Jennifer O'Neill

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Jennifer O'Neill
Jennifer O'Neill 1973.JPG
Jennifer O'Neill in Lady Ice (1973)
Born (1948-02-20) February 20, 1948 (age 70)
OccupationActress, model, writer, speaker, horse trainer
Years active1968–present
Spouse(s)Married nine times to eight men, last to Mervin Sidney Louque (1996–present)

Jennifer O'Neill (born February 20, 1948) is a Brazilian-American actress, model, author and speaker, known for her role in the 1971 film Summer of '42 and modelling for CoverGirl cosmetics starting in the 1970s.

Brazilian Americans

Brazilian Americans are Americans who are of full or partial Brazilian ancestry. There were an estimated 371,529 Brazilian Americans as of 2012, according to the United States Census Bureau. Another source gives an estimate of some 800,000 Brazilians living in the U.S. in 2000, while still another estimates that as of 2008 some 1,100,000 Brazilians live in the United States, 300,000 of them in Florida. According to the 2016 American Community Survey, There are a total of 42,193,781 foreign born persons in the United States. From the 42.2 million immigrants, 350,091 are Brazilians, corresponding 0.83% (350,091/42.2million) of the foreign born population.

<i>Summer of 42</i> 1971 film by Robert Mulligan

Summer of '42 is a 1971 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film based on the memoirs of screenwriter Herman Raucher. It tells the story of how Raucher, in his early teens on his 1942 summer vacation on Nantucket Island, embarks on a one-sided romance with a young woman, Dorothy, whose husband has gone off to fight in World War II.

CoverGirl is an American cosmetics brand founded in Maryland, United States, by the Noxzema Chemical Company. It was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 1989 and later acquired by Coty, Inc. in 2016. The Noxell Company advertised this cosmetics line by allowing "cover girls", models, actresses, and singers who appear on the front cover of women's magazines, to wear its products. CoverGirl primarily provides a wide variety of consumer-grade cosmetics.


Early life

O'Neill was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her mother was English and her father was a Brazilian of Portuguese, Spanish and Irish ancestry. [1] She and her older brother Michael were raised in New Rochelle, New York, and Wilton, Connecticut. When she was 14, the family moved to New York City. On Easter Sunday, 1962, O'Neill attempted suicide because the move would separate her from her dog Mandy and horse Monty — "her whole world". [2] That same year, she was discovered by the Ford modeling agency.[ citation needed ] By age 15, while attending the prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan, she was appearing on the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Seventeen, earning $80,000 ($663,000 today) in 1962. [2] :71

Rio de Janeiro Second-most populous municipality in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.

New Rochelle, New York City in New York, United States

New Rochelle is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state.

Wilton, Connecticut Town in Connecticut, United States

Wilton is a town in Fairfield County in southwestern Connecticut in the United States. According to the 2010 census, the town population was 18,062.

An accomplished equestrienne, O'Neill won upwards of 200 ribbons at horse show competitions in her teens. With her modelling fees, she had purchased a horse, named Alezon. However, it once balked before a wall at a horse show, throwing her, and breaking her neck and back in three places. [2] :83 She attended New York City's Professional Children's School and the Dalton School in Manhattan, but dropped out to wed her first husband, IBM executive Dean Rossiter, at age 17. [3]

Equestrianism The use of horses for sport or work

Equestrianism, more often known as horse riding or horseback riding, refers to the skill and sport of riding, driving, steeplechasing or vaulting with horses. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport.

Professional Childrens School Not-for-profit prep school in New York City

Professional Children's School is a not-for-profit, college preparatory school enrolling 200 students in grades 6-12. The school was founded in New York City in 1914 to provide an academic education to young people working on the New York stage, in Vaudeville, or "on the road".

The Dalton School, originally the Children's University School, is a private, coeducational college preparatory school on New York City's Upper East Side and a member of both the Ivy Preparatory School League and the New York Interschool. The school is located in three buildings within Manhattan.

O'Neill has dual citizenship, as she maintained her Brazilian citizenship, being then a Brazilian and American citizen.


In 1968 O'Neill landed a small role in For Love of Ivy . In 1970 she played her first lead role in Rio Lobo .

<i>For Love of Ivy</i> 1968 film by Daniel Mann

For Love of Ivy is a 1968 romantic comedy film directed by Daniel Mann. The film stars Sidney Poitier, Abbey Lincoln, Beau Bridges, Nan Martin, Lauri Peters and Carroll O'Connor. The story was written by Sidney Poitier with screenwriter Robert Alan Arthur. The musical score was composed by Quincy Jones. The theme song "For Love of Ivy", written by Quincy Jones and Bob Russell, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The film received Golden Globe supporting acting nominations for Beau Bridges and Abbey Lincoln.

<i>Rio Lobo</i> 1970 film by Howard Hawks

Rio Lobo is a 1970 American Western film starring John Wayne. The film was the last film directed by Howard Hawks, from a script by Leigh Brackett. The film was shot in Technicolor with a running time of 114 minutes. The musical score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and the movie was filmed at Cuernavaca in the Mexican state of Morelos and at Tucson, Arizona.

O'Neill may be best remembered for her role in the 1971 film Summer of '42 , where she played Dorothy Walker, the early-20s wife of an airman who has gone off to fight in World War II. She stated in a 2002 interview that her agent had to fight to even get a reading for the part, [4] since the role had been cast for an "older woman" to a "coming of age" 15-year-old boy, and the director was only considering actresses over the age of thirty, Barbra Streisand being at the top of the list.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Barbra Streisand American singer, actress, writer, film producer, and director

Barbara Joan "Barbra" Streisand is an American singer, actress, and filmmaker. In a career spanning six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment and has been recognized with two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes. She is among a small group of entertainers who have been honored with an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award – though only three were competitive awards – and is one of only two artists in that group who have also won a Peabody.

O'Neill continued acting for the next two decades. She appeared in Hollywood feature films, made-for-television films, and European films, such as Italian director Luchino Visconti's last film, The Innocent (1976). When her movie career slowed, O'Neill took roles in series television. [5] She starred in NBC's short-lived 1982 prime time soap opera Bare Essence and played the lead female role on the 1984 CBS television series Cover Up .

O'Neill is listed in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History's Center for Advertising History for her long-standing contract with CoverGirl cosmetics as its model and spokesperson in ads and television commercials. [6]

Personal life

O'Neill has been married nine times to eight husbands (she married, divorced, and remarried her sixth husband). [3] She has three children from three fathers. [2] :95:174:209

Ex husband Nick de Noia was later murdered in 1987 by one of his former associates. [7]

On October 23, 1982, O'Neill suffered a gunshot wound in her home on McClain Street in Bedford, New York. Police officers who interviewed O'Neill determined that she had accidentally shot herself in the abdomen with a .38 caliber revolver at her 30-acre, 25-room French-style estate [8] while trying to determine if the weapon was loaded. [9] [10] Her fifth husband at the time, John Lederer, was not in the house when the handgun was discharged, but two other people were in the house. Detective Sgt. Thomas Rothwell was quoted as having said that O'Neill "didn't know much about guns." [11]

On October 12, 1984, O'Neill's co-star in the Cover Up television series, Jon-Erik Hexum, accidentally injured himself on the show's set, unaware that a gun loaded with a blank cartridge could still cause extreme damage from the effect of expanding powder gasses. He died six days later.

In her 1999 autobiography Surviving Myself, O'Neill describes many of her life experiences, including her marriages, career, and her move to her Tennessee farm in the late 1990s. [2] She has said that she wrote the autobiography (her first book) "... at the prompting of her children." [2]


In 2004, O'Neill wrote and published From Fallen To Forgiven, [12] a book of biographical notes and thoughts about life and existence. The actress, who underwent an abortion after the divorce from her first husband while dating a Wall Street socialite, became a pro-life activist and a born-again Christian in 1986 at age 38, counseling abstinence to teens. Concerning her abortion, she writes:

I was told a lie from the pit of hell: that my baby was just a blob of tissue. The aftermath of abortion can be equally deadly for both mother and unborn child. A woman who has an abortion is sentenced to bear that for the rest of her life. [13]

O'Neill continues to be active as a writer working on her second autobiography, CoverStory, an inspirational speaker, and fundraiser for the benefit of crisis pregnancy centers across the United States. [14] She has also served as the spokesperson for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, [14] an organization for people who regret that they or their partners had abortions.

O'Neill works for other charitable causes, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa International and the Arthritis Foundation. As a breast cancer survivor she was once a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society.[ citation needed ] She hosted a one-hour television special for World Vision International shot in Africa concerning the HIV epidemic.[ citation needed ] She sponsors the Jennifer O'Neill Tennis Tournament to benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and a fund-raiser for Guiding Eyes for the blind. [15]



1968 For Love of Ivy Sandy
1969 Some Kind of a Nut The Beautyuncredited
1970 Rio Lobo Shasta Delaney
1971 Summer of '42 Dorothy
1971 Such Good Friends Miranda
1972 The Carey Treatment Georgia Hightower
1973 Lady Ice Paula Booth
1975 The Reincarnation of Peter Proud Ann Curtis
1975 Whiffs Lt. Scottie Hallam
1975 The Flower in His Mouth Elena Bardi
1976 The Innocent Teresa Raffo
1977 The Psychic Virginia Ducci
1978 Caravans Ellen Jasper
1979 A Force of One Mandy Rust
1979 Steel Cass Cassidy
1980 Cloud Dancer Helen St. Clair
1981 Scanners Kim Obrist
1987 I Love N.Y. Irene
1991CommittedSusan Manning
1992Invasion of PrivacyHillary WayneVideo
1994Discretion AssuredPaige
1994 The Visual Bible: Acts Lydia of Thyatira Video
1997The Corporate LadderIrene Grace
1997The RideEllen Stillwell
1999 The Prince and the Surfer Queen Albertina
2002 Time Changer Michelle Bain
2012 Last Ounce of Courage Dottie Revere
2013 Doonby Barbara Ann
2016 I'm Not Ashamed Linda


1979Love's Savage FuryLaurel TaggartTV film
1981The Other VictimNancy LangfordTV film
1983 Bare Essence Lady Bobbi RowanMain role (11 episodes)
1984-1985 Cover Up Danielle ReynoldsMain role (14 episodes)
1985 A.D. MessalinaTV miniseries
1985ChaseSandy AlbrightTV film
1986Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting StarAlison CarrTV film
1988The Red SpiderStephanie HartfordTV film
1988Glory DaysScotty MoranTV film
1989Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes ScandalDebralee TaftTV film
1990PersonalsHeather MooreTV film
1992Perfect FamilyMaggieTV film
1993The Cover Girl MurdersKateTV film
1994Jonathan Stone: Threat of InnocenceNan StoneTV film
1995 Silver Strand Louellen PetersonTV film
1996Voyeur IIElizabeth (voice)Video game
1996 Poltergeist: The Legacy Lorraine ComptonEpisode: "Revelations"
1997 Nash Bridges JennyEpisode: "Shake, Rattle & Roll"
2000On Music RowLinda RodgersTV film
2000Heroes and SheroesSelfReality TV

Books written

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 O'Neill, Jennifer (1999). Surviving Myself. W. Morrow. ISBN   978-0-688-15992-4.
  3. 1 2 Levitt, Shelley (January 18, 1993). "Seventh Heaven". People . Retrieved February 14, 2012.
  4. Park, Louis Hillary (June 2002). "Summer of '42". TC Palm. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  5. Buck, Jerry (March 5, 1983). "Jennifer O'Neill Swept Into Role In 'Bare Essence'". The News and Courier. p. 3-D.
  6. Cover Girl Advertising Oral History & Documentation Project, 1959–1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
  7. Purdum, Todd S. (8 April 1987). "EMMY-WINNING PRODUCER SHOT TO DEATH IN OFFICE". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  8. Stevenson, Laura (November 24, 1975). "Unlucky in Love". People.
  9. Whitehouse, Franklin (October 24, 1982). "Shooting of Jennifer O'Neill is believed accidental". The New York Times.
  10. "THE REGION; O'Neill Shooting Called an Accident". The New York Times . October 26, 1982.
  11. "Actress claims shooting was accident", Minden Press-Herald , October 26, 1982, p. 1
  12. O'Neill, Jennifer (2002). From Fallen to Forgiven. Thomas Nelson. ISBN   978-0-8499-1715-8.
  13. "People vs. Politicians". National Catholic Register . May 8, 2007. p. 8.
  14. 1 2 Mosher, Megan (September 16, 2011). "Restoration House Celebrates 25 years". Daily Star. Hammond, Louisiana. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  15. "Jennifer O'Neill Bio". The Grable Group. September 16, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2012.