It’s often said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But there just happens to be one woman who is trash and treasure all in one, and her name is Linnea Quigley. Now when I speak of her as “Trash“, my Little Monsters, I am obviously speaking of her iconic character from the 1985 classic, Return of the Living Dead.
In the late 70’s, after graduating from high school in Davenport, IA, Linea and her family relocated to Los Angeles. She began working at a health spa owned by Jack Lalane...yes, the Jack Lalane from the juicer infomercials who swam while handcuffed and shackled and also towing 70 rowboats behind him at the age of 70. But this is about Linea, so let’s not get side tracked… like I just did. Anyways, while working at this spa, Linnea met models who were employed as extras on films. Friends began suggesting to Linnea that she should try acting, and luckily for us she took their encouragement to heart.
She started off with some roles as an extra before landing her first acting gig playing Sleeping Beauty in an erotic comedy called Fairy Tales (1978). After this, Linnea continued to be cast in small parts or as an extra in such films as Don’t Go Near the Park, Summer Camp (as Babara Gold), Graduation Day and The Black Room. She even appeared in a couple of Cheech and Chong films, Nice Dreams and Still Smokin, during this time.
However, Linnea did not choose to rest only on her acting ability, as she also began to audition for bands. Her first gig with a band, was as the guitarist for an all girl outfit called Mad Whistle. She would go on to start her own band, The Skirts, with her friend Haydee Paymar, whom she met on the set of Nice Dreams, on bass.
In 1984 Linnea landed a role in the infamous cult horror film, Silent Night Deadly Night, but it wasn’t until 1985 that she would be cast in the role where she would stand up and shout, “Hey everyone, LOOK AT ME!” Believe me, as a boy about to enter his teens…I definitely took notice. In the aforementioned zombie classic, Return of the Living Dead, Linnea played a tough and sexy punk chick with an intensely morbid fascination with death, who went by the name of “Trash”. She has the distinction of not only falling victim to the “living dead” swarm, but also rising up and becoming a badass member of the “living dead” herself. I would go so far to say that Trash is the most revered and loved character from the movie, possibly being rivaled by Alan Trautman’s character of Tarman.
Through the 80’s Linnea continued to solidify her title of Scream Queen in films like Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and of course the original 1988 version of Night of the Demons. I don’t know about anybody else, but since Night of the Demons I haven’t looked at lipstick quite the same way.
In the 90’s, Linnea went on to also appear in The Guyver, Innocent Blood, Pumpkinhead II and even made an appearance in Phantoms…Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo! Sorry about that, I got a bit carried away.
But hey, it doesn’t end there. Linnea is still going strong and in this year alone, she is involved in seven movies and even a TV series. She also attends horror conventions, thus giving her the opportunity to meet her beloved fans. Of course it also gives us a chance to meet one of the ALL TIME greatest Scream Queens.
Linnea also has five books to her credit: The Linnea Quigley Bio & Chainsaw Book (1991), Linnea: Skin (1993) , I’m Screaming as Fast as I Can: My Life in B-Movies (1995), and also Night of the Scream Queen: Kiss of the Gator-Guy (2012) and Return of the Scream Queen: Embrace of the Aztec Vampire (2013) – both co-written with Michael McCarty.
I was very happy…OK I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to meet Linnea at Days of the Dead in Indianapolis last June. Frankly, I was amazed at how tiny she was when I met her, and when I remarked about it she quickly reminded me that dynamite can come in the smallest packages. Again I was reminded that even those who are slight of physical stature can be big on kindness and personality.
OK, my Little Monsters, it’s that time where I allow you all to go forth and find out more about this weeks crush for yourselves. I am merely here to whet your appetites, now it’s up to you to dig a little deeper. But I will leave you with this. If you wish to find out more about this legendary Scream Queen and her career I suggest taking a look at Linnea’s official site and her IMDb page. And to keep abreast of what’s going on with Ms. Quigley, give her a follow at Facebook or Twitter.