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PALM LATITUDES

CLOSE-UP : Voluptua '95

March 05, 1995|R. Daniel Foster

I have a date with Voluptua. Back in 1954, that statement would have meant something. Every Wednesday night, the torrid bombshell dragged her mink across a KABC set, emerging from diaphanous drapes to collapse breathlessly on a huge circular lounge beneath a heart-shaped chandelier.

Before Voluptua introduced the nightrquote s vintage romance flick, she invited viewers to kick off their shoes because "together, you and I are going to be good friends." She stroked a bearskin rug that growled and rolled its eyes. Horror films had Vampira. Love films had Voluptua.

At least for seven weeks. A deluge of complaints from ministers and PTA groups canceled the love affair. A former Vegas showgirl, Gloria Pall went on to model furs, appear in scores of movie and TV cameo roles and sell real estate.

Forty years later, the former Miss Flatbush of 1947 stands on the doorstep of her North Hollywood home looking unlike the Eyeful Tower she was once billed as. She shows off her latest project--six self-published memorabilia books, three of which were recently purchased by USC's School of Cinema-Television Library and UCLA's Research Library Special Collections department.

Pall's Showgirl Press has sold 75 of the $40 limited editions that tell of her encounters with Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, the Voluptua saga and Pall's pinup and cameo careers. "They chronicle an aspect of L.A. show business that you don't hear much about," says USC library assistant Ned Comstock.

Pall, 65 ("or around that"), says the university purchases have cheered her. "This is all an ego trip," she says in a broad Brooklyn accent. "But I feel so honored by being in the collections. For me to go down with all the greats of the '50s means the world to me."

The telephone rings, and I try to imagine Pall in her former incarnation, wearing smoke pearls in her seductive boudoir set, picking up her jeweled, mink-trimmed phone that she received proposals on--the one that, instead of ringing, sighed "Voluptua ... Voluptua ... Voluptua

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