Celebrating Cult Movie Royalty!
There are a few cases when popular modern Actors and Actresses have parents who also flourished in the business…that’s the case here – because Brenda was the Mother of Roseanna, Patricia and Alexis Arquette – and was a Cult Movie Queen herself!
Celebrating Brenda Denaut!
She only made a few films, but she did so at a time when exploitation cinema was in its infancy – and what an impact she made!
My “2023 Sex Kitten Countdown” has her great story!
Brenda Denaut was born Mardiningsih Olivia Nowak in Evanston Illinois in 1939.
Her father was a Jewish immigrant from Kiev, and her mother grew up in New York.
There isn’t much online about Brenda’s early life, but there are many “pin-up” photos that suggest she was a Burlesque dancer at some point early in her career:
Remember that these were the early days of “pin-up” modeling – a time when this was illegal in many parts of the US!
Brenda only had 5 film credits in her short career, but they were wild examples of the early days of exploitation cinema!
The poster for “Too Young, Too Immoral” from 1962 is so funny, with lines like “he went down, down, to the lowest levels of sin…” – in fact, the film is the story of a man who tells the sad, short life of his narcotics-addicted brother!
Brenda would have a more obvious showcase for her talents soon:
“All Of Me!”
Look at this poster! Yes, it starred “Brenda”, then gave her measurements!
This is a classic example of how savvy Producers skirted obscenity laws in the early 60’s.
The plot of this 1963 film was this: A television producer helps a woman assaulted on the waterfront and takes her to his apartment to recover, where she recounts her recent adventures in New York and he discusses Nudism.
You see, if there was a moral to the story, all else was good!
Next up was Brenda’s most notorious role:
“Olga’s House Of Shame!”
She used the screen name Brenda de Naut in this 1964 shocker, with a lurid poster that promised depravity after depravity after depravity – and for the time, it delivered!
After having been run out of New York City’s Chinatown, brothel owner Madame Olga moves her ring of prostitutes and criminals to a deserted ore mine and starts over – of course she does!
This was rough rough stuff for its time, and posters like Olga’s ran afoul of local obscenity laws on a regular basis – appearing like this could land you in jail!
“The Very Naked Canvas” in 1965 – which gettyimages has this copy of, was nothing more than a chance to show off a nudity beauty contest!
As IMDB.com describes the plot with tongue firmly in cheek: “Our Mondo Narrator discusses the rise of Sado Masochism in the world of cinema while showing us varied scenes of Sado Masochism!”
The following year she appeared in the “documentary” called “Mondo Oscenita” – and that was it!
Brenda had a great cult cinema career, but she left the business and she married Lewis Arquette. That led to a household of acting children: Alexis, Patricia and Roseanne Arquette all got into the entertainment business.
Sadly, Brenda died in 1997 from breast cancer. she had a short but terrific career, and gave us a family of great Actresses as well…
The legendary Jayne Mansfield also had children in show business – her daughter is Actress Mariska Hargitay:
See Jayne’s wild life and career here:
Actress / Model Shawn Devereaux also had a great career in “nudie cuties” as well – see her story here:
And here’s one of the most famous of that era:
Candy Samples was a 60’s exploitation sensation – see her story here:
These early days of sexploitation were a great opportunity for some of the era’s greatest burlesque performers to be onscreen:
Marsha Jordan became known as the “Queen Of Softcore Cinema” – click here to see why!
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Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Camp Cult Classics, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites
Wow! Had no idea those actresses had such a hot and uninhibited mom. Roseanna looked just like her and thankfully had no problem stripping off her clothes either. Patricia got naked too a few times.
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Thanks for the comment!
Olga’s House Of Shame was talked about a lot when I was in my early teens, but I never got to see it. In those days, people watched such films on reel-to-reel projectors, and I had no access to one. Brenda was hot stuff though, very much ‘My type’.
Best wishes, Pete.