Angelyne Trailer: The Mystery Of An L.A. Icon Revealed

It may be difficult to describe Angelyne to the uninitiated. Urban legend made flesh? Semi-divine fertility goddess? Personification of the color pink? A rare form of humanoid cryptid? Savvy entrepreneur goosing the entire system of L.A. fame? She may be all of these things and more. For many years, Angelyne was one of L.A.'s favorite mysteries. In 1984, the first Angelyne billboard went up on Sunset Boulevard, featuring a photo of her posing in a cartoonishly seductive manner. The billboard wasn't advertising an upcoming movie, it wasn't for a record, it wasn't for a TV show, it wasn't even a request for auditions for those things. It was advertising Angelyne. She was selling herself to a market that wanted fame. What was she famous for? It turns out, she was to become famous for ... being Angelyne. 

Angelyne presaged media-alone figures like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton by 20 years, carrying out her self-advertising and self-branding exercises in a way that whiffed distantly of a media prank. Hollywood was hungry for celebrity, so why not construct yourself as a celebrity who is famous merely for being famous? If Angelyne was pranking the Hollywood system, she never let the façade slip, driving around town in a pink Corvette, posing for pictures, signing autographs, and being bubbly and flirty with her fans. Her high-pitched voice and trademark "Ooo!" were either genuine enthusiasm or a component of a very elaborate, 24-hour-a-day act. One could point to Angelyne as one of the very first people to sell themselves as a brand, now a common practice among Instagram influencers. 

For years, Angelyne's true identity was a mystery. No one knew where she came from, her age, or her real name (her driver's License bore the unlikely surname "L'Lyne"). It wasn't until an expose in The Hollywood Reporter in August of 2017 that her true background would be revealed (Her real name is Ronia Tamar Goldberg, and she was born in Poland in 1950). By 2017, though, Angelyne's legend had been cemented, and the actual truth about her as a human being almost seemed like a footnote.

Angelyne has run for mayor a few times, was the subject of a bizarre 1995 documentary film, and has released three albums. She still drives around L.A. in her Corvette — if you see Angelyne in the wild, it's considered good luck — and she runs her own fan club and online store. And now there's a TV series about Angelyne headed to Peacock. Watch an announcement trailer below. 

The trailer

In the new teaser for "Angelyne," the upcoming miniseries on Peacock scheduled for release on May 19, 2022, Angelyne declares openly her scheme to advertise herself. Not in a clueless way, but in a very resolute, meaningful way. The miniseries seems to be presenting, perhaps correctly, that Angelyne was a performance artist, with her medium being, well, the media. Although Angelyne presented her character as being bubbly and kind of ditzy and clueless, she was actually a savvy businessperson who would speak frankly and intelligently when seated one-on-one with reporters.  

But she was always very protective of her past. The rumor for many years was she was from Idaho and had come to L.A. to become an actress. Many assumed the billboards were a form of 8x10 glossy with a résumé stapled to the back, and that Angelyne wanted to be in movies. While she did appear in several films ("Malibu Beach Vampires," "Earth Girls Are Easy," "Can I Do It... 'Til I Need Glasses?"), most people completely missed that Angelyne was never seeking to be anything more than what she already was: A famous person. The fact that she's the subject of a miniseries is proof positive that what she did worked and is still working. 

"Angelyne" stars Emmy Rossum (under a huge wig and a lot of makeup) as the queen herself, and was created by Nancy Oliver, a writer/producer on "True Blood," "Windfall" and "Six Feet Under." Also appearing in the series are Martin Sheen, Jefferson Hall, and Lukas Gage. Angelye is a Rorschach test one can use to gauge their views of the Hollywood machine. Does it celebrate talent, or are people getting high on the notion of being known for the sake of it? Given how personal branding has become a natural, insidious part of the media-soaked present, leaking into every facet of our consciousness, a miniseries about "Angelyne" couldn't be more timely.