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Connie Stevens is an American actress and singer best known for her role in the television series “Hawaiian Eye.” Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingolia, her real name, was born in New York and had a rough upbringing. While her parents divorced when she was a child, she moved in with her grandmother. Stevens’ grandmother died when she was eight years old, and she was left alone once more. She witnessed a murder in Brooklyn when she was 12 years old, and the tragedy badly scarred her. She was, nevertheless, a brave young lady who carried on with her life. Her mother was a singer and her father was a jazz musician, so singing was in her blood. She started a singing quartet named The Foremost when she was a young child, with three male support vocalists. She ultimately made her way to Hollywood, where she was discovered by famed comedian Jerry Lewis, who put her in his film ‘Rock-a-Bye Baby.’ She later rose to prominence after portraying Cricket Blake in the ABC detective series ‘Hawaiian Eye.’ In the meantime, she had a string of successful singles and albums. She went into the cosmetics sector as a businesswoman after acting and singing, and she developed her own skin-care line, Forever Spring. She now devotes her time to a variety of humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives.

Childhood and Adolescence

Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingolia, better known as Connie Stevens, was born on August 8, 1938, in Brooklyn, New York. Peter, her father, was a jazz musician who went by the stage name Teddy Stevens, and Eleanor McGinley, her mother, was a singer. Stevens’ parents split when he was still a child. She moved in with her grandmother when her parents divorced. Her grandmother died when she was eight years old. She attended Catholic girls’ residential institutions for her schooling.

She was a witness to a horrific murder on a Brooklyn street in 1951, which left her scarred for life. She relocated to Boonville, Missouri, in order to forget about the tragedy. In the summer of 1951, the Missouri River overflowed its banks. Stevens was living with acquaintances from her family at the time. Because of the widespread destruction, she was compelled to relocate once more, this time to Los Angeles to live with her father.

She grew up loving music as a result of her parents’ occupation. She founded the vocal quartet ‘The Foremost,’ which was later known as The Lettermen, and was backed up by three male singers. In 1954, she formed ‘The Three Debs,’ an all-female trio band. She enrolled at San Fernando Valley’s Georgia Massey Professional School and performed in a small repertory theatre.

Career of Connie Stevens

Minor appearances in B-list Hollywood films such as ‘Young and Dangerous’ and ‘Eighteen and Anxious’ gave Connie Stevens her professional debut. The flicks were not well-received. Jerry Lewis, the famed comedian, praised her performance in the film “Dragstrip Riot.” He cast her in his film ‘Rock-a-Bye Baby’ after being impressed by her performance (1958). Warner Brothers quickly offered her a contract.

In 1958, she released her first album, ‘Concetta.’ With singles like ‘Blame It On My Youth,’ ‘Looking For A Boy,’ and ‘Spring Is Here,’ the album was a hit. She also appeared in the TV shows ‘Maverick’ and ’77 Sunset Strip,’ both produced by Warner Bros. On ABC’s detective program ‘Hawaiian Eye,’ she played the blond photographer and nightclub singer Cricket Blake in 1959. She became so well-known as a result of the job that Elvis Presley personally called her and invited her to his party.

She also released a few successful singles around the same time. ‘Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb’ and ‘Sixteen Reasons’ respectively charted at No. 4 and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her appearance in the television series “Hawaiian Eye” pigeonholed her as an airheaded blonde, making it harder for her to land more demanding roles. She earned the role of Wendy Conway alongside George Burns in the TV sitcom ‘Wendy and Me’ after a lot of hard work (1964-65).

In 1966, she earned notoriety by starring alongside Anthony Perkins in Neil Simon’s ‘The Star-Spangled Girl’ on Broadway. She then went on to appear in a few summer stock stage shows. She sang the theme song for Ace Hardware’s TV ads in the 1970s and participated in a number of shows, roasts, and films. She launched her own cosmetic skin-care line, ‘Forever Spring,’ in 1989, and struck a marketing deal with the Home Shopping Network. In the 1990s, she opened the Connie Stevens Garden Sanctuary Day Spa in Los Angeles.

In 1994, she and her two daughters recorded ‘Tradition: A Family at Christmas,’ and in 1997, she wrote, edited, and directed the documentary ‘A Healing.’ Her cosmetic line had grown to over $500 million in annual sales by 2000, with a customer base of over 3 million women. Currently, the company offers over 300 goods.

Major Projects of Connie Stevens

‘Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb’ and ‘Sixteen Reasons’ both charted at No. 4 and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. ‘A Healing,’ a documentary film she wrote, edited, and directed in 1997, garnered positive reviews. It chronicled the experiences of female Red Cross nurses during the Vietnam War.

Achievements & Awards

In Washington, DC, she received the Lady of Humanities Award from the Shriners Hospital and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Sons of Italy in 1991. At the 1998 Santa Clarita International Film Festival, the film ‘A Healing,’ based on the stories of Red Cross medics serving in the Vietnam War, was selected Best Film. Stevens wrote, produced, and directed the picture.

She is honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6249 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, and a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto. The Founder’s Medal for Patriotism was awarded to her by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution in 2013. For almost 40 years, she has been involved with the United Service Organization (USO).

Personal History and Legacy

Connie Stevens had two marriages throughout her life. Actor James Stacy was her first spouse; they married in 1963 and divorced in 1966. In 1967, she married singer Eddie Fisher. Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, actresses, were born to them after only 18 months of marriage. In 1969, the couple divorced. She had previous romances with actor Glenn Ford and famed singer Elvis Presley prior to her weddings.

Estimated Net Worth

Connie Stevens is a $50 million dollar actress and singer from the United States. Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia, better known as Connie Stevens, was born in Brooklyn, New York in August 1938. She was a member of the singing ensemble The Fourmost, which included Tony Butala, who subsequently went on to become one of The Lettermen.

Trivia

She is a philanthropist who has worked with the USO (United Service Organizations Inc.), a nonprofit organization that delivers activities, services, and live entertainment to US troops and their families.