Sixties star Pamela Tiffin, who played opposite James Cagney and Paul Newman before becoming a Playboy model, dies at 78
Sixties star Pamela Tiffin, whose career spanned Hollywood and Italian cinema, has died at the age of 78.
Her daughter Echo revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Pamela died of natural causes at a New York hospital.
After starting out as a teen model in Chicago, she had a promising Hollywood career acting opposite such names as James Cagney and Paul Newman before becoming a smash hit in Italian comedies and then flashing the flesh for Playboy.
Glamour queen: Sixties star Pamela Tiffin, whose career spanned Hollywood and Italian cinema, has died at the age of 78; pictured in Rome in 1965
Born in Oklahoma City, she rose to fame in Los Angeles after reportedly being discovered in the commissary on the Paramount lot.
Her screen test got her into the 1961 movie of the Tennessee Williams play Summer And Smoke starring Laurence Harvey, Geraldine Page and Rita Moreno.
That same year Billy Wilder directed her opposite James Cagney in his political satire One, Two, Three, set in Cold War Berlin.
Billy called Pamela ‘another Audrey Hepburn’ in Esquire, gushing that ‘she comes off on the screen even better than she looks and in this case that is saying a lot.’
International sensation: She had a promising Hollywood career before becoming a smash hit in Italian comedies and then flashing the flesh for Playboy; pictured in 1967
Only the best: In 1961 at the start of her career Billy Wilder directed her opposite James Cagney (right) and Horst Buccholz (center) in his political satire One, Two, Three
While they were shooting the picture the Berlin Wall was erected and the crew had to up stakes and move the production out of town to Munich.
She went onto appear in a flop State Fair remake alongside Bobby Darin, then in the flight attendant comedy Come Fly With Me of which Variety wrote: ‘Sometimes one performance can save a picture and in Come Fly With Me it’s an engaging and infectious one by Pamela Tiffin.’
Pamela pulled a few years in Hollywood, filming Harper with Paul Newman and The Pleasure Seekers with Ann-Margret and Carol Lynley, and also acted onstage.
She made her debut on Broadway in Dinner At Eight and got a Theater World Award – but she heard the siren song of Rome.
Warm words: Billy called Pamela ‘another Audrey Hepburn’ in Esquire; she and Arlene Francis (right) are pictured with their director on the set of One, Two, Three
Side by side: Pamela pulled a few years in Hollywood, including the 1966 movie Harper alongside Paul Newman, and also acted onstage
Pamela had tied the knot with New York Magazine co-founder Clay Felker in 1962, but the marriage was on the rocks by the time she moved to Italy five years later.
Having already acted with Marcello Mastroianni in Paranoia back in 1965, she established a glittering career in Italian movies.
She specialized in comedies, including 1968’s Torture Me But Kill Me With Kisses, directed by the legendary Dino Risi and starring Ugo Tognazzi and Nino Manfredi.
In 1969 she finally divorced her first husband, although they remained friendly according to her biographer Tom Lisanti.
Broadway bound: She made her debut on the Great White Way in Dinner At Eight and got a Theater World Award – but she heard the siren song of Rome
the way they were: Pamela had tied the knot with New York Magazine co-founder Clay Felker in 1962 but the marriage was on the rocks by the time she moved to Italy in 1967; pictured in 1962
‘We still love each other, we have dinner together. But life it seems is not a Doris Day movie,’ she said, while Clay argued that her location shoots caused the relationship to break down because: ‘When we were not together, we were not married. And one day the bonds of marriage weren’t there.’
The year she finalized her divorce she also posed in the nude for Playboy, holding a large doll over her private parts.
‘A Toast To Tiffin: jet-set cinema star Pamela Tiffin pauses between overseas movies for an exclusive – and revealing – Playboy pictorial,’ teased the magazine.
Although she briefly returned to Los Angeles to play in the comedy film Viva Max! with Peter Ustinov and to act in Uncle Vanya at the Mark Taper Forum, the remainder of her career mostly took place in Rome.
Heartthrob: Having already acted with Marcello Mastroianni in Paranoia back in 1965 (pictured), she established a glittering career in Italian movies
In the early 1970s Pamela stuck largely to comedies like No One Will Notice You’re Naked but also dipped her toes into the thriller genre with The Fifth Cord.
However in 1974 she married the Italian philosophy professor Edmondo Danon, moved to New York and got out of show business, La Reppublica reports.
Her marriage to Edmondo, the son of an Italian movie producer, lasted the rest of her life and they raised two daughters together – Aurora and Echo.
Life changes: Pamela is pictured in the film Deaf Smith And Johnny Ears before 1973, the year before she married Italian professor Edmondo Danon and left the business
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