Friday, February 09, 2007

Random Wondering: Where Are They Now?

That's Pinky Tuscadero, a minor character from Happy Days. She was played by Roz Kelly. Here's Roz's wikipedia entry:

Roz Kelly (born July 29, 1943 in Mount Vernon, New York) is best known for playing Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli's (Henry Winkler) girlfriend Pinky Tuscadero on the hit television series Happy Days, which ran from 1974 to 1984 on ABC.

Pinky was the older sister of Leather Tuscadero (American born singer Suzi Quatro) who also dated "Fonzie" in a later episode. Pinky was slated to be Fonzie's long-term girlfriend after her intitial appearances in episodes #64-66 and, in fact, commercials for the next season even began promoting Kelly's new character. Unfortunately, when discord occurred between her and the cast and producers, her character was dropped; She was only mentioned briefly in two later episodes: where her sister Leather came into town to start a fresh life from reform school; and, when Fonzie was out of town at a demolition derby with Pinky.

Beyond Happy Days, Kelly played guest roles on Fantasy Island (1982); Charlie's Angels (1979); The Dukes of Hazzard (1979); The Love Boat (1978); Baretta (1978); Kojak (1978), The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976), and Starsky and Hutch (1975). Her role in the last of these, was created when star Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) planned to quit at the start of the third season, with Kelly's character, Officer Linda Baylor, intended to fill his place. However, Glaser was persuaded to stay, and Kelly's character ultimately only appeared in one episode, "Fatal Charm". Her characters on these other shows never reached the level of cult fame that "Pinky" gave her. During this period, Kelly also appeared as a celebrity panelist on such game shows as Match Game and Hollywood Squares.

Kelly also played roles in low budget movies throughout the late 1970s/early 1980s including: The Owl and the Pussycat; Greetings; You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It; You'll Lose That Beat; Okay Bill; The Female Response; American Pop; New Year's Evil; and Full Moon High.

These movies were indicative of her career that was based on lot of potential, but limited exposure due to lack of distribution. Most of these small parts emphasized her body and highly sexual demeanor. In many ways she represented the female version of Scott Baio, who played the character "Chachi" on Happy Days, whose career too was also filled with potential that was never quite achieved.

Today, Kelly spends her time in up-state New York with her family and friends. Her hobbies include sewing and writing poetry. Although, not officially retired from acting, she has not worked in the film genre in over a decade. To this day, fans of Happy Days recognize her as "Pinky" and she remains amazed at her cult following and the amount of people who actually know her as Roz Kelly, considering the rather small screen career she has had. She has often said sarcastically that those people scare her!

On November 29, 1999, she was arrested for firing a 12-gauge shotgun into the living room window of a neighbor's house after a car alarm woke her up; she also shot the neighbor's car and another car nearby. The neighbor was not home at the time. She pleaded no contest to the charge of firing into the house and was sentenced to three years' felony probation on October 20, 2000. Roz Kelly was also ordered to receive psychiatric counseling and pay restitution as ordered by the probation department.

She is known as Roxie to her family and friends.

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