June Fairchild

A vivacious wild child of the 1960s music and movie scene, dancer turned actress June Fairchild vaulted to minor stardom in the early 1970s with unbridled appearances in "Drive, He Said" (1971) before drugs turned her ... Read more »
Born: 09/03/1946 in Manhattan Beach, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (9)

The Student Body 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

Thunderbolt And Lightfoot 1974 (Movie)

Gloria (Actor)

Detroit 9000 1973 (Movie)

Barbara (Actor)

Your Three Minutes Are Up 1972 (Movie)

Sandi (Actor)

Drive, He Said 1971 (Movie)

Sylvie (Actor)

Pretty Maids All in a Row 1971 (Movie)

Sonny (Actor)

Summertree 1970 (Movie)

(Actor)

Head 1968 (Movie)

Jumper (Actor)

Where Angels Go... Trouble Follows 1968 (Movie)

June (Actor)

Biography

A vivacious wild child of the 1960s music and movie scene, dancer turned actress June Fairchild vaulted to minor stardom in the early 1970s with unbridled appearances in "Drive, He Said" (1971) before drugs turned her rapid ascent into a cautionary tale about excess and instant fame. Born June Edna Fairchild on September 3, 1946, she was the daughter of a musician and songwriter, and enjoyed what appeared to be a golden adolescence filled with popularity and scholastic superlatives. After graduation, she quickly fell in with the entertainment scene in Los Angeles. Fairchild became a dancer at Gazzari's, a popular rock and roll nightclub that earned a reputation for its revue of go-go dancers; Fairchild and the Gazzari Dancers got a national showcase on "Hollywood A Go-Go" (syndicated, 1964-65), a music variety series featuring some of the biggest names in rock and pop. The exposure led to other TV and film appearances, including an uncredited turn on "The Monkees" (NBC, 1966-68) and a scene in their ill-fated theatrical feature, "Head" (1968), in which she kisses each of the bandmembers in turn before spurning an advance by guitarist Michael Nesmith. By this time, Fairchild was a staple of the Los Angeles counterculture scene, due largely to her relationship with singer Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night. According to L.A. music apocrypha, Fairchild gave the band its name after reading a music article about aboriginal Australians, who would ward off the cold at night by sleeping with one or more dingos. In 1971, Fairchild was landing supporting roles based largely on her physical attributes in "Drive, He Said" (1971), which marked Jack Nicholson's directorial debut, and an array of genre efforts and dramatic oddities. By the mid-1970s, her film career had reached its apex with a minor role in the Clint Eastwood action-thriller "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" (1974) and a show-stopping appearance as a drug addict who has a surreal reaction to snorting Ajax powder in the Cheech and Chong comedy "Up in Smoke" (1978). The latter turn was morbidly prescient: Fairchild herself had descended into drug and alcohol addiction, as well as a number of abusive physical relationships, one of which produced a daughter from whom she became estranged. She attempted to support herself as a taxi dancer, but her drug habit left her homeless and bereft. Three Dog Night singer Chuck Negron, himself a recovering drug addict, got her into rehabilitation, but the treatment failed to help Fairchild; she was soon living on the streets, where she was robbed and assaulted. In 2001, the <i>Los Angeles Times</i> found Fairchild selling newspapers outside a courthouse and published her story; she was arrested for carrying an open container on the day the story ran in the paper, which resulted in a 90-day sentence. The incident spurred Fairchild to turn her life around, and with the help of friends, she was able to assume stability, as well as lasting sobriety. But the toll of her drug addictions left her with an array of health issues, including fibromyalgia; liver cancer eventually claimed her life in Los Angeles on February 17, 2015.

Milestones

1978

Plays an addled drug user in "Up in Smoke"

1970

Supporting role in "Drive, He Said"

1968

First film appearance in "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows!"

Bonus Trivia

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Prior to her death, she signed a contract with Paramount Pictures to reproduce a likeness of her character in "Up in Smoke."

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Landed her role in "Drive, He Said," based on her relationship with Jack Nicholson, who was a writer-producer on "The Monkees."

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Burned down her Laurel Canyon home after falling asleep with a lit cigarette.

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