The Street where Starlets are Made! – Remembering Candice Rialson (1951 – 2006)

Posted in Remember by - October 16, 2013
The Street where Starlets are Made! – Remembering Candice Rialson (1951 – 2006)

Candice Rialson (December 18th 1951- March 31st 2006)

One of the most likable stars of the 1970’s exploitation era, beautiful Candice Rialson always appeared enthusiastic, no matter what situation she was put in. From talking vaginas (1977’s Chatterbox!) to over-sexed nurses (1974’s Candy Stripe Nurses), Candice always did it with an infectious smile and boundless energy.

Her career lasted ten years (1969-79) and in between B-Movie titles such as ‘Pets’, ‘Moonshine County Express’ and ‘Summer School Teachers’, she occasionally popped up in mainstream fare alongside the likes of Gloria Grahame (1974’s Mama’s Dirty Girls), Clint Eastwood (1975’s The Eiger Sanction), and John Huston (1979’s Winter Kills – her final film).

However, it was her bubbly turn as aspiring actress Candy Hope in New World Film’s 1976 ‘Hollywood Boulevard’ that she is probably most fondly remembered for. Filmed in just ten days for around $50,000, it was one of the least expensive movies ever made, mainly due to co-directors Allan Arkush and Joe Dante being able to utilise extensive footage from previous New World films.

Candice’s starring role as a Hollywood hopeful, only to end up in quickie sexploitation films, actually turned out to be her most entertaining movie. Interestingly, she was almost not in the movie, as producers Jon Davison and Roger Corman originally wanted another flaxen haired favourite, Roberta Collins, to star. Appearing alongside Candice was Corman regular Dick Miller, as the cheerful agent who gives Candy her name. Genre favourite’s Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov, both fresh from appearing in the cult classic ‘Death race 2000’ also co-star. Filled with delicious moments, clever sight gags and a catchy title song, if you only see one Candice Rialson movie, ‘Hollywood Boulevard’ is definitely the one to catch.

Another title worth mentioning is the obscure underground classic ‘Chatterbox!’ from 1977, which again features another endearing Candice performance, this time as Penelope Pittman, a beauty parlour worker, who realises at the worst possible time, that her vagina has an opinion of it’s own! Openly ridiculing Penny’s boyfriend’s lovemaking technique. Although strictly an adult comedy, there is something rather sweet about the film, due mainly to Candice’s enthusiasm whilst working with such flimsy material.

Forever type-cast as a sex kitten, Candice found the more mainstream work hard to find. There were ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ parts in two movies from 1976 (‘Logan’s Run’ and Mel Brook’s ‘Silent Movie’). A few more B-Movies and TV appearances followed (an episode of ‘Maude’ in 1975, and another on ‘Fantasy Island’ in 1978). After a minor role in the 1979 political thriller ‘Winter Kills’ starring Jeff Bridges and legendary director John Huston, Candice decided to retire from acting to become a wife and mother. She died far too young, from liver disease at the age of 54 on March 31st 2006. A private person, Rialson’s passing went unreported in the media and was only discovered four months later by a DVD producer who was putting together material for a release of one of her more obscure movies 1974’s ‘Pets’.

Candice Rialson has deservedly built up quite a large following over the years, and people still discuss her movies today. Thankfully many of these are now available on DVD where a new generation can discover the charm and beauty of one of the most likable of the crop of 70’s starlets.

Favourite Movie: Hollywood Boulevard
Favourite Performance: Hollywood Boulevard

This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *