Joan Freeman (actress)
Freeman in 2008
|Occupation||Film and television actress|
Joan Freeman (born January 8, 1942) is an American retired actress.
Freeman started as a child actor, having appeared at the age of 7 in the 1949 television series Sandy Dreams, along with Richard Beymer and Jill St. John. At fourteen, she played the character Jeannie Harlow in the 1956 episode "The Frontier Theatre" of the ABC western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian in the title role.
In 1961–62, Freeman was cast in six episodes as the young waitress Elma Gahrigner, in the ABC drama series Bus Stop, in a role that gave her some prominence. After Bus Stop, she appeared in guest-starring roles on the NBC modern western series, Empire, with Richard Egan and on the ABC/Warner Brothers western, The Dakotas.. She also played defendant Jennifer Wakely in Perry Mason's, "The Case of the Fickle Filly" in 1962.
In 1962, Freeman was cast as Marilyn Hayes in the post-atomic war black-and-white classic film Panic in Year Zero! alongside veteran film stars Ray Milland and Jean Hagen. The role was of a victimized young woman in a fight for survival. Alabama newspaper The Anniston Star described Freeman as "lovely" in the part.
Also in 1962 she appeared in the quasi-historical film Tower of London with Vincent Price. Her work to that point was enough to gain her a Photoplay Gold Medal nomination from Photoplay film magazine as Most Promising New Star (Female). That was followed up by being named as a Hollywood Deb Star in 1963.
In 1964, Freeman played the role of Elizabeth Dunn secretary to Dr. James Stone in the episode "Behold Eck" in the TV series The Outer Limits. She co-starred in The Rounders, a 1965 comedy film based on the novel of the same name by Max Evans.
Freeman is perhaps best known for her roles in two musical films. In 1964, she was the love interest of Elvis Presley in Roustabout. There she played the "good girl" pursuing Elvis and competing against a vixen type played by Sue Ane Langdon, all the while being stuck in arguments with her father, a bitter carnival hand played by Leif Erickson. Variety magazine said that "Miss Freeman hasn't much to do except wring her hands ... but does it prettily." In 1964 Freeman received a Photoplay Gold Medal nomination for Best Female Star.
The other such role was in 1967, when she appeared with Roy Orbison in The Fastest Guitar Alive. In 1967, she appeared as the love interest opposite Don Knotts in the Cold War space-race comedy The Reluctant Astronaut.
In 1977, Freeman costarred as Barbara Robinson in the 13-episode CBS series Code R about the emergency fire, police, and ocean rescue services in the California Channel Islands. Tom Simcox played her police chief husband.
Freeman also made a number of guest appearances on different television shows from the 1950s through the 1980s including National Velvet, Family Affair, Gunsmoke, and Bonanza. She made a guest appearance on Perry Mason in 1962 as defendant Jennifer Wakely in "The Case of the Fickle Filly".
In 1966, Freeman guest starred on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in "The Bat Cave Affair". She appeared four times on the NBC western series The Virginian. Her last motion picture performance came as "Mrs. Jarvis" in the 1984 horror film, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. In 1994, Freeman appeared as an actress for the last time in an episode of the TV series Renegade.
- Pistol Harvest (1951) - Felice as a Child
- Trouble Along the Way (1953) - Minor Role (uncredited)
- Teenage Rebel (1956) - Teenager in Malt Shop (uncredited)
- The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959) - Mary Pennypacker (uncredited)
- Come September (1961) - Linda
- Panic in Year Zero! (1962) - Marilyn Hayes
- Tower of London (1962) - Lady Margaret
- The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze (1963) - Amelia Carter
- Roustabout (1964) - Cathy Lean
- The Rounders (1965) - Meg Moore
- The Reluctant Astronaut (1967) - Ellie Jackson
- The Fastest Guitar Alive (1967) - Sue Chesnut
- Warhead (1977) - Namoi
- Jinxed! (1982) - Woman Agent
- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) - Mrs. Jarvis
- "Local Screen in Review: Panic in Year Zero". The State Journal. Lansing, Michigan. September 22, 1962. p. B-3 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Double Feature Due on Screen at the Midway". The Anniston Star. February 3, 1963. p. 6-B – via Newspapers.com.
- Lisanti, Tom (2003). Drive-in Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. p. 249.