Jennifer O’Neill is the best-looking newcomer in the movies


What Jennifer O'Neill has going for her principally is her face, which is flawless, picture perfect--the stuff of dreams and memories, the very image of first love. Perhaps that is why she was given the part she played in Summer of '42 and why, on seeing her performance, a good many men endure a searing flash of nostalgia. In the film she is a grieving war widow, and she gently but quite memorably seduces a love-smitten youngster, then departs, never to be seen again. Thanks partly to her contribution, her first of any note to cinematic art, Summer of '42 has been a surprise box-office hit. More of Jennifer O'Neill is on the way. She will appear as an aspiring actress in Otto Preminger's forthcoming Such Good Friends and as a hospital dietician (!) in Blake Edwards' A Case of Need.

Jennifer arrived in movies via a familiar route. At 15, she embarked on a career as a high-fashion model, eventually earning an international reputation and as much as $80,000 a year from her pretty face. But the work left her frustrated and unhappy, so she turned the pretty face to acting and discovered, as others before her, that the transition could be tricky: “You walk in and they look at you and you know they think, She's a model. That means she can't talk, she can't act and she moves like a stick."' But Ali MacGraw and Candice Bergen, among others, made it successfully across the line from modeling, and anyway Jennifer O'Neill neither moves--nor looks--like a stick.


Jennifer O'Neill lives in New York City, shuns restaurants, loves late night discothèquing and, as here, frequently escapes the city. She likes to go horseback riding, a sport at which she excels. Mother of a 4-year-old daughter, she was recently divorced. “Work is not the most important thing," she believes. Love is. You can't sit at home with some cans of film when you're 90." Jennifer is 23.