In the fifth grade, we went with friends to our one-horse town's lone movie house to see something called Logan's Run. When you appeared on screen our best friend Danny Tatterson whispered "dude, that's the Wella Balsam chick!"
We came away from that flick thinking it was actually a good idea to make people to fly around a carousel and explode on their thirtieth birthday (which seemed a century away), not to mention that coolio gadget that enabled the citizens of bubble-town to browse homo or hetero hump mates from the comfort of home; "wow" we thought, "I hope they invent that when I grow up." But walking home from The Evergreen Bijou, all Danny Tatterson could talk about was "Creamy" (his retarded nickname for you).
Then came Charlie's Angels. That poster. That mega-watt smile, warm and bright as the first sunny day of summer. Holy crap. Suddenly everyone wanted to have you or be you, and we'll leave it to Jesus to figure out which camp we were in. You were single-handedly responsible for making everyone we know (including yours truly), compulsively feather their hair; an unfortunate plague that afflicted Bonnie Franklin, The Bee Gees, and everyone in between (and reaching its tragic apex with Blair in The Facts of Life). You dazzled. If we hated you for anything, it was because you'd taken The Six Million Dollar Man off the market.
So what if you were capable of chronic ditziosity? Aren't we all? You also handed Bill Cosby's ass to him on a platter in a wicked tennis match on Battle of the Network Stars (remember THAT?). And you proved that beneath your seriously pretty face and rockin' bod you had real chops. The Burning Bed is what everyone will talk about. But Extremities was a better performance; harrowing, intense and empowering. Beyond that, anyone who saw you in The Apostle wondered silently to themselves "Damn, she's good. Why doesn't she work more?"
And today. Today, the Pilsburry Doughboy that used to be Ryan O'Neal is reprising the final scene of Love Story, that movie in which his gorgeous girlfriend dies of cancer, long before her time. Why can't the Ayatollah die of ass rot? Kim Jong Il? Robert Mugabe? Bernie Madoff? Where Do I Begin?
And today, on the first sunny day to bless NYC this summer, Jill Munroe is gone. And suddenly, sadly, middle-aged folks like me (for whom age thirty, once again, seems a century away) look back on the time when you exploded onto the national scene as suddenly as the hormones in our adolescent bodies. And today, we feel a lot older. And sadder.
RIP and so long, Creamy. You were a beauty.
Charlie sez: "Angels, your mission is to subscribe to this blog's feed."