Samantha Eggar in Doctor Dolittle promotional photos

In 1967, Samantha Eggar starred alongside Rex Harrison and Anthony Newley in Doctor Dolittle. The film had a big budget and lots of hype but was hated by critics upon its release and the movie ended up not being the success that the studio had hoped for. To this day some people still don't like the film but over the years many people have discovered the joys of Doctor Dolittle. Some have also discovered that many savage reviews of the film have been quite exaggerated and that the backlash against the movie is unfounded. I've seen Doctor Dolittle several times and I genuinely can't understand why anyone would dislike the film so much.

In Doctor Dolittle, Samantha Eggar portrays Emma Fairfax, the niece of a man who dislikes Dr. Dolittle (Rex Harrison). She initially does not like the animal doctor but eventually gets to know him and falls in love with him (much to the chagrin of Anthony Newley's character Matthew Mugg, who also seemed to be quite found of Emma Fairfax...and was much closer to the same age as her - Rex Harrison was 30 years older than Samantha Eggar).

Samantha Eggar is delightful in Doctor Dolittle. She gets to wear a variety of period costumes and looks lovely throughout. Since Doctor Dolittle is a musical, Samantha Eggar is given the opportunity to perform three songs and she does quite well with the material.

Sadly, however, her role in Doctor Dolittle probably had something to do with the premature decline of Samantha Eggar's career. In the mid-1960s, she was a rising star, poised for greatness especially after her Oscar nomination and Golden Globe win for her work in the 1965 film The Collector. Doctor Dolittle was supposed to be a big movie and Samantha Eggar had won the role over other actresses. When the film flopped at the box office, however, it seems that her stature in Hollywood declined and never fully recovered. She worked steadily afterwards but with more and more focus on B movies and television work. If Doctor Dolittle had been better received, it would have been interesting to see how Samantha Eggar's career path would potentially have changed.

Here are some publicity stills of Samantha Eggar for Doctor Dolittle:

Samantha Eggar and Rex Harrison

Samantha Eggar and Rex Harrison again

Wendy Kilbourne on The A-Team

Wendy Kilbourne capped off a successful 1984 with a featured guest role on The A-Team. A month prior, her guest appearance on Riptide had aired and she had begun 1984 with a guest shot on Knight Rider.

In the third season A-Team episode 'Sheriffs of Rivertown', the gang heads down to South America to bring law and order to the temporary town that has been set up to house American workers who are constructing a dam. Wendy Kilbourne plays Nikki Monroe, the sister of an engineer who gone missing, who helps the A-Team get the bottom of things. Robert Davi plays the bad guy. Wendy Kilbourne finds time to sing onstage at the local bar and ends up kissing Dirk Benedict at the end (sorry for the spoiler!).

Here are some pictures of Wendy Kilbourne on The A-Team:

Wendy Kilbourne and Robert Davi

Wendy Kilbourne and Dirk Benedict

Wendy Kilbourne with George Peppard and Dwight Schultz

Wendy Kilbourne with Mr. T in the background

Wendy Kilbourne held captive on The A-Team

Wendy Kilbourne and George Peppard

Wendy Kilbourne on Riptide

In 1984, Wendy Kilbourne was featured on the TV show Riptide, marking her second big guest appearance on weekly hour-long action series (previously she had guest starred on an episode of Knight Rider and made several other minor appearances, such as on Matt Houston). 1984 proved to be successful year for Wendy Kilbourne and she turned up on half dozen television shows, paving the way for her to take part in the miniseries North and South the following year.

Wendy Kilbourne guest starred in a second season episode of Riptide called 'Mirage' which originally on October 30, 1984 on NBC.

Here are some images of Wendy Kilbourne on Riptide:

Wendy Kilbourne and Kabir Bedi on Riptide

Charlotte Rampling in Rotten to the Core

In 1965, Charlotte Rampling began her film career with a comedy called Rotten to the Core. The following year she would be featured in far better remembered movie, Georgy Girl, but Rotten to the Core represents her proper screen debut (she made an uncredited cameo earlier in 1965 in a movie called The Knack... and How to Get It).

In Rotten to the Core, Charlotte Rampling looks absolutely fantastic and does a fine job with her comedic role. She is shown wearing a variety of mid-'60s fashions and gets to toss out all sorts of fun catchphrases from the time (my favorite was when she says 'swoonsville'). Her character, Sara Capell, is a young woman who assists a suave criminal called The Duke in pulling off a huge Army payroll heist.

Rotten to the Core is wild comedy and Charlotte Rampling contributes to this by way of a high energy performance. Her voice is dubbed in the film, but this does not detract greatly from the proceedings. Charlotte Rampling was one of the most visually striking British actresses to arrive on the scene in the mid-'60s. She was very charming and had acting skills, but her look was almost enough to carry her through, especially in the early stage of her career.

Apparently, Peter Sellers was originally attached to star in Rotten to the Core. Perhaps if he had, the movie would be better remembered now. As it stands today, the film is fairly low profile but it is certainly worth watching if you have the opportunity. I sought out Rotten to the Core so I could view Charlotte Rampling's first movie and I was pleasantly surprised to find a fun farce, with the digs at the military and the church still hilarious and many great over-the-top performances. All that plus Charlotte Rampling in her underwear!

Here are some images of Charlotte Rampling in Rotten to the Core (click the pictures to see them full size):

Jill Townsend in The Spirit Is Willing

Jill Townsend made her feature film debut in 1967 in a movie called The Spirit Is Willing. The project was a kid-friendly ghost movie produced and directed by the prolific B-movie king William Castle. It was one of the last movies that William Castle directed.

Promotional image of Jill Townsend and co-stars in The Spirit Is Willing

Jill Townsend only appeared in four feature films (I don't count The Seven-Per-Cent Solution because she only made a short cameo in that movie), working mostly on television throughout the bulk of her career. When she did do a movie, she usually got a good supporting role (she never starred in a film outright...Alfie Darling in 1976 was her biggest part and she was second-billed in that project). In The Spirit Is Willing, Jill Townsend has a nice featured role and gets to play three different characters.

Here are some pictures of Jill Townsend in The Spirit Is Willing: