Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Tiki Boy

Today marks what would have been the 94th birthday of the unlikely Polynesianesque love god Jon Hall, best known in film history as the male opposite number to fiery leading ladies like Maria Montez, Dorothy Lamour, and even St. Frances of Farmer.

His is not the most elevated of filmographies, with epics ranging from Cobra Woman to Zamba the Gorilla to The Beach Girls and the Monster, but it's certainly a vivid one.

While it's true he was raised in Tahiti, which might help explain his exotic allure - or at least his marketing in that vein - he was actually born in Fresno, California, with the even-less-exotic-than-Hall-surname of Locher.

Clearly, the South Seas label stuck with him, right to the very end of his B-list career. I'm not sure exactly how one "directs" a record album, but I do know that being referred to on a record jacket as "Famous Motion Picture Actor" is the LP version of starting an infomercial with "You may remember me from such movies as..."

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