The Bikini Czar that Came in From the Sea
The actress that disappeared in 1961 from the Legend of the Gold Bikini feature film returns every Halloween.
It’s only an urban legend if you weren’t there and I was in 1961. I was a young actor that sang and danced and surfed, and surf and sand pictures were very popular during that time.
It was thought to be pure PR that the producers of the Bikini Czar had found that the legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece was actually based upon truth and not about a Golden Fleece but in fact about a golden swimsuit. This suit that was worn by the Czarina of Atlantis, a suit spun from the looms of the gods for the most beautiful woman in the world.
Since everyone working on the picture knew that the producers of the film where so cheap they would only hire unknowns to play the leads and would have to borrow money back from them to finish the picture no one actually believed the swimsuit was spun from gold.
They found a cute young exotic looking Asian girl with money to play the lead in the film. More money than sense since it was rumored that she actually found a bolt of spun gold and had the suit remade for her. Where she found it no one ever knew but rumored she didn’t find it honestly and may have as they say borrowed it from an old Asian neighbor of hers before he died. That when he found out it had been taken cursed those that took it with his last breath.
Heard that the tailor that made the suit for her, over at Venice beach, was hit by a car on the boardwalk where no cars except for emergency vehicles are ever allowed and died instantly. That the designer of the suit was stung to death by bees while walking at the beach after turning the design over to the tailor. That the delivery boy that brought the suit to the Czar drove his bike off the Venice pier and hit his head on a rock as he was gawking at her wearing the suit.
I was there that foggy dark morning when she came out of the women’s restroom in the suit. I did say the producers were cheap and I meant cheap.
Could understand why the delivery boy would drive off the pier when I saw her in that suit. It fit her like a glove and while not as small as those suits worn by the other ladies in the film, on her no one cared.
I remember when because of the fact the tide was in the producers wanted to film the ending of the picture first that of the czar walking back into the water to return to her watery grave. They were so cheap they wanted all the water shots done the first day so as not to have to get a second set of suits for the actors to wear that were dry. Figured wet anyway so just do the water shots first put them in a dryer at home and have them ready for all the beach shots the next day and never get wet again.
All was going well except for the fact she hated getting wet. Forget that fact that the Pacific Ocean is supposed to be warm off the beaches in California, grew up here and knew that was the biggest lie ever told by the state tourism office.
Time after time she would start to go into the water then run back out. Finally the producers had enough and told her either in the water or someone else would get the lead.
She like so many other young ladies that came to Hollywood knew this was her big break and didn’t even have to take her clothes off just get wet and cold. In she went then as we all stood by she just kept on walking as if the water had all of the sudden gotten warm.
It took a few moments for us to catch on to what we were seeing. She didn’t stop, just kept walking.
The cameraman and I hit the water almost at the same moment. It turns out that we were the only ones on the set that actually could swim.
Out we waded to where she went under we dove to the ocean bottom. Time after time we went down to find her. No matter how many times we went down to the floor we couldn’t find her.
By the time we had been diving for about ten minutes the authorities whom someone called from the pier showed up and they joined in.
The police officers were diving into the water wearing their uniforms hunting for the young lady. After about a half hour we all came back to the shore and were replaced by coast guard better equipped than we all were.
Morning turned to afternoon and afternoon into evening and evening into night and no body could be found. Certainly the tide had by now went out and came in several times but the water was relatively shallow at this time of the year and most tall people could walk out into the water a hundred feet or so without being over their head and yet she sunk under the waves no more than 30 feet from the shore.
We all felt bad about what happened but the show as they say had to go on. Meaning the film permit said we had to be done and out in four days. It was a very low budget production
What was funny about the film was that after all that was gone thru the film was never released. The producers of the film died in a plane crash on the way to some small film theatre in New York where they were going to debut the film. With them the only print went up in flames, amazing thing about the crash was that only the producers were killed and only the film was destroyed in the fire that resulted from the crash.
Seems like it was just yesterday but on Halloween 49 years ago I heard that a young Asian lady was seen wading out of the sea in the Venice area. She was wearing a gold swimsuit that fit like a glove.
One of the main reasons she got the job originally besides having money and looking hot was she was a dancer. It was said she was so hot dancing on the beach that the men all had to dance with her.
The women all wanted the swimsuit she was wearing and wanted it for themselves and convinced themselves there was nothing wrong with simply taking the suit from her. Heard that trying to take the suit from her was not wisest thing to do as many teeth were lost and bones broken by those that tired.
Heard that as the moon was high in the sky the last thing anyone saw of her was her walking into the water and her shivering from the fact it was so cold.
When you’re young like I was at the time you really don’t believe most of what people partying at the beach tell you until the next year at Halloween. This was also the 60’s and many on the beach where just a bit high.
Next year the same young lady was seen again dancing with all the males and kicking the asses of all their dates. Only thing that was different in their description was that she changed from the golden suit and hung it in a tree to dry just like Golden Fleece was supposed to hang in Jason and the Golden Fleece.
For the last 49 years the legend has grown to the point that men and women from all over the world have been coming to see what every intelligent person knows is a fraud. Just someone playing with the minds of all those that want to believe in the Bikini Czar in her Golden Swimsuit.
Eventually I went to the beach to see for myself what was going on and what I saw was like something out of a Three Stooges film. The men seemed to be dancing all alone. Their dates seemed to be involved with one major free for all fighting with one another at the base of the tree where the Golden Swimsuit was supposed to be hung.
Today was the 5oth anniversary of the death of the young lady that long Halloween ago and the one officer that was still alive that went into the water for her and I went to the beach to remember the young lady that had died before she even had chance to become star. We were all that she had left to remember she even had that once moment.
We swapped tales of the of the girl in the golden suit and with a case of cold beer set down in our lounge chairs to watch the comedy of all those that came out to see her come ashore and hang her suit in the tree. Since no picture or film had ever been shot of her we as intelligent senior citizens knew this was nothing but an excuse to have a party. Get drunk, dance and start fights.
As it had been every Halloween for the last 49 years a fog would sweep in and the skies would darken and the drunks would start to party and eventually the fights would break out that the police would have to break up.
We were having a great time laughing about it all then as the moon came up my friend from so long ago slumped over in his chair with a smile on his face. Time had caught up with him like it does for so many people our age but why smiling in death.
Then I think I saw the reason why. I would swear I saw my old friend running into the water dressed in the police officers suit he was wearing that day so long ago and young again. He was diving looking for the young lady then vanishing under the water for good.
He went out the hero that he was in life.
I wonder as I grow older if one day I will heed that final call to help one last time and smile too when I die.
© 2006 MBE