Quinn O’Hara, the Scottish-born sex kitten who starred in the 1960s movies A Swingin‘ Summer and The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, has died. She was 76.
O’Hara had “multiple medical issues” and died Friday at her home in Los Angeles, her friend, Joel B. Gibson, told The Hollywood Reporter.
An attractive redhead, O’Hara also portrayed Jack Lemmon’s sexy secretary in Good Neighbor Sam (1964), and Jerry Lewis employed her in three of his films: The Errand Boy (1961), her big-screen debut; Who’s Minding the Store? (1963); and The Patsy (1964).
O’Hara was one of the lovelies who showed up on TV’s Burke’s Law and also appeared on I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster, The Real McCoys, My Three Sons, The Red Skelton Hour, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Ironside, One Day at a Time and CHiPs.
She dated singer Fabian, actors Lee Majors and Dennis Cole and Los Angeles Dodgers pitching ace Sandy Koufax.
In The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966), from American International Pictures, O’Hara played Sinistra, the nearsighted daughter of greedy lawyer Reginald Ripper (Basil Rathbone); both were out to terrorize teens at a pool party held at a creepy mansion. She also sang “Don’t Try to Fight It” and danced around a suit of armor in the horror comedy.
“I had more fun playing this role than any other. It is my favorite, as a matter of fact,” she said in Tom Lisanti’s 2003 book, Drive-In Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties. “I got to be really campy with an English accent. My walk was accidental because I couldn’t see a damn thing with those glasses on. The lenses were as thick as Coke bottles.”
O’Hara starred with Raquel Welch and James Stacy in the Lake Arrowhead-set A Swingin‘ Summer (1965), then was named Most Promising Newcomer by Teen Screen magazine.
Born Alice Jones in Edinburgh on Jan. 3, 1941, she attended a convent boarding school. After stays in Cardiff, Wales, and Quebec, she and her mother eventually settled in Long Beach, Calif., in the late 1950s. O’Hara then went to Long Beach City College and was named the very first Miss Scotland (she was given a “Participation Award” by the Miss Universe pageant).
In 1963, she was a regular on NBC’s The Lively Ones, a musical variety show hosted by Vic Damone.
O’Hara appeared twice on The Dating Game and in such films as 1967’s In the Year 2889 and the Oscar-nominated short Prelude (1968), directed by John Astin, then moved to London to work on the stage, in a few films and on the cult British sci-fi show UFO. She then returned to the U.S., became an American citizen in 1992 and was a nurse.
Survivors include her husband Bill Kirk, whom she married in 1986.