Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tiny grave for a giant

Allison Hayes, a Hollywood B-movie starlet of the 50s, became famous for his portrayal of the "monstrous" vixen in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Since roles like that have a way of type-casting stars, and that the next giant woman attack film was made decades after her death (a remake, with Darryl Hannah), Allison never went on to further glory, although she did achieve cult status. Very few people are aware that Allison fought her toughest battle off-screen. She passed away in 1977 as a result of lead blood poisoning from the consumption of a daily calcium food supplement prescribed by a doctor in 1962. In the years between 1964 and her death, Allison fought tooth-and-nails against the medical establishment to prove the cause of her poisoning and to get the substance banned. The FDA, which had always considered food supplements a "gray area", was finally moved by Allison's battle to incorporate health food issues into its 1977-78 compliance programs. For a concise bio, please, click here to read the wonderful article by Jackrandall Earles. To echo Mr. Earles, if you enjoyed Allison's films and happen to be in L.A., do drop by her tiny grave in Holy Cross Cemetery and leave a flower.

Here's the original trailer of her most memorable picture...

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