At the age of 21 years, our blue-eyed brunette actress had the versatility to play either a tomboy, a sex-kitten or even an vengeful vixen while all the while still looking glamorous, arrived on the Hollywood scene in 1964 and quickly snagged a role as Maggie on the popular television show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
Michele was born on February 26th, 1943 in Annapolis, Maryland. Her father was a wrestling coach at the Naval Academy before relocating his family to Rochester, Minnesota to continue his medical studies. Michele was a child prodigy at the piano. By age thirteen, she would perform on stage with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra. Her father would relocate his family to Colorado where he would practice medicine for many years. It was while living in Colorado that Michele learned how to ride horses and with her blossoming looks, she slowly moved away from her musical studies and began modeling. At the age of 18, she decided to leave Colorado to become a professional model and after a short but highly successful career with the Powers Modeling Company, she decided to move to Hollywood in 1964 to pursue an acting career.
In 1965, she landed a role as Rita Talbot, the young and sexy girlfriend of James Callahan on the television series, “Wendy and Me” which featured George Burns and Connie Stevens. She also landed a role on “Burke’s Law” as Bianca Andrade. During the summer, she got her first movie role of her young career as that of the kimono clad beauty Michele in “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini” Her character would have a nasty run-in with a very angry and jealous Annette Funicello. Despite landing only minor roles during her first full year in Hollywood, her career as an actress was about to explode.
The famed director, Howard Hawks would give Michele her big break in 1966 when he would give her a starring role in the John Wayne movie “El Dorado” featuring Robert Mitchum and James Caan. Portraying the role of the rebellious Josephine (Joey) MacDonald who had mistook the “Duke” as having murdered her brother, she shoots him in the back only to have the “Duke” knock her off her feet and throw her rifle into a nearby river. Her horseback riding lessons that she had learned while living in Colorado helped to demonstrate to her fellow actors that she could handle a horse just as well as they could. In fact, both Hawks and Wayne would commend her on not just her acting abilities, but that of her horseback riding and rifle shooting skills. Later that year, she would also land a role on the hip television show “T.H.E. Cat” as Julie Roth.
During 1967, Michele would star on the television series “Run for Your Life” as Margo and later as Gerda Sariff in the first of her two performances on the popular television series “The Wild Wild West” In the episode “The Night of the Feathered Fury” her charm and exquisite beauty was showcased as well as her online chemistry with Robert Conrad . During the summer, she would once again return to the big screen for her next role in the 1968 movie “The Sweet Ride” as a porn star named Thumper Stevens. Her character would fall in and out of love with a beatnik jazz pianist played by Bob Denver. The movie has since become a cult favorite as it depicts the lifestyle of the 1960’s surfer from Malibu Beach.
"The Sweet Ride" would catch the eye and the attention of her next co-star, Elvis Presley who demanded that she be given an opportunity to star opposite him in “Live a Little, Love a Little.” A role that has became one of her fan's most favorite and one of Elvis’ favorite movies. In the role of Bernice, who was a mini-skirted, free-spirited but somewhat confused young woman, who would change her name as often as she changed her moods. She would drive Elvis crazy throughout the movie until he finally falls in love with her. The chemistry between Elvis and Michele can easily be compared to that of his with Ann Margret in the hit movie “Viva Las Vegas”.
Her roles of Thumper and Bernice would lead to her being casted in another leading role as that of Julie in the 1969 movie “Changes.” She plays the role of a young divorcee who falls in love with a drifter (Kent Lane) before realizing that he could never give her what she desired in life. Her role as Julie is acclaimed by many of her fans as being one of her best acting performances.
During 1969, Michele remained busy starring on several popular television series. On “Mission Impossible” she played an IMF agent named Lisa, where once again, her beauty and grace is showcased. She also stars as Laurette on her second appearance on “Wild Wild West” and appears on “The Name of the Game” television series as Evvy. Before the year would come to an end, she would star on the television series “The F.B.I.” as Meredith Schaeffer.
The year 1970 would find Michele in her first leading role as that of Alice McAndrew in the movie “The Animals” which today is also known as “The Five Savages.” In this movie, she plays the role of a school teacher who is savagely raped and left for dead by five outlaws. She is saved by an Apache renegade who nurtures her back to health. He also teaches her how to hunt with a bow and arrow and how to shoot his rifle. With his help, she exacts revenge on the five outlaws by hunting them down and killing them one by one.
She also stars as a mini-skirted Indian girl named Anna Hot Water in Frank Sinatra’s western-comedy “Dirty Dingus MaGee.” Her character helps the bumbling outlaw escape the long-arm of the law played by George Kennedy. During the course of the movie, she wants to do “Bim Bam” with old blue eyes but keeps getting interrupted. Anna Hot Water is considered one of her fan’s favorite characters. Also during the year, she would find time to star opposite of Robert Wagner in the television hit series, “It Takes a Thief” as Sharon Foster. Again, she demonstrates to her fans that she can easily turn on the chemistry with her male co-star.
During 1971, Michele is cast as Betsy Jamison on the popular TV western show “Alias Smith and Jones” playing a gold-digger that is fooled by the two reformed outlaws. Her role as Betsy is yet another fan favorite as she once again purrs as a sex-kitten. She would return to the silver screen as Brian Keith’s granddaughter Amanda McCandless in the Disney movie, “Scandalous John” and is kept busy keeping her delusional grandpa from shooting up the town while at the same time slowly falling in love with the son of the land-grabber trying to steal her grandpa's ranch.
During the season of 1972, Michele famously stars as Tara Hutson on the most popular TV western of all time, “Gunsmoke.” In this episode, she plays the role of a woman who comes to Dodge City with a big secret. Although, Deputy Newly falls madly in love with her, by the end of the show, he has to reluctantly place her under arrest. Another fan favorite as she plays a bad little girl. Later during the year, she stars alongside Rich Little on “Love, American Style.” playing Mildred who becomes confused by her fiance's multiple personalities.
At the tender age of thirty, the year 1973 would be known as the year of TV movies as Michele stars in three of them. First in the TV thriller “The Norliss Tapes” as Marsha Sterns, a woman who meets a grisly end very reminiscent of the infamous “Psycho” shower scene. Then she stars as Allison Baker in “The Savages” and finally as Cynthia Holland in “The Six Million Dollar Man” TV movie entitled “Wine, Woman and War.” Michele also found time before the end of the year to star on the television series “Adam’s Rib” as Diana.
Only one screen credit is given for Michele during 1974 and it was for a role on the short-lived television series “Dirty Sally” as Dolly. Over the next few years, Michele is absent from Hollywood before returning for the 1977 TV movie “Delta County, U.S.A.” as Jonsie Wilson. During the same year, she has roles on “The Man from Atlantis” as a gangster’s mistress and on the hit show “Starsky and Hutch” as a prostitute madam named Nikki. As the year comes to an end, Michele would return to the big screen as a party girl named Ora Lee Tingle in the "The Choirboys.”
In 1978, she returns once again to the hit TV show “Starsky and Hutch” as a very sexy car dealer named Catlin. In 1979, it was another return to TV movies as Michele stars as saloon owner Maggie in “The Man with the Golden Gun” and as the wife of a KKK Grand Wizard in “Dandy” Don Meredith’s “Undercover with the KKK.” She closes out the decade with a recurring role as Elfie, the voice of a super-computer on Robert Conrad’s popular television show “A Man Called Sloane.”
Michele would return as Elfie in the 1981 TV movie “Death Ray 2000” and in 1982 starring again with Lee Majors on his popular series “The Fall Guy” as Crystal. She also plays a policewoman on the TV movie “Rooster” during the same year. Limiting herself to only appearing on the big screen, Michele would leave the world of television and find roles in two movies before ending her acting career.
In 1986, she would travel to Kenya to play the role of Ginny Hansen, a hotel owner in movie “The Shadows of Kilimanjaro” Michele is still very attractive and just as beautiful as ever at the young age of 43. And finally in 1987, she plays her last role in the horror movie “The Stay Awake.” With over thirty television and movie roles to her credit, our lovely Michele Carey would say goodbye to Hollywood and has since lived a very quiet and private life.