The Short Life of Jill Banner

Jill BannerI don’t know how we found out about Jill Banner [for Spider Baby]. Somebody must have told us about her. She just came into the office for an interview and I’m sure she wasn’t expecting to get any kind of a leading role. We just chatted with her and she admitted she hadn’t had any experience. But she said, “I’m a lot of fun to have around.” And the way she said that, all of us in the room suddenly felt that this strange girl was just right for the picture. She just had this kind of presence.

It wasn’t until not too many years ago I had been trying to locate Jill Banner. I had a phone number on her, and I had no idea that she had died. And I learned that she had died in a terrible, terrible automobile accident on the Pacific Coast Highway. She was at that time living with Marlon Brando and, in fact, working on a screenplay with him. And I also heard from Jill’s manager that Brando that told someone that Jill was the only woman he had ever really loved. At her funeral, he remained long after everybody else had left — standing over her grave. So it must have been quite a relationship. And she was quite a remarkable girl, so I could understand very much why Brando would be fascinated by her.

–Jack Hill
Interviewed in The Hatching of Spider Baby

One reply

  1. Jill’s loss is not in vain ; those who wondered what it would be like; now know ; that the dream of stardom can and does become the end for some and the paths forward for others ;tread lightly know your limitations and proceed with caution! Live fast and die young tell that to Marlon Brando , 1982 would bring the first of many tragic events; that would change everything for the leading man that lost the most beloved woman he had ever known the lure of fame and fortune ???? boulevard of broken dreams you bet and the resting place for many talented yet fated young atars , just thirty five ; two steps forward ,one last step back ; Tonight’s episode of Dragnet with JackWebb &Harry Morgan ; costar Jill Banner ,good stuff Jill ????

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