Actress Yvette Mimieux has a direct tie to Boulder City. In 1965, Mimieux starred in a film titled “The Reward.” According to NevadaFilm.com, “The Reward” was partially filmed at Lake Mead.
The plot deals with two bounty hunters chasing a fugitive. However, the bounty hunters start to turn on one another after an ongoing argument as to how much money each one should get. Mimieux plays Sylvia, the fugitive’s girlfriend, and the shenanigans begin.
A story about greed or men on the run in the Las Vegas desert is not anything new. Different spins on similar plots can be cataloged throughout cinematic history. What is interesting about the film is Mimieux plays such a pivotal role in this, and other movies, and yet never really broke through as a household name in Hollywood.
The rumor is Mimieux came through Boulder City while filming to check out the city next to Hoover Dam. She was born in Los Angeles in 1942. Her first brush with stardom came when she failed to get a bit part in a movie starring Elvis Presley. She was one of the four finalists from a local beauty contest, where the winners were picked by Elvis himself, for bit role in 1957’s “Jailhouse Rock.” From there, the acting bug bit her. Three years later, the blond actress from L.A. was put under contract for MGM, staring in various small roles for television and some bigger roles for movies.
While at MGM, Mimieux was successful as a working actress who was able to create a steady paycheck with films like “The Reward” and “Toys in the Attic,” which starred Dean Martin. But her talent went beyond good looks and reading lines for the silver screen. She started to write for the movie industry. Taking on both roles, Mimieux had post-MGM epic roles, like co-starring in 1975’s “The Legend of Valentino” where she played Rudolph Valentino’s second wife, Natacha Rambova.
The actress also went on to co-write “Obsessive Love” about a female stalker. She co-produced this 1984 made-for-TV movie. From writer back to actress, Mimieux had her last role as Deena Swanson in 1992 alongside Joan Rivers for the miniseries “Lady Boss,” based off of a 1990 novel written by Jackie Collins.
Mimieux recently turned 77 and seems to be happily retired after a successful, yet quiet, career in Hollywood. She didn’t have any major box office hits, but she had no gaps in work or challenges obtaining acting or writing roles. Mimieux wasn’t the Lindsay Lohan of her time and there are no scandalous headlines to be found, which is refreshing in today’s culture where anyone with a SnapChat filter and bought social media followers can claim to be a self-made celebrity regardless if talent for acting or writing exists. It seems some people are simply famous for being famous and I’m not sure if that is such a good thing.
My Throwback Thursday movie recommendation for today is “The Reward.” It’s an entertaining flick available on DVD and as a digital download.
Tanya Vece is a ghostwriter and independent marketing specialist. She can be reached on Instagram @TanyaLVece.