Liz Renay, a stripper and cult movie actress whose real life included roles as a gangster’s moll, prison inmate, author, artist and Hollywood Boulevard streaker, died Monday from cardiopulmonary arrest and gastric bleeding in Las Vegas. She was 80.
Renay first gained attention as a fashion model and Marilyn Monroe look-alike in the 1950s. She developed a cult following for her role as Muffy St. Jacques in director John Waters’ 1977 movie “Desperate Living.”
She appeared in at least two dozen other movies ranging from “Date With Death” in 1959 and “The Thrill Killers” in 1964, to adult films like “Interlude of Lust” in 1981, and the feature flick “Mark of the Astro-Zombies” in 2002.
She painted canvasses during a 27-month stint in federal prison in the early 1960s for perjuring herself during the federal tax evasion trial of her then-boyfriend, Hollywood mobster Mickey Cohen.
McLain said Renay sold one 1964 painting of a centaur surrounded by beautiful women in a lush garden for $10,000.
In her 1992 book, “My First 2,000 Men,” Renay claimed flings with a wide range of actors and celebrities.
She also wrote cookbooks and beauty books, including “My Face for the World to See” in 1971. As a stripper, she toured and performed with her daughter, Brenda, who died in 1982, on her 39th birthday.
Renay streaked down Hollywood Boulevard in 1974, but was acquitted at trial of indecent exposure and lewdness.
Born Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins in Chandler, Ariz., she was married seven times, divorced five times and widowed twice.