Music videos changed the music business forever. But they didn't just open up a whole new world for musicians, they provided another avenue for actors and dancers to find work.
For some music video’s launched a career, for others it was their only shot at fame. Here’s an update on some of the memorable stars from some of the biggest videos.
Where are they now? Music Video Stars, Part I...
The Bee Girl
Heather DeLoach is her name and her 15 minutes of fame came courtesy of the Blind Melon video No Rain. She was nine when she dressed up in a bee costume, danced around and got as much play as MTV could schedule. Well Heather’s all grown up now and is still a working actress. Recently featured in episodes of ER in 2003 and Reno 911 last year and movies Little Princess, Balls of Fury and Anywhere But Here.
Side note: Pearl Jam wrote an unflattering song about her called “Bee Girl.”
Bee girl, you're gonna die You don't wanna be famous, you wanna be shy Do your dances alone in your room Becoming a star will become your doom Bee Girl, be a girl...
The High School Janitor
Rudy Larosa played the Janitor from Nirvana’s Smells like Teen Spirit. Personally I think the video for Teen Spirit had as much to do with the explosion of grunge and the rise of Nirvana as the song did. And the big part of the video was the sad and haunting images of Rudy Larosa, the Janitor, doing his job around the gym. Nothing much listed about Rudy. Other than reprising the roll in the Weird Al's Smells like Nirvana parody. It appears Rudy has never worked again. A true video star.
Michael’s Thriller Girlfriend
Playing Michael Jackson’s main squeeze in Thriller wasn’t Ola Ray’s first role. She had bit parts in Night Shift and 48 Hours. She was also Playmate of the Month in June 1980. But Thriller made her famous. Being that it's still voted the number 1 video of all time, chances are she'll be known for a long time. Ola's also had bit parts in Beverly Hills Cop II, TV’s Cheers and Gimme a Break, dated footballer Jim Brown but hasn't done much since the 80’s except for the occassional I Love the 80's reruns. In 1992, she was stopped for cocaine possession and did 9 months in rehab. Possibly to avoid Jail. She lives in California now and, according to Wikipedia, hosts parties for Playboy.
There’s 2 things that stand out in Toto’s Rosanna video. The lead singers mustache and the dancing lady in red Cynthia Rhodes.
Rosanna was written about Rosanna Arquette who once dated Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro. In the video this role is played by singer/actor/dancer Cynthia Rhodes. She went one to have a very successful career appearing in Xanadu, Flashdance, Staying Alive and Runaway. But her most famous role was that of Penny Johnson in Dirty Dancing. Acting and dancing weren't Cynthia's only asset though. She also showed off her singing ability with the group Animotion who had late 80’s hits Obsession and Room to Move.
Cynthia married singer Richard Marx and retired from the business to raise their 3 kids.
Safety Dancing Dwarf
Mike Edmonds played the little jolly jester in Men Without Hats classic 1982 video Safety Dance. Fortunately he had the Star Wars movies to fall back on. He was one of Jabba the Hut's puppeteers (tail section) on Return of the Jedi as well as playing Logray, head of the Ewoks. That, of course, means he'll always have income at conventions, signings and Comicons. But Mike also had a big roll in Time Bandits, Og and played Stretch in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Other notables include playing Little Ron in the quirky UK TV series Maid Marian and Her Merry Men.
Leon Robinson played the statue turned saint from Madonna's controversial (and Pepsi commercial) Like a Prayer. After smooching Madonna, the offers flooded in and Leon’s had very successful career to date. After the roll in the video he was in Cool Runnings, The Five Heartbeats, Waiting to Exhale, Buffalo Soldiers, and most recently 50 cents Get rich or Die Trying. He’s also received critical acclaim for playing David Ruffin in The Temptations TV movie, Little Richard in The Little Richard TV movie, Jefferson Keane (aka Tizi Ouzou) in HBO’s Oz, and Detective Vicellous Owens on Crossing Jordan. These more on his IMDB resume. He’s currently in production on My Friend My Hero, based on the Jerald L. Hoover novel of the same title.
The late Phil Hartman performs the voice of Waldo in Hot For Teacher, the Van Halen video that helped get Tipper Gore all PMRC’d. But who was the kid who played Waldo? I couldn’t find out. If you know leave a comment here and then be a hero here.
Thanks to my fellow YesBut writers for their suggestions.