Who is Cinder, you may ask? Cinder was a bit character in one of the long-forgotten teen comedy/coming of age movies from 1980. It featured former teen stars, Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal, whose characters meet at summer camp and immediately discover a strong dislike of each other. Meanwhile, one of the other gals–a budding little borderline personality named Cinder–decides to play the two against each other and makes a bet that whoever loses her virginity first wins $100.00. A very young and virtually unknown Matt Dillon plays the local yokel Romeo that Angel (McNichol) develops a crush on. Teen angst and cheeseball hilarity ensue.
The role of Cinder was played by Krista Errickson, an actress that can best be described as a never was. Following Little Darlings, she had a long string of supporting roles on television but never quite became a brand name. In fact, for the great majority of anyone reading this piece, you likely have no idea as to who I’m even talking about. Unless you have some kind of personal anecdotal connection to the movie, that is. As in, you remember when the film debuted and your friends nicknamed you Cinder because not only did you share similar looks but you also had the same cunty/bipolar personality. Or some such idiotic thing. You probably still do. But hey, what do I know.
Notwithstanding the mouse costume featuring prominent nipplage & titties on full display as seen below from Darlings, Errickson never really progressed as an actress beyond that of playing a teenaged dick tease.
But to be fair, probably the role she’s most associated with, and the closest she ever got to establishing any kind of notoriety, was playing Diane Alder, the teenaged daughter of Larry from the Hello, Larry show. And after bouncing around from utterly forgettable part to utterly forgettable part on weekly TV, she ultimately disappeared from the entertainment industry in 1994 and eventually went on to become a freelance journalist and documentary director in Italy, evidently having used her acting money to finance a college education at some point. She also married a director of the TV station she worked for, which, no doubt, helped grease the wheels of her Italian television anchorwoman career.
I’ve never seen Darlings, but was aware of its cheese factor and overacted performances, which was standard operating procedure for the time. Some of the kids that I knew at school had claimed to have seen it but early 80s chick flick just wasn’t my kind of movie. Besides, 1980 brought us a banner crop of notables including: The Empire Strikes Back, Airplane!, Stir Crazy, Nine to Five, Any Which Way You Can, Private Benjamin, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Smokey and the Bandit II, The Blue Lagoon and The Blues Brothers. I think I watched every single one of them on late night HBO while my mom stood intermittently at the top of the stairs telling me to turn down the TV or go to bed.
Back then, Little Darlings was so far off my radar it may as well have not even existed. But then where would we have ever gotten our sense of style from? Darlings was chock full of feathered male & female mullets! And where else would we have gotten the idea that the apex of teenage male sexuality was epitomized by a hippie haired, monosyllabic moron with a giant schnoz named Matt Dillon?
As for Tatum O’Neal, she was so unlikable/un-relatable that she may as well have had tentacles and originated from Jupiter. I had seen Paper Moon (1973) and was completely bored with it, but I did like her character, somewhat, in The Bad News Bears (1976).
The sum total of what I knew about Kristy McNichol was that she played a mousy, little, tomboy named Buddy on a TV show called Family that my mom made me watch with her.
The only reason I mention Darlings here at all is because it serves as context for Cinder. You see, I had always wondered who the actress was in the L.A. Woman video. I was certain that I had seen her somewhere else before and as it turns out, I was right. Errickson played the bottled blonde hooker standing on the street corner who picks up the wrong john and ends up dancing around as a corpse excerpted from a dia de los muertos montage that nobody outside of Los Angeles, California would have known what the hell it was. And me being a kid from the coal region, I had absolutely no idea in 1985 when I saw the L.A. Woman video. I just thought it was some artsy-fartsy thing but, the hooker in the vid was none other than Cinder. Or, more accurately, what Cinder would have ultimately grown up to be, that is, if only someone had bothered to write an arc for the character.
Perhaps Errickson was unhappy with her performance/compensation because she doesn’t even cite her appearance in the video in her official filmography resume, but it’s definitely her. Check it out. Full video found here.