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Connie Stevens: The Blonde Bombshell Of The 90s

Connie Stevens is an American actress and singer. She was a vivacious presence on television and the pop charts in the early 1960s. In the late 1950s, Stevens came to fame for her acting and singing career, and became especially popular for her starring role on the series Hawaiian Eye. Stevens played Cricket on the detective show from 1959 to 1963. However, around the same time, she found success with her music with the singles “Sixteen Reasons” and “Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb).

Therefore, as time went on, Stevens continued acting regularly, with guest roles on popular series like The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, and in more recent decades, Clueless and 8 Simple Rules. She was also in movies like Scorchy and Grease 2 and became a nightclub performer. After her divorce from singer Eddie Fisher in 1969, which gave her daughters Joely and Tricia Leigh Fisher, Stevens therefore doggedly pursued her career as an actress and nightclub crooner throughout the 1970s and 1980s. A reversal of fortune came in the 1990s when she launched a successful line of cosmetics.

Throughout the ups and downs of her life, Stevens however maintained the same sparkle she showed as Cricket Blake, which endeared her to several generations of fans. Now 83, she had been steadily working up until the past couple years. In this article we will look into the glorious years of Connie Stevens and discuss her career as well as personal life.

Connie Stevens Childhood

Connie Stevens

Connie Stevens was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, United States. However, her real name was Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingolia. She was the daughter of musician Peter Ingolia (known as Teddy Stevens) and singer Eleanor McGinley. Therefore, Stevens is of Italian, Irish, German-Jewish and Polish-Jewish descent. She adopted her father’s stage name of Stevens as her own. However, after her parents divorced, she lived with her grandparents and attended Catholic boarding schools. Actor John Megna was her half-brother. She was eight years old when her grandmother passed away. The Missouri River flooded its banks in the summer of 1951. Stevens was however living with her family friends at that time. The wide-spread destruction forced her to move yet again. Therefore, Connie Stevens moved to Los Angeles with her father in 1953.

Coming from a musical family, Stevens loved music from a pretty early age. She formed the vocal quartet called ‘The Foremost’ and was backed up by three male singers, who later became The Lettermen. Stevens therefore created an all-female trio band called ‘The Three Debs’ in 1954. She enrolled at The Georgia Massey Professional School in San Fernando Valley and appeared in a local repertory theatre.

Connie Stevens Career

Connie Stevens’ professional break however came in the form of minor roles in some B-list Hollywood movies including ‘Young and Dangerous’, and ‘ Eighteen and Anxious’. The films were not very successful.

Her performance in the movie ‘Dragstrip Riot’ was however noted by the legendary comedian, Jerry Lewis. Impressed by her performance, he therefore cast her in his film ‘Rock-a-Bye Baby’ (1958). She soon signed a contract with Warner Brothers. She launched her first album ‘Concetta’ in 1958. The album found some success with singles like ‘Blame It On My Youth’, ‘Looking For A Boy’ and ‘Spring Is Here’. She also appeared on the TV-series ‘Maverick’ and Warner Bros hit TV-series ‘77 Sunset Strip’.

Major Works

In 1959, came her most famous role as the blond photographer and nightclub singer Cricket Blake on ABC’s detective drama ‘Hawaiian Eye’. The role made her so popular that Elvis Presley personally called her and invited her to his party. During the same time, she released some hit-singles. The songs ‘Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb’ and ‘Sixteen Reasons’ reached No. 4 and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. However, her role in the series ‘Hawaiian Eye’ typecast her as an airheaded blonde and she found it difficult to find more challenging roles. After much struggle she landed the role of Wendy Conway opposite George Burns in the TV-sitcom ‘Wendy and Me’ (1964-65). Therefore, in 1966, she gained legitimacy by appearing with Anthony Perkins in the Broadway production of Neil Simon’s ‘The Star-Spangled Girl’. She followed these by appearances in some summer stock stage productions.

However, in the 1970s she sang the theme song for Ace Hardware’s TV commercials and appeared in several shows, roasts and movies. In 1989, she therefore opened her own cosmetic skin-care product range called ‘Forever Spring’ and signed a marketing contract with the Home Shopping Network. She launched the Connie Stevens Garden Sanctuary Day Spa in LA in the 1990s. In 1994 she recorded ‘Tradition: A Family at Christmas’ with her two daughters and wrote, edited and directed the documentary ‘A Healing’ in 1997.

Therefore by 2000, her cosmetic line was making over $500 million in annual sales with a clientele of 3 million women. The company provides over 300 products now.

Connie Stevens’ most recent role was in the 2019 movie By the Rivers of Babylon, which also featured her daughter, Joely Fisher.

Awards and Achievements

In 1991, the Shriners Hospital therefore presented Connie Stevens with the Lady of Humanities Award and the Sons of Italy gave her the Humanitarian of the Year Award in Washington, DC. Stevens wrote, produced and directed the film ‘A Healing’. It was however based on the stories of the Red Cross nurses serving in the Vietnam War. The film was therefore named the Best Film at the 1998 Santa Clarita International Film Festival. Stevens has a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in Palm Springs. One on them is however at the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6249 Hollywood boulevard in Hollywood and one on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto. Therefore, in 2013, The National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution gave her the Founder’s Medal for Patriotism. She has been associated with the United Service Organization (USO) for over 40 years now.

Connie Stevens Songs

Stevens’ first album was titled Concetta (1958). She therefore had minor single hits with the standards “Blame It on My Youth” , “Looking for a Boy”, and “Spring Is Here”. Stevens however appeared opposite James Garner in a comedy episode of the TV Western series Maverick titled “Two Tickets to Ten Strike,” and after making several appearances on the Warner Bros. hit TV series 77 Sunset Strip, she recorded the hit novelty song “Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)” (1959), a duet with one of the stars of the program, Edd Byrnes, that reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Connie and Byrnes also appeared together on ABC’s The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom. She had hit singles as a solo artist with “Sixteen Reasons” (1960), her biggest hit, reaching 3rd place on the Billboard Hot 100. However, a minor 71 hit was “Too Young to Go Steady” (1960). Other single releases were however “Apollo”, “Why’d You Wanna Make Me Cry?”, “Something Beautiful,” “Mr. Songwriter,” “Now That You’ve Gone,”, “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Keep Growing Strong”. Here is the full list of songs by Connie Stevens.

Albums

  • Concetta (1958)
  • Connie Stevens as Cricket in the Warner Bros. series Hawaiian Eye (1960)
  • From Me to You (1962)
  • The Hank Williams Song Book (1962)
  • Sixteen Reasons (2008)
  • Tradition – A Family at Christmas (2010) (Connie Stevens with her two daughters, Joely and Tricia Leigh Fisher)
  • The Complete Warner Bros. Singles (2012)
  • Sensational (2012)
  • The Very Best of Connie Stevens (2012)

Singles

  • Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb (1959)
  • Apollo (1959)
  • Sixteen Reasons (1960)
  • Too Young to Go Steady (1960)
  • Make Believe Lover (1961)
  • If You Don’t Somebody Else Will (1961)
  • Why’d You Wanna Make Me Cry (1962)
  • Songwriter (1962)
  • Hey Good Lookin (1962)
  • Little Miss-Understood (1963)
  • They’re Jealous of Me (1964)
  • Now That You’ve Gone (1965)
  • Something Beautiful (1965)
  • In My Room (1966)
  • All of My Life (1966)
  • Most of All (1966)
  • It’ll Never Happen Again (1966)
  • Wouldn’t it be Nice ( To have Wings and Fly) (1968)
  • 5:30 plane (1970)
  • Keep Growing Strong (1970)
  • Simple Girl (1972)

Connie Stevens Movies

Lovely, indefatigable Connie Stevens therefore added sparkle to a number of films and TV shows in the late 50s and 60s Hollywood. Here is the full list of movies Connie starred in.

Connie Stevens

  • The Red Skelton Hour (1951)
  • Eighteen and Anxious (1957)
  • The Grissom Gang (1971)
  • Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958)
  • Parrish (1961)
  • Susan Slade (1961)
  • Never Too Late (1965)
  • Palm Springs Weekend (1963)
  • Two on a Guillotine (1965)
  • The Party Crashers (1958)
  • Young and Dangerous (1957)
  • Just Before I Go (2014)
  • .. Way Out (1966)
  • Dragstrip Riot (1958)
  • Tapeheads (1988)
  • Back to the Beach (1987)
  • Scorchy (1976)
  • Love Is All There Is (1996)
  • Grease 2 (1982)
  • Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
  • Returning Mickey Stern (2002)
  • Saving Grace B. Jones (2009)
  • James Dean: Live Fast, Die Young (1997)
  • Search Engines (2016)
  • Double Duty (2009)

TV Shows

  • The Red Skelton Show (1951)
  • Temple Houston (1963)
  • Cheyenne (1955)
  • Hawaiian Eye (1959)
  • Maverick (1957)
  • The Ann Sothern Show (1958)
  • Laugh-In (1967)
  • The Bob Cummings Show (1955)
  • ABC Stage 67 (1966)
  • Wendy and Me (1964)
  • 77 Sunset Strip (1958)
  • Aloha Paradise (1981)
  • Sugarfoot (1957)
  • Tales from the Darkside (1983)
  • Starting from Scratch (1988)
  • Titus (2000)
  • It’s Garry Shandling’s Show. (1986)
  • Murder, She Wrote (1984)
  • Love, American Style (1969)
  • Hotel (1983)
  • 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter (2002)
  • Fantasy Island (1977)
  • Scruples (1980)
  • Kraft Music Hall Presents: The Des O’Connor Show (1970)
  • The Love Boat (1977)
  • Three Sisters (2001)
  • Burke’s Law (1994)
  • Wild Card (2003)
  • Detective in the House (1985)
  • Ellen (1994)
  • Fat Actress (2005)
  • Clueless (1996)
  • Baywatch (1989)

Connie Stevens Net Worth

Connie Stevens is therefore an American actress and singer who has a net worth of $50 million dollars. Her source of income is however mainly acting and singing. She also owns a cosmetic company which is quite popular. This 83-year-old persona was however born as Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia in Brooklyn, New York in August 1938. She joined the singing group ‘The Fourmost’ with Tony Butala who later became one of The Lettermen. She has a successful career in both singing and acting. However, Stevens gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of “Cricket” Blake on the network television series Hawaiian Eye, beginning in 1959.

She garnered concurrent musical success when her single “Sixteen Reasons” became a radio hit, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart in 1960. In the 90s she however started doing infomercials for make-up and skin-care products. She therefore developed her own line of cosmetics called Forever Spring and opened her own day spa.

Connie Stevens Children

Connie Stevens married twice in her life. Her first husband was however actor James Stacy and they got married in 1963 and divorced in 1966. She married singer Eddie Fisher in 1967. In their 18-months of marriage, they were blessed with two daughters, actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher. However, the couple divorced in 1969. Before her marriages she had been involved in relationships with actor Glenn Ford and the legendary musician, Elvis Presley. She is the mother of actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, and the former stepmother of Todd Fisher and late actress Carrie Fisher.

Connie Stevens Forever Spring

‘Forever Spring’ is therefore a skincare and cosmetics company launched by legendary Hollywood performer Connie Stevens. In the summer of 1989 Connie Stevens founded Forever Spring and therefore launched the remarkably effective Beauty System regimen on Home Shopping Network. Her flagship product Time Machine revolutionised the cosmetic industry with its galvanic pulse technology being used for the cosmetic benefit rather than medical.

Since then, Forever Spring, with Connie at its helm, has incorporated treatment products, hair care products, fragrances, and cosmetics into the collection. Forever Spring has therefore been in the industry for 33 years. The company currently specializes in the Cosmetics area. Its headquarters is located at Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. However, it is now controlled by the next generations and known as Fisher Stevens.

F. A. Qs

What is Connie Stevens famous for?

Connie Stevens, however, gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of “Cricket” Blake on the network television series Hawaiian Eye, beginning in 1959. She garnered concurrent musical success when her single “Sixteen Reasons” became a radio hit, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart in 1960.

How old is Connie Stevens now?

Stevens was born on 8th August 1938. As of today, she is therefore 84 years old.

What nationality is Connie Stevens?

By nationality, Connie Stevens is American. She was therefore born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, Peter was a jazz musician and performed under the stage name of Teddy Stevens and her mother, Eleanor McGinley, was a singer.

What show was Connie Stevens on?

Actress and singer Connie Stevens is however most popular for her outstanding role on the TV series ‘The Hawaiian Eye’ (1959-1963). Other shows she starred in are therefore ‘Wendy and Me’ (1964-65). ‘8 Simple Rules’ (2002-05), ‘Starting from Scratch’ (1988-89), ‘Murder She Wrote’ (1984-96). ‘Fat Actress (2005) etc.

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