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Angelyne: as essential a part of the Hollywood landscape as the garish minimall
November 5, 2009 12:10 PM   Subscribe

She's a public mystery, craving attention but shying away from private interviews. She is a human being Andy Warhol would have created, a painter (of) herself. She ran for Hollywood City Council in 2002, joined the much-parodied 2003 California gubernatorial recall election (previously), and most recently tried to become Mayor of Hollywood (archive of her Mayoral site). She is still loved by snark-mongers. She is Angelyne. She is ...

A local Hollywood celebrity for her presence on billboards, the "wicked Eve in Hollywood's media-made Garden of Eden," she is can be found in her bright pink Corvette (Hidden Los Angeles previously, Vector Portraits previously). She has been the topic of local articles for a while, the subject of local and foreign TV interest. She's had bit-parts in a few movies and drove Moby around Hollywood. She's inspired song-writers (sample) and mix-tapers. Angelyne once said "I'm the quintessential billboard queen that's supposed to happen. That's why it's so readily and easily accepted. I feel like I've been embedded in the cement of Hollywood for 3,000 years." But where did she come from?

Neither her official website nor MySpace page provide much personal information beyond her likes and dislikes (the latter lists her age as 29). An old webzine has an article on her (circa 1998), noting that she came from Idaho, and moved to Los Angeles for fame and fortune, singing with a group that was first know as Black and Blue, then Baby Blue, and a few weeks it was Angelyne. She released four albums (including Driven to Fantasy), and made a music video for the song "I Always Keep A List of All the Guys I Kiss". But none of those endeavors panned out. Her foray into billboards wouldn't have lasted, either, had it not been for the entrepreneurship of Hugo Maisnik. Maisnik, the president of the outdoor advertisement company who Angelyne contacted, signed with her to support her advertising (and her lease of the iconic 'Vette) for a cut of her profits from her fame. According to a 1987 People Magazine article (which listed her age as 28), Maisnik was her manager at the time. (An article later that year listed her age as 29.)

Now you can consider yourself armed for The Angelyne Quiz: How Well Do You Know Her?
posted by filthy light thief (44 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
She came from the fat drippings in the burger press at McDonalds, unsold checkout aisle magazines in trash bins, and the false promises of a billion TV advertisements.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on November 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


I think Valerie Plame answered a few questions about this lady once
posted by Think_Long at 12:18 PM on November 5, 2009


I think Valerie Plame answered a few questions about this lady once

Yes, she did, but she didn't fair too well. The final link in the FPP connects to that segment of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and I think they have all the same questions in text form for you to play along at home.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:21 PM on November 5, 2009


I was unaware of her, but this is the first thing I thought of.
posted by HumanComplex at 12:22 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, she did, but she didn't fair too well. The final link in the FPP connects to that segment of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and I think they have all the same questions in text form for you to play along at home.

ah, gotcha. missed that link
posted by Think_Long at 12:25 PM on November 5, 2009


I see her driving down the street in her Corvette every once in a while. When I first moved to LA, I actually passed her on the street -- I didn't know who she was, and I was struck by just how awful she looked, with her gross leathery skin and giant boobs that seemed to be made of hard plastic. When I got into my building, there were a bunch of maintenance guys in there working, and I asked who she was, and they looked at me like I was crazy. What, I asked -- is she, like, somebody? Oh yeah, they said. She's somebody, all right.
posted by hifiparasol at 12:26 PM on November 5, 2009


John Waters once did an interview with her that apparently soured when she claimed Jayne Mansfield had traveled forward in time to steal Angelyne's shtick, which Waters considered sacrilege.

I have to agree. Angelyne is a cute gimmick, but Jayne Mansfield was Homeric.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


note - outcalls only.
posted by Artful Codger at 12:37 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seconding hifiparasol. If you've ever seen her in person, you will cringe when someone mentions her name.
posted by effluvia at 12:38 PM on November 5, 2009


If only filthy light thief would use his power for good.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:52 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


She has coffee at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf downstairs from my office almost every afternoon. She... hasn't aged well.
posted by katillathehun at 12:58 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pop quiz:

How large are the breasts of:

1) Julia Roberts?
2) Sandra Bullock?
3) Kate Hudson?

There's this weird mythology that Hollywood somehow "wants" or "demands" that women mutilate themselves in this way, that in the Sodom and Gomorrah of L.A. turning yourself into a fake-breasted overtanned freak will get you untold riches and success. No, it will get you called a fake-breasted overtanned freak, just like everywhere else.

I can't think of a single A-list female star with very large breasts, except maybe Salma Hayek, and they're clearly natural.

The perception that anyone anywhere inside or outside the (non-porn) movie business wants people who look like this ss weird, that's all I'm sayin'.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


"is weird"
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:10 PM on November 5, 2009


Also, i don't find her essential to my landscape at all, but you can get some damn good food at a "garish minimall."

The Naked Times Square Cowboy: As essential to the New York City Landscape as the rat-infested tenement with a bodega next door.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:14 PM on November 5, 2009


She still wouldn't have done any worse as governor than Arnold Schwarzenegger has.
posted by blucevalo at 1:21 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't think of a single A-list female star with very large breasts, except maybe Salma Hayek, and they're clearly natural.

Scarlett Johansson ? Not sure about "clearly natural" there though...

Angelyne always makes me think of the opening credits for Moonlighting, which had a flash of one of her billboards.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:23 PM on November 5, 2009


Right on, drjimmy. The notion that the public's fascination with big breasts is the result of the entertainment industry (minus, as you point out, porn) is weird, and I don't know where it comes from. Boobs are certainly fetishized in pop culture, but I don't see a lot of examples of big boobs being fetishized in the mainstream, generally because skinny is held up as the gold standard, and big boobs = fat. Most of your popular entertainers who happen to be more buxom -- Salma Hayek, Christina Hendricks, whatever -- are notable because they're the exception from the norm. (not to imply that they wouldn't be notable with smaller b'zooms; I'm just talking in terms of body types here)

Oh, and the one thing I really, really hate about Angelyne is that, for as much as an LA icon as she apparently is, she gets LA absolutely fucking wrong. This notion of LA as a plastic paradise full of fake people driving their BMW convertibles to do lunch or what-the-fuck-ever is perpetuated mostly by people who seemingly have never actually been here. There's trendy fakery here to be sure, but no more so than in most other places I've lived.
posted by hifiparasol at 1:28 PM on November 5, 2009


Salma Hayek has bolt-on's. Christina Hendricks as well.
posted by bunnytricks at 1:37 PM on November 5, 2009


This is getting into stupid territory here.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:50 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


So, she's basically a self-created celebrity by looking hot and doing not a lot?

I kind of have to admire her pulling that off, though given that a post like this exists, maybe that's not going quite so well as she intended.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:53 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Selma Hayeck has the best boobs evah.
posted by elder18 at 1:56 PM on November 5, 2009


Salma Hayek's breasts are heroes
sorry, but if we're gonna go this silly we might as well go all the way
posted by dabitch at 2:06 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


metafilter: This is getting into stupid territory here.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:08 PM on November 5, 2009


For the love of ...

Step away from the breasts, people. You're obviously not mature enough to handle them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:16 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


This notion of LA as a plastic paradise full of fake people driving their BMW convertibles to do lunch or what-the-fuck-ever is perpetuated mostly by people who seemingly have never actually been here. There's trendy fakery here to be sure, but no more so than in most other places I've lived.

If by "here" you mean the real LA -- as opposed to the industry LA, or the porn LA, or certain trendy neighborhoods in LA, or what have you -- I agree. But that other LA, as exemplified by Angelyne, is as much part of LA as the "real" LA. And sometimes those LAs merge in incredible ways.

And yes, I was born 'n raised there.
posted by blucevalo at 2:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


"This notion of LA as a plastic paradise full of fake people... There's trendy fakery here to be sure, but no more so than in most other places I've lived."

In L.A., it's not fakery!!!

Juuust kiddin', relax.

Angelyne's success had always baffled me. I didn't know she got money from the billboards. It makes sense. Good for her.

BTW, I have seen her at Mervyn's in Ventura more than once. They closed last year, I don't know where she shops now.
posted by Xoebe at 2:36 PM on November 5, 2009


So, she's basically a self-created celebrity by looking hot like a Barbie doll and doing not a lot?

There you go.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:42 PM on November 5, 2009


i have no idea who this is.

also: if this pic was taken in 1982 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cookieduster/1297629689/ then shurely she cannot be 29?

also, where is mefimail? cannot find link. shure i read about it when i joined? (yeah, askmefi i know i know - n00b etc)
posted by marienbad at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2009


She is a human being Andy Warhol would have created

She is a woman that Dave Navarro thinks Andy Warhol would have created. Here is the woman he did create. And these are the women he helped create. Andy Warhol was a New Yorker.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2009


I remember seeing her billboards in Hollywood and thinking, "Who IS that?" It's sad that she hasn't moved on from a characature of herself.
posted by jeanmari at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2009


shurely she cannot be 29?

She is generally understood by those who have seen her to be at least in her 60s.

As many of the articles point out, she avoids a lot of real actual human contact, press, or screen time because she must, on some level, know that she looks monstrously bad.
posted by anazgnos at 2:56 PM on November 5, 2009


Whenever people bring up Paris Hilton's seemingly inexplicable fame, I say that she's just the modern version of Angelyne. Except with sex tapes instead of billboards.
posted by joedan at 2:57 PM on November 5, 2009


I love Angelyne for her entirely synthetic existence. If she did not create herself, J.G. Ballard would have had to create her.
posted by Nelson at 3:09 PM on November 5, 2009


Epic and Seinfeldian post! My favorite thing about it: I found out that Alan Thicke had a talkshow called...wait for it....Thicke of the Night. Ha! Just typing it cracks me up!

And THEN I found out that Frank Zappa was on it. The last four letters of the youtube url? WHAM, of course. Fuckin. A.
posted by nosila at 3:17 PM on November 5, 2009


Step away from the breasts, people. You're obviously not mature enough to handle them.

That's what she said ... oh, you're right.

Whenever people bring up Paris Hilton's seemingly inexplicable fame, I say that she's just the modern version of Angelyne. Except with sex tapes instead of billboards.

Plus a bit of Tommy Wiseau. I live in California, but sometimes Hollywood seems a world away. The level of desire for attention (without critique) is rather odd and a bit sad. Paris Hilton is still young and (relatively speaking) attractive, whereas Angelyne is aging and denying it. I wonder if Paris will become something of an Angelyne. Others have speculated that Angelyne is Lady Gaga's future.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:02 PM on November 5, 2009


When I worked in property management, a new property had an Angelyne billboard on it. I was told to find out about having it removed.

I learned that this woman and her business partner put her image up on billboards that would otherwise be unleased and empty, begging for graffiti.

So if you see an Angelyne billboard, you know that location is available. Pretty nifty idea.

Last time I had a personal "Angelyne sighting" was several years ago. Her Barbie pink corvette was parked in a Tarzana shopping center lot. There were TWO blonde women in the car. One was presumably Angelyne, and the other either her clone or a trainee.

Reports of sightings at the Whole Foods Market in Woodland Hills confirmed that the aging woman "had a fight with a make up bag - and lost!"

She IS a Los Angeles icon, and her pink Corvette can be seen tooling up and down PCH, as well as in various places along the western part of Ventura Blvd. There is even a page devoted to Angelyne sightings on the Los Angeles Grim Society's website!
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 4:36 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I heard that wait wait don't tell me, which isamazingbecauxsei only get to listen to it about once every other month.

So wait is this performance art?
posted by djduckie at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2009


There's this weird mythology that Hollywood somehow "wants" or "demands" that women mutilate themselves in this way, that in the Sodom and Gomorrah of L.A. turning yourself into a fake-breasted overtanned freak will get you untold riches and success. No, it will get you called a fake-breasted overtanned freak, just like everywhere else.

Scarlett Johansson.
posted by delmoi at 9:07 PM on November 5, 2009


When I lived in LA, twenty years ago, a friend went on a date with Angelyne. He hoped to find out that she was a canny manipulator of her image like, say, Madonna. He was disappointed because she had very little to say... but he did learn that her "boobs" were rock hard. The whole thing was supposed to be a lark but wound up being really depressing.
posted by carmicha at 9:25 PM on November 5, 2009


I know someone who knows someone who knows Angelyne...
(actually, i know someone who knows Angelyne...)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:28 PM on November 5, 2009


> So if you see an Angelyne billboard, you know that location is available. Pretty nifty idea.

I have always suspected this, thanks for the trivia.

I'm surprised that the real Angelyne is still Angelyne. You're hinting at a "trainee", I thought by now they'd have a small fleet of hot pink corvettes and young platinum blond lookalikes cruising L.A. just to keep the myth alive. 2035 we'll still be seeing Angelyne's around town, she'll be like a cross between Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Barbie.
posted by dabitch at 2:06 AM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I recently saw her in a Trader Joe's over near La Brea and Santa Monica. Yeah, she was driving the pink Corvette.

She's definitely over 60, either in tanning bed years or Hollywood years. Her billboards have been up off and on for years, and the pic they're using must be from the mid 80s.

And there's nothing wrong at all with over 60. But 60 or not, the outfit she was wearing was... disconcerting. Disturbing? Less distracting and more disturbing. Improbable. It would have been disturbing at any age. I don't even know what to call it. It's not Deborah Harry-chic, or Courtney Love. It's not glam metal chic. Late 80s era LA hooker chic? Too much pink and spandex and more than a little threadbare and shabby, but it's probably hard to find clothes like that any more since MySpace and the Electrotrash Kids decided to adopt the worst bits of the 80s as canon.

The people at the Trader Joe's seemed to be used to her, which makes the whole "hey, look at me!" exposition even weirder because everyone was doing their best not to look at her.

Aaaaand, I'm trying not to be too mean or critical, so I don't really have much more to say.
posted by loquacious at 7:17 AM on November 6, 2009


I think that she was a brand genius back in the day but after seeing that photo--she needs to give it up. Driving around in that stupid Corvette, etc. and wearing 1980s outfits makes her just look like a joke. It ruins the brand.
posted by stormpooper at 7:26 AM on November 6, 2009


Except with Angelyne, she is the brand, and her local celebrity status is all she has to offer. I don't think she could sell her likeness in doll or animated TV character form, except to a local audience, so the only thing she is ruining is the illusion of who she is.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:02 AM on November 6, 2009


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