Sunday, April 14, 2013

70's Drive-In Exploitation Babe Claudia Jennings


    To any fan of 1970's drive-in movies Claudia Jennings pretty much has to be at the top of your list for favorite actresses. Born Mary Eileen Chestertonn in St. Paul MN in 1949. In the 60's she moved out to Calif. to make it in movies and later became a part time receptionist at the offices of Playboy magazine. As things sometimes turn out she was chosen for Playboy's Miss November 1969 and later became Playmate of the Year. Her acting career soon took off and she appeared in many low budget 70's classics -  Unholy Rollers & Sisters of Death (both from 1972), The Single Girls (1973), Truck Stop Women (1974), The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1977), Deathsport (1978) and of course 'Gator Bait from 1974. She also had a small role in Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and although she did co-star in a David Cronenberg movie, it turned out to be the one David Cronenberg movie that no one knows about - 1979's Fast Company. In addition and somewhat unbelievably in the midst of her exploitation career she appeared in The Brady Bunch as Greg's manager in the famous (or infamous) "Adios, Johnny Bravo" episode.
  Although she was up for some bigger parts - TV's Wonder Woman which Lynda Carter eventually won and as Kate Jackson's replacement in Charlie's Angels (Shelly Hack beat her out for that), her career never really elevated itself to the next level to which she had hoped for. Later in life she unfortunately struggled with some personal demons and tragically in 1979 would die in an auto accident just as she was attempting to put her life in order. Her presence in films was (and still is) very much appreciated & remembered. The catch phrase for more then a few of them is - "Hey, at least it's got Claudia Jennings in it !"  


  1. The Single Girls is yet another on my "I need to watch" list of films. Now I am even more inclined!

  2. It's pretty cool. Gator Bait is the ONE though(if you haven't seen it !).