This biography of a living person relies too much on references to primary sources. (April 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Jennifer O'Neill in Lady Ice (1973)
February 20, 1948|
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Occupation||Actress, model, writer, speaker, horse trainer|
|Spouse(s)||Married nine times to eight men, last to Mervin Sidney Louque (1996–present)|
Jennifer O'Neill (born February 20, 1948) is a Brazilian American actress, model, author and speaker, known for her role in the 1971 film Summer of '42 and modelling for CoverGirl cosmetics starting in the 1970s.
O'Neill was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her mother was English and her father was a Brazilian of Portuguese, Spanish and Irish ancestry. She and her older brother Michael were raised in New Rochelle, New York, and Wilton, Connecticut. When she was 14, the family moved to New York City. On Easter Sunday, 1962, O'Neill attempted suicide because the move would separate her from her dog Mandy and horse Monty — "her whole world". That same year, she was discovered by the Ford modeling agency. By age 15, while attending the prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan, she was appearing on the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Seventeen, earning $80,000 ($647,000 today) in 1962.:71
An accomplished equestrienne, O'Neill won upwards of 200 ribbons at horse show competitions in her teens. With her modelling fees, she had purchased a horse, named Alezon. However, it once balked before a wall at a horse show, throwing her, and breaking her neck and back in three places.:83 She attended New York City's Professional Children's School and the Dalton School in Manhattan, but dropped out to wed her first husband, IBM executive Dean Rossiter, at age 17.
O'Neill has dual citizenship, as she maintained her Brazilian citizenship, being then a Brazilian and American citizen.
O'Neill may be best remembered for her role in the 1971 film Summer of '42, where she played Dorothy Walker, the early-20s wife of an airman who has gone off to fight in World War II. She stated in a 2002 interview that her agent had to fight to even get a reading for the part, since the role had been cast for an "older woman" to a "coming of age" 15-year-old boy, and the director was only considering actresses over the age of thirty, Barbra Streisand being at the top of the list.
O'Neill continued acting for the next two decades. She appeared in Hollywood feature films, made-for-television films, and European films, such as Italian director Luchino Visconti's last film, The Innocent (1976). When her movie career slowed, O'Neill took roles in series television. She starred in NBC's short-lived 1982 prime time soap opera Bare Essence and played the lead female role on the 1984 CBS television series Cover Up.
O'Neill is listed in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History's Center for Advertising History for her long-standing contract with CoverGirl cosmetics as its model and spokesperson in ads and television commercials.
- Dean Rossiter (1965 - 1971) (divorced) (1 child)
- Joseph Koster (1972 - 1974) (divorced)
- Nick De Noia (1975 - 1976) (divorced)
- Jeff Barry (1978 - 1979) (divorced)
- John Lederer (1979 - 1983) (divorced) (1 child)
- Richard Alan Brown (1986 - 1989) (divorced) (1 child)
- Neil L. Bonin (1992 - 1993) (annulled)
- Richard Alan Brown (1993 - 1996) (divorced)
- Mervin Sidney Louque, Jr. (1996 – present)
Ex husband Nick de Noia was later murdered in 1987 by one of his former associates.
On October 23, 1982, O'Neill suffered a gunshot wound in her home on McClain Street in Bedford, New York. Police officers who interviewed O'Neill determined that she had accidentally shot herself in the abdomen with a .38 caliber revolver at her 30-acre, 25-room French-style estate while trying to determine if the weapon was loaded. Her fifth husband at the time, John Lederer, was not in the house when the handgun was discharged, but two other people were in the house. Detective Sgt. Thomas Rothwell was quoted as having said that O'Neill "didn't know much about guns."
On October 12, 1984, O'Neill's co-star in the Cover Up television series, Jon-Erik Hexum, accidentally injured himself on the show's set, unaware that a gun loaded with a blank cartridge could still cause extreme damage from the effect of expanding powder gasses. He died six days later.
In her 1999 autobiography Surviving Myself, O'Neill describes many of her life experiences, including her marriages, career, and her move to her Tennessee farm in the late 1990s. She has said that she wrote the autobiography (her first book) "... at the prompting of her children."
In 2004, O'Neill wrote and published From Fallen To Forgiven, a book of biographical notes and thoughts about life and existence. The actress, who underwent an abortion after the divorce from her first husband while dating a Wall Street socialite, became a pro-life activist and a born-again Christian in 1986 at age 38, counseling abstinence to teens. Concerning her abortion, she writes:
I was told a lie from the pit of hell: that my baby was just a blob of tissue. The aftermath of abortion can be equally deadly for both mother and unborn child. A woman who has an abortion is sentenced to bear that for the rest of her life.
O'Neill continues to be active as a writer working on her second autobiography, CoverStory, an inspirational speaker, and fundraiser for the benefit of crisis pregnancy centers across the United States. She has also served as the spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, an organization for people who regret that they or their partners had abortions.
O'Neill works for other charitable causes, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa International and the Arthritis Foundation. As a breast cancer survivor she was once a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. She hosted a one-hour television special for World Vision International shot in Africa concerning the HIV epidemic. She sponsors the Jennifer O'Neill Tennis Tournament to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and a fund-raiser for Guiding Eyes for the blind.
|1968||For Love of Ivy||Sandy|
|1969||Some Kind of a Nut||The Beauty||uncredited|
|1970||Rio Lobo||Shasta Delaney|
|1971||Summer of '42||Dorothy|
|1971||Such Good Friends||Miranda|
|1972||The Carey Treatment||Georgia Hightower|
|1973||Lady Ice||Paula Booth|
|1975||The Reincarnation of Peter Proud||Ann Curtis|
|1975||Whiffs||Lt. Scottie Hallam|
|1975||The Flower in His Mouth||Elena Bardi|
|1976||The Innocent||Teresa Raffo|
|1977||The Psychic||Virginia Ducci|
|1979||A Force of One||Mandy Rust|
|1980||Cloud Dancer||Helen St. Clair|
|1987||I Love N.Y.||Irene|
|1992||Invasion of Privacy||Hillary Wayne||Video|
|1994||The Visual Bible: Acts||Lydia of Thyatira||Video|
|1997||The Corporate Ladder||Irene Grace|
|1997||The Ride||Ellen Stillwell|
|1999||The Prince and the Surfer||Queen Albertina|
|2002||Time Changer||Michelle Bain|
|2012||Last Ounce of Courage||Dottie Revere|
|2016||I'm Not Ashamed||Linda|
|1979||Love's Savage Fury||Laurel Taggart||TV film|
|1981||The Other Victim||Nancy Langford||TV film|
|1983||Bare Essence||Lady Bobbi Rowan||Main role (11 episodes)|
|1984-1985||Cover Up||Danielle Reynolds||Main role (14 episodes)|
|1985||Chase||Sandy Albright||TV film|
|1986||Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star||Alison Carr||TV film|
|1988||The Red Spider||Stephanie Hartford||TV film|
|1988||Glory Days||Scotty Moran||TV film|
|1989||Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal||Debralee Taft||TV film|
|1990||Personals||Heather Moore||TV film|
|1992||Perfect Family||Maggie||TV film|
|1993||The Cover Girl Murders||Kate||TV film|
|1994||Jonathan Stone: Threat of Innocence||Nan Stone||TV film|
|1995||Silver Strand||Louellen Peterson||TV film|
|1996||Voyeur II||Elizabeth (voice)||Video game|
|1996||Poltergeist: The Legacy||Lorraine Compton||Episode: "Revelations"|
|1997||Nash Bridges||Jenny||Episode: "Shake, Rattle & Roll"|
|2000||On Music Row||Linda Rodgers||TV film|
|2000||Heroes and Sheroes||Self||Reality TV|
- Surviving Myself, New York: William Morrow and Company, 1999.
- From Fallen to Forgiven, Thomas Nelson, 2002.
- You're Not Alone: Healing Through God's Grace After Abortion. Faith Communications, 2005.
- Remarkable Women, Insight Publishing Group, 2005.
- A Fall Together, B&H Publishing Group, 2006.
- A Winter of Wonders, B&H Publishing Group, 2007.
- A Late Spring Frost, B&H Publishing Group, 2007
- Faith Lessons, Insight Publishing Group, 2008.
- O'Neill, Jennifer (1999). Surviving Myself. W. Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-15992-4.
- Levitt, Shelley (January 18, 1993). "Seventh Heaven". People. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
- Park, Louis Hillary (June 2002). "Summer of '42". TC Palm. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Buck, Jerry (March 5, 1983). "Jennifer O'Neill Swept Into Role In 'Bare Essence'". The News and Courier. p. 3-D.
- Cover Girl Advertising Oral History & Documentation Project, 1959–1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
- Purdum, Todd S. (8 April 1987). "EMMY-WINNING PRODUCER SHOT TO DEATH IN OFFICE". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- Stevenson, Laura (November 24, 1975). "Unlucky in Love". People.
- Whitehouse, Franklin (October 24, 1982). "Shooting of Jennifer O'Neill is believed accidental". The New York Times.
- "THE REGION; O'Neill Shooting Called an Accident". The New York Times. October 26, 1982.
- "Actress claims shooting was accident", Minden Press-Herald, October 26, 1982, p. 1
- O'Neill, Jennifer (2002). From Fallen to Forgiven. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 978-0-8499-1715-8.
- "People vs. Politicians". National Catholic Register. May 8, 2007. p. 8.
- Mosher, Megan (September 16, 2011). "Restoration House Celebrates 25 years". Daily Star. Hammond, Louisiana. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "Jennifer O'Neill Bio". The Grable Group. September 16, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2012.