
Additionally, throughout the 1960s, she interspersed her variety show appearances with strong dramatic turns in three theatrical films and on numerous episodes of ''Route 66'', ''Mr. Novak'', ''Arrest and Trial'', ''Breaking Point'' and other series. The films ''Twilight of Honor'' (1963), ''Where Love Has Gone'' (1964) and ''My Blood Runs Cold'' (1965), showed that she could hold her own with veteran actors such as Claude Rains, Bette Davis and Susan Hayward, but did not result in a sustainable film career. Each of the three films had her character involved in murder. In ''Honor'', her film debut, she was the sluttish young wife