Twilight Zone: “We All Know What Became of Bonnie Beecher”
And I chose Bonnie Beecher, and we all know what became of Bonnie Beecher.
William Froug, in The Twilight Zone Companion, by Marc Scott Zicree
These are the curious words uttered by Twilight Zone producer William Froug, in reference to a May 22, 1964 episode titled “Come Wander With Me.”
What Froug was so upset about: he had passed over a fledgling actress for the part because she was too nervous and scared. And that actress’ name? Liza Minnelli.
First, let it be said that the episode was no poorer for the lack of Liza Minnelli. Froug’s starry-eyed view of Minnelli in the early 1980s, when Zicree wrote the book, is predicated on the fact that Minnelli had been a big star in the 1970s. Or to put it a different way: Who cares? Miss Beecher did a perfectly fine job in that part.
In the pre-Internet days, I had no idea what Froug meant about “we all know what become of her.” I just assumed he meant that Beecher disappeared from the scene–nudge, nudge, sarcasm.
Then the Internet began to Rape My Memory Cells, one by one, until there was nothing good left to be had, and I was able to find out what become of her.
Far from disappearing off the face of the Earth, she has thrived and apparently lived a full life.
Bonnie Beecher married counter-culture icon Wavy Gravy, born Hugh Romney, in 1965. She later became Jahanara Romney, and the couple had a son, Jordan. Even prior to that episode, she had been a familiar figure in many circles; it is even said that she was the inspiration for Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country.”
To this day, I still have no idea what Froug meant. While he was an amazing producer and writer, he wasn’t exactly a tuned in and turned on type.