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March 13, 1935
Melrose, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Eric Marlow (1956–1961) (divorced)
Richard Bach (1977–1999) (divorced)
Leslie Parrish (born March 13, 1935) is an American actress. She worked under her birth name, Marjorie Hellen, until she changed it in 1959.
Parrish was born in Melrose, Massachusetts. She later lived in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, and was a promising piano student at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. She discovered that by modeling she could earn more money than as a concert pianist. She came to New York City in November 1953. Before modeling she worked as a waitress in a diner.
She joined the Home Theatre Group of professional performers who put on plays at a private theater in Hollywood. Ruth Warrick and Mark Herron were also members. Parrish believed the experience of facing a live audience made her a better actress and more capable of transforming a scripted part into a three-dimensional human being.
Parrish signed with 20th Century Fox in 1954, when she was 19. The studio gave her statistics as 5 feet 6 inches, with measurements of 35-24-34. Her hair is reddish gold, and she has gray eyes with a cream complexion. In May 1956, Parrish signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Her two most significant roles are as lithe Daisy Mae in Li'l Abner (1959) and as the doomed Jocelyn Jordan in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). In Portrait of a Mobster (1961) Parrish plays the wife of a detective who consorts with criminals. She is the daughter of a bootlegger who rebuffs the advances of Dutch Schultz, played by Vic Morrow. Eventually she becomes disillusioned with the corruption among the police force, and she leaves her husband to live with Schultz.
She made a number of films of the B-movie and science fiction genres. Among these are Sex and the Single Girl (1964), Three on a Couch (1966), The Money Jungle (1968), The Candy Man (1969), The Devil's 8 (1969), Brother, Cry for Me (1970), The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), and Crash! (1977).
In 1954, NBC-TV borrowed the studios of WPIX every weekday morning. Parrish was employed by NBC as its 'human test pattern' in regard to color tones. She sat for hours on a stool in front of color cameras, while engineers adjusted the tints and the lighting, and worked with costumes in different tints. Parrish was seldom seen on WNBC, Channel 4, since most of her color work was performed on closed-circuit television.
Parrish made numerous television appearances including three episodes of Perry Mason in 1960-1961, playing three different characters: Hope Sutherland in "The Case of the Madcap Modiste," Vivian Ames in "The Case of the Impatient Partner," and Veronica Temple in "The Case of the Left-Handed Liar." She was in an episode of the Kraft Suspense Theatre, "The Kamchatka Incident" (1964). She performed with John Forsythe in a drama which concerned a U.S.-bound airplane's encounter with Russian fighter planes above Siberia - she had worked with Forsythe in a 1962 episode of Bachelor Father, playing petulant actress Kim Fontaine. A part as Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas, who becomes an object of obsession for the god Apollo in the Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" (1967).
She also had a featured role during Season 3 of "The Big Valley" in the episode entitled "Bounty on a Barkley" (Episode #230), which aired: February 26, 1968. She played a love interest of Nick Barkley (played by Peter Breck). Her character was named Layle Johnson, who was constantly let down and often (and currently) estranged from her Bounty-Hunting, professional killer of a husband; all the while Nick not knowing she was married.
Parrish made an appearance with Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall and gravel-voiced Andy Devine in a skit titled "Love and the Mountain Cabin" on the December 8, 1969 episode of Love American Style. She also appeared in an episode of The Wild Wild West and Mannix. In the 1971 series Bearcats!, she played Liz Blake, an ex-love of lead character Hack Brackett, who is helped by him when her oil business is threatened by a series of mysterious fires.
In the television series Logan's Run (1977), Parrish played the commander of an alien space ship on a Noah's Ark-type mission to gather and study specimens of beings from planets in different solar systems.
Parrish married Eric Marlow in 1956 and divorced him in May 1961.
She married Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, in 1977, whom she met during the making of the movie of the same name. She was a major element in two of his subsequent books—The Bridge Across Forever and One—which primarily focused on their relationship and Bach's concept of soulmates. They divorced in 1997.
- Missile to the Moon (1958)
- Li'l Abner (1959)
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
- For Love or Money (1963)
- Sex and the Single Girl (with Natalie Wood) (1964)
- Three on a Couch (1965)
- The Devil's 8 (1969)
- The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)
- Invisible Strangler (1976)
- Crash! (1977)
Selected television appearances
- 1960 Bat Masterson (1958) playing "Lucy Carter" in episode: "The Elusive Baguette" (episode # 2.34) June 2
- 1965 The Wild Wild West (1965) playing "Greta Lundquist" in episode: "The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth" (episode # 1.3) October 1
- 1966 Batman (1966/II) playing "Dawn Robbins" in episode: "Fine Feathered Finks" (episode # 1.3) January 19
- 1966 Batman (1966/II) playing "Dawn Robbins" in episode: "The Penguin's a Jinx" (episode # 1.4) January 20
- 1966 The Wild Wild West (1965) playing "Morn" in episode: "The Night of the Flying Pie Plate" (episode # 2.6) October 21
- 1967 Batman (1966/II) playing "Glacia Glaze" in episode: "Ice Spy" (episode # 2.59) March 29
- 1967 Batman (1966/II) playing "Glacia Glaze" in episode: "The Duo Defy" (episode # 2.60) March 30
- 1967 Star Trek (1966) playing "Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas" in episode: "Who Mourns for Adonais?" (episode # 2.2) September 22
- 1967 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964) playing "Leslie Welling" in episode: "The Master's Touch Affair" (episode # 4.6) October 16
- 1968 The Big Valley (1968) playing Layle Johnson in episode "Bounty on a Barkley" (Episode #230 Season 3), Aired: February 26, 1968
- 1968 Mannix (1968) playing Linda Marley in episode "The Girl in the Frame" (Episode No. 24 Season 1), Aired: March 16, 1968
- 1969 Love American Style "Love and the Mountain Cabin" December 8, 1969
- 1971 Hogan's Heroes playing "Karen" in episode: "Kommandant Gertrude"
- 1971 Bearcats! playing Liz Blake in episode: "Blood Knot" (Episode 7), Aired: on November 4
- 1972 Adam 12 playing Sharon Blake in episode: "Gifts and Long Letters" (Episode 12, Season 5), aired on September 20, 1972
- 1974 McCloud (1970) playing "Lynne O'Connell" in episode: "The Gang That Stole Manhattan" (episode # 5.2) October 13
- 1968 Petticoat Junction (TV Series) (1968 ) playing "Jacqueline Moran " in episode " The Tenant " 11/8/1969
- Florence Morning News, Leslie Parrish To Guest Star, August 20, 1977, Page 34.
- Hayward Daily Review, Leslie Parrish:Aware of the Magic, February 25, 1968, Page 70.
- Los Angeles Times, Fox Signs Marjorie Hellen To Pact, November 4, 1954, Page A9.
- The Marion Star, Movie Attractions, June 2, 1962, Page 27.
- Oakland Tribune, Leslie Parrish Gets Default Divorce, May 14, 1961, Page 153.
- New York Times, Television in Review, May 3, 1954, Page 32.
- New York Times, Kings Go Forth Will Be A Movie, May 9, 1956, Page 36.
- New York Times, Role of Daisy Mae, June 10, 1959, Page 42.
- "Leslie Parrish (I) Biography". Retrieved 2007-03-13.