Donna Wilkes

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Donna Wilkes
Born (1959-11-11) November 11, 1959 (age 57)
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Actress

Donna Consuelos Wilkes (born November 11, 1959) is an American film actress known for her roles in several films, most notably Jaws 2, and the starring role in 1984's Angel,[1] and like Jamie Lee Curtis, she has starred in a few horror films.

She has also appeared in several television programs such as Father Murphy and the soap opera Days of Our Lives. She appeared in the first season of the short-lived sitcom Hello, Larry. Twice, she played characters much younger than she was in real life. Her character in Hello, Larry was 15 when Wilkes was actually 20 years old in real life and Molly Stuart, her character in the movie Angel, was supposed to be 15 years old as well, even though Wilkes was 25 years old at the time of filming.

Biography[edit]

Wilkes was born on November 11, 1959 in New York City. She was born in Spanish Harlem to a Spanish and French mother and Irish father. Her father was a doctor and her mother was a nightclub singer. They divorced when she was 3 months old. When she was six she made her first commercial, for Keds sneakers. She trained in acting at Dominica American Theatre of Performing Arts, but stopped her training at age 11 to become a "normal student." At age 12, she went to live with her aunt and uncle in the Dominican Republic. Being a good student at high school, she skipped a few grades, graduating at the Collegio Santo Domingo at the age of 14. At age 15, she moved to Los Angeles, California, but, unable to work at such a young age, convinced many employers that she was 18 and married. Her first jobs included being a computer operator for an ambulance service, and secretarial work for a large corporation in Culver City, adding up to 16 hours a day for five days a week.

She began acting again at age 17. Her first role was the part of Jackie Peters in the 1978 Universal Pictures film Jaws 2. That same year, she starred as Meredith in Almost Summer, which also starred Tim Matheson and Didi Conn, on which she earned a SAG card. At around age 18, she became married to Billy Gray, famous for his work on Father Knows Best. At 39, Gray was 21 years older, and the marriage didn't last long. She won the role of Pamela Prentiss on the soap opera Days of Our Lives which she played from 1983 to 1984. Her role was supposed to be for longer, but had to be cut short when she became involved in the production of Angel.

Her best known role was in the 1984 cult classic sexploitation film Angel in which she played Molly Stewart/Angel, a high school honor student by day, and a prostitute by night. On a budget of $3 million, it was a box office success gathering $17,488,564. It spawned three unsuccessful sequels in which Wilkes had no involvement. She was actually 25 at the time she played the 15-year-old. To prepare for the role she spent time in halfway houses and rehabilitation centers in LA. "I actually walked on the streets with these girls and talked with them... and I also talked to the people with the group called Children of the Night, and to the Hollywood Police Department, too."[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Jaws 2 Jackie Peters
1978 Almost Summer Meredith
1979 Fyre Carol
1979 Hard Knocks Chris Alternate titles: Mid-Knight Rider and Hollywood Knight
1980 Schizoid Alison Fales Alternate title: Murder by Mail
1982 Blood Song Marion Alternate title: Dream Slayer
1984 Angel Molly 'Angel' Stewart
1988 Grotesque Kathy
2013 My Stepbrother Is a Vampire!?! Miss Fortune
2014 90210 Shark Attack Pamela

TV appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1978 The Courage and the Passion Tracy TV movie
1978 The Incredible Hulk Alice Morrow Episode: "Alice in Disco Land"
1979 Hello, Larry Diane Alder Main cast (14 episodes)
1979 Diff'rent Strokes Diane Alder Episode: "The Trip: Part 1"
1979 The Runaways Episode: "Land of Honey"
1981 Born to Be Sold Cindy Carlson TV movie
1981 House Calls Episode: "The Sex Police"
1982 Father Murphy Emma Walker Episodes: "The First Miracle" (Parts 1 & 2)
1982 T. J. Hooker Karen Stewart Episode: "King of the Hill"
1982–83 Days of Our Lives Pamela Prentiss Main cast (14 episodes)
1983 Teachers Only Episode: "Praise the Lord and Pasta Ammunition"
1984 Gimme a Break! Gina Episode: "The Center"
1984 Partners in Crime Sandy Episode: "Fantasyland"
1985 Hell Town Meg Episode: "The Rat Man Cometh"
1986 Superior Court Episode: "Date Rape"
1989 Dragnet Amy Redmond Episode: "Safe in Jail"
1991 FBI: The Untold Stories Teresa Starr Episode: "The Murder of Judge John Wood"

References[edit]

External links[edit]