"...but I did end up handing Michel LeGrand his Oscar for writing the theme song of Summer of '42 ...It was then that I truly understood the power and beauty of the right image melding with the right music." --Jennifer O'Neill, from her book Surviving Myself 

Pictures of Jennifer O'Neill in Summer of 42 "I wanted someone recognizable in the video as my mother. My best friend, Bobby Colomby, had known Jennifer and knew that she had expressed interest in being in a music video, so he put us on a conference call. Jennifer liked the song a lot and was interested but wanted to meet me to discuss the concept. We met for dinner a few nights later. Now, let me point out right now that when I was a kid I saw Summer of '42 and fell helplessly in love with Jennifer, as did the world. So here I was across from her in a candlelit restaurant, and I was trying very hard not to be a goober. She was amazingly cool, and agreed to do the video. She's great in it, she was really sweet to be around, and I'm so thankful to have been able to work with her." --Richard Marx, on events leading to Jennifer O'Neill's role in the Hazard video
"When I was asked to be a part of Richard Marx's Hazard video project, I didn't even hesitate... You see, I am a HUGE fan of his. Frankly, I did take a pause when Bobby Colomby said my role would be to play Richard's mother... Yes, I'm a bit older than Richard, but surely not old enough to play his mom. Of course, all that was straightened out when Richard explained that my role took place in a flashback when his character was just a boy. Whew!! The project was top-notch, and I was honored to be a part of it. Aside from his musical prowess, Richard Marx is one of the nicest individuals, who is a beautiful, loving family man. God has surely blessed him!" --Ms. Jennifer O'Neill Jennifer O'Neill in the Hazard music video

  The questions surrounding Richard's upbringing and family life in the storyline are as perplexing as the questions about Mary. Only his mother was mentioned in the lyrics, leading some to believe that, outside of Mary, his mother was the only significant other in his life. Others point out the appearance of a ring on his mother's finger, as well as a scene that suggests the presence of a father figure, --albeit a weak one who perhaps wasn't around much and was less than committed to his family. Regardless, all agree that the bedroom scene of the boy seeing his mother share her affections with an unidentified lover provided understanding into Richard's mental and emotional makeup, especially in relation to Mary. As our residents suggest, the scene of the boy and his mother locking eyes in the bedroom represents one of the most powerful images in the video.  
   Often recognized from her long career as model and spokesperson for Cover Girl, Jennifer O'Neill was born in Rio de Janeiro and grew up in the midwest & eastern regions of the U.S. By age 15, she was juggling school and a modeling career (began modeling for Cover Girl at age 16). Jennifer took acting lessons and at age 22 played the role of "Dorothy" in the movie Summer of '42. Indeed, the nation fell in love with Dorothy, as did the world when the subtitled versions were released. This was one of over 25 feature films that she has acted in, and has enjoyed additional success in a variety of television movies and specials. Not surprisingly, Jennifer has been on the cover of numerous magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Bazaar, Us, and People. 
Yet, acting and modeling comprise only part of her prolific life. Jennifer is an experienced horse rider and has won championships at national horse show competitions; is an accomplished oil painter; has written songs, including one for an ad campaign that she created (and is recognized as a talented singer); has directed and produced; & has written a novel as well as an autobiography. Additionally, she is active in charitable work and has served as spokesperson for organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the Westchester chapter of March of Dimes. She has helped to produce and has hosted documentaries for educational and charitable causes, and is actively involved in various Christian-based organizations. She also avails herself to speaking engagements for educational and ministry-related functions. ...Mmm, did we mention she was once in a music video too?
   In her book Surviving Myself Jennifer shares a not-so-ivory tower look at her past, including the many personal tragedies she experienced during the time of her professional success. She speaks openly of her battles with loneliness, insecurity, guilt, and sense of low self-worth. She also shares her testimony of coming to her Savior, and how that has provided resolution to her guilt and insecurity, as well as her new sense of worth as a creature loved by her Creator. More recently, Jennifer has published another book From Fallen to Forgiven where she shares with other women her search for fulfillment, and finding the richness of God's grace.  

*A few other things about Jennifer...

  • First modeling job was for Hairdo magazine (the teen model eventually graduated to the cover of Seventeen magazine)

  • Was dropped to the floor by the hands of John Wayne. On the set of the movie Rio Lobo, John Wayne carried O'Neill up the stairs (he had only one lung due to cancer) and, after reaching the top of the flight, he abruptly released Jennifer upon hearing that the camera wasn't positioned and the scene would have to be redone

  • Accident prone: Be it a skateboarding accident, airplane ride mishap, auto accident, getting thrown from a horse, etc., Jennifer has broken her nose three times; suffered a broken wrist and, in a separate incident, a broken right arm and hand; diagnosed with a broken neck and back; --and, incredibly, the not-so-gun-loving actress accidentally shot herself with a .38 caliber pistol (long story, --it's explained in the book)

  • Dramatic irony: Her convincing look of a tempting seductress, alongside her bedroom frolics that shaped her character in the Haz video carries some hidden contrast. In reality, Jennifer O'Neill advocates for values commonly considered "traditional," including the benefits of marital fidelity and the joy of marital intimacy (Promise Keepers is yet another organization that she has lent her support to)

  • During the filming of Summer of '42, the director kept the 15 year old co-stars separated from Jennifer while off the set. This was done to help the boys maintain a natural sense of "awe and awkwardness" before the 22 year old supermodel

  • Was contacted by Aaron Spelling (who Jennifer had worked with before) asking if she would like to be an Angel. He explained that he was putting together "a little show called Charlie's Angels" (at the time, Jennifer's interest was mostly limited to film work)

* The above represents just a few of the many details gleaned from the book Surviving Myself

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