Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lana & Phil

After all the times I watched Fast Times at Ridgemont High growing up, the first thing I thought of when I heard that Phil Spector had shot a woman named Lana Clarkson was, "Mrs. Vargas."  Clarkson was a struggling actress and comedienne on the wrong side of 40, when she made an ill-fated late night trip to Spector's mansion.  In the '80s, however she made a string of appearances in small roles in A-pictures such as Scarface and guest spots on sitcoms while also starring in second tier genre films such as Deathstalker, Barbarian Queen, and its sequel.  Her first credited role was a small, but memorable one as the improbably gorgeous wife of science teacher Mr. Vargas (Vincent Schiavelli) in Fast Times.

I know the soundtrack of the film quite well and knew that the Spector-produced "Winter Wonderland" appeared on it, but it wasn't until a 35mm screening of Fast Times last night that it hit me that Phil Spector and Lana Clarkson appeared together in a way, just over 20 years prior to their most tragic final encounter.


bill teck said...

OOS - great to see the frequency of posts this week. A welcome oasis to those with shared interests. This is another interesting and observant one.

Ned Merrill said...

Thanks, Bill! These things seem to come in fits and spurts.