BiographyKansas City, Missouri, USA
Don Edmonds was born on September 1, 1937 in Kansas City, Missouri. Edmonds came to Hollywood, California in the mid to late 50s. He studied acting with noted acting coach Estelle Harmon and began performing in various California stage productions. Don's initial forays into television acting include such live TV shows as Playhouse 90 (1956), Studio One in Hollywood (1948) and The Loretta Young Show (1953). Edmonds was usually cast as a goofy sidekick in silly "beach party"-type movies like Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961), Beach Ball (1965), and Wild Wild Winter (1966). Read more... as Hunter (1984), Green Acres (1965), Combat! (1962), Petticoat Junction (1963), The Munsters (1964), Gidget (1965) and Father Knows Best (1954). Edmonds made his directorial debut with the soft-core features Wild Honey (1972) and Tender Loving Care (1973). Don achieved his greatest enduring cult exploitation cinema popularity by directing the infamous Nazisploitation classic Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975) and its marvelously outrageous sequel Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976). After "Ilsa" Edmonds went on to direct the superbly gritty urban action winner Bare Knuckles (1977), the cruddy slasher horror entry Terror on Tour (1980), the action comedy Tomcat Angels (1991), and the pilot of the TV series Silk Stalkings (1991). As the vice president of production at Producers Sales Organization, Don was responsible for getting movies like Short Circuit (1986), 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) and The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986) greenlit and subsequently made. Edmonds has also been involved as either a producer, co-producer or executive producer on a sizable number of pictures that include Larceny (2004), Fast Money (1996), True Romance (1993) (Don was part of the production team that helped Quentin Tarantino get his early professional filmmaking career off and running), Skeeter and The Night Stalker (1987). More recently, Don attended screenings of his 70s drive-in flicks and appeared as a guest at film conventions held all over the country. He died at age 71 of liver cancer on May 30, 2009.