Valora Noland (1967)
December 8, 1941 |
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Occupation||Film, television actress|
Valora Noland was born in Seattle, Washington, on December 8, 1941. Her mother had not yet decided upon a name for her new boy or girl and, caught up in the concerns of the hour (Pearl Harbor), let it go for the moment. Later, hearing a stirring speech by Winston Churchill, she named her daughter Valor but neglected to add it to the birth certificate. When Valor applied for her first driver's license, she had to produce her birth certificate, but it said only "Girl child ....." The name was finally added in the late 1950s.
Her family moved from Seattle to the countryside near Santa Cruz, California, in 1943.
Sometime around 1959, forced by her mother to choose a career, Valor Baum decided to become an actress. After graduating from Santa Cruz High School, she was accepted by the Pasadena Playhouse and, while studying there for a year and a half (which included weekly sessions with 'method' acting coach Barney Brown), settled on "Valora Noland" for her stage name. One day, while shopping for groceries, a peculiar little man approached her. "I've been watching you while you've been shopping," he said. "Are you with the Playhouse? Are you in show business? I know a great agent, though he'll tell you he doesn't know me! I can introduce you!" This introduction led to Valora's getting an agent before she moved to Hollywood, but though her go-between was highly respected (Dick Clayton), she didn't just jump into the perfect showcase role.
Valora's first job, an improvised scene with three other actors for the film Five Finger Exercise—later cut before distribution because it hadn't been in the original play—enabled her to buy her SAG card, and somewhat larger parts in TV shows followed, but none too exciting. She had a small role in a 1961 episode of the TV western The Rifleman entitled "High Country." Her first genuine movie role was in Beach Party (1963), and the next year, 1964, she played a part in an independent production, titled Summer Children, made on Catalina Island. It was never officially released. This was followed by Muscle Beach Party and after that a film titled Sex and the College Girl, which took place on the island of Puerto Rico. A third "island" film came in 1965 when she was chosen to play the unfaithful wife in The Passionate Strangers, a Philippine production. Back in Hollywood, Valora joined the cast of The War Wagon for a minimal role and was given a few leads in television shows, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Virginian, and Star Trek. The last was the first time a director had ever called for her to play a specific part without auditioning, and this a week before shooting began. She regretted accepting the hurried invitation for several reasons and bowed out of Hollywood shortly thereafter in January 1968.
During her seven years in the business, Valora continued to study acting, joining the actors' workshops of Jeff Cory, and Robert Gist.
Among Noland's more memorable characters were Vickie in 1964's Sex and the College Girl; Duchess Vicky in The Man from U.N.C.L.E, episode "The Round Table Affair" (1966); and Amanda Harley in The Virginian episode "Girl on the Pinto" (1967).
- Lisanti, Tom (2003). Drive-In Dream Girls. ISBN 0-7864-1575-4. Valora Noland, pp 296-299.