Meg Myles was a popular pin-up model, singer, and actress in the 1950s and 1960s, who starred in films such as Satan in High Heels and The Phenix City Story. She also had a successful career on stage and television, appearing in shows like The Doctors, The Edge of Night, and All My Children. She died on November 12, 2019, at the age of 84, leaving behind a legacy of glamour and talent. But what was the cause of her death, and how did she live her life?
Early Life and Career
Meg Myles was born as Billie Jean Jones on November 14, 1934, in Seattle, Washington. She had a difficult childhood, as her father was an alcoholic and her mother was mentally ill. She ran away from home at the age of 15 and moved to Los Angeles, where she started working as a waitress and a model. She soon caught the attention of men’s magazines, which featured her as a pin-up girl with a voluptuous figure of 42-24-36. According to Wikipedia, she also adopted the nickname “Jelly Bean Bones” because of her ability to twist her body in unusual ways.
She made her film debut in 1954, in an uncredited role as a singer in the movie Dragnet. She then landed a small but important role in the film noir The Phenix City Story, which was based on the real-life corruption and violence in an Alabama town. She played a prostitute who was brutally murdered by the mob. She also had a featured role in the musical film Calypso Heat Wave, where she sang and danced with calypso stars like Harry Belafonte and Maya Angelou.
Breakthrough and Controversy
Her breakthrough role came in 1962, when she starred as the lead in Satan in High Heels, a low-budget exploitation film that became a cult classic. She played Stacey Kane, a ruthless and seductive nightclub singer who manipulates men and women for her own gain. The film was controversial for its time, as it featured scenes of drug use, lesbianism, and violence. It also showcased Myles’ singing talent, as she performed several songs in the film, including the title track.
The film boosted her popularity, but also limited her opportunities, as she was typecast as a femme fatale. She continued to work in films, but mostly in minor or supporting roles. She appeared in Coogan’s Bluff, The Anderson Tapes, and Touched, among others. She also had a brief singing career, releasing two albums: At the Living Room, with liner notes by Johnny Carson, and Just Meg and Me, with liner notes by Steve Allen. She also recorded a single, 13 Men, which was a novelty song about a post-apocalyptic world where she was the only woman left.
Television and Stage
Myles found more success on television and stage, where she displayed her versatility and range as an actress. She appeared in several soap operas, such as The Doctors, Where the Heart Is, The Edge of Night, All My Children, and Search for Tomorrow. She played a variety of roles, from a possessive mother to a secret wife to a kindly restaurant owner. She also had guest roles in shows like The Fugitive, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and The Odd Couple.
She also had a prolific career on Broadway and off-Broadway, starring in musicals and plays such as Carnival, The Threepenny Opera, The Boys from Syracuse, and The Ritz. She received rave reviews for her performances, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her role in The Ritz. She also toured with the USO, entertaining the troops in Vietnam and Korea.
Personal Life and Death
Myles was married twice, first to Bob Duncan, a producer and director, and then to Mac Lerner, a lawyer and businessman. She had no children, but was close to her nieces and nephews. She was also involved in several charities, such as the Actors Fund and the Humane Society. She was an animal lover, and had several pets throughout her life.
She died on November 12, 2019, two days before her 85th birthday. The cause of her death was not publicly announced, but according to IMDb, she was featured on the Tony Awards’ “In Memoriam 2020” list. She was cremated, and her ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
She is remembered as a beautiful and talented woman, who lived a full and adventurous life. She left behind a legacy of films, songs, and shows, that showcase her glamour and talent. She was a pin-up model, a singer, and an actress, who defied conventions and expectations. She was Meg Myles, and she will be missed.