|Born:||September 6, 1942|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died:||January 13, 1985 (aged 42)|
Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico
Carol Wayne (September 6, 1942 – January 13, 1985) was an American television and film actress. She was best known for her many appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson as the Matinée Lady.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Wayne began her show business career as a teenage figure skater in the Ice Capades along with her younger sister Nina Wayne (born September 18, 1943). The Wayne Sisters later became showgirls of the Folies Bergère at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Carol followed Nina to Hollywood in the mid 1960s and the sisters began appearing in TV shows of the era.
While Wayne did television guest shots on I Spy (as the title character in the episode "Trouble With Temple"), Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie (as dim-witted starlet "Bootsie Nightingale"), Love American Style, Emergency! and The Fall Guy , she also appeared in many sketches on the Red Skelton show. She gained her greatest fame for 100-plus appearances (1971–1982) as the buxom Matinée Lady on The Tonight Show in Johnny Carson's popular Art Fern's Tea Time Movie sketches.<ref name=imdbcredits></ref> After her death, Carson kept the Art Fern character off the air for most of the next year. He eventually hired Danuta Wesley and later Teresa Ganzel to be his new Matinée Lady.
Wayne made appearances on several game shows including Mantrap and Hollywood Squares. She was a regular panelist on Celebrity Sweepstakes.<ref name=celebrity></ref> She landed roles in several films, including Gunn, The Party (both directed by Blake Edwards), and Savannah Smiles. Her final onscreen appearance, including a nude scene, came in the 1984 drama Heartbreakers.<ref name=imdbcredits />
In 1984, Wayne appeared in a nude pictorial for Playboy magazine. That same year, she filed for bankruptcy.<ref name=celebrity />
Wayne was married three times. Her second husband was rock and roll photographer Barry Feinstein (the father of her only son, Alex), and her third husband was television/film producer Burt Sugarman, who served as producer on Celebrity Sweepstakes.<ref name=celebrity /> Wayne told Johnny Carson in a 1974 interview that she enjoyed gardening and growing bonsai trees.
In January 1985 Wayne and her companion Edward Durston were vacationing at the Las Hadas Resort in Manzanillo Colima, Mexico. After an argument with Durston, Wayne reportedly left to take a walk on the beach. Wayne's body was found three days later in the shallow bay by a local fisherman.<ref name=mystery></ref> In her final interview on The Tonight Show, while discussing her role in her upcoming movie Surf II, Wayne told Carson she couldn't swim.
After the discovery of Wayne's body, authorities discovered Durston had checked out of the resort the day the couple argued, leaving Wayne's luggage at the airport. An autopsy performed in Mexico later revealed no signs of drugs or alcohol in Wayne's body.<ref name="mystery"/> Her death was eventually ruled as "accidental".<ref></ref>
Carol Wayne was cremated.<ref></ref> At the time of her death, her son Alex was approximately 13 years old.
In 2000 the series Mysteries and Scandals explored the circumstances surrounding Wayne's death.<ref></ref>
- Gunn (1967)
- The Party (1968)
- Scavenger Hunt (1979)
- Gypsy Angels (1980)
- Savannah Smiles (1982)
- Surf II (1984)
- E. Nick: A Legend in His Own Mind (1984)
- Heartbreakers (1984)
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E (1 episode, 1966)
- The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1 episode, 1966)
- I Spy (1 episode, 1967)
- Occasional Wife (1 episode, 1967)
- I Dream of Jeannie (1 episode, 1967)
- Bewitched (1 episode, 1969)
- The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1 episode, 1971)
- The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson (1971-1982)
- Love, American Style (6 episodes, 1970-1972)
- Mannix (1 episode, 1972)
- Every Man Needs One (1972)
- The Girl with Something Extra (1 episode, 1973)
- Emergency! (1 episode, 1974)
- Heaven on Earth (1979)
- The Big Black Pill (1981)
- The Fall Guy (2 episodes, 1981)