Celebrating The Wild Life Of Liz Renay!
The world of cult cinema in the 60’s was a unique one: many of the performers got their start in what was then the “underground” world of burlesque dancing and “nudie cutie” films…and Liz did all that and more!
She was born Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins on April 14, 1926 in Chandler, Arizona – a dusty suburb of Phoenix – and a world away from where she was soon headed!
From Arizona To “Mob Moll”!
Liz showed a wild streak early: she become a showgirl during World War II, and eventually became a “moll” to Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen, that word literally meaning “a gangster’s girlfriend!”
It was when he was arrested that she made headlines!
Famously, Liz refused to co-operate with the authorities and was sentenced to three years in prison, where she wrote her autobiography.
Renay was mobster Mickey Cohen’s girlfriend, so they went after her hard as well…she was convicted of perjury in 1959 and served 27 months at Terminal Island!
Liz was a “Burlesque” dancer, which would equate to a strip club in today’s world…at a time when such careers were kept mostly underground.
Renay had a movie career as well, appearing in such cult gems as these:
“The Thrill Killers” in 1964 was a lurid grind house / drive-in classic.
She then appeared in “Hot Rods To Hell” in 1966, and what about this film from 1971:
“Refinements In Love” was a collection of vignettes purporting to show what the sexual revolution was doing all around you! Renay’s only involvement was to sit in a chair and lecture the viewer on sexual trends – the “science” in the film that kept it from being purely “purient”!
Rene Bond also starred, and she showcased more of herself in the movie – in fact, she had a wild career but a shocking death…click here for her story:
Liz popped up in a variety of cult films at this time:
As you can see, these are all cult films that weren’t widely released, but many exist today on home video…as for Liz, she had no trouble finding love, she was married 7 times!
At one point she did the first-ever Mother/Daughter striptease act with her daughter, Brenda.
Sadly, the act ended when Brenda committed suicide on her 39th birthday in 1982.
Liz had a fascinating life. She was the first ever Grandmother to streak Hollywood Boulevard!
Liz also published a second memoir with a wild wild title!
It was her tell-all book about her many relationships – she claimed flings with Joe DiMaggio, Regis Philbin, Glenn Ford and Cary Grant among many others!
Renay’s book “My Face for the World to See” was reissued in 2002, headlined “A Cult Classic,” with a foreword by John Waters. Waters integrated the title into the dialogue of his film “Female Trouble” in 1974 – and cast Liz in his movie “Desperate Living”, giving her one more nude scene!
Renay died at age 80 on January 22, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada from cardiac arrest and gastric bleeding. A sad end to a life lived very wild!
I featured Liz in this story, which took me back to my high school days, when “midnight movies” kept us up late on the weekends…remember her film “The Thrill Killers?” Well, click here to see what they renamed it to sucker me into the theater!
Liz was one of the legends of early exploitation cinema – she reminds me of this 60’s sex kitten:
Jayne Mansfield had an incredible career that was tragically cut dhort – click here to see that story:
There have been other sex symbols in Hollywood, including one known as “The Queen Of Softcore!”
You can see all of Marsha Jordan’s sexiest hits by clicking on my story here:
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