If you are not familiar, Angelyne is a Los Angeles icon. She’s part Hollywood folklore, part disintegrating dream, and many part boob all wrapped up in pink. The neon Corvette driver is mythic in that you barely see her face anymore and, while very forward with the paparazzi, is somehow quite coy. She’s both the epitome and antithesis of the fame whore.
While on the bus, I saw her pink drive zoom by and I started thinking about what Angelyne is like. What does she eat? Where does she live? Who is she? While a lot of those questions are probably impossible to answer, one I had a feeling I could get an answer to was how she sounded. I had realized that I had never heard her speak (or at least I didn’t recall how she sounded). Was she high pitched and mousey or low and guttural and great? I had to know.
A quick searching led me to one video which reminded me of another, both of which give you an idea of the “artist” then and now. The first is an interview she did with Australian television host Doug Mulray. The two sit by the pool of what I assume is The Roosevelt, where Angelyne sits quite openly and candidly speaks with Mulray about her origins, the cost of her billboards, and who her influence is. She comes off as extremely lovable, breathy, and as ridiculous as she is wonderful. There’s something so ahead-of-it-all about her. She was an Internet star before the Internet even existed.
The other interview is a favorite of mine from LA artist Alex Israel. It’s a part of his basically perfect 2012 art project called As It Lays, in which he conducted painful and delightfully awkward interviews with various types of celebrities. His interview with Angelyne happened in 2012 and was a rare glimpse of the mature living Barbie, one in which the camera almost is almost a threat. She spends most of her time cooing behind a fan in a pink room surrounded by visions of herself. Unlike the Mulray interview, something feels uncomfortable here. The loveliness of a young Hollywood ingenue has been swallowed up by an aged deliriousness, as if she’s been too drunk on assumed success that she now lives within a constructed cave of false achievement. I hate to say this but it must be said: it’s sad.
Yet, you have to love her. She’s so interesting, like a pink bubble you can’t wait to watch explode get bigger or smaller or land on something to be blown by the wind. She’s just such a character and a unique Los Angeles treasure. If you want to dig deeper into the world of Angelyne, you can watch vintage interviews with her on her YouTube channel here.