Biography

Thrushlike American actress Kay Lenz was most effectively cast as hippielike free spirits, even though she rose to prominence after the "flower child" craze had come and gone. After a lot of TV work, Lenz was given her big movie break in director Clint Eastwood's Breezy (1973) as the teenybopper girl friend of middle-aged businessman William Holden. Kay followed this triumph with an Emmy-winning performance in the 1974 ABC Afternoon Playbreak special "Hearts in Hiding." After another good movie assignment in the above-average Canadian actioner White Line Fever, Kay was cast as one of the title characters in The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday (1976), portraying a gold-hearted (and light-headed) whore in the old west. Though heavily promoted, the film was a failure, and Lenz had to step down from the ranks of Movie Star to become an actress again -- which she did, in the TV miniseries Rich Man Poor Man. Amidst indifferent movie roles, solid TV work and occasional cartoon voiceover assignments, Kay returned to the forefront of public consciousness in 1988, winning her second Emmy for her guest role as an embittered AIDS victim on the TV series Midnight Caller. This scorching performance assured that Kay Lenz would never, ever be written off as merely the wife of one-time teen idol David Cassidy. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi