If you are a child of the 60s, you will remember Tuesday Weld.
The blonde bombshell combined an innocent, virginal blonde beauty with a sexuality that made her Stanley Kubrick’s first choice to play “Lolita.” (She turned the part down, saying, “I don’t have to play it. I was Lolita.”)
You have to admire a woman who changed her name, legally, to Tuesday when she was only 16 years old and, when asked what drove her from Hollywood, responded, “I think it was a Buick.”
Tuesday had some outstanding roles, although it was always her appearance that preceded her, in the same way that Michelle Pfieffer’s blonde good looks have made her into a line in a Bruno Mars song.
Her childhood was not a happy one. Born in 1943, she became her family’s sole breadwinner when her father died at age 49 in 1947 just before Tuesday’s fourth birthday. Her mother, Yosene Balfour Ker, daughter of the artist and Life illustrator William Balfour Ker, was Lathrop Weld’s fourth and last wife.
Mother Yosene put Tuesday into modeling and she soon began her career as an actress. Tuesday began drinking heavily at ages 9 and 10 and had a breakdown at age nine. Mommy didn’t think that Tuesday needed therapy and life went on pretty much as before, with Tuesday’s first suicide attempt at age twelve. Later, Tuesday expressed a great deal of hostility towards her mother and said she only felt free when her mother had passed. In fact, she began telling people that her mother was dead literally decades before she had actually died.
Most of her life, Tuesday was preyed upon by older men. One of the most famous of her laiasons with the actor John Ireland, who was then in his forties, while she was underage. Over the years, she had romances with Al Pacino, David Steinberg, Mikhail Baryshnikov (whose previous girlfriend, Jessica Lange, had been Weld’s best friend), Omar Sharif, Richard Gere and Ryan O’Neal.
Weld attracted attention as the favored, out-of-control Katherine in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) – packing into her short screen time an orgy, a divorce, a lot of alcohol, and two abortions – and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; later she appeared in Who’ll Stop the Rain (1978) opposite Nick Nolte; and the ensemble satire Serial (1980).
She said she preferred television. “What I dig about TV is the pace”, she said. “Two weeks for even a heavy part – great. Too much thinking about a role is a disaster for me. I mean, let’s do it, let’s get it done.”
She played the lead in the TV films A Question of Guilt (1978), in which she plays a woman accused of murdering her children, Mother and Daughter: The Loving War (1980), a remake of Madame X (1981), and a new version of The Rainmaker (1982).
In feature films, Weld had a good supporting role in Michael Mann‘s acclaimed 1981 film Thief, opposite James Caan. She played Al Pacino‘s wife in Author! Author! (1982) and co-starred with Donald Sutherland in the TV film The Winter of Our Discontent (1983). This performance earned her an Emmy nomination.
In 1984, she appeared in Sergio Leone‘s gangster epic Once Upon a Time in America, playing a jeweler’s secretary, who is in on a plan to steal a shipment of diamonds. During the robbery, her character goads Robert De Niro‘s character, David “Noodles” Aaronson, into “raping” her with her complicity. She later meets up with the gang from the robbery, and becomes the moll of James Woods‘ character Max Bercovicz. Disturbed by what she sees as Max’s delusional, even suicidal, ambitions, she convinces Noodles to betray Max to the police. The performance earned Weld a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress of 1984.
Weld was reunited with Anthony Perkins in an episode of Mistress of Suspense (1990).
In 1993, she played a police officer’s neurotic wife in Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall. She had small supporting roles in Feeling Minnesota (1996), Investigating Sex (2001), and Chelsea Walls (2001).
Weld was married three times. She was married to screenwriter Claude Harz from October 23, 1965, until their divorce on February 18, 1971. They had a daughter, Natasha, born on August 26, 1966. Weld was awarded custody of Natasha in the divorce and $100 a month in child support payments.
She married British actor, musician and comedian Dudley Moore on September 20, 1975. On February 26, 1976, they had a son, Patrick. The couple divorced in 1980, with Weld receiving a $200,000 settlement plus $3,000 monthly alimony for the next 4 years and an additional $2,500 a month in child support.
On October 18, 1985, she married Israeli concert violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman, becoming stepmother to his daughters Arianna and Natalia. The couple divorced in 1998. In court papers, Zukerman quoted Weld as saying, “Why do I need to go to another concert when I’ve heard the piece before?” and “I can’t stand the backstage scene. I don’t want to hear another note.”
Weld and then-husband Zukerman purchased 74 Surfside Ave in 1990 from the estate of Norman Kean, who produced the long-running Broadway show Oh! Calcutta! and who killed himself and his actress wife Gwyda Donhowe in their Manhattan apartment in 1988. Although the Montauk residence was not a crime scene, Weld later struggled to find a buyer for the property due to its murder-suicide connection. Listed in 2006, it sat on the market for three years before selling at a reduced price of $6.75 million in 2009 and is now rented. Weld bought a “tiny condo” there in 2021 for $335,000.
|1959||The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet||Connie/Cathy||3 episodes|
|The Red Skelton Hour||Starlet||Episode: “Appleby: The Big Producer”|
|77 Sunset Strip||Barrie Connell||Episode: “Secret Island”|
|1959-62||The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis||Thalia Menninger||Series regular (season 1)|
Guest star (seasons 3-4)
|1960||77 Sunset Strip||Kitten Lang||Episode: “Condor’s Lair”|
|The Millionaire||Beth Boland||Episode: “Millionaire Katherine Boland”|
|The Tab Hunter Show||Ginny||Episode: “The Doll in the Bathtub”|
|Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre||Beth Lawson||Episode: “The Mormons”|
|1961||Follow the Sun||Barbara Beaumont||Episode: “The Highest Wall”|
|Bus Stop||Cherie||Episode: “Cherie”|
|1962||Adventures in Paradise||Gloria Dannora||Episode: “The Velvet Trap”|
|Naked City||Ora Mae Youngham||Episode: “A Case Study of Two Savages”|
|Route 66||Miriam Moore||Episode: “Love Is a Skinny Kid”|
|Ben Casey||Melanie Gardner||Episode: “When You See an Evil Man”|
|1964||Mr. Broadway||Emily||Episode: “An Eye on Emily”|
|The Fugitive||Mattie Braydon||Episode: “Dark Corner”|
|1967||The Crucible||Abigail Williams||Television film|
|1968||Cimarron Strip||Heller||Episode: “Heller”|
|1975||F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood||Zelda Fitzgerald||Television film|
|1978||A Question of Guilt||Doris Winters||Television film|
|1980||Mother and Daughter: The Loving War||Lillie Lloyd McCann||Television film|
|1981||Madame X||Holly Richardson||Television film|
|1982||The Rainmaker||Lizzie||Television film|
CableACE Award for Actress in a Theatrical or Non-Musical Program
|1983||The Winter of our Discontent||Margie Young-Hunt||Television film|
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
|1984||Scorned and Swindled||Sharon Clark||Television film|
|1986||Circle of Violence||Georgia Benfield||Television film|
|Something in Common||Shelly Grant||Television film|
|1990||Chillers||Jessica||Episode: “Something You Have to Live With”|