Beautiful California-born Angel Tompkins started her career out as a Chicago-area model before attempting an on-camera career in the late 60s. She made an assured (major) film debut as the seductive blonde who comes between husband and wife Elliott Gould and Brenda Vaccaro in the comedy I Love My Wife (1970). An irreverent vehicle for Gould, who was in the initial stages of his euphoric post-MASH (1970) super stardom, Angel experienced almost Bo Derek-like attention as Gould’s mistress and earned a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Newcomer” in the process. The camera obviously loved her and she immediately went into a slew of projects, but the quality was nowhere to be found after such a promising start.
Prime Cut (1972) at least co-starred Gene Hackman and Lee Marvin with newcomer Sissy Spacek in a featured role, but it bordered on trashy entertainment. Angel’s “Clarabelle” character did warrant some attention when Playboy magazine featured some nude scenes in their pages. Little Cigars (1973) has a minor cult following today but is no great shakes. Angel again played a mistress, this time a mobster’s gal, who joins a band of little people and robs banks and casinos. Such teasing sexploitation films as How to Seduce a Woman (1974) and The Teacher (1974), the latter co-starring the now-grownup Dennis the Menace (1959) Jay North, and violence-prone flicks including The Don Is Dead (1973), The Farmer (1977) and The Bees (1978) did not help in the long run.
On TV, Angel played a season on the short-lived Search (1972), and showed up in scores of guest spots as either a fetching diversion or fetching part of the action in such shows as The Wild Wild West (1965), Mannix (1967), Police Woman: Task Force: Part I (1976), Knight Rider (1982) and Simon & Simon (1981). She continued into the 80s but her filming remained standard. Playing a stripper who divorces Charles Bronson in Murphy’s Law (1986), she made her last film appearances in 1989 with the action-filled Relentless (1989) and Crack House (1989). A dedicated SAG board member all these years, Angel’s multiple runs for the presidency have thus far been unsuccessful.
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