As previously discussed, one of my ten favorite TZ episodes of all time is “Perchance to Dream,” which celebrated its 50th anniversary on 11/27/09 (the same day I celebrated my 40th birthday). The episode is notable for many things: the brilliant teleplay by Charles Beaumont… the breathless and intense performance of Richard Conte in the lead… the visual treat of the nightmare carnival… the eerie, swirling musical score by Van Cleave… but without a doubt, the single most memorable element of this episode is none other than this beautiful and talented individual:
Actress Suzanne Lloyd, in the role of Maya the Cat Girl, has haunted my dreams since I first saw this episode in the 7th grade. I told her as much in a recent letter to her, which accompanied a purchase order for autographed 8x10s (which she offers on her website). In my letter, I asked her to inscribe the picture with the following: “To Craig, Meow. Suzanne Lloyd.” I thought it might be cute. Her written response, which accompanied the signed 8x10s, suggests that perhaps cuteness wasn’t really appropriate:
“Maya is not a ‘meow’ character. I patterned her after a panther. But (I) will write what you requested.”
You know, she’s absolutely right. I think time had blurred my memory, causing me to confuse her interpretation of Maya with Julie Newmar’s Catwoman on TV’s Batman. Further study of Lloyd’s performance proved just how wrong I was. Maya would purr. Maya would growl. Maya would even shriek like a banshee… but she’d never, ever meow. I stand humbly corrected. Thanks to Ms. Lloyd for setting me straight.
I’m REALLY hoping Bif Bang Pow! releases either a bobblehead or an action figure (or both) of Maya at some point. A well-done action figure of Maya might just displace my all-time favorite female action figure:
I’m still waiting on Vera Miles to sign and return an 8x10 I sent to her a few months back… If she comes through, I’ll post a similar spotlight.