This vacant blonde bombshell of several early John Waters films retired from acting in the mid-1970s. Pearce made her debut in Waters' synchronized-sound film "Mondo Trasho" (1970), starring as a toe-...
|Female Trouble||1974||Actor||Donna Dasher||19747|
|Desperate Living||1976||Actor||Princess Coo Coo||19767|
|Serial Mom||1994||Actor||Book Buyer||19947|
|Cecil B. Demented||2000||Actor||family Lady||20007|
|Cry Baby||1990||Actor||Picnic Mother||19907|
|A Dirty Shame||2004||Actor||Unjudgemental Ex-Sex Addict||20047|
|Film debut, John Waters' "Mondo Trasho"|
|Last co-starring role, Waters' "Desperate Living," after which she retired from films (except for brief cameos)|
Pearce's first speaking role came with "Multiple Maniacs" (1971), playing a nymphomaniac who breaks up the romance of criminal couple Divine and David Lochary, only to be killed for her trouble. The cult hit "Pink Flamingos" (1972) gave Pearce a good showcase as Cotton, a voyeuristic bombshell who lives in a trailer with The Filthiest Person Alive (Divine), her hillbilly son (Danny Mills) and her demented mother (Edith Massey). Pearce was an enthusiastic and well-meaning actress, rather than a talented one, but she was also the only genuine beauty in the cast, showcased with revealing clothes, platinum hair and 1930s makeup.
In "Female Trouble" (1975), Pearce played Donna Dasher, the uptight and glamorous co-owner of a beauty salon, who plays Mephistopheles to Divine's Faust (choice dialog: "I don't like this neighborhood--I'm afraid a rat might jump out and bite my new nylons!"). Elegantly dressed--for a low-budget production--she was very funny and earned an even more eccentric role in her next, and last, film. As Princess Coo-Coo in Waters' "Desperate Living" (1977), Pearce was the unwilling heiress to the outlaw kingdom of Mortville, ruled by the evil Queen Carlotta (Edith Massey). In a very dark and rather sad ending, Pearce expired from rabies at the film's finale.
Never very ambitious for an acting career, Pearce retired from films after "Desperate Living." Always interested in horses, she got a job at a Baltimore-area racetrack. The loyal Waters gave her cameos in his later films, however. Now brunette and a bit heavier, Pearce can be spotted briefly as a nun in "Polyester" (1981), a picnicking mother in "Cry-Baby" (1990) and a book-buying fan in "Serial Mom" (1994).
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