Nancy with the Smiling Face
when nancy mc neil was spotted by photographer bill figge, he gained a girl friday and his 16th playmate
If there is any short cut a girl can take to becoming a Playmate, it's joining a wedding party for which the bridal pictures are shot by Glendale's William Figge Studios. Nancy McNeil, our pretty colleen for July, is not only the third Playmate discovered exactly this way, she's also the 16th to be found and photographed by Bill Figge (usually with Ed DeLong). For Nancy, it all started whe she was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. "The luck of the Irish was certainly with me that day," she recalls. "After the ceremony, the attendants were posing with the bride for pictures when Bill Figge and his wife asked me if I'd like to audition for Playmate. Af first I thought they were putting me on, but it turned out they were really on the level."
At that time, Nancy was working at a local branch of the Bank of America, and it became increasingly difficult for her to get time off for shootings at the studio. So when the Figges found themselves in need of a girl Friday and asked Nancy if she was interested, she accepted with alacrity. "It's a completely different experience," she says. "The bank was so large I felt lost in it. But the studio is smaller and a more informal operation -- which suits me fine. And we have a lot of fun, too, like celebrating birthdays and other occasions with after-hours champagne parties."
At home in her Alhambra digs, Nancy's interest in gardening keeps her happily occupied. "Any living thing," she says, "adds warmth to a home. When I was little, I had pets around the house -- no cats or dogs, but chickens, ducks, fish, rabbits and turtles. You know, turtles have a lot more personality than most people think. One of the two I've had was a real jerk; when you entered the room suddenly, he'd pull in his head and hide. But the other one was very friendly and funny to watch. I'd put him on the floor and he'd try to eat the gold flecks in the tile. Since moving to an apartment, though, I've switched from animals to flowers -- moss roses, nasturtiums and zinnias. I've found that digging around in the dirt has a relaxing effect on me; and there are times when I really need to unwind, because I inherited my father's temperament. Everything's fine when I'm happy; but if I'm not, watch out! It must be the Irish in me." The Irish in Nancy is also responsible for that top-o'-the-mornin' look in her eyes, which -- along with her other attributes -- inspires us to echo the ancient cry "Erin go brath!"
Photography by Bill Figge and Ed DeLong