Wednesday, May 30, 2012

From my collection: More Stooges fun: Greta Thyssen, Diana Darrin & Arline Hunter

Greta Thyssen (nee Grethe Thygesen and Miss Denmark of 1951) became the very last of the starlets that would grace Columbia's short subject comedy factory, appearing opposite Moe, Larry and Joe in Quiz Whizz, Pies and Guys, and Sappy Bullfighters, all filmed in mere days right before the short subject department was closed in 1957 and released 1958-'59. Greta, of course, was Denmark's answer to Marilyn Monroe and did indeed double for the latter in Bus Stop (1956), in which she also had a one line bit in a Phoenix street scene with Don Murray. Thyssen's final feature film was the Florida-lensed Cotton Pickin' Chickenpickers (1967), a title, and indeed narrative, that pretty much tells the story of Greta's less than stellar screen career.

A bit higher up the food-chain screen-wise, but not too far up, Diana Darrin was also a singer and enjoyed a career that lasted until the early 1970s and included films with Jack Nicholson and James Caan. In the Stooges' Outer Space Jitters (1957) Darrin was one of the electrifying (literally) girls from Planet Sunev, which, a title helpfully explains was Venus spelled backwards.

Another of the Sunev beauties was Arline Hunter, a famous stripper and the August 1954 Playboy centerfold. Miss Hunter was often mistaken for Marilyn Monroe, notably in a little indiscretion suggestively entitled Apple Knockers and Coke (!), which was long credited to Marilyn herself. Hunter later appeared with the similar Mamie Van Doren in one of the era's great exploitation comedies, Sex Kittens Go to College (1960).

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