Ads #68: 1981

This is indeed Carol Ann from Poltegeist (Heather O'Rourke).  She was discovered by Steven Spielberg when she went with her sister and mother to MGM studios for her sister Tammy's part in Pennies from Heaven (1981) who played uncredited as a dancer.  They were eating in the MGM cafeteria when Spielberg spotted her.

Her mother was a seamstress and her stepfather a truck driver, so when the movie part came along, it was life changing.  Unfortunately, in the late eighties O'Rourke developed a bowel obstruction which could have been cured by a simple operation.  Unfortunately, her symptoms were misdiagnosed as Crohn's disease.  The medication caused the big puffy cheeks you see in Poltergeist III; and sadly the untreated bowel obstruction ultimately caused a fatal heart attack.

The advertisement above is from 1981, shortly before filming on Poltergeist.  It is said her ghost still haunts the set where she filmed 12 episodes of Happy Days (Paramount Pictures State 19).  Believe it.... or Not!  

Speaking of Happy Days...

And it's all I need to have a mental image of Big Al with a nasty rash.  And isn't it interesting that ads for medical and hygienic type products (i.e. hemorrhoid creams, antacids, cold medicine) always have a goofy looking guy?  Whereas, ads for cigarettes, alcohol, and cars always feature a studly dude with no trace of goofiness.  And note that the woman will look good in either scenario.

But she did get dressed - just didn't bother buttoning her shirt.   Maybe it's not her bra; she's just lazy.

This is the most misleading advertisement in history.  It literally says "without a stimulant" - that's its big selling point.  Yet, the box clearly states: "contains phenylpropanolamine", an amphetamine known to cause strokes in women (and is a main ingredient in meth production).... but, hey, there's no caffeine!

I love it when you call me Big Poppa.

It's incredible to think that Kodak was one of the top companies in the US for decades, and with the advent of cheap and easy digital photography, they have literally perished.  They weren't able to transition to the new technology and subsequently became the poster child for businesses that can't keep up with the times.

Also, Landon's hair was glorious, wasn't it?

And speaking of long standing companies that perished overnight, how about the most unfortunately named product of them all?  Ayds had been around for decades before the HIV-AIDS epidemic hit, causing an irredeemable phonetic connection.

A popular urban myth when I was in elementary school was that Ayds candies actually contained tapeworm eggs.  Turns out, it was something worse: amphetamines.




  1. My First Barbie. Because little girls need negative self-image, too.

    1. Hey,
      I had Barbies and they were dolls I played with.
      They were NOT my hopes and dreams and standard to achieve.

      We played with them, dressed them, changed clothes, and played in the Dream house. Then on Monday we went to school and learned fractions.

      THAT was the reality of being a little girl.

    2. We played with them, dressed them, changed clothes, and played in the Dream house. Then on Monday we went to school and learned fractions.

      EXACTLY. I had Barbies growing up, and I sure as heck didn't develop any complexes from it. Actually, I preferred Barbies to baby dolls, because she was all 'grown up' and got to do cool stuff - live in a Dream House, sing, drive a pink Tonka SUV, have her own horses. And what do you with baby dolls? Change diapers...

  2. Kodak actually invented digital photography in the 70s, but thought that their bread & butter was in film, so it never took advantage of what it had! They could have been a trailblazer and still one of the top companies in the world!

    1. And Xerox invented the PC (and mouse!) but never did anything with it.

    2. Well, the mouse anyway.

  3. Kodak realized it is really a chemical company. They off-loaded all their old pensions and money-losing business into the core company that went bankrupt, and spun off the profitable chemical businesses.

    Speaking of someone who had to have emergency surgery for a ruptured colon, I can say that it is easy to misdiagnose stomach pains. I have heard many other stories from acquaintances, too. It's important to insist on a CT scan for stomach problems.

  4. Big Poppa Michael Landon had the best hair.

  5. I had that Barbie -- her body was plastic, not rubber, and she was my favorite. :)