Michele Carey

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Michele Carey
Carey in trailer for "El Dorado" (1966)
Michele Lee Henson

(1943-02-26)February 26, 1943
DiedNovember 21, 2018(2018-11-21) (aged 75)
Years active1966–1987
Fred G. Strebel
(m. 1999; died 2011)

Michele Carey (born Michele Lee Henson; February 26, 1943 – November 21, 2018)[1][2] was an American actress who was best known for her role as Josephine "Joey" MacDonald in the 1966 film El Dorado. She appeared in movies in the 1960s and 1970s, and guest-starred in episodes of several television series.

Early life and education[edit]

Carey was born on February 26, 1943 in Annapolis, Maryland to Stanley Willard Henson Jr. and Thelma Burnell Henson; her father was working as a wrestling instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy. The family soon moved to Rochester, Minnesota, where her father continued his medical studies. Michele was a piano prodigy; she won a national contest at the Chicago Music Festival at age 13, and performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.[3][4]

Carey's family eventually moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where her father practiced as a physician, becoming Fort Collins' first surgeon. While attending Fort Collins High School,[2] she was briefly married[citation needed] and had a son.[2]


After graduating high school, she was signed by the Powers agency and moved to Los Angeles in 1964 with her son to pursue a modeling career.[3] She enjoyed success as a model, but she was more interested in acting. Aided by her beauty and trademark long, wild hair, she soon caught the eye of Hollywood producers.[4] In 1964, she made her first television appearances.[citation needed]

The following year she did more television work, had a small part in the kitsch classic How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965), and acted in her first major film, the 1966 Howard Hawks-produced and directed Western El Dorado, with a memorable role as high-spirited troublemaker Josephine "Joey" MacDonald. Carey went on to co-star in films such as Live a Little, Love a Little (1968), The Sweet Ride (1968), and Dirty Dingus Magee (1970), in which she played an anachronistically miniskirted Indian girl.[citation needed]

On television she appeared in guest-starring roles on episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1966), Mission Impossible (1969), It Takes a Thief (1970), and three episodes of The Wild Wild West ("The Night of the Feathered Fury", 1967 and the two-part "The Night of the Winged Terror" 1969), the December 1969 episode "Tug-of-War" on The F.B.I., Starsky and Hutch and Alias Smith and Jones. Carey played the title role in the 1972 Gunsmoke episode "Tara", appeared in the second The Six Million Dollar Man pilot film (1973), and co-starred with Angie Dickinson and Roy Thinnes in the Dan Curtis TV movie The Norliss Tapes that same year.[5] and provided the recurring female computer voice in A Man Called Sloane (1979–80). Fading from view in the late 1970s, Carey made a brief comeback in the mid-'80s in such films as In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro (1986). She also appeared as Crystal in a 1982 episode of the television series The Fall Guy.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Carey married businessman Fred G. Strebel in 1999, and resided with him in Hillsborough and Rancho Mirage. Strebel died on December 28, 2011.[6]


Michele Carey died at the age of 75 on November 21, 2018, in Newport Beach, California. Her father, who had been the oldest living NCAA wrestling champion, died earlier the same year. Her mother died in 2016. She was preceded in death by her only child Kevin Troy Schwanke. Carey was survived by her three siblings and extended family.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Barnes, Mike (December 3, 2018). "Michele Carey, Actress in 'El Dorado' and 'Live a Little, Love a Little,' Dies at 75". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Laxen, Jacob (December 3, 2018). "Fort Collins High School graduate, 'El Dorado' movie star dies". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Michele Carey". michele-carey.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Lisanti, Tom (2008). Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood: Seventy-five Profiles. McFarland. ISBN 0786431725.
  5. ^ "Image of Angie and Michele in The Norliss Tapes (1973)" – via blogspot.com.
  6. ^ "Fred G. Strebel obituary". San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times. January 4, 2012 – via legacy.com.

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