It is my great pleasure and honor to be able to give a great big happy birthday shout out this morning to one of my favorite actresses, directors, economists, and philosophers of science, the lovely and talented Ms Brittany O’Connell!
Brittany was born as a small, female infant at a very early age in Panorama City, California (34° 13′ 29″ N, 118° 26′ 56″ W), just about in the middle of the famous San Fernando Valley, a neighborhood I once lived nearby, lived in, and where I went to the movies at the also famous Americana Theater on occasion (I first saw “Billy Jack” there, with my buxom Armenian high school girlfriend, Michelle Meridian, who would soon dump me for some guy with a car), which unfortunately no longer exists (it now houses a beauty school and sporting goods store). My friend Steven Rose and his family lived in a house a few blocks away.
Coincidentally, Brittany would more than likely film a large percentage of the movies she appeared in within the very confines of that San Fernando Valley.
I lived just down the Street from Panorama City in Northridge during my Junior High and High School years. These two neighborhoods were connected by Nordhoff St. and Roscoe Blvd. Brittany was living there at the time, though I was not aware of that fact. She would live there until 1976, or so, two years before I joined the navy, then she moved to Phoenix, Arizona... I don’t know why. She was only four years old at the time.
After I got out of the navy I lived in Panorama City on Blythe St., with the love of my life, J.D. in a little one room house, while working for a veterinarian. Right across nearby Van Nuys Blvd. stood the largest General Motors Plant to date, which made automobiles. They closed it down right around the time I was living nearby, and replaced it eventually with a shopping center called “The Plant,” where a whole bunch of stores and restaurants like Regency Theatres, Ross, Babies "R" Us, The Home Depot, Hometown Buffet, In-N-Out Burger, and Starbucks Coffee exist today. It was at those Regency Theatres that one night in December of 2001 I saw “The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring,” for the first time, after which I took a bus to downtown Los Angeles, where I’ve been ever since.
But enough about me, damn it!
Brittany has lovely long red hair, is of Irish, Russian, and Swedish descent. She is absolutely gorgeous, in a pixyish, ball of fire (she’s 5 feet tall, weighs about 112 pounds, with lovely hazel eyes, dress size 3, shoe size 6) sort of way.
As I’ve mentioned she was raised in Phoenix, Arizona (33° 27′ 0″ N, 112° 4′ 0″ W), and originally wanted to be an Olympic skater, and both taught and studied gymnastics, which requires a certain amount of stamina and flexibility, which would come in handy later in her career. She attended an all-girl private school and graduated from high school when she was 17.
Favorite conspiracy: “I don't know if it qualifies as a conspiracy, but I'm a real “X-Files” fan [something we have in common... Brittany and I], and I really like stories about vampires and succubi. Succubi are demon women who have sex with men at night while they sleep. I sort of consider myself a succubi.” Well, well, well, that’s certainly interesting!
She continues, “Most of my childhood was spent in an all girls school with ice skating and gymnastics keeping me busy after school. My parents wanted to make sure I was kept away from any distractions and therefore could concentrate most of time on my school work. They wanted the best possible education for me. I graduated at 17 with honors and went off the college. The plan was for me to go to junior college for two years and then off to University of Arizona for six years to receive my Ph.D in Astrophysics.
After getting married in Vegas at the age of nineteen, my husband was 28, I was off to start my career... I soon gained a reputation as not only a good actress but a girl with no limits on what a director wanted... It got me leading roles in big budget movies as well as over 14 nominations for awards...” More here.
At 19 Brittany began her film career, and was an instant success, her fresh, wholesome, Irish good looks, and immense talent propelled her into the stratosphere of the industry, and by the time she was 25 had appeared in over 200 feature films, was a successful model, started her own production company (Voodoo Daddy F/X), and had been nominated for those 14 AVN Awards.
I had the honor of seeing her very first film after she moved here (L.A.) from Phoenix, but I can’t remember the title. Be that as it may, Brittany has starred in classics such as: “Radio - Active,” “From Brazil with Love (about a spy on a train),” “The Lovers,” “Working Stiffs,” “Who Killed Holly Hollywood?” “Virtual Reality,” “Untamed Cowgirls of the Wild West Part 1: The Pillowbiters,” “The Rehearsal,” “The Psychic,” “The Other Side of Chelsea,” “The One and Only,” “The Man Who Loved Women,” “The Hustlers,” “The Goddess,” “Steal This Heart,” “Slave to Love,” “Seven Good Women,” “Night Train,” “Neutron Man,” “Mask,” “Leena Meets Frankenstein,” “Jam,” “Ice Woman,” “Full Moon Bay,” “Flashback,” “Blue Bayou,” “Affairs of the Heart,” “Babydoll,” “The Coven,” “White Shadow,” “Tongue in Cheek,” “The Pink Lady Detective Agency: Case of the Twisted Sister,” “The Governess,” “So, You Wanna Be in the Movies?” “Public Places,” “No Motive,” “Never Say Never, Again,” “Into the Fire,” “Foolproof,” “After Midnight,” “The Savage,” “Visions,” “The Drifter,” “Stiletto,” “Sapphire,” “Promises & Lies,” “Hard Copies,” “Ghosts,” and “Corporate Assets.” Classics all.
All that was a lot of work, accordingly Brittany took a little time off from the end of the 90s until 2008, moving back to Phoenix for awhile, because who doesn’t like blistering white hot heat, and rocks and dirt. She spent her time working behind the camera with her production company (now "Brittany O’Connell Productions"), and spending time perfecting economic theory.
Six years ago she was instrumental in contributing to the new trade theory (NTT) (a collection of economic models in international trade which focuses on the role of increasing returns to scale and network effects), and new economic geography (the study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the globe) which paved the way for New York economist Paul Krugman to win the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008.
The Princeton bastard didn’t even mention her in his acceptance speech.
In 2008 Brittany returned to L.A. and the big screen in such classics as: “The Cougar Club,” “Friends,” a rare appearance on television via FXs “Sons of Anarchy,” “Not Married with Children,” and of course “When MILFs Attack."
She’s one of those rare movie stars that make any picture she appears in better just for being in it... like Alan Arkin.
I wish I had clips from some her most famous roles, but none seem to be available on youtube. I don’t know why.
Here’s a link to an audio interview with Brittany, and to her unofficial Facebook page.
It’s almost time for us to say goodbye for the time being.
I for one will never forget Brittany’s response when asked about the term “Theory of Evolution,” sometimes used by the political and Christian right to imply that evolution is not a fact of nature, using her chosen profession as a metaphor.
“The actress has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When an actress doesn’t know the answer to a problem, she is ignorant. When she has a hunch as to what the result is, she is uncertain. And when she is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, she is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Artistic knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we actresses are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of acting. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.”
Bravo, Brittany, bravo.
All of us here at Joyce’s Take are very fond of Brittany, and wish her and her loved ones continued good health and fortune, and of course a very happy birthday!
Happy Birthday Brittany!