EXPIRED: 03/01/10 – Steffi Sidney, 74, gave up a promising acting career to become a Hollywood writer, publicist and producer. What was she thinking?
As a young girl, she was surrounded by movie stars. How could she not be? Her dad was the legendary Hollywood gossip columnist Sidney Skolsky. She was friends with Shirley Temple. Cagney was with her father on the night she was born. Gary Cooper gave her her first dog. Later she hung out with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Lee Strausberg’s daughter, Susan.
Hollywood was her hometown. And her dad knew the dirt on everyone in it. In fact, he supposedly was the writer who first coined the name “Oscar” for the coveted little golden statue that’ll be handed out to the Hollywood elite this weekend.
Probably in an effort to get one of those Oscar statues in his own home, Skolsky pushed his daughter into acting and produced her first movie, “The Eddie Cantor Story,” in 1953.
No Academy Award for that forgettable role, but two years later Sidney did land a part in the teen angst classic “Rebel Without a Cause.” In it she played Mil, one of several girls who has nothing better to do than pester the title character, played by James Dean.
During her brief acting career, Sidney appeared in a few other movies, including “Hold Back Tomorrow,” “Peyton Place” and “The Hot Angel” before leaving films to write about Hollywood for teen magazines like Tiger Beat and TeenBeat. Afterwards, she produced TV commercials and started a public relations agency before retiring to Whidbey Island near Seattle where very few people knew she once shared screen space with the legendary rebel without a cause.