Posts Tagged ‘mickey rooney’

Post-Holiday Pick-Up: Miss December 1972, Mercy Rooney (yee haw)

December 26, 2009

Miss November 1972 was “Lenna,” whose cropped centerfold, as you may recall, is just about one of the most famous pictures in the graphics design world. So you’d think Miss December would have a tough act to follow, and she might pale in comparison, right?

Here to prove you wrong is the lovely and talented Mercy Rooney (aka Merci Montello, aka Mercy Mee), a B-movie actress and rodeo queen who at 22 had already roped and released Mickey Rooney, Jr., the oldest son of Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney.


Photographed by Alexas Urba.

“Most people think of rodeo as man conquering beast — men riding bulls, roping calves, that kind of thing. That’s not it at all. Rodeo is actually man conquering his own body, being able to control it and make it work the way he wants it to. The real pros are very disciplined people; with discipline comes skill, and that’s what makes the whole thing a treat for fans. Riding rodeo is a beautiful, graceful art when a person’s really good at it.” (“Mercy, Mercy!” Playboy, December 1972)


“I liked being right down there with the dirt kicked in the air, flying in your face, and the animals lunging so close that you have to jump for a fence to get out of their way.”


Asked about the reaction when she appeared on the scene, Mahan says, “I recollect hearing quite a few ‘Good God A’mightys!’ And one of my friends said to me, ‘We gotta get her out of here. I can’t concentrate on my horse.'”

When she isn’t distracting rodeo performers, Mercy lives a busy life in Los Angeles, following a schedule that divides time between Bunnying at the L.A. Club and returning to an acting career that she had pursued after high school, then capriciously dropped for a couple of years. “I’m back in acting school and working hard at it. I guess I quit before because I just had too many things going.”

One of those “things” she “had going” was a marriage to Mickey Rooney, Jr. I cannot for the life of me find out the dates on that (I do not feel like doing a public records search for the sake of one simple blog entry), but I know that by 1986 he had married his second wife, Laura, with whom he now travels the country as a born-again Christian preacher. He gives lectures on the dangers of “Life in the Fast Lane.”

That is one ride I am glad she was not down to take, or we would never have this nature-themed, awesome Playboy spread. God made us naked and Jesus preached tolerance, Mr. Rooney. Duh. These days, Ms. Montello/Mee/Rooney has faded in to almost total obscurity which my cursory search of the internet cannot seem to uncloud. If you have info, shoot it my way, cause I love me some crazy eyes!

NSFW November: Donna Lynn, Playboy’s Miss November 1959

November 4, 2009

Ladies and gentleman, your Playboy Miss November 1959 — the lovely and talented Donna Lynn. (applause.)


As far as I know the whole shoot was photographed by Frank Bez.

As you can see, Playboy was starting to get their shit together and have a strong budget by this point, enough not to cobble together hack photographers and shitty sets in eight different crummy apartments to put together a single spread. Consistency is important for the overall feel of a shoot. These look like they were all done around the same place, a nice spread of house with a good-sized backyard in some smoggy shithole suburb of L.A.

Art direction was actually beginning to play a part in the magazine’s design and composition. Sex sells. Slickly packaged sex sells better, and for more.


I find it just so unforgivably rude when people screw around on the phone when you are trying to have an in-person social conversation.

Miss Lynn was like bazillions of buxom blondes, a pretty girl who made her way from the midwest to Los Angeles with dreams of being a star. She must have had a smidge of tinfoil and gritty hustle behind that vacuous smile, because she came closer than most, landing not just a plush job and a centerfold spot, but a movie part from a big name, too. The Playboy sez:

Cocktail Waitress on the Sunset Strip
In Hollywood even the girls who wait tables are beautiful!


It is news to nobody that Hollywood is the cutie capital of the country, racking up more shapeliness per square inch — or maybe we mean round inch — than any other city in the nation, probably the world. To its sun-drenched purlieus swarm America’s loveliest lasses, all eager for film and TV stardom. Of course, stardom doesn’t usually come overnight and while they’re waiting the hopeful honeys take jobs as waitresses and car hops, cashiers and receptionists — which accounts for the high degree of pulchritude among Hollywood’s hired help. Even in such a splendorous setting, blonde Donna Lynn is a standout. As a waitress, she brightens The Cloister, a smart supper club on Hollywood’s famous Sunset Strip. There recently Mickey Rooney spotted her and signed her up for a part in his new motion picture The Private Lives of Adam and Eve. There recently we spotted her, too, and decided she was just what we’d been seeking for Miss November.

In the imdb’s cast list for the 1960 Rooney flop (guess it must have been one of the ones he drank his way through), she is credited as “Wednesday,” along with several other cast members named for days of the week. Her next part is listed, bizarrely, as “10 year old girl” a decade later on a 1971 episode of The Partridge Family, which I’m going to chalk up to a mistake.


Tan lines are like highlights for what you are not ordinarily allowed to see. Ladies, STOP laying in the booths naked. Way more hot to be stripey.

In fact, the credits her file at imdb lists from that point really take a nosedive in believable accuracy, so I’m assuming there was some kind of huge mistake in identity, because I seriously doubt that in 1981, having been born in 1936, she was in any shape to play “Kiki” in Hollywood High II (“It’s the end of the semester and finals are near, but that doesn’t stop the girls of Hollywood High from having fun. From the pool to the beach, they cavort with their boyfriends, drink, and smoke a joint or two!”). Her final alleged credit is 1988’s Hollywood’s New Blood, a horror film about which one imdb user commented, “A nursery school pageant is more professional.”


Malibu? Laguna?

Here she is, back in 1959 where we can be sure it was she, and reasonably clad to boot, washing a pretty freaking sweet indeedy Renault Dauphine; they did not always make teeny cars built to demolish one another jostling for parking on the streets of Paris. Even the French automaking industry was in the post-WWII car manufacturing heyday a decophilic slave to the beautiful trappings of finned and glorious car architecture.


Marvel of design. Car’s okay, too.

Hef & Co. were also very concerned with the physiology of sleep and how well you were resting, evinced by the cover theme. (That bunny looks twisted. Dude is toe up. I hate when people get animals drunk!)