Every year, lots of attractive, talented young people go to Hollywood to see if they can make it big. A very few do, although their fame is often fleeting and brings with it problems of its own. Others become respected character actors and work almost constantly but probably wish they were stars. Many more get some work but their careers have trouble getting off the ground. Most of them get no work at all. Most go back home but some stay. And some of those get involved with the "wrong people" and the result is sometimes tragic.
Karyn Kupcinet was the daughter of Chicago columnist Irv Kupcinet. She was pretty in an off-beat way, (she looks a bit like Liza Minnelli to me), and serious about her craft, (she attended the actor's studio and starred in a production of "The Miracle Worker"). She went to Hollywood and found work but inconsistently, (17 IMDb credits over about 5 years). She had weight problems, (not the type of problems we might have: she seems to have a fine figure) and took drugs to make herself look thinner and to control her emotional problems. She had some semi-famous boyfriends. She either committed suicide or was murdered the week of the Kennedy assassination and a writer tried to tie her death to that event, suggesting that she was the woman who reportedly made a phone call warning of the assassination. This has all been denied by her parents, who ultimately blamed Hollywood for her death.
This episode of "Hawaiian Eye", (she'd appeared in bits on that show several times previously), was one of her biggest roles, (the biggest one I've seen, anyway). There are several ironies. She plays a naïve young girl who enters a beauty contest against the wishes of her parents and winds up part of a badger game created by the sleazy promoters, who have drugged her so they can get a compromising shot of the millionaire who's backing their enterprise. Then she gets framed for the murder of the millionaire.
The ultimate irony is that the episode was broadcast on November 22, 1961, two years to the day before President Kennedy was assassinated.
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