Well welcome to another addition of Funky Friday where we wind the clock back to those ever fabulous 70’s when Black Action films ruled the box-office, funky music was floating across the airwaves and AM radio was still king. Click here for your listening pleasure as you peruse all that is Trina Parks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRrWVMmNYEI&t=2514s
Above: fan art featuring actual characters from Diamonds Are Forever vs the release poster.
First up- Trina Parks- she exploded on the Hollywood scene following a villainous debut as one of 2 lethal ladies in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. She was Bambi’s counterpart, Thumper and really gave Bond a run for his money. 007 was getting his ego and his butt kicked- something that he was not used to and neither was the audience. This was a different Bond, full of fun and excitement however the femme fatales were not melting at his glance or falling all over him. It also marked the first time a black actress was featured in a role, let alone a prominent one. This was not Trina’s first movie venture. She had appeared in the Great White Hope with James Earl Jones as a street dancer and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, both the year before. Although Trina starred in only a hand full of films, her presence was most notable. The mid 70’s in front of the camera- saw Trina in the girls with guns/women in prison actioner The Muthers which also starred Jeanne Bell (TNT Jackson) and Jayne Kennedy.
Trina was not tied to the big screen only. She had a more prolific career on stage and Television. TV provided Trina the opportunity to showcase her dancing and singing on the Hollywood Palace with 2 appearances. There also were specials with the likes of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Dione Warwick, and Dick Shawn. When it comes to the theater Trina has graced the stage with over 30 performances. Here is where Trina not only shines but has a commanding aura of style, grace and athletic ability.
I had an opportunity to chat with Trina about Diamonds and the action that had the audiences riveted to the screen. Which she indicated that she had to be in terrific shape to do all those martial arts/gymnastic moves that were performed in the film. The stunts involved- included many splits and tumbles where the performer had to tuck & role, then come out of the role and into a cartwheel or a high-flying kick. Luckily Trina was a choreographer and a dancer. The dancing had made her very limber which helped to enable her to meet those physical demands of the role. Composed of karate kicks, judo throws, tumbling and flips for the film.
Diamonds are Forever- below link-fight scene with Bambie and Thumper- a clip from Diamonds Are Forever featuring Bambi and Thumper giving Bond more than a comeuppance SPECTRE style…this time 007 may have bitten off more than he can chew be more … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCo2uqlAi4s
Even today Trina is much in demand and stays very active in regard to making appearances and catching up with her fans. Look no further than the ever-popular annual comic book and film conventions held thru out the year…Dragon Con, Women in Horror Film Festival, Bond Tributes. And if one would like to view her film accomplishments, there’s Brown Sugar streaming service which is available via Roku, Amazon Fire TV, PC and Google Play is showcasing two of her films DARK TOWN STRUTTERS & The Muthers. See link below.
A big thank you to Trina and all that you do. She is one of the nicest people I have the pleasure of knowing. You yourself may even have the pleasure of "running" into her-for she still keeps busy at various functions and events including the conventions that pop up across the country.
Join us next time when we discuss a ’70s legend and being in the Right Place Wrong Time-Dr John. Til then- stay funky and cool man... cool.
Related material and links-
Trina Parks: blog and link to her new book- And I Am Thumper- a short story of how Trina Parks became the 1st African American Bond Woman..
Book available via Mag Cloud in both a print and digital version with a special bundle pack that includes both…see link: www.magcloud.com
Where to find Trina in the streaming universe-
Brown Sugar- Badass Cinema-www.brownsugar.com. Available on multi streaming platforms including Amazon Prime and Roku. Plus, your PC as well mobile devices.
Aside from Trina there is an ample supply of Badass Cinema. Everyone for Fred Williamson to Richard Roundtree plus more Dolemite and martial arts action than you can handle.
And a load of women...Beyonce, Rihannah, Pam Grier to Kellita Smith -styling hair like no one else can in In the Cut.
In the Cut with 7 layers (seasons) of sitcom style comedy. Hilarious antics from inside the barber and hair salon business. Besides Kellita (Cheryl), we have Dorien Wilson costarring as Jay. He is her at times competing business. Attached to each other- plaza wise. Jay is not only her landlord but boyfriend. This makes for some interesting situations. Add throw in a son that Jay never knew he had. ***Highly recommended.
**Upper picture also features John Marshall Jones, Laura Hayes to the left of center with Dorion Renaud and Ken Lawsone to the right.
. A sample of programming streaming currently- Big Bird Cage, Bruces' Deadly Fingers, Shaft (1971), Tina Turner-Simply the Best and Sister Street Fighter. More comedy-more sitcoms as well as drama with Saints and Sinners.