Judy Lenteen Pace (born June 15, 1942) is an American actress known for her roles in films and television shows, particularly blaxploitation films. Pace portrayed Vickie Fletcher on the TV series Peyton Place (1968–1969) and Pat Walters on the ABC drama series The Young Lawyers (1969–1971), for which she won an Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 1970.
Judy Lenteen Pace
June 15, 1942
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1972; div. 1984)
(m. 1986; died 1997)
|Children||2; including Julia Pace Mitchell|
|Awards||Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series The Young Lawyers (1970)|
Early life and career
Pace was born the second of two daughters in Los Angeles, California, to an airplane mechanic and a dressmaker. Pace's older sister Jean Pace Brown was an activist who was married to musician and actor Oscar Brown, Jr. After high school, Pace attended Los Angeles City College, majoring in sociology. Pace made her film debut as one of the title characters in William Castle's 13 Frightened Girls (1963). She got her first major break in Hollywood in 1968 as the first black villainess on TV with her role as Vickie Fletcher in the hit ABC-TV soap-opera/drama series Peyton Place. Also in 1968, Pace was singled out for praise by noted film critic Roger Ebert, for her performance in the popular youth-oriented film, Three in the Attic:
The find in this movie, for my money, is the young black actress Judy Pace, who is terrific. Variety calls her "the most beautiful black actress in Hollywood," which is debatable since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc., but she's a quick, funny actress who can put an edge on a line and keep a scene sparkling.
Pace quickly became a familiar face in the 1970s on both the big and small screens, appearing in popular blaxploitation movies and popular television shows. Television shows on which she appeared include Batman, Tarzan, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Flying Nun, I Spy, The Mod Squad, That's My Mama, Kung Fu, Sanford and Son, What's Happening!!, and Good Times. For one season, she starred in the drama The Young Lawyers broadcast on ABC. Pace also had a key supporting role as Gale Sayers's wife, Linda, in the critically acclaimed 1971 ABC-TV movie Brian's Song.
In 1972, Pace married actor Don Mitchell. They had two daughters together before their divorce in 1984. Their daughters are actress Julia Pace Mitchell and Shawn Meshelle Mitchell. Pace had been courted by late baseball great Curt Flood in 1966 when he saw her as a bachelorette contestant on the game show The Dating Game. They dated until 1970. After divorcing Mitchell in 1984, Pace and Flood met again, leading to their 1986 marriage. They remained together until Flood's death in 1997.
TV and filmography
- 13 Frightened Girls (1963)
- I Spy (1966)
- The Fortune Cookie (1966)
- Batman (1966)
- Bewitched (1966)
- Days of Our Lives (1967)
- The Flying Nun (1967)
- I Dream of Jeannie (1967)
- Three in the Attic (1968)
- The Mod Squad (1968)
- The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) as Pretty Girl
- Tarzan (1968)
- Peyton Place (1968–1969)
- The New People (TV movie) (1969)
- The Young Lawyers (TV series) (1969–1971)
- Up in the Cellar (1970)
- Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
- Brian's Song (1971)
- O'Hara, U.S. Treasury (1971)
- Cool Breeze (1972)
- Oh, Nurse! (1972 TV movie)
- Frogs (1972)
- Shaft (TV series) (1973)
- The Slams (1973)
- Ironside (1974)
- That's My Mama (1974)
- Sanford and Son (1974)
- Kung Fu (1974)
- Medical Center (1974)
- Good Times (1975)
- Caribe (1975)
- What's Happening!!!! (two episodes, 1977–1979)
- Beyond Westworld (1980)
- Sucker Free City (2004)
- Beauty and the Baller (four episodes, 2017)
- Brad Snyder (2007). "A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood's Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports". Penguin.
- McCann, Bob (2009). "Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television". McFarland. pp. 257–258.
- Lisanti, Tom (2010). "Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies". McFarland.
- "Little Known Black History Fact: Judy Pace". 1 April 2013.
- Ebert, Roger (20 December 1968). "THREE IN THE ATTIC". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times.
- name="obit"/>Harris M. Lentz III (2014). "Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2013". McFarland. p. 259.
- "Julia Pace Mitchell". IMDb.
- Ebert, Roger (January 10, 1969). "Interview with Judy Pace". RogerEbert.com.