Actress Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith! An Appreciation Of A Cult Movie Queen!


Welcome To Hollywood!

Yes, it’s the entertainment capital of the world…where dreams come true and anyone can be a star…

Hollywood glamour

It is also a tough place to live – a brutal business of auditions and constant rejection…here is a terrific cult Actress who blazed a trail in Tinseltown for a brief shining moment…

Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith

An Appreciation Of Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith…

I wanted to bring attention to an Actress who had great success in Hollywood, but also lost her way…the lovely and talented “Rainbeaux” Smith – her nickname given her for being a mainstay at L.A.’s legendary Rainbow Room…

Sunset strip classic bars

‘Rainbeaux’ starred in many films throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, building up a fan base among exploitation movie fans, as well as acting in more mainstream films like “Farewell My Lovely.”

“Caged” Cult Movie Classics!

Cheryl appeared in a number of classic B-movies, like the legendary drive-in classic “Caged Heat!”

That’s her second from the left in the film’s poster.

Here is the trailer for this great “women in prison” exploitation film:

rainbeaux smith caged heat

Swinging_Cheerleaders_Cheryl Smith

In the 70’s, the “drive-in movie” genre was full of cult classics, and Smith starred in several of them, like “The Swinging Cheerleaders” and “Revenge of the Cheerleaders”!


drive-in classic revenge of the cheerleaders

“The Pom Pom Girls” and “Vice Squad!”

‘Rainbeaux’ also starred in these two classic exploitation films as well – what I always referred to as “good clean naughty fun.” These comedies were R-rated, had the usual amount of nudity and double entendres, and usually involved cheerleader hijinks!

Vice_Squad rainbeaux smith

As Hollywood entered the ’80’s, “Vice Squad” was the new type of popular exploitation of the era: lots of action, nudity and “R”-rated hijinks…

Cheryl also posed in a number of magazines, building up a large fan base…she had a great run of films and even this quirky role!


Bill Bixby’s Bunny!

In addition to acting, Smith was a very popular model as well. Cheryl was featured in Playboy as the Magician’s Assistant for Actor Bill Bixby…

RIP Cheryl 'Rainbeaux' Smith

Phantom Of The Paradise!

I’ve posted about this cult classic before, but I didn’t realize Cheryl was in it! This is Brian DePalma’s musical masterpiece starring Paul Williams as a Music Producer who sells his should to the devil. Here is a shot of ‘Rainbeaux’ as a groupie who warms up to songwriter Winslow Leach…

Cheryl Smith Phantom Of The Paradise

Rainbeaux Was A Rocker!

Note only was Cheryl an Actress, but she was once a member of the legendary girl band The Runaways with Joan Jett!

According to wikipedia, Cheryl was briefly associated with The Runaways during the production of the motion picture, “We’re All Crazy Now”, after Sandy West and Lita Ford quit the group. An impromptu group was created on the spot, fronted by Joan Jett with Cheryl on the drums as “Sandy”.

the runaways

Smith was an accomplished musician, and was in a variety of movies, but her career was cut short in what is a too-common Hollywood cautionary tale.

While she continued acting, the film roles dried up after she reportedly became addicted to heroin in the mid 1980s.

Runaways girl band

In the late ’80’s she was arrested several times for drug-related offenses, and twice served time in prison. Her acting work went away, and like so many other stars, she just faded away from the public eye…

Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith died on October 25, 2002 of complications from liver disease and hepatitis…

Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith RIP

There are so many stories about the “golden” days of Hollywood, but it is a tough business, and Cheryl’s is a cautionary tale about how tough it is to survive in this town…so here’s to her great body of work, and to her spirit…


Luckily, many cult movie stars have managed to have a successful life AFTER leaving show business…

Lenka Novak starred in films like “Vampire Hookers” and “Kentucky Fried Movie”, and here is an update on what happened next:

If you like these stories, you can go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!

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RIP Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith…

Categories: 70's Films, Books / Media, Camp Cult Classics, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites, Uncategorized

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7 replies

  1. Another sad tale of a pretty girl used up by the sleazier side of the film industry. I have seen ‘Phantom of The Paradise’ a few times, and never really noticed that scene. Nice tribute, John.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete, she asks Songwriter Winslow Leach to hold her as they are all lying on the giant bed waiting for Swan to arrive…short scene, but it shows how many films she was in, no matter how small the role…thanks for reading and commenting as always!

      Liked by 1 person


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