Cute, bubbly, and engaging blonde actress Joy Bang blithely epitomized the quintessential, free-spirited, groovy and funky late 1960s/early 1970s hippie girl, almost always playing with infectiously naughty, upbeat good humor the kind of brash young woman who’s very open, unabashed, and uninhibited about her sexuality. She was born Joy Wener on June 15, 1945 in Kansas City, Missouri, and was raised by adoptive parents in New York City. Bang made her film debut in the obscure and little-seen Separation (1968). Among Joy’s most memorable parts are one of the titular young women in Roger Vadim’s Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), a rock groupie in the excellent Cisco Pike (1971), Woody Allen’s date who gets abducted by bikers in Play It Again, Sam (1972), and drug dealer John Lithgow’s fed-up, long-suffering girlfriend in Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues (1972). Moreover, Bang had a rare lead as a naive biology student who runs afoul of a lethal, seductive jungle-dwelling snake goddess in the bizarre Filipino fright feature Night of the Cobra Woman (1972) and contributed a nice turn as a flaky lady who gets attacked in a movie theater full of zombies in the equally offbeat horror oddity Messiah of Evil (1973) (aka Messiah of Evil). Besides her film credits, Bang also acted in TV commercials and did guest spots on such TV shows as Police Story (1973), Adam-12 (1968), Room 222 (1969), Medical Center (1969), Hawaii Five-O (1968), and Mission: Impossible (1966). Bang was at one point romantically linked with Keith Moon, the drummer for the rock group The Who. She was also in the running for the lead in the hippie road movie Thumb Tripping (1972), but the role ultimately went to Meg Foster instead. Joy Bang abruptly stopped acting in the mid-1970s and has since gone on to become a nurse who works and lives in Minnesota.
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