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Uh, That’s Hollywood : This Would-Be Star Pictures Herself With a Larger-Than-Life Image

Times Staff Writer

So just how do you expect the world’s next big star to make it in Hollywood?

Cross Schwab’s off the list. That hunting ground for an earlier generation of would-be celebrities sold its soda fountain and closed its doors a few years back.

So what’s a 28-year-old with a squeaky voice, a pink Corvette and a thin resume to do?

Commission an 85-foot-tall portrait of herself on an apartment building near Hollywood and Vine, that’s what.

It is part of the 6-year-old master plan concocted by Angelyne--this being Hollywood, her last name disappeared somewhere and has yet to be missed--and meant to take her from posters to billboards to murals to stardom faster than you can say Pia Zadora.

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“It was just the next obvious thing to do,” she giggled the other day, punctuating her line with a kind of Betty Boop trill she has adopted as her signature sound.

The notice she has achieved thus far has not come on the strength of hit records or movies. Instead, Angelyne has made a name for herself by doing little more than driving around in the aforementioned Corvette, chirping hello to fans and signing autographs for curious bystanders who figure that anyone who so resembles a punked-out Mamie Van Doren must be famous. In her own mind, she most definitely is.

“I got interviewed for this Canadian TV show, and everyone was coming up to me saying, ‘Angelyne, what do you do? Can I have your autograph?’ ”

“I’m the first person in the history of Hollywood to ever become famous for nothing,” she said blithely. “I’m not reliant on a TV show, a radio program, a movie company. . . .”

Just on her own single-minded propaganda machine, a gung-ho manager and a seemingly endless supply of money whose source is cautiously guarded.

Most things about the private Angelyne are cast under a similar veil of mystery. She won’t give her last name and admits only after much prompting that her age is 28. She says she was born in Hollywood and lives somewhere near Beverly Hills.

‘Just Like Liberace’

She was born with the name Angelyne, she says. “Angelyne--it has three syllables, just like Liberace!” she giggled.

The selling of Angelyne, or, as she prefers to mark it, the time when she “first started getting famous,” began in 1981. A previous manager papered Hollywood with 2-by-3-foot posters of Angelyne. Then her current manager began buying up billboards and plastering even larger portraits of the would-be star around town.

One billboard made it into the opening montage of the “Moonlighting” television show; another picture was featured in National Geographic magazine--"Just me! I’m part of the Hollywood scenery!” she said with a laugh.

Along the way, Angelyne also cut an album of dance music on her own “Pink Kitten” label, which won her some attention in Europe. She also recently recorded a single, “Beware of My Boyfriend,” which she calls “an incredible record.”

“It’s going to sweep the nation!” she vowed.

And several weeks back, she began planning for the ultimate attention-getter, a 40-foot-wide, 85-foot-tall mural of herself to be painted on the side of the Hollywood Plaza apartment building. It was not as simple as it seemed.

Trouble With Painters

“I had to interview six or seven painters to do this,” she declared dramatically. “The first fell 40 feet on the job. . . . One of the painters got bit by a spider. . . . Someone got up on the scaffolding and tried to kill himself and we had to call the police. . . .”

Ultimately, though, Angelyne settled on a quartet of painters who by the end of next week expect to complete the massive $20,000 portrait that celebrates her platinum hair and sunglasses, among other features, perched atop her pink Corvette.

That done, Angelyne will continue along her own peculiar path to stardom. She refuses to go to auditions and can’t imagine accepting a movie role unless it does justice to her “precious” image, she said. Just how she will attain notice outside the reach of her billboards remains a mystery to all but Angelyne and an assortment of fans.

“I have my singing career and I write songs,” she said. “It’s been a progressive road to the top. It feels like success. I can feel myself getting more and more famous every day!”


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