Those of you who best-remember Kristine DeBell as the titular innocent-but-quick-learning lass in the 1976 adult feature film Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (arguably one of her best-know roles), and expect to hear some of the lowdown on it from her in this interview, may be disappointed. Kristine agreed to do this interview for Idol Features under the condition she wouldn’t be asked any questions regarding that film. However, you can get the answers to pretty much all the questions I would have asked her about Alice and the film, from the March 22, 2015 article at The Rialto Report.
After “Alice,” which was her first film role, Kristine went on to have a successful mainstream acting career, that included both film and television. Her long list of big screen credits includes Blood Brothers, The Main Event, and Meatballs, alongside such names as Richard Gere, Ryan O’Neal, and Billy Murray, respectively. Her TV credits include prominent guest roles on Barnaby Jones, CHiPs, Night Court, and a stint on the long-running daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Of course, there were some parts she narrowly missed getting during her heyday, such as the part of Vickie La Motta in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, but those at least lend themselves to some good audition stories.After pretty much retiring from show biz in 1990 to raise a family, Kristine returned to acting a few years ago, and after the 20-plus year hiatus, took on the new challenge of playing characters quite unlike those she played when she was in her 20s and early 30s. In this recent interview, she talks about what that’s been like. We also touch on what Hollywood was like for her back in her 70s and 80s heyday, and drop a few names along the way. Above photos, circa 1978 and 2016, courtesy of Kristine, herself.
June 27, 2016 interview with Kristine DeBell
Left: From an early modeling shoot, circa 1975. Right: Kristine gracing the cover of the April 1976 issue of Playboy magazine. Despite the cover theme, giving the impression it could have been a subtle attempt by Playboy to give a nod to Kristine’s anticipated “Alice” role, Kristine says theme of the photo had nothing to do with the character or the movie. The photographer was Suze Randall, who was well-known for her contributions to the top men’s magazines of the era.
Newton, entitled “200 Motels, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”
Released in December 1976, the film was shot in the Summer of 1975.
After Playboy and Alice, Kristine was able to avoid the “porn star” stigma that could have been attached to her, and continue her acting career in mainstream films and TV. At left; as A.L. in Ivan Reitman’s 1979 comedy Meatballs and at right, as Debbie Williams in Cheerleaders’ Wild Weekend. To find out what “A.L.” stood for, listen to Kristine’s reply to that question at the 13:00 mark in the interview.
in a 1984 episode of Night Court entitled “Harry and the Rock Star.”
the middle of Kristine’s long hiatus from films. At left is Kristine riding in the Old Chatham
Hunt in her hometown of Chatham, New York in 2011, just before her acting comeback.
Right: 2013 at Santa Anita during an event for TrottUSA, which is a non-profit organization
dedicated to providing retired thoroughbreds with new careers after the racetrack.
1984, at home in Studio City, California
At Day Of The Scream Queens 2014 with Laurene Landon and Lisa London
With photographer Suze Randall last year. Suze, who shot Kristine’s April 1976 Playboy cover, has been one of the biggest names in adult magazine photography for over four decades and has been a staff photographer for the “big three” men’s magazines; Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler, during their pre-Internet heydays.
Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance.
Her Official Website
Her IMDb Page
Her Facebook Fan Page
“Alice in Wonderland” (1976): What really happened? (March 2015 article at The Rialto Report, that includes quotes from Kristine and some of the other cast members about the film.)
Thanks to Joe Williamson at The Williamson Management.
About the author
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.
A link from the Rialto Report led me here. Good interview. You just touched on “Alice” and moved on, but it seems like she wants to erase Alice from her past or not admit she made a porno. Sure, she did a lot of other stuff but Alice is still the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear her name mentioned.
Good interview. I remember seeing Kristine in Alice in Wonderland and there were definitely hardcore scenes involving her. I also recall that April 76 issue of Playboy with Kristine on the cover stirring a bit of controversy because her breast was exposed she was depicted as a child. Of course, she doesn’t seem to remember any controversy about the cover, but she was just the model.
I’m dating myself, but I do remember hearing that the April 1976 Playboy cover photo caused a stir. But Hef probably thrived on controversy. Good for sales. I also know that Playboy or any magazine would not dare run a cover photo like that these days.
Even back in the days of the sexual revolution, Playboy was pushing the boundaries. They wouldn’t run a cover like that April 76 cover today.