Sunday, December 20, 2009

Underrated Performer of the Week: Pamela Tiffin

The talented and lovely Pamela Tiffin born in 1942 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After a brief modeling career as a teenager, she was "discovered" by productor Hal Wallis. He cast her in the film version of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke in a supporting role opposite Laurence Harvey and Geraldine Page. Pamela received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.

The Golden Globes honored with another nomination for the her next film, Billy Wilder's frantically funny One, Two, Three. As James Cagney's semi-rebellious, none-too-bright employer's daughter, Ms. Tiffin proved herself to be a deft comedienne and gave what it is generally considered her best performance. Describing her new husband--a protestor in 1960 Berlin--to her mother, Tiffin's character gushes: "Do you realize that Otto spelled backwards is Otto?"

She had leading roles in her follow-up films, starting with a remake of State Fair co-starring Pat Boone, Bobby Darin, and Ann-Margret (Pamela had the role played by Jeanne Crain in the original). She, Dolores Hart, and Lois Nettleton played stewardesses seeking love in Come Fly With Me, a variation of Three Coins in the Fountain. Ironically, she also appeared in The Pleasure Seekers, a more direct remake of Three Coins, this time with Ann-Margret and Suzanne Pleshette as the other young women seeking romance.

Pamela was paired with James Darren twice: For Those Who Think Young (with Tina Louise, Paul Lynde, Bob Denver and Woody Woodbury) and The Lively Set with Doug Mc Clure (Bobby Darin sang the theme song).

In late 1966, she had her last good role in Harper with Paul Newman and Robert Wagner. She did a bunch of European exploitation films after that and stopped making films in 1974 to spend time with her family. She is now 67 and lives in New York. Below is the trailer from Come Fly With Me.

8 comments:

  1. Paul, I always liked Pamela Tiffin, but didn't become a fan until I saw her delightful performance in ONE, TWO, THREE. She was hilarious...a perfect contrast to James Cagney's efficient father. I don't think she got many parts worthy of her talent, but she was always a bright spot in any film featuring her.

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  2. Paul, great choice for this category. I always thought Pamela Tiffin was just plain CUTE. I loved her in Summer and Smoke, with her young and innocent character causing such heartbreak for poor, lonely Alma.

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  3. Rick & Becky I always liked Pamela. Two Golden Globe nominations for her first two films one with Billy Wilder in one of my favorite Wilder Films , proves to me she "Had The Chops".
    I love her in Harper as a spoiled oversexed rich girl, a change of pace from most of her early" nice girl "roles.

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  4. Paul, Thanks for posting the movie trailer. COME FLY WITH ME(1963), looks like a really cute movie.

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  5. Dawn, I have a "Soft Spot "for Come Fly With Me. It was the first wide screen film I ever ran on a Arc projector solo. Boy was I scared at the first reel reel change . So The truth is out I was a High School AV Geek, but I was also a hot shot drummer so it all even's out.LOL

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  6. filomeno2006: Pamela Tiffin was a blonde in some of her Italian films, but had dark hair in most of her American ones.

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  7. Paul and Rick, Pamela was lovely and quite talented. "One, Two, Three" is so fast-paced and she holds her own effortlessly and shows excellent comedic timing in it. I enjoy "Come Fly with Me," too. I am so delighted you chose to showcase this delightful actress. Excellent review!

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