Friday, March 13, 2009

Rediscovering the Past: The Kim Richards Edition

Apparently the world is conspiring to force Kim Richards back into my life.

Now Kim Richards' name may not be instantly recognizable to many, but I think just about any straight male or bi-curious/lesbian female who hit the magical age of ten years old between the years 1975 and 1990 probably had a crush on her, even if her name does not ring a bell.

For those who may need a reminder, Kim Richards was Tia in the original Witch Mountain series and starred in a slew of Disney movies in the mid-to-late-70s and branched out into other work like the original The Assault on Precinct 13 and The Car. She also landed the role of Ruthie Adler in the "Diff'rent Strokes" spin-off "Hello, Larry".

While you might think that it was the new Witch Mountain movie that has stirred up memories of a childhood crush, it actually is almost entirely coincidental. About a week and a half ago, Chad and I went to The Legend of Billie Jean (which I've actually been meaning to post about) at the Alamo downtown and before the movie they showed a bunch of Youth in Revolt trailers one of which was for Tuff Turf, which was more or less an 80s re-imagining of Rebel Without a Cause starring James Spader. Since seeing the trailer, we have been itching to see the movie. Well, last night Meatballs II was on and this was the first film in which Kim Richards looks like this:


Well, I saw Tuff Turf tonight with Chad, Mark, and Jack Attack, and it was pretty damn awesome. When I first saw the trailer a little while back, Spader's love interest looked very familiar, but the film was very of its day, and Richards was made up in such a way that I did not immediately recognize her. She spends the entire film being pretty damn hot. And the film--aside from its somewhat unconventional usage of performed music in the film (songs performed in their entirety--and that is plural songs)--is honestly pretty badass. While Spader certainly seems to have suffered from Campbell Scott Syndrome* as a young man, he is about 1,000 times cooler than Campbell Scott could ever have dreamed of being and quite successfully pulls off the semi-aloof rebel character--complete with leather jacket and a sidekick (although I don't think anyone would ever say Robert Downey, Jr. was lame, while the same can not be said about Sal Mineo).

*As I think I have stated in this space before while talking about Singles, I think, Campbell Scott seems to have been born as a 35-year-old man. I think it is safe to say that James Spader sort of suffers the same affliction. While he certainly was age-appropriate to play the part of a high schooler (under 25), he still didn't look it.

But back to Kim Richards, she looked really great in the film, which led me to begin wondering what ever happened to her? Well, Tuff Turf was essentially the last movie she did before having kids. She did one more movie five years later, Escape, but after that left acting for the next decade-plus. Well, while I was trying to find out what happened to her I discovered perhaps the weirdest part of her story. Her sister? Paris Hilton's mother.

I can't say I have ever liked listening to Paris Hilton talk because she is, quite frankly, a bit on the vapid side. That being said, I have always found her kind of oddly attractive. I mean, she repulses me with her actions and demeanor, but there was always something about her that kind of appealed to me. Finding out that on some level, there is a bit of Kim Richards in her DNA makes me feel a whole lot better about that.

Now to get back to it, here is a clip from Tuff Turf:

The credits only list Jonathan Elias as a songwriter on the soundtrack listing, so I have to hope that Spader was singing there. Here is the real reason that you would want to watch this movie, though.

The weirdest thing about both of those clips is that the music is kind of out of sync, tonally, with the true nature of the film, which is actually quite a bit darker than the Jack Mack and the Heart Attack in the trailer, too.

18 comments:

KRD said...

You don't even mention what I would argue is the "hottest" thing about Kim Richards, which is her sort of surprisingly gravel-y voice.

Having recently seen Pretty in Pink for the 88th time, I can completely support your Spader comments. Let me add that, even though he did look over 35 in that film, I think it does me credit that I found HIM the most attractive dude in the film, even though I was only in 5th grade when I first saw it. Obviously I had an eye for quality, even then.

Old Man Duggan said...

Richards' voice is hot. In fact, I'd venture to say her voice is hott.

No love for Andrew McCarthy? Jon Cryer? For shame.

KRD said...

The double t is appropriate.

A little love. But c'mon. I could already foresee that McCarthy was going to end up cheeseball (Weekend at Bernie's. II?) and even then I could intuit that Cryer's sexuality was suspect.

I mean, put the careers of these guys up against the man who was in both Sex, Lies and Video Tape and Secretary. My love was justified.

Old Man Duggan said...

I think you're writing the star of Hiding Out off a little prematurely...

Connie Tebyani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie Tebyani said...

Keep your eye peeled. She's coming back onto the scene soon enough to get your next "fix". ;)

Anonymous said...

yes KRD, it was always obvious that James Spader was the only really cool guy, along with robert downey jnr, in the brat pack- and even they were a little too glossy for me- I can't say that there is a single brat packer whose presence alone would make me want to watch anything they were in.

i grew up in the eighties and always hated them....

looking back the eighties make the seventies look great - and they looked bad compared to the sixties. the oughts are okay, better than the nineties which were like a naive reaction against the eighties.....lol

Anonymous said...

Kim is vary Hot lady.

posted by Sprmcandy

Glauber enio said...

O tempo é cruel no filme Turf,Turf o rebelde lançado aqui no Brasil em 1985 ela era linda, eu era apaixonado pelos cabelos dela ela era perfeita, muito sucesso a você

Glauber Kenio said...

Ela era linda nesse tempo do filme Turf,Turf o Rebelde(1985)no Brasil como o tempo é malvado,ele nunca para,eu era completamente apaixonado por ela,ela anda sumida dos cinemas muito talentosa grande beijo a você e mais sucesso

ryan said...

i had a crush on kim richards since the withch mountain days,...i am 41,....i did not see her again until tuff turf and was amazed at her beauty and gruff voice!! anyway i happen to be a fan of the brat pack and agree entirely with the comments made about some of the members youthful appearance, but i am wondering,....why was'nt richards a brat pack member,.....perhaps demi moore captured those qualities just as well,...but if you ask me,...i am a fan of kims' all the way,...i would love to see her in a role again!!

Josh "Old Man" Duggan said...

@ Ryan - Am I correct in assuming that you are speaking about something other than her turn as herself in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?

ryan said...

yes josh that is right,... a movie role.

<< Robert Downey Jr. Gurl >> said...

ROBERT DOWNEY JR IS SO HOT!!!!! When he was young and now tat hes older hes still hot!! << Robert Downey Jr. Gurl >>

chrisb said...

As a kid myself of the 70s and early 80s, I too was fascinated by Kim Richards. Had a mild crush on her in the witch mountain days, though she is a few years older. But it was her part as Ruthie in "Hello, Larry" that sent me over the edge. She was my dream girl at that point, and exactly what I wanted in a girlfriend for myself. After Tuff Turf she fell off the map. I remember seeing he again on some Hollywood magazine show in about 1991 looking good as ever and with her "fiance", a guy named John Colett. At first, I was jealous as all hell, but that changed when it was revealed he wasn't part of the Hollywood crowd, just a successful guy that like many of us, had a crush on Kim growing up. I thought "How awesome. That she was that genuine like that to actually consider a 'commoner' for a courtship. I thought that was awesome and was happy for both of them. Then a few months later I read a blip in the newspaper about her fiancee being murdered by a hit man. There wasn't much follow up on the story. For years I didn't see or hear much about her. So when the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills came out, I was sad to see what became of her. I kept thinking "How could such a beautiful, genuine person sink into something like this?" Even though she is still attractive for a woan in her late 40s, she seems so sad, bitter, tired, and full of turmoil. Then I saw an interview where so many people said that she went into depression after the 1991 murder of her fiancee and turned to alcohol and drugs. they said she never recovered from the sorrow of losing John. Enough to make a grown man cry. It may sound silly, but when you hear and see something like this, it's almost as if a piece of your childhood has been taken away forever. To see Kim from 1980 and contrast it to her now is heartbreaking. I pray she can somehow find peace and happiness in her life again.

Josh Duggan said...

Jesus, I'd never heard about her fiance being murdered. Shitty.

Steve Smith said...

I agree when Kim played Ruthie in different strokes it was obvious just how beautiful she was on both the outside and inside, but she also showed a hint of sadness, regardless of her set backs, I continue to be her fan, and prey for her everyday, good luck Kim

claire freeman said...

Back in 1985 I used to get Demi Moore mixed up with Kim Richards. WHen St. Elmo's Fire came out I thought it was Kim.

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