Thursday, July 06, 2006


Where Did Helen Slater Fly Off To?

With the return of Superman, I got to thinking about the actress Helen Slater, who was picked from virtual anonymity to a play perfect looking Supergirl in the abysmal 1984 film of the same name -- produced, at the time, to cash in on the waning popularity of the Christopher Reeve Superman series. I first saw Slater in 1982 (as did, obviously, the casting director of Supergirl) in an Afterschool Special entitled Amy and the Angel (a teen riff on the classic It's a Wonderful Life theme). That performance hooked me and I followed her career through Supergirl into such films as The Legend of Billie Jean (best remembered for the Pat Benatar song "Love is a Battlefield"), Ruthless People (a modern remake of O. Henry's Ransom of Red Chief and vehicle for Bette Midler and Danny DeVito), The Secret of My Success (with Michael J. Fox), and City Slickers (in which Slater was overshadowed by Billy Crystal, Jack Palance, and the gang). Slater has acted consistently since then, but much of her time is now spent in guest roles on TV programs and in TV movies. I'd love to see her back on the silver screen.

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