THEN: There are a ton of hotties in the world of horror that are willing to bare their breasts and let out a little scream. With all these lovely ladies, it takes something special to really stand out. Jewel Shepard was always ahead of the pack as she began her career in such revealing flicks as THE SEX AND VIOLENCE FAMILY HOUR (with Jim Carrey???) and KUNF FU CANNIBALS. This buxom beauty even made an appearance as “Girl in Phone Booth” in one of my personal favorite late night skin flicks MY TUTOR with the smoking hot Caryn Kaye. That particular film certainly schooled me!
Jewel really hit the big time as like, the valley chick Crystal Landers in the 1984 sexy cult flick HOLLYWOOD HOT TUBS. It may have been a small role but it certainly made a HUGE impression… two of them even! HOT TUBS was one of those wildly cheesy teen flicks that didn’t have much of a plot but it gave teenage boys the chance to live vicariously through the film’s horny male leads as they surround themselves with topless ladies.
Speaking of topless, next came the Spanish flick CHRISTINA that same year. For this dirty little ditty, the actress found herself surrounded by ladies who love ladies… I mean really love ladies! This B-flick had all the things a horny growing boy needs. Sure these aren’t in the horror genre, but they will certainly get your blood racing. Are you excited yet!?! You should be, after all Ms. Shepard has never been too shy and she proudly wore the B-movie queen stamp in a number of other movies including a leading role in HOLLYWOOD HOT TUBS 2: EDUCATING CRYSTAL in 1990 as well as CAGED HEAT II: STRIPPED OF FREEDOM in 1994 plus so many more.
Of course, what many a genre fan knows her for is her memorable punk rock heartbreaker in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD in 1985. This is probably the movie that truly helped cement her as B-movie royalty and made her a horror lover’s dream girl. This feisty actress has never been afraid to get naked, yet she always seemed as though she was in control. While she certainly earned herself a nice sized fan base, after the 90’s she took a whole lot of time off from La La Land according to her IMDB page.
NOW: Thankfully, while she is far, far away from HOLLYWOOD HOT TUBS and the LIVING DEAD this amazing lady has become a brand new kind of impressive. In 2011 she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and she fought back. She survived quite nicely and is now cancer free with “fully reconstructed breasts” according to her own website. She is also the author of “Invasion of the B-girls” and “If I’m So Famous, How Come Nobody Has Ever Heard of Me.” And she has also had a couple of small roles in THE COOLER (2003) as well as a little movie called THE ARTIST in 2011. And with the help of Facebook she seems to stay connected to her fans.
While she may not be too busy in Hollywood, she clearly has more important things to do. She has been writing in her blog about what she is up to now, and that is being a different kind of hero and helping orphans in Cambodia and Thailand! Geez… seriously?!? Who would have thought that the cute little punk rocker in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD would become the amazing person that she is? Normally at this point in this column I’d make a plea to the talent to come back to Hollywood but I think that Jewel has much more important things to do! Ms. Shepherd, you always will be one of my first loves, but now you are literally making the world a better place in every way shape and form. You are inspiring much more than teen fantasies, that’s for sure!