||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2010)|
Heatherton dancing on the USS Ticonderoga, December 27, 1965
|Born||Davenie Johanna Heatherton
September 14, 1944
Rockville Centre, New York, USA
|Spouse(s)||Lance Rentzel (m. 1969–72)|
Davenie Johanna "Joey" Heatherton (born September 14, 1944) is an American actress, dancer, and singer.
Heatherton was raised in Rockville Centre, New York, a suburb of New York City. There she attended St. Agnes Cathedral School, a Catholic grade and high school. Her father Ray Heatherton was a Broadway star (Babes in Arms) and television pioneer.
Heatherton began her career as a child actress, appearing in 1959 as a member of the ensemble and an understudy in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, and received her first sustained national exposure that same year as a semi-regular on The Perry Como Show, playing an exuberant teenager with a perpetual crush on Perry Como. She also appeared extensively on The Dean Martin Show; Dean Martin invited her to perform numerous times on the show, starting with the premiere episode of September 16, 1965. From June to September 1968, along with Frank Sinatra, Jr., she co-hosted Martin's summer substitute musical comedy hour, Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers. She also made multiple appearances on 1960s television shows such as The Andy Williams Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Ed Sullivan Show, and This Is Tom Jones. She first appeared on television on her father's show The Merry Mailman, a popular children's show in New York.
In 1964, she appeared on The Tonight Show, where she coached Johnny Carson on the finer points of dancing "The Frug." During that era, she also appeared in Bob Hope's USO troupe between 1965 and 1977, entertaining the GIs with her singing, dancing and provocative outfits. Excerpts from the USO tours were televised as part of Hope's long-running series of NBC monthly specials, culminating in the top-rated Christmas shows, where Heatherton's segments were regularly featured. She appeared as a mystery guest on What's My Line on November 7, 1965, which was the last show that Dorothy Killgallen appeared on.
Throughout the 1960s, Heatherton interspersed her variety show appearances with dramatic turns in three theatrical films and on numerous episodes of series such as Route 66 (playing a 15-year-old temptress in the November 18, 1960 teleplay), Mr. Novak, The Virginian, Channing, Arrest and Trial, The Nurses, and Breaking Point.
Heatherton also appeared in the movies Twilight of Honor (1963), Where Love Has Gone, (1964) and My Blood Runs Cold (1965), alongside Claude Rains, Bette Davis and Susan Hayward. In Twilight of Honor, her film debut, she played the young wife of an accused murderer (Oscar-nominee Nick Adams).
The only one of the three films to be made in color, 1964's Where Love Has Gone, was a big-budget melodrama based on Harold Robbins' roman à clef about the scandalous Lana Turner–Cheryl Crane–Johnny Stompanato manslaughter case, with Heatherton playing the daughter of the Turner character (Susan Hayward).
In 1965, she appeared in Blood, the second of three 1965 horror-suspense films directed by William Conrad, alongside Troy Donohue. The following year, she did a two-part episode of I Spy with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby, playing a girl who returns an original Leonardo da Vinci painting to a Roman museum.
By the 1970s, Heatherton's career was slowing down, but she was still popular enough to do a series of television ads for RC Cola and Serta Mattresses. A brief high point came in July 1975 when she headlined Joey & Dad, a four-week Sunday night summer replacement series for Cher's 1975-76 variety show in which she performed alongside her own father. Each episode would involve Ray Heatherton waxing nostalgic over life with his daughter while rooting through his attic.
In subsequent years, Heatherton performed in Las Vegas and acted in a few scattered television shows and films, including the 1972 Bluebeard (with Richard Burton in the title role). Additionally, she played the starring role as Xaviera Hollander in 1977's Watergate-inspired The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington.
In 1969, Heatherton married Lance Rentzel, a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. In November 1970, Rentzel was arrested for exposing himself to a 10-year-old girl. They separated shortly afterward and divorced in 1972.
Heatherton experienced legal trouble in the mid-1980s, beginning in 1985 with a charge of disorderly conduct after she slapped a clerk at Manhattan's U.S. Passport Agency office. The next year, she was arrested for assault and drug possession in Rockland County, New York, after she stabbed Jerry Fisher, her former boyfriend and ex-manager.
|1960||Route 66||Karen Emerson||Episode: "Three Sides"|
|1962 to 1963||The Doctors and the Nurses||Janet Clark
|1963||The Virginian||Gloria Blaine||1 episode|
|1963||Twilight of Honor||Laura Mae Brown||Alternative title: The Charge is Murder|
|1963||Mr. Novak||Holly Metcalfe||Episode: "To Break a Camel's Back"|
|1963||Arrest and Trial||Edith||Episode: "Some Weeks Are All Mondays"|
|1964||Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Cress||Episode: "Runaway"|
|1964||Channing||Episode: "The Trouble with Girls"|
|1964||Breaking Point||Dory Costain||Episode: "I, the Dancer"|
|1964||Where Love Has Gone||Danielle Valerie Miller|
|1965||My Blood Runs Cold||Julie Merriday|
|1966||I Spy||Katie||2 episodes|
|1968||Of Mice and Men||Curley's Wife||Television movie|
|1969||It Takes a Thief||Dodie DuBois||2 episodes "A Matter of Grey Matter"|
|1969||The Jackie Gleason Show||Emily Gogolak||Episode: "The Honeymooners: Happiness Is a Rich Uncle"|
|1969||The Ballad of Andy Crocker||Lisa||Television movie|
|1970||Love, American Style||Tippy||Segment: "Love and the Hitchhiker"|
|1971||The Powder Room||Television movie|
|1973||Old Faithful||Herself||Television movie|
|1977||The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington||Xaviera Hollander|
|1981||Laverne & Shirley||Herself||Episode: "Night at the Awards"|
|1986||The Perils of P.K.|
|2002||Reflections of Evil||Serta Spokeswoman|
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work|
|1964||Golden Laurel Award||Top Female New Face||
|1966||Golden Laurel Award||New Faces, Female||
|1964||Golden Globe Awards||Most Promising Newcomer - Female||Twilight of Honor|
- "Arrested for Drugs and Assault, Perennial Starlet Joey Heatherton Finally Crashes to Earth". people.com. 1986-09-15. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Teitelbaum, Stanley H. (2008). Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols. U of Nebraska Press. p. 222. ISBN 0-8032-1644-0.