Who is Joey Heatherton?

She is a singer, dancer, and actress with nearly 30 acting credits to her name, however, Joey Heatherton rose to prominence thanks to her sensual dancing on television, which some viewers considered shocking, with critics saying that her dance is ‘sleazy eroticism’.

Despite the critics and shocked viewers, the army of her fans was countless. In 1977 and 1978, she was nominated for the Photoplay Award for Favorite Variety Star, and was twice nominated for two Laurel Awards, once for Top Female New Face (14th place) in 1964, and two years later for New Faces, Female (13th place).

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Early life, family, and education

Born Davenie Johanna Heatherton under the zodiac sign of Virgo on 14 September 1944, in New York City USA, she holds American nationality. She was raised in Rockville Center, close to New York City, by her parents Ray Heatherton and Davenie Ross Watson. She has a brother Dick, who was a disc jockey. Their father, Ray was a Broadway star, and their mother a dancer.

Being raised by two performers, it isn’t surprising that Joey – since childhood – followed in her parent’s footsteps. At the age of six, Joey began studying ballet at the Dixon McAfee School of Dance, then went to study under the famous George Balanchine, often referred to as ‘the father of American ballet’. As a teenager, Joey also studied modern jazz dance, dramatics, and voice.

Speaking of her educational background, she attended the Saint Agnes Academy, and upon matriculating in 1962, she didn’t go to college but pursued her career in entertainment.

Roles in series

Joey made her acting debut as Karen Emerson in an episode of the series “Route 66” in 1960. Three years later, she was seen as Gloria Blaine in an episode of the series “The Virginian”, and later that year, guest-starred in “Mr. Novak” and “Arrest and Trial”, followed by her role in “The Doctors and the Nurses” in 1963.

The late ‘60s saw Joey mostly guest starring in numerous series, including the four-time Primetime Emmy-awarded comedy series “I Spy” in 1966. The early ‘70s saw her as a Waitress in an episode of the series “The New Candid Camera” in 1974, a weekly hidden camera series hosted by Allen Funt.

Joey last appeared in an episode of the series “Laverne & Shirley” in 1981.

Roles in movies

We can say that Joey’s movie roles were numerous and more successful than her those in television series. She made her first movie appearance as Laura Mae Brown in the 1963 movie “Twilight of Honor”, a crime drama that followed the story of a young defense attorney who gets a murder case that can’t be won, thus he asks his friend for help. This movie starring Richard Chamberlain, Nick Adams, and Claude Rains, had three award nominations, two for Oscars (Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role-N. Adams), and one for the Golden Globe- Most Promising Newcomer – Female, which Joey Heatherton received.

Next, Joey was cast to play Danielle Valerie Miller in the 1964 drama “Where Love Has Gone”, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Music, Original Song.

Joey’s first lead role came in the 1965 mystery drama “My Blood Runs Cold”, also starring Troy Donahie, which although having no nominations, was well-rated by the audience.

Three years later, she co-starred in the TV movie “Of Mice and Men”, followed by her role as Princess Violet in the 1970 TV Movie “The Fifth Dimension Special: An Odyssey in the Cosmic Universe of Peter Max”.

In the following year, Joey was seen in the TV movie “The Powder Room”, and then, returned on the big screen as Anne in the 1972 crime drama “Bluebeard”, starring Raquel Welch and Richard Burton, followed by her role in the 1973 TV movie “Old Faithful”.

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In 1977, Joey was back in cinemas, playing the lead role as Xaviera Hollander in “The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington”, starring opposite George Hamilton. It was a comedy that followed the story of Xaviera, the most famous madam, who is now a magazine magnate; she was summoned to Washington for trial as a prime example of moral decline in America. The movie had no nominations.

Almost a decade later, Joey was seen in “The Perils of P. K.”, the 1986 comedy which was poorly rated by both critics and the audience. In 1990, Joey was cast to play Milton’s Mother in “Cry-Baby”, a musical comedy starring Johnny Depp, Ricki Lake, and Amy Locane, which followed the story of a bad boy who wins the love of a good girl.

Most recently, Joey was seen 20 years ago, playing Serta Spokeswoman in the comedy-drama “Reflections of Evil”, which won the Fantasia Ground-Breaker Award in 2003.

Where is she today?

Joey released her debut “The Joey Heatherton Album”, back in 1972, but it wasn’t a commercial success. The album was re-released in 2004, with a nude photo of Joey taken while she was filming “Bluebeard” on the cover, however, this did not help the album’s sales. People saw this as her last attempt to somehow reach the fame she had in the early ‘60s.

She has no social media accounts, and her last public appearance was back in 2004, so finding out more about her life is difficult. Some rumors claimed that she’s never recovered from her divorce, which appeared to have affected not only her personal life but also her acting career.

She lives in her parents’ home in Rockville Centre.

Love life and husband

Joey has been the subject of numerous rumors and controversies concerning her love life, as she was romantically linked to numerous celebrity men from the entertainment industry, however, she was once married.

Her husband was Lance Rentzel, a former wide receiver who played for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League (NFL). The two married on 12 April 1969, but in November 1970, her husband was arrested for exposing himself to a ten-year-old girl; in September of the following year, Joey filed for divorce, which was finalized in 1972.

In 1986, Joey was arrested for assault after she stabbed her then-boyfriend Jerry Fisher, who was also her manager, in the hand with a knife, however, Jerry dropped the charge against Joey.

As of late 2022, it is assumed that Joey is single, she was once married, and she doesn’t have children.

Age, height, and net worth

Joey is 78 years old. This former sex icon was known for her petite figure, standing at 5ft 5ins (1.65m) and weighing around 120lbs (55kgs), with vital statistics of 34-25-34. Her long, curly blonde hair and blue eyes were her distinguishing features.

If you’re wondering how rich Joey is today, according to sources, her net worth is estimated to be close to $5 million as of late 2022, though many people believe she inherited her parents’ wealth.

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