Pamela Tiffin, an actress who starred in several major films during the 1960s and later appeared in Playboy, died on Wednesday. She was 78. Her daughter, Echo Danon, told The Hollywood Reporter her mother died of natural causes at a New York hospital. Tiffin's films include State Fair, Summer and Smoke, Harper, and One, Two, Three.
Tiffin was born Pamela Tiffin Wonso in Oklahoma City on Oct. 13, 1942, and found success as a teen model in Chicago. She made her film debut in 1961, when she starred in a film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke, starring Laurence Harvey and Geraldine Page. That same year, she appeared in Billy Wilder's snappy comedy One, Two, Three. Both films earned her Golden Globe nominations.
The story behind Tiffin's discovery is one that could only happen in Hollywood. She was vacationing there with her family and they stopped by the Paramount commissary. Producer Hal Wallis, who was making Summer and Smoke at the time, spotted her and suggested she audition for the part of Nellie. She agreed to take a screen test and was cast in the role.
Her success in 1961 seemed to put her on track to become a major Hollywood star. In 1962, she starred in 20th Century Fox's State Fair with Bobby Darin and Pat Boone. Her other 1960s films in Hollywood included Come Fly With Me, The Lively Set, For Those Who Think Young, and The Pleasure Seekers. In 1965, she had a supporting role in Harper, a detective movie starring Paul Newman and Lauren Bacall. In 1963, she starred in an episode of The Fugitive.
In the second half of the 1960s, Tiffin moved to Italy, where she made several movies through 1974. One of her biggest successes there was the 1968 comedy Torture Me But Kill Me With Kisses. During this time, she still tried to keep a foothold in America, making an appearance in a 1969 issue of Playboy and starring in Peter Ustinov's 1969 comedy Viva Max!. She also made the 1971 TV movie The Last of the Powerseekers during a brief return to Hollywood.prevnext
Rest In Peace to the uncommonly beautiful Pamela Tiffin (1942-2020). I’ve always wished she had been in more films - she had talent, beauty, and a certain spark that made her stand out.
Thoughts and prayers with the family. pic.twitter.com/TJTcdjjlDJ— ✨ Hollywood Yesterday ✨ (@HollywoodYeste1) December 5, 2020
Tiffin quit acting in 1974 after marrying her second husband, Edmondo Danon. She is survived by Danon and their two children, Echo and Aurora. She was first married to magazine editor Clay Felker from 1962 to 1969.prevnext
Remembering a lovely legacy at 20th Century Fox: Pamela Tiffin (1942-2020) including STATE FAIR & THE PLEASURE SEEKERS. pic.twitter.com/GvV5HgbcNh— Michael Troyan (@MichaelTroyan1) December 4, 2020
Tiffin was the subject of Tom Lisanit's book, Pamela Tiffin: Hollywood to Rome, 1961-1974. In the book, Lisanti wrote that Tiffin was "one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of her time, and she left an indelible impression on movie fans. For my money, she is prettier than Raquel Welch, funnier than Jane Fonda, and more appealing than Ann-Margret Olsson. Yet they all became superstars, and Tiffin did not."prevnext
I was saddened to hear of the death of actress Pamela Tiffin. She’s shown here with actor Horst Buchholz in Billy Wilder’s #ColdWar comedy about Berlin, One Two Three, 1961. pic.twitter.com/YXXPR9pKer— Channing Thomson (@CHANNINGPOSTERS) December 6, 2020
I’m really sad to hear that Pamela Tiffin has passed away. I’ve loved her in every movie I’ve seen her in, and I wish she could have stayed with us for much longer 💔 pic.twitter.com/RiumxVFGaC— sylvia ♡ (@irishsylvia) December 5, 2020