Monday, 8 May 2017

Quinn O’Hara (1941-2017)

I was saddened to learn over the weekend about the death of the actress Quinn O’Hara at the age of 76. I reached out to Quinn a number of years ago about her role in the 1970 film ‘Sweet and Sexy’ aka Foursome, and she very generously lent several quotes about the film to a write-up I did of Sweet and Sexy which originally ran in Bedabbled magazine (#4).

I say ‘generously’ because this wasn’t a film Quinn held in high regard (to put it mildly) and one that I got the impression held no good memories for her. Amongst her claims were that Quinn had invited several leading film critics of the day –including Ian Christie - to appear in Sweet and Sexy as extras in the hope that this would prevent them from later critiquing the film, and that the released version of the film bore little resemblance to the film she believed she was acting in. While she was complimentary about the film’s director, Quinn was scathing about its distributor who she claimed had never fully paid her for appearing in the film “I doubt the movie was a blockbuster, but I am sure it made Miracle Films some money and they are the ones that should pay the salary…but I have long given up on that…I could certainly use it…but its their karma”. Outside of Sweet and Sexy, I only really knew of Quinn from her role in Larry Buchanan’s ‘In the Year 2889’ (1967). Though I suspect this says more about my viewing habits than the extent of Quinn’s busy career which included nearly five decades worth of movies and TV shows. She seemed especially fond of her role in 1966’s The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini.

Quinn didn’t actually catch up with the dreaded Sweet and Sexy till many years after the fact, when Something Weird Video put it out on VHS and Quinn’s husband bought her a copy as a surprise. “A terrible movie with a terrible outcome” was the verdict “I was peeking between my fingers which were on my face while watching this epic…I mean, I am soo very embarrassed by this”. Indeed Quinn was so appalled by what she saw that she even took to the film’s IMDB page to write-up her own thoughts on the matter there. All this in mind, I’m quite surprised she ever got back to me at all, but the fact that she did says much about what a sweet, good egg she was. Quinn used to sign off her emails with “may you always have love and laughter in your life”, and I hope she had plenty of both in hers. RIP

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