TV Guide, June 28th, 1958

Making a Graceful Entry into TV

Television has recruited a lady steeplejack as a quiz contestant and put assorted boxers, precision drill teams and retired actresses to work in various other entertaining capacities. It may now have acquired -- permanently -- its first ballerina in 20-year-old Yvonne Craig, a native of Columbus, Ohio, a product of Dallas, Texas, and for three years the second-youngest of the 36 members of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

Yvonne, eldest of a Texas aircraft worker's three children, made her TV debut March 14 in a relatively minor role in a Schlitz Playhouse drama. She played Paul Douglas's son's girl friend in a vehicle called "Honor System." Three weeks later she was back on Schlitz as the star of a vehicle of her own, "Papa Said No." She played the heroine daughter in an inter-continental-family comedy which was tested on Playhouse as the pilot for a possible Yvonne Craig series.

Yvonne stands 5 feet 4, possesses a set of refreshingly cat-like features and is sometimes mistaken for Gigi Perreau by people who have met Miss Perreau.

As an actress she is the discovery of Edmond Chevie, a former Universal-International producer. He cast her in a film called "Eighteen and Anxious" after seeing her on tour as the Flower Girl in the Ballet Russe's "Gaite Parisienne." Later Chevie became her manager, got her the lead in an independent film, "The Young Land" (for which her California tan was dyed white), then landed her on TV, her most recent outing being on a Perry Mason episode.

A curious mixture of midwestern reticence, continental sophistication and Texas independence, Yvonne, then dancing for $92 a week, turned down the first picture role Chevie offered her -- in "Rock, Pretty Baby" -- because "I didn't like the story, I'd never done any acting and I wasn't convinced he was really a producer."

Yvonne now lives in Hollywood and says that in Dallas, which she left for New York at 16 on a New York School of American Ballet scholarship, she is not yet a celebrity. "The only time the Ballet Russe played there, I fell down. Right on stage. Right in the middle of a split. Talk about poise, charm, grace! Talk about a triumph! Brother!"

© 1996 - 2001

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