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Arkansas-born actress misidentified

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With a June 5 article about the then-upcoming Little Rock Film Festival, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran a publicity photograph from the 1973 movie "White Lightning," which was filmed in Arkansas. The photograph was of Burt Reynolds, the movie's star, with his arms around a woman the D-G identified as the actress Diane Ladd. That was really the actress Jennifer Billingsley, who, as her on-line biography notes, "graduated with honors from Fort Smith Senior High School in Arkansas," class of 1958. She was the female lead in "White Lightning." An accompanying D-G article about movie actors from Arkansas didn't mention Billingsley either. A friend and former Fort Smith High classmate, Brian A. Snow, saw the error and notified the Times. Billingsley appeared in a Broadway musical, "Carnival," where she caught the eye of Life magazine, and then in a number of movies and television shows. Her film debut came in "Lady in a Cage," with Olivia de Haviland and James Caan. At one time, she had a recurring part on the soap opera "General Hospital." But apparently her acting career came to an end in the late '70s. The Times was unable to speak with her, but Snow says she's living in California.

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