I never heard of Jeannie Millar until my friend Justin Levine posted a tribute on Facebook. I saw her picture and was smitten.
I investigated and found this: “On May 29, 2008, Jeannie Millar committed suicide in Los Angeles, California. During the last couple of years, Jeannie scaled back her acting career, married her third husband, and became a mother to Hannah – a cute baby with Downs Syndrome. Then two months later, Jeannie ended her life. Jeannie did not OD on drugs or prescription meds, but it wasn’t accidental either. After autopsy, the Los Angeles Coroner classified her death as “Suicide by Hanging.”
Jeannie grew up in a dysfunctional family, and she never knew her real mother, who died when Jeannie was an infant. She dropped out of Clark High School, and got caught up in the fast lane lifestyle of Las Vegas, Nevada, with all its vices. Throughout her life, there were times when Jeannie suffered from severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse. In her youth, she had two broken marriages that lasted one month apiece.”
What caught my attention was this:
Eventually, Jeannie headed to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actress and model. Although Jeannie achieved some success and film credits, her career was stagnant in recent years. Occasionally, Jeannie booked Background roles, but she was flustered that producers offered her just sleazy parts in their films.
Initially, Jeannie used her physical beauty and sensuality to seek recognition, but she realized later that it typecast her, and limited future opportunities. Jeannie wasn’t the first Hollywood actress to use her sexuality to promote herself, and then protest that she wanted to be considered a ‘serious’ actress!
I went to IMDB.com and found out Jeannie starred in such films as The Key to Sex, The Awakening of Gabriella and Love Goddesses of the World.
It seems to me that when a woman shows herself off to the world as a sex object, it’s pretty rare that the world looks back at her as anything other than a sex object. When a woman dresses seductively for a night on the town, she’s going to get guys who are primarily interested in her physical assets.
Jeannie’s story sounds so familiar. Beautiful girl. Wants attention. Abusive upbringing. Twisted relationship with her dad. Drugs. Mental illness. Chaotic relationships. Used her sexuality to make money, and was then surprised nobody took her seriously as an actress.