Meg Myles is best known as a pin-up model of the 1950s and early '60s, but she also enjoyed a film career as a featured actress, star, and supporting player, and a respected career on the legitimate stage. She was born Billie Jean Jones in Seattle, WA, in 1932 (or 1933 -- some sources disagree) and took dance lessons as a girl. She was determined to have a career in show business, majoring in dance and health education at the College of the Pacific, and was discovered and signed by an agent before she graduated. Her extraordinary physique -- a reputed 42-24-36 -- led to walk-on parts on television shows with Bob Hope, among other stars. Although Myles' early appearances were limited to being a living set decoration, she was determined to develop her acting skills as well as her singing, which led to engagements at various West Coast nightclubs. Her physique made her a favorite of men's magazines of the era, but in 1954 she landed a small comic relief role -- involving singing and her physique -- in the feature film Dragnet, portraying a Cuban singer. The following year, she played a singer in Phil Karlson's feature The Phenix City Story (1955), in which she sang the title song. Myles was also selected to perform on the national tour promoting the movie, and got a major label recording contract out of it.
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The late '50s saw her largely absent from the big screen, however, despite the fact that she was one of the top pin-up models in the world at the time. According to some accounts, she was blackballed from the industry because of her insistence on restricting the types of costumes and still photographs in which she would allow herself to appear, and also due to reports of an alleged romance between her and Sammy Davis Jr. (the United States was just entering the era of raised consciousness about its racial problems at the time, and even rumors of such a relationship would have made her too controversial for many producers). Myles' major screen appearance during this period was in Calypso Heat Wave, which also included Joel Grey, the Treniers, the Tarriers, the Hi-Lo's, and Maya Angelou in its cast. Myles was mostly seen on television until 1961, when she got a major role in the movie Satan in High Heels. Considered a campy classic today, the movie was an outrageous piece of exploitation filmmaking in its time and one that did Myles little good in trying for a mainstream Hollywood career. She mostly worked on-stage for the next few years, developing a following in New York City and honing her skills as an actress. She surfaced in Don Siegel's Coogan's Bluff (1968) and Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes (1971), by which time Myles was much better known for her theatrical work, including performances at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Her last film to date was the drama Touched (1982). ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi