Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Kristy (Swanson)!

It is my great pleasure this morning to give a happy birthday shout out to one of my favorite actresses, my favorite and the original vampire slayer, Ms. Kristy Swanson.
Which may be a contributing factor in that Mission Viejo, California, where Kristy was born, was named the safest city in the United States in a 2007 Morgan Quitno crime statistic survey, and the safest city in California and third safest in the nation, according to CQ Press in 2009. There's no vampires there!
How many other cities can make that claim?
Kristen Nöel Swanson was born at a very early age and continued growing from that point on. Her family is of Swedish ancestry and the ancestral surname of her family was Svensson. Both her parents, Rosemary and Robert, were physical education teachers. She decided at the age of 9 that she wanted to become an actress.
"I've always been this strong-willed person and I've always been in love with acting. I love every aspect of show business and that includes both the show part of it and the business part of it."
When she was 13 she quit school to focus on acting and was home schooled by her parents. By that age she had appeared in over 30 television commercials. Two years later she became emancipated from her parents, I don't know why. Perhaps it had something to do with her landing a spot on a sitcom, the short lived, "It's Your Move." Two years after that she made her first appearance in a theatrical film, and a good one. John Hughs' "Pretty in Pink." a non-speaking role, but Hughs hired her again in the classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," in which she got the chance to speak and cover for Ferris. She was 17 by this time and continued in films, acting with Charlie Sheen in "Hot Shots!" (who was also in "Ferris Buellar" of course. Kristy and Charlie would appear in 3 movies together, the third being one of my favorites, "The Chase," which displays an interesting act of intimacy while driving in a car being chased by police). She also starred the next year in another favorite of mine, "Highway to Hell," the fact based story of a girl abducted by a Hellcop.
And then came "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," in 1992, in which Kristy played a Valley Girl type cheerleader who is destined to become a slayer of vamps.
And she become pretty good at it. More comedic than the TV series that followed, I secretly fell in love with her while watching it. Please don't tell anybody.
The film was considered a box office flop, making a little more than 16.5 million, but would do very well in later rentals. And another remarkable thing about this film, other than spawning the successful long lived television series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, was the fantastic cast. Donald Sutherland as Buffy's teacher. "Blade Runner's" Rutger Hauer as Lothos the Master Vampire. Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) as his evil sidekick. Luke Perry, David Arquette, Natasha Gregson Wagner (daughter of Natalie Wood), Candy Clark, un-credited roles for Ben Affleck and Ricki Lake. Laurence Olivier (just kidding, although Larry was in a Dracula movie once). And this movie can boast the fact of being the first film role for future 2 time Best Actress Academy Award winner, Hilary Swank.
Her most acclaimed role is probably her performance in John Singleton's "Higher Leaning," as Kristen Conner, a young college girl discovering her sexuality.
And who can forget Kristy in "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag," and "Dude, Where's My Car?" I certainly can't (and I'm not being facetious! I was actually watching "Dude" as I began writing this).
Unfortunately the films Kristy appeared in didn't make a whole lot of money, and her career fluctuated between TV and movies.
In 2006 she appeared on the first episode of the reality show "Skating with Celebrities," in which she was paired with Canadian Olympic Bronze Medalist, Lloyd Eisler, with which she would have a son, and marry last year. They live just north of me in nearby Santa Clarita, and all of us here at Joyce's Take wish Kristy continued good luck, fortune, and health for her and her family, and a very happy birthday!
Happy Birthday Kristy!

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