Peabody in Teenage Hitchhikers, 1975
January 11, 1948
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Other names||Lydia Cassell
Sandra Peabody (born January 11, 1948) is an American actress, screenwriter, producer and acting coach. She is best known for her role as Mari Collingwood in Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left (1972). She subsequently starred in Voices of Desire (1972) and Massage Parlor Murders (1973) becoming one of the original scream queens. Peabody continued to act in exploitation films from the early to mid 1970s.
In the early 1970s, Peabody starred in a few exploitation films before being cast in the low budget film The Horse Killer (1970), which is currently a lost film that was shot in Florida. She was later cast alongside Spalding Grey and Philip Baker Hall in the 1971 film Love-In 72. She later starred in Wes Craven's brutal and controversial 1972 film The Last House on the Left, about two teenage girls, Mari Collingwood (played by Peabody) and Phyllis Stone (played by Lucy Grantham) who are kidnapped and brutally raped by a gang of psychotic convicts who recently escaped from prison. The film was a critical and commercial success, earning more than $3 million at the American box office. Her performance was generally praised.
Peabody was later cast in the horror films Voices of Desire (1972), and Massage Parlor Murders (1973), the latter being a grindhouse film that has recently been released on DVD and Blu-ray. Her next role was in the exploitation film Filthiest Show in Town. Peabody starred alongside Barbara Eden and John Bennett Perry in the musical Annie Get Your Gun that ran at the Shady Grove Music Fair, between 1973 and 1974. She later starred in Case of the Full Moon Murders (1973). In 1974, Peabody had a cameo role in the horror film Legacy of Satan.
The following year, Sandra starred in the comedy film Teenage Hitchhikers, which was about a couple of young hitchhikers who embark on a cross country trip in search of freedom, excitement and independence. The film was met with generally positive reviews. After appearing in this film, Sandra quit acting. The same year, Peabody worked on the script continuity for the exploitation film Video Vixens. In 1990, Sandra wrote and produced the television series Where in the World. The series lasted until 1995.
In 2000, David A. Szulkin interviewed Peabody for his book, Wes Craven's Last House on the Left, which tells the inside story of making the film. In 2001, Peabody wrote and produced the educational series Zone In. She created more entries in 2007. Peabody has appeared in several critically acclaimed horror film documentaries through archive footage such as Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006) and Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010). As of 2016, Peabody is reported to be an acting coach in the Portland, Oregon area.
Peabody quit acting in the mid 1970s. Most of the actors that portrayed the villains in The Last House on the Left (1972) stayed in character on the set, and it reportedly caused Peabody to feel genuinely frightened throughout most of the shoot.
|1970||The Horse Killer|
|1972||The Last House on the Left||Mari Collingwood||credited as Sandra Cassell|
|Voices of Desire||Anna Reed||credited as Liyda Cassell|
|1973||Filthiest Show in Town||Olga||credited as Sandra Cassel|
|Massage Parlor Murders||Gwen|
|Case of the Full Moon Murders||Strip Poker Girl||credited as Debbie Craven|
|1974||Legacy of Satan||Cult Extra|
|1990-1995||Where in the World||Writer/Producer|
|1975||Video Vixens||Script Continuity|
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