This summer marks the golden anniversary of Nancy’s silver screen debut. Released in June 1964, the collegiate romantic comedy For Those Who Think Young signaled the birth of what Nancy has humorously called her “epic film career.” Six more motion pictures would follow, culminating in two big box office hits: The Wild Angels (with Peter Fonda) and Speedway (with Elvis Presley). The latter two would make Nancy the “Top Female Box Office Personality” in 1967 and 1968 respectively, according to the motion picture exhibitors’ organization.
“…I was definitely a Hollywood kid–my feet firmly rooted in celluloid,
in glorious Technicolor.”
Nancy began her acting career in 1963, with guest roles on two recently launched television series: a singing barmaid on The Virginian (pictured, left) …
“I was scared to death because it was my maiden voyage as an actress.
I sang a song called, ‘If I Had Tears’ and, since I played a barmaid,
I was supposed to drink shooters like a sailor might.
(No offense to the US Navy.)
“It was a disaster!
… and a secretary on Burke’s Law (pictured, right). Coincidentally, Nancy had briefly attended Speedwriting/secretarial classes after her time at the University of Southern California.
“When I graduated from high school, I enrolled in college–at USC. I loved school except for one problem familiar to so many students–the subjects that I wanted to take had so many prerequisites that I had to take two years of garbage in order to get to my major. I wanted music appreciation, but I ended up dissecting frogs and wondering what I was doing in college.
I left school in my first semester to pursue a career as a singer.”
An emissary of peace, Nancy emerges as Morrissey’s mysterious muse. Bearing an attaché case containing thought-provoking lyrics, Nancy delivers a quietly powerful performance in World Peace Is None of Your Business, a daring promotional video directed by Natalie Johns for Morrissey’s latest single and forthcoming album of the same name.
Demonstrating Nancy’s observation that “Irony and Morrissey seem to go together,” Morrissey challenges the status quo:
“World peace is none of your business
You must not tamper with arrangements
Work hard and simply pay your taxes
Never asking what for
Oh you poor little fool, oh you poor little fool
World peace is none of your business”
In an April 28, 2014 tweet, Nancy intimated that their latest alliance was imminent.
Prior to the release of Nancy & Morrissey’s 2004 collaboration on “Let Me Kiss You,” they were photographed by Amanda.
For more about Nancy and Morrissey,
see “There’s a place in the sun…”: Nancy & Morrissey
From Vegas to Burbank. By early 1973, Nancy had invested more than three years in numerous Las Vegas nightclub performances while maintaining a high-profile as a guest on
TV variety and talk shows, several of which were produced at NBC’s Burbank studios: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The Andy Williams Show, Jack Benny’s New Look, The Many Moods Of Perry Como, The Dean Martin Show, The Tonight Show, and her own Movin’ With Nancy, Nice ‘n’ Easy special (an unreleased adaptation of her 1971 shows with The Muppets at the International Hotel in Las Vegas). Having just completed a two-week engagement with husband Hugh Lambert and Laugh-In’s Arte Johnson at the Sahara Hotel’s Congo Showroom in Las Vegas (December 22, 1972-January 4, 1973), Nancy was back in “Beautiful Downtown Burbank,” visiting old friend Bobby Darin on the fourth episode of his NBC series, The Bobby Darin Show. A perfectionist in her work, Nancy is candidly critical of her solo (pictured, right) on the February 9, 1973 broadcast.
“[...] I was so skinny from working so hard,
it’s very distracting.”
Featuring her interpretations of the The Doors’ “Light My Fire” (as a duet with Bobby), the Great American Songbook classic “Button Up Your Overcoat,” Frank’s “My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)” (another collaboration with Bobby), and Elvis Presley’s “Find Out What’s Happening,” Nancy’s episode and the twelve other installments of the series are now available as a 3-DVD set from MPI Home Video. The technical quality (audio and video) of the DVDs is excellent, not to mention the superb artistry throughout every show. Although Nancy’s program is nearly complete, it is important to note that the episodes are abridged, missing some musical performances.