Lois Cleveland Chiles (born April 15, 1947) is an American actress and former fashion model known for her roles as Dr. Holly Goodhead in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker, and as a hit and run driver in 1987's Creepshow 2.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Chiles was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Barbara Wayne Kirkland and Marion Clay Chiles, who was the brother of oil tycoon and Texas Rangers owner Eddie Chiles. She had two brothers: Clay Kirkland Chiles (now deceased), and William Edmonds Chiles, president and CEO of Bristow Group, Inc.
Chiles was raised in Alice, Texas. She received her education at the University of Texas at Austin and the former Finch College in New York City, where she was discovered by a Glamour editor looking for a young woman to feature on the cover of the magazine's annual college issue. She landed the job and soon had contracts with Wilhelmina Models in New York and Elite Models in Paris. Later, she studied acting under Roy London.
Career[edit | edit source]
In the early 1970s, Chiles enjoyed a successful modeling career. She made her big-screen debut in Together for Days in 1972, followed by 1973's The Way We Were, in which she played opposite Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand as the college sweetheart of Redford's character. She was then cast as Jordan Baker in 1974's The Great Gatsby, alongside Mia Farrow and, again, Robert Redford.
In 1978, she appeared in the film adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile as the murder victim Linnet Ridgeway Doyle, and in 1979, she appeared in what is perhaps her most famous role, that of NASA astronaut, scientist and Bond girl Dr. Holly Goodhead opposite Roger Moore's James Bond in Moonraker. Chiles had initially been approached to star in the previous Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, but she declined the role as she was taking a break from acting at the time. She also appeared in a small role in the noted thriller Coma (1978), one of the many films where she played a murder victim.
Chiles lost her youngest brother to Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1978, which contributed to her decision to take a three-year hiatus from acting just as her career seemed to be blossoming. Her film career never fully recovered, and she struggled to find roles of the caliber she had previously enjoyed, though film critic Pauline Kael gave her good notices for her performances in Alan Alda's Sweet Liberty (1986). Chiles' portrayal of reporter Jennifer Mack in James L. Brooks' Broadcast News (1988) was also well received, as was her turn in George A. Romero's horror flick Creepshow 2 in 1987 as a hit and run driver. In 1989, she appeared uncredited in a short but effective cameo as the mother of Ione Skye's character in Say Anything (1989).
She has since appeared as a stuffy high school principal in the 1996 Disney film Wish Upon a Star and as a frightened cruise passenger in the critically panned Speed 2: Cruise Control in 1997, and she made a cameo appearance in the international release of the 1997 Bond-spoof Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, though her scene was cut in the United States release.
She has worked in television, playing J. R. Ewing's love interest Holly Harwood in the 1982–1983 season of Dallas and guest appearances in series such as Hart to Hart (as a psychotic split-personality model), In the Heat of the Night and Murder, She Wrote. Later high points included the indie films Diary of a Hit Man (1991) and Curdled (1996). In 2005, friend Quentin Tarantino, with whom she had previously worked on the set of Curdled, recruited her to appear in the two-episode finale of season five of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which he wrote and directed.
In the spring of 2002, she taught a course in film acting at the University of Houston. Unlike some "Bond girls", Chiles good naturedly says that "being a Bond-girl is a fun way to be remembered" although she jokes that being asked to sigh "Oh, James" is annoying as "you can’t live up to people’s fantasies".