CHERYL "RAINBEAUX" SMITH: THE LIFE, TIMES, DEATH AND LETTERS OF A DRIVE-IN DIVA.... by Chris Barbour from Bill George's RED HOT PLANET.NET
 

CHERYL "RAINBEAUX" SMITH: THE LIFE, TIMES, DEATH AND LETTERS OF A DRIVE-IN DIVA...

by Chris Barbour

    Though a familiar presence in drive-in commerce, Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith transcended pigeonholing as eye candy, the breathy bimbo, the squeeze or the clothes dispenser. Sure, her films were unabated exploitation: THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS, THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, THE POM POM GIRLS, SLUMBER PARTY ‘57, LASERBLAST, REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS, the adult CINDERELLA (‘77), et al; at least three of her movies–CAGED HEAT, MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH and THE LEGENDARY CURSE OF LEMORA–have subsequently been acknowledged as cult classics. Though she obligingly performed nudity, Cheryl’s cherubic, Raphaelite presence invoked a lost soul, not a t&a player. Seduced by corruptive influences, her personal life was equally enigmatic. Unfortunately, she didn’t survive a Dante-like odyssey effectuated on Hollywood Boulevard: Rainbeaux passed away, age 45, on October 25th, 2002. Jonathan Demme, who directed the actress in CAGED HEAT, has fondly recounted Smith’s work ethic. Richard Blackburn, who helmed LEMORA, was less laudatory, describing Smith as a "street urchin." One of our most cherished goals, an authentic chronicle of Cheryl Smith’s personal life, has been in development hell: we just couldn’t engage a scribe who could who could separate fact from speculation, or discriminate between tragedy and idle rumor. Our patience has paid-off: writer Chris Barbour has effectively eulogized Rainbeaux with a detailed recollection that neither canonizes nor censors the late actress. Barbour, who befriended the ingénue, offers some insight on her post-1983 vanishing act. We’re indebted to the author for his candor, dedication and insight; Barbour retreated from further work on his own book–the autobiographical Walking in the Shadows: A True Story of the Sixth Sense–to comply with our request.

     In addition to the bio, we’re appending Rainbeaux’s personal correspondence–dispatched to Bill George during the 1980s–that offers her own remembrance of behind-the-scenes vignettes.

 

   

 

 

 

RAINBEAUX

The moth was burned by the flame and resurrected by the Light.

     In order to begin to understand anyone, you must have at least a brief understanding of the world they inhabit--the world that shapes and forms them, and can potentially erase them. One would be hard pressed to find any world more colorful than Hollywood's Sunset Strip in the 1960's and '70's which has been called a 24-hour circus of the sublime and the horrifying. Into this world of free thinking, artistic expression and brilliant music, and their necessary and balancing dark sides, came a seven-year-old girl of profound sensitivity and depth: very much an artist in personality and temperament, she would achieve fame as a cult movie icon and fall tragically, but would leave an indelible imprint upon those of us lucky enough to have known her. She may have been born Cheryl Lynn Smith, but many of us know her as Rainbeaux. The reaction to her death was quite unlike anything I have seen before for a lesser known cult/genre movie figure. Clearly there was something within her that transcended the sometimes limited roles she was given and touched people...

   

     Much has been written about Cheryl, especially by the "research challenged" after her death, a great deal of it inaccurate. I don't presume to know everything about her as I would describe my relationship with her as brief but intense and many facts are missing, even for those who knew her for decades. Cheryl was actually born on June 6th 1957, something I recently found out from her friend Ted Winchester, not 1955 as her obituaries (and grave marker at Forest Lawn in Glendale, CA.) deceptively declare. In order to pursue a show business career, and not deal with certain SAG issues regarding minors, it was necessary for Cheryl to obtain papers stating that she was born two years earlier, thus making her only 45 when she passed away in the early hours of the morning (Friday, October 25th 2002) of complications from liver disease and hepatitis after a two decade struggle with heroin addiction and its resulting crisis lifestyle.

     Rainbeaux was born with a show business lineage--her mother Jayne was an accomplished performer and dancer who performed in hundreds of shows during the heyday of Vaudeville and would later become a ballet and dance teacher. Cheryl's parents were a bit older when she was born, Mrs. Smith was in her early 40's and Cheryl's father, close to 50. An artistically gifted wild child must have been quite a handful for Mrs. Smith, who had divorced her husband and moved to an apartment with Cheryl Lynn just off the Sunset Strip in 1964. Cheryl showed a propensity for the arts and music from an early age and, in later years, her artwork would help to center her during difficult times and help her to earn an income.

     Various people have described Cheryl in her childhood and adolescence as a "child woman," "mystical," "an old soul," "motherly" and "more aware or evolved than her peers," all of which would adequately describe this ethereally beautiful, fragile girl whose beauty was seldom ignored wherever she went in Hollywood, sometimes to an insane degree. It is indeed a shame that Cheryl, who could spin a good yarn, didn't live long enough to write a book that documented her stories of growing up in Hollywood: the characters she met and knew, and stories of the psychodrama that was and is the Sunset Strip, would have made for fascinating and sometimes nightmare-inducing reading.

   

     According to Cheryl, while attending junior high sometime around 1969, a friend's mother with show business connections suggested her for the starring role in Leland Auslender's award winning short film, THE BIRTH OF APHRODITE (www.canyoncinema.com) which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. Cheryl described the making of the film as physically challenging and both related to, and revered, the mystical qualities of director and photographer Auslender.

    By 1972, Cheryl, who had already begun modeling, looked older than her 15 years and was chosen from over 200 young actresses for the starring role of Lila Lee in LEMORA--A CHILD'S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL (www.synapse-films.com). According to the original LEMORA pressbook, "Show magazine dubbed Cheryl ‘Hollywood’s newest nymphette star,’ and devoted their cover and four pages to her as ‘Rainbeaux’ as her friends call her, derived from the beautifully colored clothes she designs and wears."

    Though I never discussed the specifics with her, I had always heard that her "Rainbeaux" sobriquet came from the fact that she literally lived for music as a teenager and was such a frequent presence at The Rainbow Club in Hollywood. Perhaps, as is often the case, the truth is a combination of these stories. She was indeed colorful and collected antique clothing, some of which director Jonathan Demme would later use in CAGED HEAT’s dream sequence. Many of us who saw the surreal cult horror film LEMORA, during its frequent late night showings in the late '70's (New York Times described it as "really different and devastating..."), have a special fondness for director Richard Blackburn's bizarro tale which plays like an adolescent nightmare projected through a Lovecraftian prism. As Blackburn, producer Robert Fern and star Lesley Gilb discuss on LEMORA’s DVD commentary, the film remains timeless mostly due to Cheryl's natural and grounded performance. Gilb's comments about Cheryl are particularly vivid: its clear that she understood what was special about her co-star, and seems a bit melancholy when referring to "..all she was dealing with at the time..." LEMORA is flawed, yet it is an absolute must-see for those who are not familiar with Cheryl and her work and life, and for those who prefer their horror less glossy, more atmospheric and devoid of cold CGI effects. Jonathan Demme would later say that Rainbeaux had the instincts of a natural actress and that is clearly evident as early as LEMORA. Blackburn, with whom Cheryl had a contentious relationship, said something telling about her as an artist: "She had the instinct to be, rather than to act."(Rue Morgue magazine, Issue #37, Jan./Feb 2004). These are qualities that any film actor worth his salt possesses.

    I suspect that Cheryl would be fondly remembered if she had only made LEMORA but ahead of her were dozens of films that would become bona fide cult and genre classics, often due to her very presence. For those of us who grew up in the 1970's, symbolically speaking, Rainbeaux was the 1970's! Her films read like a colorful tapestry that could only be woven in that particular decade: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (the film that would enable Cheryl to get her SAG card), CAGED HEAT, FAREWELL MY LOVELY, THE POM POM GIRLS, REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS, THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS, DRUM, SLUMBER PARTY '57, MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH, CINDERELLA, THE CHOIRBOYS, UP IN SMOKE, FANTASM COMES AGAIN, LASERBLAST, WE'RE ALL CRAZY NOW (aka du-BEAT-e-o) and many more. Of special note, in my opinion, are DRUM and CINDERELLA, two of her favorites after CAGED HEAT and LEMORA. Anyone who has referred to Cheryl as "narcotized" or "somnambulant" has obviously never seen these two gems or much of the rest of her body of work. She is hysterical in DRUM, in which she was cast as the randy daughter of plantation owner Warren Oates. She plays the part of young Sophie as a sort of "Nelly Olsen meets femme fatale wacko" and practically steals the film from her more experienced co-stars. CINDERELLA, an R-rated adaptation of the classic fairy tale, is the film that most reminds me of Cheryl the person. She doesn't hit a false note in the entire film as she handles movement, music, comedy, full nudity and pathos with equal aplomb. As of this writing, CINDERELLA is rumored to debut on DVD and I can only hope that director Michael Pataki will record a commentary: his recollections would likely be priceless. A little known fact about Cheryl's film career is that her resemblance to Veronica Lake prompted her to play the ‘40s sex goddess (wearing Lake’s own dress) in the Steve Martin’s comedy DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID. She was also originally cast in Walter Hill's THE DRIVER but her storyline had to be partially cut from the film, which subsequently diminished her character’s visibility. This omitted footage would be a Holy Grail for her fans if it only it could be rescued from the cutting room floor. Cheryl would work with many notable actors during her film career including, Robert Mitchum, Sylvester Stallone, Debra Winger, Roddy McDowall, Keenan Wynn, Bruce Dern, Erica Gavin, Robert Carradine, Barbara Steele and Joan Jett: she was also featured in the films of fledgling directors Brian De Palma, Walter Hill, Jack Hill and the aforementioned Jonathan Demme.

    By 1983, Cheryl disappeared from movie screens: within a few years, her vanishing act would often galvanize discussion among film fanatics, though I think it was this was at least partially provoked by something vulnerable about Cheryl that is hard to define but is far more than charisma. Director Jack Hill has said that, on screen, Cheryl "glowed." Bill George has said that "there was something kinetic behind Cheryl's eyes that makes her unforgettable." Erica Gavin told writer Danny Peary that Rainbeaux was "cosmic." Many who worked with her admired Cheryl’s professionalism and had great things to say about her potential to become far more that a "cult" star.

    Prior to the mid 1980's, other than her brief appearance in Jonathan Demme's MELVIN AND HOWARD, the only film I had seen Cheryl in was LEMORA, which had by that time become my favorite horror film. Many of Cheryl's films had not been released on video yet though she was described by writer Danny Peary, in his seminal Cult Movies books, as one of his favorite cult movie stars. She would also later be lauded in Film Comment as "The Great Rainbeaux Smith" and she was interviewed twice, in the mid and late 80's, for a book titled Invasion of the Scream Queens. As a result of my connections in the entertainment/music fields, as well as mutual acquaintances, I met Cheryl in the mid 80's when I was in my early 20's, not knowing that she was an accomplished musician and artist (illustration/painting/mixed media), who had played drums and guitar with Joan Jett after The Runaways broke up in 1978. She had played many gigs in and around Los Angeles and had been mentioned favorably in the musical press for her drumming and musical gifts.

    When I saw Cheryl (as she preferred to be called) for the first time, my reaction surprised even me. It was as if I was impacted with a sort of brain whiplash because she had made such an impression on me in LEMORA. Her high forehead, large soulful eyes, blonde hair, strong nose in profile and slightly protruding but beautiful upper lip came together with an alchemy that set her apart from many of the beautiful women I had seen in Hollywood. After I embarrassed myself, which she found amusing, we immediately began discussing LEMORA and three things became apparent to me right away; she was by this time an actress who was not used to getting much respect for her films, she seemed quite fragile and a bit sickly, and she had already been quite damaged by both, the world she had inhabited and drug addiction. Despite these contretemps, she was still beautiful and interested in many of the same subjects that I was at the time. She seemed quite relieved that I was gay and had no agenda toward her that clearly many men had imposed upon her since adolescence and thus, we were able to make a strong connection without other things getting in the way. Over the course of the times we spent together and on the phone, we discussed many things including her music and films. She was very proud of LEMORA despite its flaws and her naiveté, and loved working with Lesley Gilb who frequently drove Cheryl to the film's set. The favorite of her films was CAGED HEAT, and her praise for director Jonathan Demme (who subsequently earned an Oscar for SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) is well chronicled. She hated LASERBLAST since her role was so poorly written and there was almost no decent rehearsal time: the resultant bad reviews certainly didn't help her career. Describing DRUM as a "hysterical experience in which millions of dollars were wasted," Cheryl revealed that the kick she received from Warren Oates was real; furthermore, she had to skulk out of a screening for fear of being recognized by an audience who abhorred her character’s chicanery. I was happy to see that Cheryl had a goofy sense of humor which I didn't realize she wielded on film, until years later when I saw CINDERELLA, which frequently played on Cinemax, during the 90's, in R-rated and uncut versions. Her favorite of the cheerleader comedies was REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS, in which her son Justin appears with her over the end credits. Cheryl was expectant throughout the shoot, and appeared nude and pregnant in the film years before anyone had ever heard of Demi Moore. She compared drumming to a form of meditation and noted that music was not unlike opening up to a higher realm of consciousness.

     I was especially impressed with her sensitivity and kindness, and this is what I feel many people sense about her--the subtext behind her beauty, nudity or sometimes outré films. It wouldn't be unusual for animals, usually skittish around people, to eat right out of her hand. When I discussed how being psychic often brought me face to face with the consequences of violence and brutality and how those consequences have a long shelf life, she really "got" what I was saying and added very astute input. This was clearly a woman, apprized by many as "world weary," who had seen an awful lot in her years within the City of the Angels. Had Cheryl been able to overcome her addictions and crisis lifestyle, she and I could have remained friends. As was the case with many, including Cheryl's longtime friend Larry Spears, I advised her to continue to seek treatment for drug dependence but eventually I had to return to the New York area where I was living; I knew then, as now, that you can never really rescue anyone. But something about Cheryl left me shaken up and pensive. Partly it was that she seemed to be surrounded by people who were either too self absorbed or drugged-out to see what was right in front of them–as I suppose she, herself, was at times–and she struck me as someone who had never really acquired the skills to adequately protect herself. Many years later, I would find out from Cheryl's best friend that things were particularly difficult for her around the time she and I met...

    Though well acquainted with recreational drugs by the time she made LEMORA, Cheryl's problem would escalate to heroin use at the encouragement of some of the users and abusers: by the early eighties, she was chemically changed and addicted. Contrary to popular myth, not everyone becomes addicted to heroin after one or two experiences with the drug and though she would say to me that by the mid 80's she was more interested in her art and music, it was her heroin addiction that ended her film career. She would eventually be sentenced to prison in the late 80's due to her drug problem and that is when she and I lost touch until I found her thirteen years later--just three months to the day before her death. It seems that Cheryl and I were meant to come together only when things were either very bad for her or during a time of crossroads for both of us.

    A well-written obituary, composed by ex-Los Angeles Times writer Larry Spears, speaks for itself; however, there are some facts that I have learned from him which may be appropriate to discuss with proportionate respect and honesty. Honesty can be elusive when addressing either an addict or the "friends" who turned him/her into a drug parasite via an introduction to free junk. Heroin use has been described to me as "feeling like the closest you can be to death without being dead" and its abuse can cause compulsive and disruptive behavior (which was the case with Cheryl); the overpowering addiction can cause people to do almost anything to get a fix. As I would learn all too well myself, when you're talking to someone on a drug, you're not talking to just a person but to a drug as a completely different entity.

    Cheryl was able to remain clean for a while after she got out of prison for the first time and was living in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles. She worked as, among other things, a commercial artist. The people whom Cheryl was living with were addicted to drugs and she eventually went back to her familiar patterns and ended up living on the streets, as had happened prior to when we met. In the early 90's, Cheryl's mother passed away which sent her into a tailspin: it was the overture to other prison terms until she was released, for the last time, in 1997. During those years, Cheryl was getting progressively sicker and was in and out of hospitals, shelters and programs including ones in downtown Los Angeles and in San Pedro; while homeless, she would often spend nights in an unheated garage near MacArthur Park that her father, who was by this time in ill health and blind, leased off Pico Blvd. for his used furniture business. She spent many nights roaming the streets of Los Angeles, unable to sleep or remain in shelters, and like many young women in Los Angeles and elsewhere, living the depression, compulsiveness and occasional prostitution that is heroin addiction.

   

     I became very concerned for Cheryl in 1993 when Femmes Fatales magazine did a story on her called "Whatever Happened to Rainbeaux?" My last letter to Cheryl, dispatched in the late ‘80s, was never answered though she vowed that we'd keep in touch. What I did not know then was that she had gone to prison and her problems had worsened. I could read between the lines of the Femmes Fatales article, yet I had no way of getting in touch with her and assumed we'd never connect again and that perhaps it was for the best. I became very ill around this time and had a brush with death and while recovering in my home, I began to watch some of Cheryl's films that had been released by this time on video. Watching her films, including gray market versions of the hard-to-find LEMORA and MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH, and others that I had never seen, helped me get through a very dark time and I decided to try to get back in touch with her, knowing full well that I would have no problem limiting my contact to one phone conversation if necessary since, by this time, drug related nonsense wasn't tolerated in my world. I left a nine year paper and electronic trail behind myself until July of 2002, when I stumbled upon a posting that Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog magazine had made at The Mobius Home Video Forum, in which he disclosed the address of Cheryl's friend. Walt Lee, a writer, that told me that Cheryl was very ill. He further advised that she’d love to hear from me and provided her address. Finally, after a dozen years, I got back in touch with Cheryl, which surprised and pleased her and my hope is that it took her out of her pain and illness, at least briefly. I told her that she was very much in my thoughts and prayers and that she had always impressed me as a person of sensitivity and depth; I knew that her spiritual awareness was still very much intact and we were still very much connected because over the years, since we had seen each other, we both picked up on things about each other that she and I had no way of knowing by conventional means. These are not words she heard often and certainly not in her years on the streets or while spending time just trying to keep her head above water. She felt that she had been forgotten by the industry and film fans and I tried to allay her concerns since clearly that was not the case. I would find out that sometime around 1997 she had moved in with her friend Tim to a home in East Los Angeles, and got into a methadone program and extricated herself from the streets she grew up and remained upon for much of her adult life. She was very sick by the time we re-connected and I sensed that she didn't have much time left. Bottom line: obituaries that insist Cheryl died homeless on the streets of L.A. are wrong.

    Cheryl loved angels and had many cherubic ornaments around her as she dealt with her illnesses and the consequences of her life on the streets. She was not someone who would hesitate to invoke some heavy duty spiritual help if need be. She also had two cats that she loved, especially the youngest one which she acquired about a year before her death. I was told by her friend Tim that Cheryl knew that it would rain at her funeral, which it did, and that she knew there would be a rainbow later that day–which proved quite prophetic. The very moment I found out about her death, after days of not being able to stop thinking about her, I was stuffing a padded envelope for Cheryl with reviews and input about the Lincoln Center showings of LEMORA and was letting her know that if she needed to make some income, I'd buy one of her paintings and pick it up when I was in Los Angeles. The envelope was never mailed. I haven't been able to confirm it, but I'm told that Cheryl designed the commercial logo for one of the biggest moving companies in Los Angeles.

   

     And so we return to the world Cheryl inhabited, and my attempt to better understand what happened to her and understand her world. In February of 2004, I went to Los Angeles and visited Cheryl's grave at Forest Lawn overlooking flowering trees and the rolling hills in and around Glendale, CA., a 30 minute drive from the Sunset Strip. Not the reunion I had envisioned or hoped for, but a reunion nonetheless. I also had the opportunity to walk in Cheryl's world and she was everywhere--in the eyes of the drug addicted prostitutes who propositioned me, in the face of Tatum O'Neal who I ran into whose ethereal looks and problem remind me of Cheryl, in the beautiful young women walking along Hollywood Blvd. never escaping the looks and sneers of dozens of men and both loving and hating the attention, in the talented musicians who still flock to the area and jam at all hours of the night in clubs and alleys, in the faces of the many homeless people I saw in Silver Lake and near MacArthur Park, in the looks of the policemen who thought I was trying to buy drugs but was actually asking directions to Hollywood Book and Poster, and to the corner where Cheryl grew up just south of Sunset Boulevard. After that trip, what I kept thinking about, and what amazes me still, is that, though 45 is pathetically young to die, she was able to survive as long as she did. Considering what she went through, a lesser person would not. It’s precisely what fans who collect her movies and pay for handwritten notes and collect the memorabilia, see or at least sense--someone who is anything but a lesser person and who was never a lesser person. A few months after Cheryl died, a talented writer from the New York area, Deborah Klein, wrote me the following: "I don’t know why Rainbeaux keeps bringing history's misunderstoods and maltreated greats to mind, but she does. I don't know her but through you, but through you I sense a great deal--just the way it is. For some reason she is the vessel, this time 'round, that bears a great notion, that is redemption itself, and falls horrifically because the world we live in can only be home to such beings for a short time. Very few know how to live here in an enlightened state. Most are long dead Christians and Jews, Tibetans, Africans---and animals. And there you have why deer ate out of her hand--they knew her."

Chris Barbour (May 2005) 

RAINBEAUX'S PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE...

     Rainbeaux dispatched the following correspondence, written in longhand, to Bill George during the summer of 1985; she obligingly recounted behind-the-scenes vignettes from her films. All of her copy (spelling/grammar/punctuation) remains unaltered and unmodified. 

Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith, 11 years old: photographed by Ted Winchester. "Cheryl and Ted became friends on that day. Ted was one of many interesting people whom Cheryl met as an adolescent; he looked after her to make sure nothing 'untoward' happened to her as she went to clubs and such." --Chris Barbour

 

REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS:    This is my absolute favorite of it's kind. Actually the other one's I'd personally like to forget. And if ever I become a millionaire--there will be a couple of the other ones (we know which!) missing off the shelves forever! Ha.    REVENGE is a unique, musical comedy. To get the record straight: The guys--Richard Lerner, great guy. Did the original film (I'm not in it) X rated THE CHEERLEADERS. He did it for 1 reason, $. Which he made & used for his real love REVENGE. This was his joy.    I must tell you about the casting. While doing my unfavorite of all times STAND UP & HOLLER I get a call from my agent. After the days shooting I'm to go on this interview. I find out its about CHEERLEADERS. Shit. "You want to see a cheer? I know a bunch!" I say, while I'm thinking this must be what I get for staying out of school to become a working actress. Several days after my appointment, not quite, finished w/ the other picture. I discover I'm pregnate w/ my 1st son, to my 1st husband, ('till this day the last). Anyway when I get called back to see Lerner again, I find his more than serious about me for his film. So I told him of my condition. He was very saddened. I was shocked when my agent called & said they wanted to see me again. Honestly, I couldn't understand why. I went on [word illegible]. Boy was I in for a shocker...Lerner had discussed w/ his partnerrs & writers & decided to write in a pregnate cheerleader! They thought it would be funny--& as it turned out it was a crazy twist. They tried to get a zebra as a mascot & have me ride it, until I told they weren't timable. I worked up until my 9th month w/ an excellent group of gals. Here are these beautiful girls w/ all this energy & me waddelin 'round like a fat duck.    One day actually we're doing a night shoot in a giant, closed furniture mall. We're in overtime. The dir. is goin nuts & want to rap the entire thing. He wasn't in the best of moods thats for certain. With our budget overtime wasn't his favorite time! We were, us cheerleader's, in a good mood. The more the dir. yelled, the more outta hand we became & for the life of us couldn't stop laughing. "Shut up!" Lerner yelled. "Now when I say action I want you girls to run down this hallway after the guard as fast as you can!" Then "action!" And we were off runnin as fast as we could. I'm waddling down the way & start to laugh, back to the camera. "Wait! wait you guys, You guys..." 10 feet ahead of me, "please! wait up." Finally I'm laughing so hard i fall to the ground! The girls turn around & see me way back there & they point at me, look at each other, unable to speak. I'm hysterical laughter, fall down on their knees as well. Lerner goes "Thats a take!" Laughing. "Print it!" 

FAREWELL MY LOVELY:    Directed by Dick Richards. Casting here was fun for me. As I mentioned earlier auditions are of great importance to me. Before I go I always try & find out as much about the film & character as possible. The more insight I have the more similarities I can portray. In actions & dress. If I can't dress accordingly, as the character, I always dress conservitively, perhaps a stylish suit. Anyway for my audition w/ Richards, for some reason I dressed very differently. A multi-coloured dancing skirt, brimmed w/ silver brocade w/ lacy stocking about my ankels & a beautifully hand carved sterling silver belt w/ an angel on it's large buckel. A silverish silk shirt w/ ruffels & silver jewelery & bangels. This is the way i liked to dress on the streets, & for going out--But I'd out done myself this time. I walked into his dim lit office. He said, "Stop...turn around, walk this way & that" and then said, "You have the look I want I can't believe it, it's magic! Do you always dress like that?" My hair in curls, which to was a rareity, said Now & then." He said your hired--you've got the part if you want it."    It was fantastic working w/ Robert Mitchum. All the sets & set decorations were so real, I felt like i'd jumped into a time machine or for certain was dreaming.    Little did I know my gangster boyfriend, who saves my life in the picture was or is the bigger than life Sylvester Stallone. What a sweetheart of a gentleman he was. Always positive & driven towards his future glory. He always showed he had what it took. Stamina to the hilt. I always felt the 2 of us would make it. He was terrific.

CINDERELLA:    CINDERELLA's a zany musical comedy. Directed by M. Pataki an amazingly great actor himself. It was something else to work with him. He could get me to do things most dir. couldn't. Seeing so much of his earlier work, I had mucho respect & trusted him all the way. Pataki's extremely creative & had more energy than a tornado! It's him, when casting said, "She's the one...Cinders."    My interview was a riot. Serious actors know all to well 95% of acting work is looking for it. I've gone on literally hundreds of thousands of interviews. Never a moment late on a single one. This is of extreme importance. Who would hire someone who wasn't prompt? All the $ spent on everything involved in films. Time is exactly money. Who can afford an unreliable actor? Anyway for the first and last time, waiting to be seen for "Cin." This was a cattle call if ever I'd seen one! Tons of females crowded in this little office. The air was extremely stuffy & I actually fell asleep waiting for my name to be called. They would never let me live it down Always joking how enthused I was to get the part!    Jim Globus did all the stills & promo work. He's a fabulous photographer. Shot pictures all day long. Between himself & Brandon Chase (the Producer) I was plastered in many magazines. Here and Europe.   At first I was leary about doing a film w/ so much nudity. I did need work & I felt I needed a leading role. After reading the script--I reailized it if were to be an X it would probibly be the softest ever made. I found the script very funny & as light as a feather. So when I landed it i rode it through. I enjoyed working for my Italian friends the Bands. And worked for them again--starring in "Laserblast" and "Parasite" We've had discussions on ideas of my own for films and parts I personally would care to do. Hopefully in the future these things will come about. I love adventures, travel, comedy as well as Westerns (actually films about the west!). Cowgirl movies & rock-n-roll!

See Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith's website here