Tuesday Weld born
A child model to support her widowed mother, an alcoholic by age 12, a pre-teen suicide survivor, and a teenage lover of Elvis Presley, actress Tuesday Weld had a backstory more vivid, more tragic, more fantastic than could have been created by any screenwriter’s pen. Born August 27, 1943, Weld had her first lead role at the age of 12 in Rock Rock Rock!, starring alongside DJ Alan Freed and Chuck Berry. Amidst television stints she went on to star in films like Return to Peyton Place and, with Presley, Wild in the Country. But in the mid-60s, her career took a turn away from roles capitalizing on her wholesome American beauty. Sensuous and capable of projecting a hypnotic emotional fragility, Weld passed on parts that could have made her a superstar (The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, Rosemary’s Baby). She did, however, take a number of quirky pictures — George Axelrod’s satire Lord Love a Duck, Henry Jaglom’s A Safe Place, alongside Orson Welles and Jack Nicholson — that turned her into something of a cult star. Weld worked steadily through the ‘70s and ‘80s, and her presence always brought a haunting quality to a film. She is devastating as the psychologically adrift Hollywood heroine of Frank Perry’s Joan Didion-adaptation Play it as it Lays, hypnotic as the moll in Michael Mann’s early Thief, and painfully heartbreaking as a showgirl -- and rape victim -- in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. Her last film role was in Ethan Hawke’s Chelsea Walls, and she currently lives in New York City.