In the 1970s and 80s, Pia Zadora was everywhere. It seemed like you couldn’t go to a movie, look at an ad (she was the spokeswoman for Dubonnet), hear a song, turn on an awards show or even pick up a porn rag without seeing her scrunched-up little chipmunk face. She was a woman who did many things–and was good at none of them.
Pia Zadora was born in 1954 and made her first film as a child in the 1964 B-movie classic Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. You could blame her poor choice of a movie debut on her parents, but then, how do you explain her adult roles in such awful fare as Fake-Out, Butterfly and the Razzie-award winning classic The Lonely Lady? The Lonely Lady, based on the Harold Robbins novel, is an awful piece of trash in which Pia is raped by a garden hose (!), then saved by a man who ultimately leaves her, because she’s rewritten his work and he can’t handle being married to such a brilliant talent. (An aside: In my mind, Pia Zadora and Linda Blair are similar in the sense that they kinda look alike, have been in bad films of the 80s, appeared in porn mags and were both raped by inanimate objects on film. But I digress.)
When Pia’s husband leaves her, she is then forced–forced, I tell you–to sleep her way to the top of the Hollywood ladder. (Apparently, her writing talent is of the short-lived variety.) The film should have been a perfect role for Pia, as her husband, millionaire Meshulam Riklis, financially backed her own stardom–but even with this real-life experience, Pia still managed to louse the pic up.
After The Lonely Lady, she went to Canada to hide in her shame, and made a TV-movie, Pajama Tops, there. Not satisfied with inflicting her awful talent on adults of the 80s, she went for their children with Voyage of the Rock Aliens, a musical/sci-fi/comedy/whatever, and Mother Goose Rock n’ Rhyme. When she finally retired, in 1991, the movie going public breathed a collective sigh of relief.
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