Skip to main content
Biography
Donna Loren was, after her slightly older contemporary Annette Funicello, the actress who got the most professional exposure from American International Pictures' Beach Party movies. Like Funicello, Loren had a wholesome image in those films; in contrast to Funicello, Loren was actually a teenager for the run of the series. Born Donna Zukor in Boston, MA, in 1947, Loren began performing professionally in 1955 when she got a job singing a commercial jingle for Meadowgold Ice Cream. That very same year, she was a guest on a new children's television program called The Mickey Mouse Club (which featured Funicello in its cast of regulars). She began her professional recording career in 1956 and was one of the busier child performers for the next decade, making commercials that used her infectiously wholesome smile to plug a variety of products and cutting the occasional single. Her breakthrough came in 1963 when she won a talent search for the "Dr. Pepper Girl." Her face appeared on billboards, her voice was heard on the radio, and she was seen on television (including regular appearances on American Bandstand) and in personal appearances plugging the soft drink Dr. Pepper. The company agreed to have its teenage spokeswoman appear in the movie Beach Party, as a sight gag, plugging the soft drink (whose makers had helped finance the film), but producers Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson were so pleased with her presence on camera and her voice, that they gave her a song to perform, and Loren got an actual acting role in Bikini Beach, the follow-up film. She subsequently appeared in Muscle Beach Party, Pajama Party, and Beach Blanket Bingo -- the latter resulted in the release of her first and only LP, Beach Blanket Bingo, on Capitol. Loren closed out her screen career in the Frankie Avalon vehicle Sergeant Deadhead, although she continued making records into the following year. In contrast to such AIP actresses as Salli Sachse and Joy Harmon, who got work into the late '60s playing bad girls, Loren's clean, wholesome image, reminiscent of Lesley Gore, seemed locked into the mid-'60s. Following another foray into recording during the 1970s, Loren left behind performing as a career and has since emerged as a successful clothing designer with her own label, ADASA Hawaii.

Stay Connected with Moviefone

My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Subscriptions

Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts

Movies

You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.


    Update settings
    X