July 14, 1945 |
Ashland, Kentucky, U.S.
Leigh French (born July 14, 1945) is an American actress.
Life and career
French was born in Ashland, Kentucky. In her early career as a regular on the Smothers Brothers variety show of the late-1960s, French portrayed a somewhat spaced-out or ditzy hippie named Goldie O'Keefe. The character was originally introduced, in an ostensible studio-audience interview segment, as Goldie Keif; both "Goldie" and "Keif" were slang terms for marijuana at the time. Reportedly, the slight name change to O'Keefe when she became a semi-regular was at the television network's insistence. Her segment of the show was called "Share a Little Tea with Goldie." At the time, "sharing tea" was a popular euphemism for getting high on marijuana. Following suit, her segment consisted largely of "helpful" household advice loaded with sex and drug-related double-entendres.
French played a similar character, a San Francisco hippie type named Cobalt-Blue, in a 1968 episode ("Tag, You're It") of the I Spy series. She and Rob Reiner (both of whom had been members of The Committee improv group in Los Angeles) also played hippies in the 1969 "Flower Power" episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. French can also be seen in such films as WUSA (1970), The Drowning Pool (1975), Aloha, Bobby and Rose (1975), The Hollywood Knights (1980), and The Long Days of Summer (1980). Leigh also appeared as Goober Pyle's (George Lindsey) sister on a pilot episode for a sitcom called Goober & the Truckers' Paradise. The show, in which Goober and his sister managed a highway truck stop, was not picked up by the networks.
French has worked steadily, if quietly, over the years, primarily behind the scenes and doing voiceover roles in animated features.