Angel

Angel Tompkins (b. 12/20/42) started her career out as a Chicago-area model before being discovered by Woody Allen who sent her to Universal. She was signed and became part of the last Universal Contract Players in the late ’60s.

She made an assured (major) filmdebut as the seductive blonde who comes between husband and wife Elliott Gould and Brenda Vaccaro in the comedy I Love My Wife (1970).

An irreverent vehicle for Gould, who was in the initial stages of his euphoric post-MASH (1970) super stardom, Angel experienced almost Bo Derek-like attention as Gould’s mistress and earned a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Newcomer” in the process. The camera obviously loved her and she immediately went into a slew of projects, but the quality was nowhere to be found after such a promising start.


Prime Cut (1972) at least co-starred Gene Hackman and Lee Marvin with newcomer Sissy Spacek in a featured role, but it bordered on trashy entertainment. Angel’s “Clarabelle” character did warrant some attention when Playboy magazine featured some nude scenes in their pages.


<Angel Tompkins in The Teacher>

Little Cigars (1973) has a minor cult following today but is no great shakes. Angel again played a mistress, this time a mobster’s gal, who joins a band of little people and robs banks and casinos. Such teasing sexploitation films as How to Seduce a Woman (1974) and The Teacher(1974), the latter co-starring the now-grownup “Dennis the Menace” (1959) Jay North, and violence-prone flicks including The Don Is Dead(1973), The Farmer (1977) and The Bees (1978) did not help in the long run.


<Clip from Walking Tall Part 2>

On TV, Angel played a season on the short-lived “Search” (1972), and showed up in scores of guest spots as either a fetching diversion or fetching part of the action in such shows as “The Wild Wild West” (1965), “Mannix” (1967), “Police Woman: Task Force: Cop Killer: Part 1 (#2.23)” (1976), “Knight Rider” (1982) and “Simon & Simon” (1981).


<Episode from Knight Rider – with special bonus appearance by an 80’s Tony Dow>

She continued into the 80s but her filming remained standard. Playing a stripper who divorces Charles Bronson in Murphy’s Law (1986), she made her last film appearances in 1989 with the action-filled Relentless(1989) and Crack House (1989).


<Angel in 1987’s Amazon Women On The Moon>

In 1991 Tompkins was elected the national recording secretary of the Screen Actors Guild, and ran for president of the guild the following election, but was upset in her bid during an unusual turnout of voters.

She is married to television and film writer/comedy rewriter Ted Lang, one of the initiators and prime litigants in “The Television Writers of Age” lawsuit; they have two kids, many dogs and cats and other wild things patrolling their homes, which are in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

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