B-movie bad girl Fay Spain was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 6, 1932 (some sources cite 1933 as her year of birth). Her childhood proved to be so tumultuous that she left home at the age of 15 and supported herself working odd jobs. Her acting career began in New York, where she did summer stock work. A few stage roles ensued, followed by some television work. While still a teenager, she married actor John Falvo. The short-lived union produced a son and quickly ended in divorce. With a son to support, Spain tried hard to build a modeling and acting career. Perhaps her earliest TV appearance was as a contestant on the TV game show You Bet Your Life hosted by Groucho Marx. By 1956, Spain was having success landing roles on several popular TV series of the day, including Lux Video Theatre and Cheyenne with Clint Walker. The beautiful Spain was also a popular pin-up of the day, often appearing in magazines of the era.

Fay SpainFay SpainFay Spain in a bikiniFay Spain in a bikiniFay SpainFay Spain

LEFT and CENTER A: Cheesecake photos of Fay Spain taken by photographer-turned-director Russ Meyer. CENTER B, C, D, and RIGHT: 1950s cheesecake photos

In 1957, Spain made her film bow in the juvenile-deliquent cult film Dragstrip Girl with John Ashley. Other films followed, including Teenage Doll (1957; with Ziva Rodann and Barboura Morris), God's Little Acre (1958; with Tina Louise), and The Beat Generation (1959; with Steve Cochran and Mamie Van Doren. While Spain's film career was rather short, she seemingly preferred taking roles on television, where her work was prolific in the 1960s and 1970s.

the films of fay spain

Teenage Doll (1957)

Fay Spain

Spain gets tough in the Allied Artists teen crime drama Teenage Doll

The Abductors (1957)

Fay Spain

Spain and Carl Thayer are menaced by former silent screen star Victor McLaglen in the 20th Century Fox noir release The Abductors

Dragstrip Girl (1957)

John Ashley, Fay Spain, Judy Bamber, and Steve Terrell

From the fun AIP 'tormented teen' flick Dragstrip Girl with John Ashley, Judy Bamber, and Steve Terrell

God's Little Acre (1958)

Fay SpainFay Spain and Buddy Hackett

From the potboiler God's Little Acre, released by United Artists. LEFT: Fay Spain as Darlin' Jill with Jack Lord. RIGHT: With Buddy Hackett

Schlitz Playhouse (1951-1959 CBS TV Series)

William Joyce and Fay Spain

With William Joyce in a 1959 episode of Schlitz Playhouse titled Ballad to Die For

The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1961)

Fay SpainFay Spain and Martin MilnerFay Spain and Martin MilnerFay Spain and Martin MilnerFay Spain and Martin MilnerFay Spain, Mickey Rooney, and Ziva Rodann

LEFT: As Lil Lewis in Universal-International's comedy The Private Lives of Adam and Eve. CENTER: Lil tries to tempt Ad Simms (Martin Milner) with forbidden fruit. RIGHT: With Mickey Rooney and Ziva Rodann

Hercules and the Captive Women (1961)

Fay SpainFay Spain and Reg ParkReg Park and Fay Spain

Spain as Queen Antinea uses her feminine wiles on Hercules (Reg Park) in the Woolner Brothers release Hercules and the Captive Women

Cain's Hundred (1961-1962 NBC TV Series)

Peter Mark Richman and Fay Spain

With series star Peter Mark Richman in a 1962 episode of Cain's Hundred titled Murder by Proxy

Black Gold (1963)

Fay Spain and Claude AkinsJames Best and Fay Spain

From the Warner Bros. period adventure Black Gold. LEFT: With Claude Akins. RIGHT: With James Best

Thunder Island (1963)

Fay Spain and Brian Kelly

With Brian Kelly in the second feature Thunder Island, released by 20th Century-Fox

The Greatest Show on Earth (1963-1964 ABC TV Series)

Ricardo Montalban and Fay Spain

With Ricardo Montalban in a 1963 episode of The Greatest Show on Earth titled The Hanging Man

Death Valley Days (1952-1975 Syndicated TV Series)

Fay Spain

As Calamity Jane in a 1966 episode of Death Valley Days titled A Calamity Called Jane

Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

Fay Spain

From the MGM western Welcome to Hard Times. This film was originally shot for television in 1966 but was deemed too violent to air, so it was released to theaters

later years

After appearing in the sword and sandal epic Hercules and the Captive Women (1961; with Reg Park), Fay Spain's film appearances became sporadic. In 1962, she divorced her second husband, John Altoon, an artist. She remarried again in 1965 and was divorced the following year. In 1968, she married fourth husband Philip Westbrook. Spain continued to work in films and on television until the mid 1970s; her last film appearance was in The Godfather, Part II (1974; with Al Pacino). Afterward, she retired from acting to care for her husband, who was ill. Sadly, Fay Spain died of cancer on May 8, 1983, at the age of 50. She was survived by a son and her fourth husband.

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The Godfather: Part II (1974) with Al Pacino and Robert Duvall
The Naked Zoo (1971) with Rita Hayworth, Ford Rainey, and Steve Alaimo
The Todd Killings (1971) with Richard Thomas, Gloria Grahame, and Barbara Bel Geddes
Welcome to Hard Times (1967) with Henry Fonda, Janice Rule, Keenan Wynn, Janis Paige, Warren Oates, Edgar Buchanan, Aldo Ray, and Denver Pyle
The Gentle Rain (1966) with Christopher George and Lynda Day George
Flight to Fury (1964) with Dewey Martin and Jack Nicholson
Thunder Island (1963) with Gene Nelson and Brian Kelly
Black Gold (1963) with Philip Carey, Diane McBain, and James Best
Hercules and the Captive Women (1961) with Reg Park
The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1961) with Martin Milner, Mamie Van Doren, Mickey Rooney, Ziva Rodann, Mel Torme, and Tuesday Weld
The Beat Generation (1959) with Steve Cochran, Mamie Van Doren, Vampira, and Ray Danton
Al Capone (1959) with Rod Steiger and Martin Balsam
The Crooked Circle (1958) with John Smith, Robert Armstrong, and Steve Brodie
God's Little Acre (1958) with Tina Louise, Aldo Ray, Lance Fuller, Robert Ryan, Buddy Hackett, Jack Lord, Vic Morrow, Rex Ingram, and Michael Landon
The Abductors (1957) with George Macready and Victor McLaglen
Teenage Doll (1957) with June Kenney, Ziva Rodann, Barboura Morris, Ed Nelson, amd Bruno VeSota; directed by Roger Corman
Dragstrip Girl (1957) with John Ashley, Frank Gorshin, and Steven Terrell

Police Woman, episode The Hit, originally aired December 9, 1975
Caribe, episode Assault on the Calavera, originally aired May 12, 1975
Police Woman, episode Flowers of Evil, originally aired November 8, 1974
Ironside, episode Class of '40, originally aired February 7, 1974
Night Gallery, episode Rare Objects, originally aired October 22, 1972
Mannix, episode Cry Silence, originally aired September 24, 1972
Medical Center, episode The Nowhere Child, originally aired December 15, 1971
The Man and the City, episode I Should Have Let Him Die, originally aired September 29, 1971
Hogan's Heroes, episode At Last---Schultz Knows Something, originally aired December 26, 1969
My Friend Tony, episode Kidnap, originally aired June 8, 1969
Hogan's Heroes, episode How to Catch a Papa Bear, originally aired October 12, 1968
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., episode Gomer and the Queen of Burlesque, originally aired February 2, 1968
Gunsmoke, episode Wonder, originally aired December 18, 1967
Mannix, episode Catalogue of Sins, originally aired December 2, 1967
Death Valley Days, episode A Calamity Called Jane, originally aired December 29, 1966
Rat Patrol, episode The Gun Runner Raid, originally aired November 28, 1966
I Spy, episode It's All Done With Mirrors, originally aired April 13, 1966
A Man Called Shenandoah, episode The Accused, originally aired January 3, 1966
The Fugitive, episode Three Cheers For Little Boy Blue, originally aired October 19, 1965
Daniel Boone, episode The Sisters O'Hannrahan, originally aired December 3, 1964
The Greatest Show on Earth, episode The Hanging Man, originally aired November 19, 1963
Rawhide, episode Incident of the Lost Woman, originally aired November 2, 1962
Cain's Hundred, episode Murder by Proxy, originally aired February 6, 1962
Gunsmoke, episode A Man a Day, originally aired December 20, 1961
Rawhide, episode Incident in the Middle of Nowhere, originally aired April 7, 1961
The Untouchables, episode Testimony of Evil, originally aired March 30, 1961
Gunslinger, episode The Border Incident, originally aired February 9, 1961
Maverick, episode The Cactus Switch, originally aired January 15, 1961
Laramie, episode No Second Chance, originally aired December 6, 1960
The Deputy, episode Lady for a Hanging, originally aired December 3, 1960
Maverick, episode Bolt from the Blue, originally aired November 27, 1960
Naked City, episode A Succession of Heartbeats, originally aired October 26, 1960
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Cuckoo Clock, originally aired April 17, 1960
The Alaskans, episode The Bride Wore Black, originally aired April 10, 1960
The Alaskans, episode Peril at Caribou Crossing, originally aired February 28, 1960
Laramie, episode Duel at Alta Mesa, originally aired February 23, 1960
Wanted: Dead or Alive, episode Angela, originally aired January 9, 1960
Maverick, episode The Goose-Drowners originally aired December 13, 1959
Bonanza, episode The Sisters, originally aired December 12, 1959
Rawhide, episode Incident of the Valley in Shadow, originally aired November 20, 1959
Adventures in Paradise, episode Paradise Lost, originally aired October 26, 1959
Wanted: Dead or Alive, episode The Matchmaker, originally aired September 19, 1959
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Ballad to Die For, originally aired July 31, 1959
77 Sunset Strip, episode Abra-Cadaver, originally aired April 17, 1959
Bat Masterson, episode The Tumbleweed Wagon, originally aired March 25, 1959
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Last Dark Step, originally aired February 8, 1959
Playhouse 90, episode A Town Has Turned to Dust, originally aired June 19, 1958
Tombstone Territory, episode Pick up the Gun, originally aired May 14, 1958
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Fiery Fingers, originally aired May 3, 1958
The Restless Gun, episode Pressing Engagement, originally aired February 24, 1958
The Whirlybirds, episode Blind Victory, originally aired 1957
Maverick, episode Naked Gallows, originally aired December 15, 1957
Have Gun Will Travel, episode High Wire, originally aired November 2, 1957
Gunsmoke, episode Mavis McCloud, originally aired October 26, 1957
Cheyenne, episode The Long Winter, originally aired September 25, 1956
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Guilty, originally aired 1956
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