Leslie Parrish

Leslie Parrish

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Leslie Parrish

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Leslie Parrish (born 13 March 1935) is an American actress. She worked under her birth name, Marjorie Hellen, until she changed it in 1959.


Parrish was born in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania, and was a promising piano student at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. She discovered that by modeling she could earn more money than as a concert pianist. She came to New York City in November 1953. Before modeling she worked as a waitress in a diner.

She joined the Home Theatre Group of professional performers who put on plays at a private theater in Hollywood. Ruth Warrick and Mark Herron were also members. Parrish believed the experience of facing a live audience made her a better actress and more capable of transforming a scripted part into a three-dimensional human being.

Movie Actress

Parrish signed with 20th Century Fox in 1954, when she was 19. The studio gave her statistics as 5 feet 6 inches, with measurements of 35-24-34. Her hair is reddish gold, and she has gray eyes with a cream complexion. In May 1956, Parrish signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Her two most significant roles are as lithe Daisy Mae in Li'l Abner (1959) and as the doomed Jocelyn Jordan in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). In Portrait of a Mobster (1961) Parrish plays the wife of a detective who consorts with criminals. She is the daughter of a bootlegger who rebuffs the advances of Dutch Schultz, played by Vic Morrow. Eventually she becomes disillusioned with the...
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