Connie Stevens (born August 8, 1938) is an American actress, directer, screenwriter and singer, best known for her role in the television series Hawaiian Eye and other TV and film work.
Born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia in Brooklyn, NY on Aug. 8, 1938, Connie Stevens was the daughter of jazz drummer Peter Ingoglia, who performed under the stage name of Teddy Stevens, and singer Eleanor McGinley. After her parents' divorce, she was raised largely by grandparents or by the staff of various Catholic boarding schools.
Blessed with a pleasant singing voice, she was performing professionally at an early age, first with three male vocalists in a group called the Foremost, and later, in an all-girl group called The Three Debs. At 15, she relocated to Los Angeles with her father, where she adopted his surname and worked as an extra and bit player in various teen-oriented films. 1958 proved to be her breakout year, with the release of her debut album, Conchetta, as well as her first major role as Jerry Lewis' love interest in "Rock-A-Bye Baby," a loose remake of "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" (1944). The following year, she was signed to a contract with Warner Bros., who placed her in their new detective series, "Hawaiian Eye."
Connie became an instant teen idol -- trendy and undeniably appealing. A couple of record hits came her way including "Sixteen Reasons" and the novelty song "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb".
Connie's acting talent was light and limited, however, and some attempts at adult film drama, including the title role in Susan Slade (1961), Parrish (1961), Palm Springs Weekend (1963) and Two on a Guillotine (1965) came and went.
In the 1970s, she refocused on her voice and started lining up singing commercials (Ace Hardware) while subsisting in nightclubs and hotels. Connie eventually built herself up as a Las Vegas headlining act. She also starred on Broadway with "The Star-Spangled Girl" and won a Theatre World Award for her performance in 1967. Comedian Bob Hope's made her one of his regular entertainers on his USO tours.
Sporadic films came her way every now and then. A TV-movie The Sex Symbol (1974) had her playing a tragic Marilyn Monroe type goddess. There was also innocuous fun with Grease 2 (1982) and Back to the Beach (1987) with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Episodics on Murder, She Wrote (1984), The Love Boat (1977) and Baywatch (1989) also kept her afloat -- but barely.
Once wed to actor James Stacy, she later married and divorced singer Eddie Fisher. From her union with Fisher came two daughters, Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, both of whom became actors. Single with two daughters, and completely out of sync with Hollywood, Connie started experiencing severe financial woes.
In the 1990s, the never-say-die personality began a new lucrative career in the infomercial game with skin-care and make-up products. She was unbelievably successful in turning her finances around. Now a self-made tycoon with her own successful beauty line to boot, Connie is living proof that anything can happen in that wild and wacky world called show biz.
Her proficiency as a businesswoman, as well as the longevity of her time in the spotlight, contributed to her 2005 election as secretary-treasurer of the Screen Actors' Guild, the second highest elected position in the governing body. She concluded her tenure with the Guild in 2007, then made her debut as a feature film director with "Saving Grace" (2009)
On June 29, 2013 the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution's President General, Merry Ann Wright, presented Connie with the Founder's Medal for Patriotism, for her 40+ years of work with the USO. She was applauded by more than 1,200 Daughters. (Info edited from mainly Starpulse.com & IMDB)