The Iconic Sex Kitten Joey Heatherton! Her Wild Career Was Derailed By Personal Turmoil!

Celebrating The Iconic Sex Kitten Joey Heatherton!

I discovered this incredible Cult Movie Queen due to a wild “Euro-Sleaze” classic that I will tell you about in a minute..but first, my “2023 Sex Kitten Countdown” has the incredible, wild career of Joey Heatherton!

Davenie Johanna Heatherton was born in 1944 on Long Island, New York.

She appeared on stage as a teenager in New York in “The Sound Of Music” and parlayed that into a career in TV in the 60’s, appearing on dozens of shows. She became known as one of the hottest sex kittens of that era!

Joey Dazzles The Troops!

Heatherton’s popularity soared at this time due to TV appearances and roles in some of the most popular variety shows of the 60’s – as well as a budding singing career, and because of her song-and-dance skills, she toured overseas with Bob Hope when he would entertain US troops stations in Southeast Asia.

And boy, did she entertain them!

Bob Hope described her this way:

“Nine feet of girl in four feet of leopard skin.”

Even with all of this success, there were some storm clouds brewing in her personal life…and she became gossip fodder as well:

At this point in her career, she made the decision to bare all, in film and well as in magazines…

The Actress went through a volatile breakup in 1971, and TV work in the US began to dry up.

After years appearing on a variety of TV shows, Heatherton headed to Europe showcased her purely erotic side in the “euro-sleaze” classic “Bluebeard!”


This 1972 cult classic is a wild wild film! It’s the “true story” of the famed WW1 pilot who had “away” with women – he would seduce them, marry them, and then kill them – storing them in a freezer!

This is a great example of “Euro-sleaze”: films produced in Europe filled with graphic sex and violence…and what a cast! 

Richard Burton starred along with Raquel Welch and Agostina Belli, among many other European beauties!

Check out the trailer:

As you can see, fans loved her – and while the film isn’t very good, it’s really fascinating to watch!

Yes, this was the film with Raquel Welch as the “sexy” Nun! Her role in the film is small, but it helped give Producers plenty to promote!

You can see more of Raquel’s greatest hits here:

Another of the stars of the film was Agostina Belli – as you can tell, the film made sure to maximize the sex factor in the film:

This sultry Cult Movie Queen also had a terrific career, and you can see it all here:

As for Heatherton, the film wasn’t a breakout role for her, and while she continued to act in film and TV, stardom eluded her in the 70’s…

In 1977, Joey did a pictorial for Playboy that landed her back in the headlines:

She showcased her incredible sex appeal with a series of photos that were playful as well as provocative:

It worked to bring her back into the spotlight, and when you see this shots, you can understand why!

In 1977, Joey’s comeback included this sexploitation sequel:

This misguided sequel to “The Happy Hooker” wasn’t a hit, but it gave her another show to show off…check out the trailer:

Sadly, it was at this time she reports says Joey had a life-threatening substance addiction and eating disorder.

Over the next decade, she had run-ins with like these:

In mid-July 1985 she was arrested in New York City and charged with skipping out on a $4900 hotel bill in East Hampton, Long Island, NY.

On August 30, 1986, she was arrested in New York on charges of drug possession and felonious assault after allegedly trying to stab her boyfriend at his home during an argument. When police arrived they found white powder believed to be cocaine in her purse, and she was arrested.

In May of 1986 she was charged by the Internal Revenue Service with income-tax evasion. for failure to pay almost $20,000 in back taxes dating back to 1977.

She also allegedly had a meltdown at a US Passport Office around the same time…

She ended up appearing in “Cry Baby” for John Water in 1990, and only a single small role since.

It’s a shame she didn’t have the successful career she deserved – she was a 60’s sex kitten who didn’t make the transition smoothly into a more substantial career like this one did:

Ann-Margret was also a 60’s sex kitten, but she ended up with a much more successful career – she her most provocative highlights here:

Jayne Mansfield was also one of the great sex kittens of the 60’s – and you can see all of her career highlights by clicking on my story here:

It’s difficult to be in the spotlight, and for some Cult Movie Queens, it proved to be a very harsh glare…

Actress Victoria Vetri went to the moon – and prison as well!

See her story here:

Margot Kidder had a great film career but personal demons as well:

She was Lois Lane and much more…see her greatest hits here:

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!

Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!

Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve seen any of the Joey’s films!

Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Books / Media, Euro-Sleaze, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites

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6 replies

  1. Such a hottie. Fell for her big yoke in the 70s as a teen and so happy to finally see her naked in Bluebeard. According to IMDB, the topless photo in the bed was shot during that production and later used for one of her album covers. Per Heatherton in an interview, “That was done by the great Harry Langdon, Jr., and I guess it was taken when I was making a movie with Richard Burton called Bluebeard (1972). I think it was taken between scenes on the set, and Harry said, ‘Come on, you opened your robe in Bluebeard, can I have a shot?’ He told me we weren’t going to ever do anything with it, and years later, surprise! The people at the label told me about the shot, and I saw it, and it is pretty. I told them it was a perfect shot for the cover.”

    Sadly, Raquel Welch didn’t have the guts to do the same exposure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. She had a beautiful body. I actually bought Bluebeard on blu-ray just so I could enjoy her.


  3. Her Dallas Cowboy husbands issues didn’t help with her demons either!


  4. I don’t remember her at all, but I like what I see! As always, a great tribute, John.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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