Carey in trailer for "El Dorado" (1966)
Michele Lee Henson
February 26, 1943
Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.
|Died||November 21, 2018 (aged 75)|
|Spouse(s)||Fred G. Strebel (1999–2011; his death)|
Michele Carey (born Michele Lee Henson; February 26, 1943 – November 21, 2018) 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.
Life and career
Carey was born on February 26, 1943, in Annapolis, Maryland, where her father was working as a wrestling instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy. Her family soon moved to Rochester, Minnesota, so that her father could continue his medical studies, later becoming Fort Collins' first surgeon. At an early age Michele proved to be a piano prodigy; she won a national contest at the Chicago Music Festival at age 13, and performed with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra.
Carey's family eventually moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where her father practiced as a physician. While attending Fort Collins High School she was briefly married and had a son. After graduating she was signed by the Powers agency, and moved to Los Angeles in 1964 with her son to pursue a modeling career. She enjoyed success as a model, but was more interested in acting. Aided by her beauty and trademark long, wild hair, she soon caught the eye of Hollywood producers. In 1964, she made her first television appearances.
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.
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 provided the recurring female computer voice in A Man Called Sloane (1979–80). Fading from view in the late 1970s, Carey staged 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.
- "Michele Carey, Actress in 'El Dorado' and 'Live a Little, Love a Little,' Dies at 75", Hollywood Reporter; retrieved December 3, 2018.
- Fort Collins High School graduate, 'El Dorado' movie star dies: Coloradoan; retrieved December 3, 2018.
- Official website, michele-carey.com; accessed December 10, 2018.
- Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood: Seventy-five Profiles, by Tom Lisanti; McFarland, 2008; ISBN 0786431725, 9780786431724
- Fred G. Strebel obituary, San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times, January 4, 2012.