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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Groovy Gal: Brenda Starr

I've always loved comic strips, and my favorites growing up were the soap opera stories like Mary Worth, Winnie Winkle and, of course, Brenda Starr, the glamorous newspaper reporter who celebrates her 69th birthday today. The lovely lady doesn't look a day over 30, does she?

Dale Messick created Brenda in 1940, and the fabulous redhead remained single until 1976 when she finally married her true love, the mysterious Basil St. John, whose eye patch only made him sexier. They had a daughter, Starr Twinkle St. John, but their marriage ended in divorce. He later married and divorced talk show host, Wanda Fonda (love the name!), but Brenda has never remarried.

Our girl hasn't had much luck on the big or small screen. First there was Brenda Starr, Reporter, a 1945 serial. Then actress Jill St. John played the character in a 1976 TV movie, and a 1979 TV pilot based on the strip never went anywhere. Finally, we can't forget the feature film flop, Brenda Starr, starring Brooke Shields in the title role and Timothy Dalton as Basil. It was made in 1986, but due to lengthy litigation over distribution rights, it wasn't released in Europe until 1989 and the U.S. until 1992 (you can watch its trailer below).

Messick retired in 1980, but Brenda is still going strong with June Brigman and Mary Schmich now drawing and writing the strip. And the groovy gal reporter is quite hip these days--she even has her very own Facebook page!

1 comment:

Doug said...

I love Brenda!