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The Sex Symbol

jack alvah director kelly

(ABC, 9/17/1974, 90 mins). A thinly disguised drama, from Alvah Bessie’s 1966 novel “The Symbol,” suggested by Marilyn Monroe’s life and death, with Connie Stevens flaunting her undeniable charms, Shelley Winters as a Hollywood gossip columnist, Don Murray as an attractive married U.S. senator, Nehemiah Persoff as a European-accented studio czar, James Olson as a cerebral artist who becomes the star’s husband, et al. Apparently anticipating a libel suit, ABC Television yanked this film prior to its original premiere in early March 1974 and tried to keep it under wraps. Eduard Franz redubbed the voice of Dr. Otto Litsky for theatrical showings overseas.

Production Companies Douglas S. Cramer Productions, Columbia Pictures Television. Director David Lowell Rich. Producer Douglas S. Cramer. Teleplay Alvah Bessie. Based on a Novel by Alvah Bessie. Photography J. J. Jones. Music Jeff Williams. Theme song by Francis Lai. Editor Byron ‘Buzz’ Brandt. Art Director Ross Bellah.

Cast Connie Stevens (Kelly Williams/Emmaline Kelly), Shelley Winters (Agatha Murphy), Jack Carter (Manny Fox), William Castle (Jack P. Harper), Don Murray (Sen Grant O’Neal), James Olson (Calvin Bernard), Nehemiah Persoff (Nikos Fortis), Madlyn Rhue (Joy Hudson), Milton Selzer (Phil Bamberger), Tony Young (Rick Roman), William Smith (Buck Wischnewski), Rand Brooks (Edward Kelly), Malachi Throne (Voice of Dr. Otto Litsky), Frank Loverde (Investigator), Bing Russell (Public relations man), Dennis Wayne Rucker (Tom Brown), Joseph Turkel (Director), Jack Collins (Ted Brown), Rita Guerrero (Serena), Albert Able (1st reporter), Burr Smidt (2nd reporter).

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