Friday, February 25, 2011

Heroes Of Blaxploitation: Marki Bey

Day Twenty-five:

Marki Bey (b.1946) is one of our heroes with the distinction of having a very small career in film, but a very every effective one. She started it off with a bang with her very first film role: Hal Ashby's The Landlord (1970). A wonderful film about a white guy (Beau Bridges) who lives off his rich parents' and buys a tenement in an inner city neighborhood (Park Slope - when it wasn't filled with yuppies) and starts to bond with some of the tenants and begins a romance with Marki. If you haven't seen The Landlord, you must. It's available on DVD from MGM and Amazon.

Marki's breathtaking beauty and attitude to spare was put to great use in The Landlord as well as a series of films in the early to mid-70s. They include: The Class Of '74 (AKA: Gabriella, Gabriella) (1972), the proto-slasher film The Rommates (1973), Super Dude (AKA: Hangup) (1974) and most of all, the leading role in the Blaxploitation/Zombie film, Sugar Hill (1974). Another great film you should really check out if you haven't. There's a ton of unique atmosphere to be found in that one and Marki is wonderful in the Pam Grier-esque leading role. Plus she looks dy-no-mite in a pantsuit.

Marki Bey appeared in several TV shows throughout the 70's and sadly hung up her acting hat as the decade came to it's close.

Marki Bey at an AFI  screening of The Landlord from a couple years back. 
Still lookin' great!

1 comment:

jf said...

I've lost count of how many times I've watched "The Landlord," and Bey is one of the best things in it. (The film has much to recommend it. I regard it as Hal Ashby's finest film.) She has a scene where she's being introduced to her boyfriend's (Beau Bridges) family. Bey has hardly any dialogue at all in the scene. It's all reacting, and she does sensitive, detailed work.

Netflix is streaming "Sugar Hill" currently, and though I have little interest in Blaxploitation, I believe watching Bey work would make a viewing worthwhile.

(I've taken a sneak peek; yep, she's good!)

She looks mighty happy, healthy and pretty at that AFI screening! Thanks for the picture.

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