Ola Rae is the girl from Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
Sinister dancing zombies, brilliant choreography Michael Jackson and, of course, the song itself combined to make "Thriller." 1982 was one of the most iconic music videos in the history of MTV. Thanks in large part to this video, which, by the way, continues to break viewing records even today, the album of the same name topped the charts and became a cult classic of its time and genre, familiarity with which is almost a must for every aspiring music lover. But anyone who's seen the clip knows: Jackson is a - is not the only star in the frame. And no, we're not talking about zombies right now.....
Ola Ray - the pop king's charming young companion, who played his "screaming girlfriend" and thus gained fame - albeit moderate, but still. It's ironic: millions of people have seen her, but only a few know anything about her... Perhaps we should fix that.
Who's the hottie in the shot?
Ola Ray was born in 1960 in St. Louis, and at the time of filming Thriller, she was just over 20 years - about the same age as Michael. Since childhood, Ola had an interest in singing and dancing, and later modelled in Tokyo for a while. Just in time for 1980, she returned to the US where she continued her modelling career, this time for Playboy magazine and brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonald's. Soon she got the chance to be the girlfriend of a young pop king - albeit on screen.
Many years later, Ola recalled how her listening:
"They needed a girl who could play two different roles: a modern-day coquette, and a lady from the 1950s. And I was the one for them! You could say it was a stroke of luck..."
Career after "Thriller."
After the success of Ola Rae's music video, Ola Rae became more in demand - the girl began to be called to films and television! So, she starred in the films "City of Fear" and "Beverly Hills Cop 2", and became a guest of some popular US TV programmes. Just one music video brought Ola an unusually high level of attention! Soon she had her own fan base.
However, Ola's career after "Thriller" proved to be a short and rather gloomy. The excitement lasted a few years, after which the girl from Jackson's video began to be forgotten. Largely because of Ola herself. Even in our days Ray gave a big interview, in which she admitted that film studios did offer her cooperation! However...
"People who were willing to give me a good job were offering me one in return for flirting... That's not what I didn't like. I didn't want to be someone's girlfriend for a night out for a film role. So eventually I stopped being invited to projects..."
However ex-husband Oly claims: she ruined her own career, and it's not at all about being offered a flirtation for a contract....
The excesses of star life
According to that man - what really drove Ola to deplorable conditionwas her "unwillingness to give up partying." Rae didn't hesitate to agree with that statement.....
"After 'Thriller' there was a glimmer of fame in my career. There was a lot of partying, interesting dating and excess. During that period, I was going through a painful relationship, struggling with depression and couldn't beat my addiction to substances. At one point I had nothing left: I had nothing to pay the rent with!"
In 1992, less than a decade after "Thriller," her arrested and was charged with possession. She entered treatment in 1993. In a 2019 interview, she said that during this period she was kidnapped "and held in a basement for a couple of months" before being released...
"I was in a lot of debt. I had practically no one to whom I could turn for help. Today, looking back on the events of those years, I am truly glad that I was able to overcome my addiction and return to a normal life..."
A desire for profit or old grudges?
In 2009, Ola Ray reminded the world of itself once again with a high-profile litigationShortly before his death, she sued Jackson for unpaid royalties for "Thriller". She was able to obtain compensation in the amount of $75,000.Of which, however, $20,000 went to her lawyers... And it was not at all what Ola had hoped for: she felt she was owed millions!
In 2019, Rae gave an interview in which she said she was still owed "millions" and was living her life below the poverty line.
"They think they can just not pay me? These people are making millions of dollars off me. Right now I live in a small one-bedroom flat. My daughter and grandchildren also live here, and it's a struggle for us! My life doesn't have to be like this."
What do you think about this: is Rae right, or is she being crooked and just determined to cash in on her iconic legacy?