Happy Birthday, Tuesday Weld

1968_Pretty Poison_Weld_Perkins

From the great “Pretty Poison” (1968) with Anthony Perkins. And below you can see her as the creepily blank and heart-achingly gorgeous teenage majorette in the fantastic opening sequence of the film.


See Pretty Poison if you have not. Don’t miss Kim’s rhapsodic essay to Weld in general, and Pretty Poison in particular. In Pretty Poison, Weld shows up as the bombshell blonde teenager, restless in her small-town life, bored out of her mind (Weld was thrilling when she was bored because then she started yearning for excitement/stimulation/something to DO … and by that point, look out). She’s looking for escape and release, she’s empty on some level, and emptiness can be filled by bad-ness just as easily as it can by goodness. Bad-ness is certainly more exciting.



From the wonderful “Wild in the Country” (1961).

Weld was only a teenager when she made Wild in the Country but she is sexy as hell in this as the wild-child bored-out-of-her-mind so-horny-it-hurts bad-girl who torments Elvis Presley’s character, a man trying (under court order) to stay good, clean, on the right side of the law. She practically begs him to “take” her. With all of her wild and impulsive shenanigans, there is a quiet moment in the middle of the film, with Presley and Weld perched on a rickety back stairway, and he sings, and she listens. There’s a stillness, a communion between these two hard-to-be-pinned-down and misunderstood-sex-outlaws … when everything slows down, and they can just be. They’re kindred spirits.

Elvis puts her off until, in the kitchen scene, after he adjusts her dress strap (because he’s aroused by that flash of uninterrupted creamy shoulder), he finally succumbs in an act of aggression that you rarely saw in Elvis films after this, where he was basically the somewhat submissive and amused recipient of the attentions of hordes of women. But Weld brought out the tiger in him.

I mean, who can blame him? Tuesday Weld was (and still is) irresistible.

Weld and Presley dated (if you can say that either of them ever “dated” in a traditional sense) and Weld had this to say about Presley:

He walked into a room and everything stopped. Elvis was just so physically beautiful that even if he didn’t have any talent . . . just his face, just his presence. And he was funny, charming, and complicated, but he didn’t wear it on his sleeve. You didn’t see that he was complicated. You saw great needs.

You could also say that she didn’t wear things on her sleeve. She was complicated but she didn’t walk around broadcasting that. You could also say that you look at her and see “great needs.”

Tuesday Weld and Elvis Presley.

Tuesday Weld has one of the most passionate and devoted fan bases on the planet.

I mean, remember this?


That album came out in 1990. She now works so rarely. Her heyday was decades ago. But there she was. Aggressive. Insolent. Knowing. And stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeous. Her self was in her face, but you wondered what life was really like for her. You were never quite sure. It made her compelling. Unforgettable.

She’s still out there. Happy birthday, Tuesday Weld.

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5 Responses to Happy Birthday, Tuesday Weld

  1. Lisa in Fort Worth says:

    Have you seen the YouTube videos from Roddy McDowall’s Malibu house 1965? She is so lovely and forever young.

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