Look for one of the most notorious fashion icons of the 1970s in this Adam-12 episode

Edy Williams sure knew how to stand out on the red carpet.

Image: The Everett Collection

In the annals of Oscar history, the 46th Academy Awards was a rather memorable affair. A young George Lucas made his debut at the annual ceremony, taking a victory lap for his nostalgic American Graffiti. A 10-year-old Tatum O'Neal took home the trophy for Best Supporting Actress, setting a mark for the youngest actor to ever win an Oscar. The Academy bestowed Groucho Marx with an honorary statue. A streaker named Robert Opel interrupted the proceedings when he sprinted naked across the stage.

And yet, Edy Williams might have upstaged them all on the red carpet.

The 31-year-old bombshell strolled into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion wearing a leopard-print bikini. A fur coat draped over her shoulder provided a modicum of modesty. Her pet Great Dane, speckled black and white like some lean cow, trotted alongside her on a leash. What else would you expect from the wife of B-movie maven Russ Meyer?

To this day, Williams' animal-print swimsuit ranks as one of the "worst-dressed," "scandalous" and "controversial" looks in Oscars history. It was hardly a stand-alone event in her career. Two decades later, she showed up sporting gold pasties under a sheer black top, trailing a train of black sequins. Sparkle, skin and canines were sort of a recurring theme for the actress and model.

Likewise, 1974 was not the first time the Utah-born attention-getter turned heads. She played up to her stereotype months early on Adam-12. In the opening scene of "Venice Division," Malloy and Reed receive a "311-W" dispatch — indecent exposure at a "community beach." 

The officers arrive at the oceanfront to find a crowd gathered around nude sunbather Tammy Warren (Edy Williams). They throw a towel down to cover her. "Oh, go away," she purrs.

The Everett CollectionEdy Williams sunbathing in ''Venice Division'' and showing a similar look in the Sixties

Audiences would have certainly been aware of her celebrity and her fashion sense by then. She made her screen debut in 1962 on The Twilight Zone, playing a "Chorus Girl" in the episode "The Dummy." That's her second from the right below:

Four years later, she popped up as Rae, one of Liberace's (well, "Chandell's") henchwomen on Batman. She also appeared on The Beverly Hillbillies and Lost in Space (as the blonde Non in "Two Weeks in Space"). But it was 1970's titillating Beyond the Valley of the Dolls that made her name.

That film was, of course, directed by Russ Meyer, the king of camp and schlock. Williams would become Meyer's third and final wife in that same year. The couple would split in 1975. She hardly needed him to keep the flash bulbs popping.

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17 Comments

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Ann 2 months ago
re: the Adam-12 changing wives episode and continuity. I know they don't currently have The Cisco Kid on MeTV, but he had several black and white horses that he rode. I would see him changing horses in mid chase. My favorite was when he tied his horse to a rail outside of a building. Go into the building and come out later and ride off on a different patterned horse. I got to where I watched just to see how many times he changed horses in each episode.
Tlor 2 months ago
Note the phographer in that first pix, that is the guy from Hogan's Heroes!
BrianDettling Tlor 2 months ago
You're right- good eye! Larry Hovis, who played Sgt. Carter on HH.
Pilaf 2 months ago
You can't fix stupid and you can't buy class.
Tlor Pilaf 2 months ago
Most of Hollywood is tasteless and crass nowadays. They are the elite who think we actually believe we listen to their dribble.. NOT!
UTZAAKE 2 months ago
Edy Williams at The Oscars.
1974.
1995.
Jdent UTZAAKE 2 months ago
That’s ridiculous. Attention seeking celebs.
TheDavBow3 UTZAAKE 2 months ago
Hello Kitten. Back trouble, I see!
stephaniestavr5 2 months ago
Anybody remember who was on the stage when the streaker streaked by?
TheDavBow3 MrsPhilHarris 2 months ago
Yes. And David talked about the guy's "short comings"! 😂 A quick wit!
MrsPhilHarris TheDavBow3 2 months ago
Exactly. Many years ago I read his books and some of his stories were hilarious.
Lantern TheDavBow3 2 months ago
Didn't Elizabeth Taylor make some memorable remark also? I remember watching it but not what she said.
TheDavBow3 Lantern 2 months ago
I think you're right!
Lantern 2 months ago
The outfit Edy Williams wore to the Oscars was probably no worse than what Cher wore in the 80's when she won for Moonstruck.
Jdent Lantern 2 months ago
They were both ridiculous and tasteless.
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