Pia Zadora

  1. Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing, 1986.   The “million dollar title” was dreamt up  by Eleanor Bergstein before  starting her script about her earlier years – ”a porno title,” complained Patrick Swazye!  MGM, Miramax, Orion, Warner,  Universal, they all rejected the project as “too girly.” Hadn’t they seen Flashdance? (Even Paramount passed and it had made Flashdance!). Deciding to make movies, Vestron Video supplied the meagre budget after falling for the story  among 4,999 other dumped scenarios.   Mindy Cohn (Velma ‘s voice in the  Scooby-Doo! toons) was an unavailable first choice for Baby Houseman.  Next? Sarah Jessica Parker, Winona Ryder, Sharon Stone,  while Bergstein (who’d picked Swayze) saw Pia Zadora as her younger self. Off to her audition, Jennifer Grey said to her father, Cabaret star Joel Grey: “Wish me luck, Daddy.”  She didn’t need it. Although ten years older than Baby, she nailed it. The girls  and  guys (Benicio Del Toro, Patrick Swayze,  Billy Zane Adrien Zmed among the Johnnies), interchanged  in further tests to find The Couple. Jennifer begged: “Anyone but Patrick!” They had a good/bad history filming Red Dawn, put their differences aside.  After all… “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  Vestron  was  not sure what it hard and asked The Rose producer  Aaron Russo to take a look. His  advice: “Burn the negative and collect the insurance”! The little film that grew is still making $1m per year…  The fllm’s hit song  – (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” –  led  to something new at weddings: You can now lift the bride…  (Oh and Swayze turned down $6m or the sequel).

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  1