Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sept. 14: '60s "Sex Kitten," Joey Heatherton is 69 today.


Born Davenie Johanna Heatherton and nicknamed "Joey," she was raised in Rockville Centre, New York, where she attended St. Agnes Cathedral School. Her father Ray Heatherton was a Broadway star and television pioneer, best known as "The Merry Mailman," a popular children's show.
Heatherton began her career as a child actress and received her first sustained national exposure in 1959 as a semi-regular on The Perry Como Show, playing an exuberant teenager with a perpetual crush on Perry Como. She also appeared extensively on The Dean Martin Show; Dean Martin invited her to perform numerous times on the show.

From June to September 1968, along with Frank Sinatra, Jr.,  she co-hosted Martin's summer substitute musical comedy hour, Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers.



The Happy Hooker Trilogy (The Happy Hooker / The Happy Hooker Goes To Washington / The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood)BluebeardJOEY HEATHERTON 11X14 B&W PHOTO


Press links below to view MORE You Tube video performances:

-- "Someone To Watch Over Me"

In 1969, Heatherton married Lance Rentzel, a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. In 1970, Rentzel was arrested for indecent exposure in front of a 10-year-old girl. They separated shortly afterward and divorced in 1972.

In 1972, Heatherton had a #24 pop hit with the 1957 Ferlin Husky song "Gone." Her album, The Joey Heatherton Album, did not do as well on the charts as her single.

By the 1970s, Heatherton's career was reduced to doing TV ads for RC Cola and Serta Mattresses. One high point came in July 1975 when she headlined Joey & Dad, a four-week Sunday night summer replacement series for Cher's 1975-76 variety show in which she performed alongside her own father.

Afterwards, Joey performed in Las Vegas and acted in a few TV shows and films, including the 1972 "Bluebeard" with Richard Burton. She also played the starring role as Xaviera Hollander in 1977's Watergate-inspired "The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington."




  1. Joey was an amazing dancer and singer. She moved with a flowing grace that was sensual, yet innocent. As a former world class gymnast, I appreciated her athleticism and control over her precise movements. Her voice was amazing and extremely compelling. Just a wonderful performer to watch. I hope she is doing well these days. Charlie/Minnesota

  2. Mike the Music LoverMarch 8, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Very astute; I agree completely. I've wondered why she never got the recognition she deserved as a performer.
    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Unfortunately there are reports that she got in all kinds of trouble, was arrested a number of times, (assault twice, tax evasion, possession of drugs...cocaine) during the 1980's. Too bad.
    Posed nude for Playboy in 1993 at the age of 49.
    Kind of just disappeared from public life since.

  4. Her husband, football star Lance Rentzel, was arrested for exposing himself to a young girl, and Joey divorced him soon after.
    She has had her share of misfortune.

  5. I still think of her in those hot pants touring with Bob Hope...

  6. She had the coolest hairdoo ever.

  7. When serving in viet nam on an aircraft carrier, I told some of the other officers on board that I was just giving you one year to find me, fall in love and marry me. Apparently either you couldn't find me or you didn't get the message. I'm sure it was disappointing for both of us. Sometimes good things just don't work out.
    Love Dave

  8. Mike the Music LoverMay 4, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    You and a bunch of other sailors and soldiers, Dave! Thank you for your service.

  9. Joey Heatherton is the most beautiful woman in the world. She can sing and dance too!!
    I have not seen todate no equal.