Born 1938 as Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingolia in Brooklyn, New York City, Connie Stevens was raised there until age 12, when she was sent to live with family friends in rural Missouri after she witnessed a murder in the city. In 1953, at age 15, Stevens relocated with her father to Los Angeles, California.
Stevens began her career in 1957, making her feature film debut in Young and Dangerous, before releasing her debut album, Concetta, the following year. She subsequently had a supporting role in the musical comedy Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958) opposite Jerry Lewis, followed by the drama film The Party Crashers (also 1958) opposite Frances Farmer.
Stevens gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of “Cricket” Blake on the network television series Hawaiian Eye, beginning in 1959. She garnered concurrent musical success when her single “Sixteen Reasons” became a radio hit, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart in 1960. Stevens continued to appear in film and television throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as well as performing as a musical nightclub act.
Stevens’ later film roles include in the comedy Tapeheads (1988) and the drama Love Is All There Is (1996). In 2009, she made her directorial debut with the feature film Saving Grace B. Jones, which she also wrote and produced, based partly on elements of her own childhood.
Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of young Connie Stevens in the 1950s and 1960s.