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Suzy Parker wearing a gown by Griffe,

The Girl Who Had Everything: The Story of "The Fire and Ice Girl"

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'The V-Back evening, Suzy Parker, 1955' / photo by Lillian Bassman

Suzy Parker went to Hollywood hoping to become a movie star. Her first film was Kiss Them For Me with Cary Grant and the buxom Jayne Manfield. The movie was pretty bad, and Suzy was upstaged by Jayne’s two assets. A good supporting role followed in Ten North Frederick, where she played the young girl who falls in love with married man Gary Cooper. Parker was lovely in this part, and the last scene in the movie is a great wedding scene when Cooper’s daughter happily realizes that Suzy is the girl that had brought her father the only happiness at the end of his life.

Finally, in 1959, Suzy Parker got the one great role of her career in the fabulous melodrama The Best of Everything. This study of career girls in New York (from the novel by Rona Jaffee) is a cult classic. With Hope Lange, Diane Baker and Joan Crawford, The Best of Everything gives the most glamourous role to Parker. She plays gorgeous Gregg Adams, an aspiring actress who runs around New York in sexy gowns and dark glasses. Greg is wildly in love with Louis Jordan, and most of her scenes are with him and Joan Crawford. When Jordan dumps Greg, she goes off the deep end, spying on him, going through his trash and finally tumbling from his fire escape. Suzy Parker was so gorgeous that she stole the film from her more experienced co-stars.

Suzy Parker in Jacques Heim, 1955 ~ Barbie dress.

Suzy Parker is wearing a Horrockses dress. Photo: Henry Clarke.

Superstardom was predicted for Suzy Parker, but life has a funny way of not following the script. After two divorces, plus the death of her father in a car accident (with Suzy also injured), Suzy Parker had enough of fame and empty adulation. She had met actor Bradford Dillman (Compulsion, The Way We Were) while co-starring in 1960’s Circle of Deception. Parker married Dillman and retired. She had four children (three with Dillman) and apparently was quite happy just being a mother. Bad health plagued the former super model, and she died in 2003 at age 70.

Superstardom was predicted for Suzy Parker, but life has a funny way of not following the script. After two divorces, plus the death of her father in a car accident (with Suzy also injured), Suzy Parker had enough of fame and empty adulation. She had met actor Bradford Dillman (Compulsion, The Way We Were) while co-starring in 1960’s Circle of Deception. Parker married Dillman and retired. She had four children (three with Dillman) and apparently was quite happy just being a mother. Bad health plagued the former super model, and she died in 2003 at age 70.