My interest in the pop culture of the past not only involves movies, music and television, but also books and magazines as well. In 2015, I liked the Facebook page for the book 6200 Carbon Canyon Road by Terri Lenee Peake, a former Penthouse Pet and and actress. Ms. Peake sent me a friend request shortly afterwards. At Christmas of that year, I sent out Christmas greetings in group messages to three groups of people, and Ms. Peake fell in the celebrity category. As she made mention of several other stars I included in the message, I was intrigued. I purchased and read 6200 Carbon Canyon Road last year, and I loved it. Upon completion of the book, I wanted to go further into Ms. Peake’s show business career, evidenced by a filmography at the beginning of her book. I spoke to her on Monday, January 16th, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know this wonderful talent.
Say hello to Terri Lenee Peake!
Johnny: I have my questions ready to go.
Terri: Okay. I’m ready when you are, dear.
Johnny: The first movie listed in your filmography at the beginning of your autobiography is Murphy’s Law. That’s one of my favorite Cannon movies. What do you recall the most about working on that movie, and working for Golan and Globus?
Terri: Oh my gosh. The one thing that stood out to me the most was how short Charles Bronson was. I never pictured him to be so short. I’m 5” 1′, and he wasn’t much taller than me, so I found that very interesting. The other interesting thing about that film was that we filmed for two days at the Bradbury Building, which is iconic for movie scenes.
Johnny: I know what you’re talking about. I saw it in Blade Runner and a whole bunch of other movies.
Terri: Right, right, and that was way cool to be in that building for filming. It was amazing. We filmed for two nights. At 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, we had to be there in downtown L.A. They had streets closed off because it was a big production. In this particular scene, it was raining, and they had the fire trucks come in at 4:00 in the morning and hose everything down. That was really interesting for me, too, especially for it being my first film. The third thing that was interesting was there I was, this young, pretty girl, but I was a homeless lady in the film. I walked behind as they were loading Charles Bronson onto the ambulance at the end and they closed the door. I was walking across the street at the end by the ambulance. I was all dirty (laughing), and you couldn’t even tell it was me, but I knew it (laughing). It was fun, and it was really fabulous, yeah.
Johnny: Definitely. I enjoyed that movie. In 1987, you appeared in Party Camp. A lot of critics gave movies like that grief, but I found them to be enjoyable. What’s your favorite memory of that movie?
Terri: Aww. You know, I really adored that movie, the innocence of it and the era. When I was going to school, there were jocks and there were nerds, you know? They don’t use those terms anymore, but in that film, it was those groups, I forget their names, competing. It was adorable. The odd part about it, though, was they did my scene in a rated-R version, where I’m actually topless, and then they did the TV version, where I’m in a bikini. The weird thing was that when I did the film, it was out in the Valley, and it was all kids. (Laughing) They had to get the kids off the set, obviously, to film my part. That was kind of odd and kind of weird, you know, because I didn’t know how my part was going to come together. When you’re filming, you know your part and you know your lines, but you don’t really know how the whole thing comes together until you see it. When I saw that movie, basically they’re looking through a peephole at the girl’s bathroom where I’m a camp counselor and changing, or in my bikini for the television version, and they play it over and over again in their room, going “Look at her” (laughing). It was adorable, but at the same time, kind of awkward because it was children (laughing). You know what I’m saying? It was every boy’s kind of fantasy growing up in the Playboy/Penthouse era, taking a peek at a magazine they found under their dad’s bed or their big brother’s bed or whatever. it’s kind of the same reality as they’re at camp, checking out the counselors that are older than them and what not. That was interesting to me.
Johnny: Yeah. I didn’t have a camp experience like that. My camp experiences were Boy Scout camps, and it’s obviously not the same thing (laughing).
Terri: (Laughing) Right. Like I said, it was a cute film to work on, but it was kind of odd going out there during the day to do my part when there were all children around. I was like, “Oh, shoot”. “It’s that topless lady”. “Who’s that?” “She’s going to get topless”. I had already done my centerfold, so at that point in my career, whenever I would get roles, they wanted me topless or I would get extra for being topless. I didn’t have to sit and go through the interview process like I had done in the past, where you’re in the casting lounge and they call you in one by one to audition. Once my centerfold came out, I didn’t have to go through any of that. I just had to walk through the door and they’d speak and I’d get the job. I was reliable, and I usually did my part in one take because of my theater and improv background.
Terri: I like to do my scenes in one take, and I was getting great feedback for doing a good job. I would pretty much get the job every time after that. I slowly started building my way up, and the next thing you know, I’m working for ESPN, so that was pretty cool. I also got to work on Silk Stalkings, which was a neat TV series with Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture.
Johnny: I recall that being a 90s show and not an 80s show.
Terri: It was a 90s show, right. I had my son by that time. I also worked on a film with Jane Seymour in San Diego, which is not even listed on my resume because I can’t remember the name of it. Those were the last two things that I did, after having my son, until years later when I released my book and started doing radio again and got back into the business.
Johnny: To go back to the 80s, another project that I enjoyed your work in was the video Summer’s Games. I thought it was a fun and sexy project full of gorgeous people. Were the events in that video real competitions, or were they sort of like acting projects stitched together?
Terri: No, they were actually competitions, which was cool. I was undefeated for 5 years, and to this day, I’ve never been beaten in a contest. I was kind of known as the Queen Of T&A. At the time I was working on that, which was filmed in Florida, I was working for Playboy and Penthouse at the same time, which is kind of a rare thing. People don’t know that you could do both, and I did both. I was working for both at the same time because The Playboy Channel was new and they needed content. I never did porno, but I did a lot of T&A, you know? Sexy girl in a hot tub scenes. I had to be by myself and be pretty, but it was considered softcore because I’m naked. I was doing a lot of filming for the Playboy Channel with Summer’s Games, Wet Water T’s, Night Of The Living Babes and it went on. Some of them were catfights. There were so many of them, like Stripper of The Year, but they were all real competitions.
Johnny: You mention Night Of The Living Babes. What do you recall the most about that project?
Terri: (Laughing) That was funny. It was a great group of people to work for. They were fabulous. I always take my kind of work seriously, so if you see me in some of those films, I was very serious (laughing) and trying to do a good acting job. That was funny because, again, it was a house in the Valley. You show up there, the lighting’s up and the crew’s there. You go in for make-up, you do your part and then you leave. You know the deal. This set had fog machines going. It was a crazy set, but they were wonderful and very cool people. We had a great time doing that.
Johnny: Alright. Moving into television, you made several appearances on MTV. Which era of MTV was this: The primarily music era which ended in 1987, or the dawn of the non-music era, which began in 1987, and what are your favorite memories of being on MTV?
Terri: Wow. Well, my favorite part of being on MTV at the time was that I happened to be neighbors with Vince Neil and hanging out with Motley Crue. It was on Redondo Beach, and I was with a newscaster who was on television every day. My centerfold wasn’t out yet, but I had already tested for Penthouse once. I thought I’d made it. I think I was either 21 or 22, and then to have something a year or two later where I’M the one on MTV? It started because I went to an audition for Crazy From The Heat with David Lee Roth.
Johnny: Oh, yeah.
Terri: It was based off his album and they were making a movie. They had a big open casting call, and it was all over the news. Over 3000 people showed up as they were looking for all kinds of people. I showed up and it was the best I ever looked during that time. I showed up in my bikini and high heels. I believe it was at The Palace where they held the auditions. It was an all-day process and I made it through all three rounds, and then I was picked by David Lee Roth personally in the last round. As I was coming off the stage from him selecting me, all the TV cameras were there from MTV to local entertainment shows. They were asking, “How does it feel to be picked by David Lee Roth personally out of 3000 people?”. I don’t think I saw any of those interviews, but it was all over the news that night on all the entertainment programs, so that was pretty cool. Every time I got something like that, I would get something bigger or better after, and I ended up doing the special Joe Piscopo Live in Miami. There were 50,000 people in the audience, and I was on stage with him. He asked me for my autograph, and I gave him a black-and-white shot. That was pretty cool.
Johnny: I recall reading about that potential David Lee Roth movie in his autobiography, also titled Crazy From The Heat, and I was just disappointed that it didn’t become an actual movie. I would’ve liked to have seen it.
Terri: I know, tell me about it. It wasn’t too long after that when his father was kidnapped in L.A. His father’s a dentist, and I don’t know if that played a part in it. It was shortly after that audition, and it was all over the news. I don’t think, when they kidnapped him, that they knew he was David Lee Roth’s father, but it was kind of crazy. It was just a crazy time. I remember going out one morning on the balcony of a house in Redondo Beach, and I saw Vince looking all bummed out and depressed. I said, “What’s the matter, Vince?”, and he said, “Oh, Beth left me for David Lee Roth”. (Laughing) It’s funny, all these intersecting things that would come up later or at the same time. Now I’m in Vegas, and on New Year’s, Vince Neil was playing at the Canary, up the road from me. I sent him a Tweet, but he didn’t respond, so whatever (laughing). I was at his wedding, and that was crazy. Tommy Lee mooned the church and all the people in Palos Verde. (Johnny laughing) I was like, “Really, in church?” (Terri laughing).
Johnny: These are some great stories you’re telling. To return to the questions, you also appeared in a segment of Eye On L.A, the popular KABC series about life and happenings in that town. What were you interviewed about, and did you try and make an effort to appear on the 80s tribute episode they did about a year or so back?
Terri: No, but I saw it, and I was really bummed out because I wasn’t in it, and I think I should’ve been in it. My Eye On L.A appearance stemmed from the David Lee Roth audition as it was on all the entertainment shows. It was a big deal, and I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal like that. I mean, I was just going for an audition, but it was a big deal as it was an all-day affair and there were so many people there. It was kind of like if you were to go for an audition for America’s Got Talent. Every act got up on stage and did their thing and what not. It was an all-day thing, and all the L.A entertainment shows were there and interviewed me after. When the movie fell through, it was really disappointing (laughing), but you know, that’s what happened.
Johnny: From appearing on the screen to managing it, in your autobiography, you write about your experiences working in movie theater management. What was the most creative promotion you came up with for a movie during your time as a manager, and when I say creative, I mean in the style of William Castle or Roger Corman?
Terri: Wow. I can give you two specific examples of promotion that were pretty cool. First, in Vegas at the Village Square 18, which was a big multi-million-dollar multiplex, The Italian Job was out. We had a Mini Cooper and a red carpet, and the car was in the lobby. The doors were taken off and everything, and we had it in there. There was another movie out at the same time, and the Cadillac people had a Cadillac in the lobby. The people from The Italian Job came to premiere their movie, and they were disappointed that a Cadillac was in there, because they felt it was stealing their spotlight a little bit, but I had a multi-level promotion going on with different movies. I also had a dining table set up for The Italian Job and I ran a “Win Dinner For Two” contest. It was an Italian restaurant set-up in the lobby with the wine bottles and the checkered tablecloth and all that. That was pretty cool. The other one I did was for Rugrats In Paris when I managed a theater in Hawaii. As a general manager, we had contact with the studios, and I would tell them I was doing a promotion. I would ask them if they had any prizes, and we’d get really cool things from the studio to give away. For Rugrats In Paris, they sent me all kinds of Rugrats dolls and stuff to give away. I was a clown all day. I dressed up in a clown costume and did every raffle all day for Rugrats. We had a Reading Tree set up where the staff, and it was so fabulous, made a giant tree on the wall made out of tissue paper. The trunk was brown and all the leaves were green, and these old Filipino ladies in Hawaii worked for days on the tissue paper. We put it together and it was magnificent. I read to the children, dressed as a clown, under the Reading Tree. We did picture taking and all kinds of fun stuff, and I did a food drive to benefit the food bank in Hawaii. That was really fun and really cool. I really loved being in the theater business. When you get the centerfold, you can read the bio. I wrote that myself. It’s kind of weird because I said that theater would always be a part of my life, and even after I could no longer act,i would still be in the theater business in one way or another. I would personally go down to the front of the auditorium, and bring in the children after we did the raffle and gave the prizes away. I would have them talk on the radio to the projectionist and have them start the movie. That was always fun, and I included that in birthday parties and stuff that we would do. It was fun, you know?
Johnny: Definitely sounds it. You recently returned to acting for an independent film called Ain’t No Luv In The City. What drew you to that project?
Terri: Wow. It was just an odd set of circumstances. It happened the day that I met Young Bo$$. I had left Vegas to help a roommate drive her car. She was an elderly lady and I helped her drive all the way to Illinois from Vegas. My flight got cancelled at the airport in Moline, Illinois. I’d never been there before. She dropped me off at the front and left. I didn’t know anybody there, and I walked in. The gate people weren’t there yet, and this young man said to me, “They should be here in about an hour. Are you taking the flight to Vegas?”. I said, “Yes, I am”. He said, “Yeah, they’ll be here in about an hour”. I thought, “Wow, isn’t that nice of him to give me information like that?”. People don’t normally offer to give you information like that, and I thought that was really sweet. Anyway, I went outside and waited for them to come in, and then when I came back, he said that the flight had been cancelled. I was stuck there for 30 hours. They gave us all a room, and we had started talking out of boredom. I said that I’m an author, and he said he’s working on a film. He started showing me his work, and I was impressed with his talents. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and it was just such a coincidence. We clicked and connected, and I got involved in the project. It was really a wonderful experience for me from beginning to end. He’s super-talented. This past year, I started PeakePerformance.com, which is all things performance, because my daughter, and I don’t know if you’ve seen her picture, wants to model. People come to me and want my help with getting them in the business, because I still have a lot of contacts. I hoped to be able to pick up a couple of people here and there and help them get their career going, get 10% or something if they get work. The list started growing this past year to the point where I have 6 different people that I’m managing. I’m in the process now of getting some standard contracts made up. Ain’t No Luv In The City was a project that was really not only fun, but an eye-opener for me. From beginning to end, when I watch the movie, I’m touched by it. There have been so many lives lost in Chicago, and I feel like the timing of it comes from a person who was there. It’s quite a story.
Johnny: Fantastic to hear. On a different tack, if you autobiography were to be turned into a movie, who would you pick to play you, and who would you choose as writer and director?
Terri: It’s interesting that you should ask that. I’m not allowed to say too much because I’ve been in a contract for about three years now, and you know how these things are. The people that are producing the Mac movie started four years ago. I’ve been part of the project for three years now. We’re getting ready to film in Spring and Summer. That’s all I can say. I cannot announce who has been chosen and who has been cast. I am allowed to say that they went through two screenwriters, and they also hired a director. I know who that is. Suffice to say, we stepped away from it being a feature film. I’m one step of Mac’s story. I’m the only living person to have pictures of the ranch and of our life on that ranch and our eight years together. All those pictures I took myself, including the driveway on my cover. I took that when checking the mailbox that morning. I’m one step of the story, and I can’t do my life story until this comes out. We stepped away from the project. It was going to be a two-hour feature film, but there was some kind of issue. I am allowed to say that it’s now going to be a TV series. It was in my contract that it would be either/or. I haven’t been told who will be doing the series. All I was told, during this holiday break we just had, was that there are two top TV writers who are on current TV shows now that picked up the project and are putting together the pilot.
Johnny: I hope it goes well.
Terri: Me, too. Because there’s so many characters, it’s going to be a weekly series like Sons Of Anarchy, possibly for HBO. I do know who the director is. As for who I want to have play Mac, I know who they’re going for and I know who I would’ve chose. I would’ve chosen Dwayne Johnson, of course. I never would’ve thought The Rock could play Mac, because he’s such a pretty boy, but when I saw him in Pain And Gain, I thought he could definitely do it. I know he has ties to our director, so I’m hoping for the best. I’m thinking there’s a good chance that he might want to do a project like this. It would be good for him, but I know he’s got a lot of projects going. As for the girl, I don’t know who the potential is. I personally think that Jennifer Lawrence could play me, but I don’t really like her. I really don’t like her, but I think she could play me. I think she would be perfect. She’s got that tough exterior and sweet girl-next-door look. She’s sexy, but she’s smart. I think she could do it, but I don’t know if she would. I don’t really care for her because I don’t get what the big deal is (laughing), which is weird
Johnny: You’ve expressed interest in attending conventions like Chiller Theatre.
Johnny: As you met a lot of people who like your work during your time as a Penthouse Pet, and going on for years after that, what’s been the most rewarding part of meeting your fans?
Terri: Well, I’m telling you, it’s unexpected surprises along the way…Really unbelievable, unexpected surprises. I remember my first convention in Hawaii for the Southland Corporation, which owned 7-Eleven, as you know. It was before they had independent contractors, and it was all corporate. I was stunned by the fact that it was a lot of women coming to get autographs. That really shocked me. I thought it would be all guys. I had mothers asking for their sons who were in the military. I had wives. I have more women fans than I do men fans. The other thing that surprised me throughout my travels and doing convention work, all across the country, was that whenever I would be somewhere, my picture would be in the paper and people would show up from high school or junior high or different places in my life. That used to blow my mind. There would be thousands of people there, and somebody would show up every time. They would be like, “Terri! Terri, we went to school together!”. That was wonderful. It was a great, great thing. The other part of it was just making people’s day. All these years later, people still contact me, Johnny. I don’t know why. They look up my name, they Google me, and they contact me. They say, “You were so nice when we’d seen you”. “You were just fantastic”. “You took pictures with us and you were so down to Earth”. People that I worked with are the same way, and that, to me, touched my heart and still touches my heart.
Johnny: Definitely. You’ve been very nice in speaking to me. I can definitely see why people would feel the same way about you.
Terri: I like to inspire others. I like to inspire younger people trying to get into the business. I wrote the book as a cautionary tale, but I also tried to keep it as authentic as I could. That’s why it’s so raw. For a lot of people, it might be too raw, but hey, 50 Shades Of Gray wasn’t too raw for all those ladies to go see that movie. I kept it as raw and as honest as I could because I’m trying to reach young people. If you’re not authentic, they’ll see through it, so I had to put it all out there. Not only that, but I figured if anybody was going to try and come at me or my character, I wanted to be the one to put it out there. They can say what they want. I kept it as real and honest as I could. I didn’t make up stuff. I didn’t name everybody because I’m not trying to ruin people’s lives with the book. My main message was really to caution young people who get into show business, and the implant story? I didn’t want to write a whole book about me getting implants. That would be boring. There’s a lot of medical stuff I went through, but I didn’t just want to write about that. The more I talked about implants on the radio, the Mac story kept coming back up, and my whole lifestyle. When you write a book, you have to decide what your focus is going to be, and what you’re trying to get at. There’s just so many things in the book that I am close to. Being a foster child, coming from a mentally ill family, four suicides in my family, for goodness sake…There’s a lot of people I try to reach in the book, and I did. That’s what I tried to do.
Johnny: You definitely did. It was a very enjoyable book. I do have one more question, and it’s related to your dancing days.
Johnny: You write of doing a striptease routine to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, and you mention you met many stars at the clubs you danced at. Was Michael Jackson one of those stars?
Terri: (Laughing) No, he wasn’t, bless his heart. I used to wear a red sequined bow-tie and one glove, and I had a red leather jacket with the zippers. I never got to dance for him, no. I danced for Martin Lawrence. I danced for Sir Mix-A-Lot. I danced for John Goodman, Mike Tyson, Tommy Davidson, Paul Shaffer from the Letterman show. He was fun, champagne lounge and all that. He was a perfect gentleman, though. There were a couple of them who weren’t, and a couple who just wanted to know if I knew where to get cocaine. It’s kind of odd. They go to the strippers for that. They think they know, which usually they do (laughing).
Johnny: Well, that about does it for my questions. I thank you again for taking the time to speak to me.
Terri: You’re welcome. I would really love to do a Chiller Theatre. I just wish I had done one more zombie movie, one more horror film (laughing), but I think I have enough in there between the magazines and a lot of different things, but I don’t know. I would be really interested in going. I contacted him a couple of times, and we talked way back a couple of years ago, but I haven’t heard anything since then. I know my friend Patty went. She was trying to get me on there, but it never happened.
Johnny: Well, it might happen at some point in the future.
Johnny: Well, that’s about it from me. I thank you very much. I’ll be in touch, and I also look forward to the autographs as well.
Terri: Oh, I can’t wait until you get it. Let me know, and remember, I wrote that bio myself and kept it real. I always keep it real. Anybody can ask me any question at any time, and I’ll give an honest answer. Thank you so much.
Johnny: No problem. Have a good afternoon.
Terri: Okay. You too, dear. Bye bye now.
Johnny: Bye bye.
You can follow Terri Lenee Peake on Twitter, and for a more in-depth look at her life, you can purchase her autobiography 6200 Carbon Canyon Road from Amazon and other book sellers.
Who will I Flashback with next? Stay tuned.