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More on Cheryl Miller as the Dodge Girl

Our intrepid friend Walter found this cool article on a Dodge website:

Late in 1969, there was a changing of the guards at Dodge. The spokesperson for Dodge cars and trucks, Ms. Joan Parker, was leaving the job of promotion to a new woman. Miller was blonde, tall and blue eyed with a killer smile.  Her new tag line was “You could be Dodge Material.”During late 1969 and all through 1970, Miller was seen on brochures, print and television ads. The big auto exhibitions used her image to promote new models including the Challenger at the Chicago Car Show. Fans often saw her sharing booths with Sheriff Joe Higgins. Then, as suddenly as she’d arrived, Cheryl Miller was gone. Ever wonder what became of her? We did.

Attachment-1 dodge girl4
Cheryl Miller was born Feb 4th, 1944 in Sherman Oaks, California. Her father was an architect and her mother worked as an accountant for Sears department store. Cheryl had a typical childhood of the 1950s and graduated from Ulysses S Grant High School, majoring in Science and Music. Miller followed up her musical education by studying at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Miller seems to have been destined for a life in showbiz. She’d been discovered by Ivan Tors while appearing in an episode of Flipper. By the mid 1960s, things started going into high gear for Miller. March ’65 saw her promoting Home Seamstress cabinets in her local newspaper. In July, she was chosen by Walt Disney as the “Typical American Girl.” A production deal to star in “The Initiates” was struck by Creative Company in the fall.

cheryl miller dodge girl second year

postcard promo from 1971 with Cheryl Miller.

 

By late November 1966, Miller was one of 12 Hollywood Deb Stars and got drawn into the vortex of automotive promotion with an appearance at Special Speed Cars show held at Topanga Theatre which was actually in Woodland Hills, California. There were a lot of other emcee, hosting duties and even a hit television series called Daktari  from 1967 to 1969. This is probably where most people outside of California had exposure to Miller. Cheryl was married in December 1968 to Stanley G Shapiro, a stockbroker. Usually this would squelch any further show business aspirations but Cheryl continued with a return to her initial interests in the arts. She was developing a nightclub act featuring what she termed as “good music” in January 1969. It is unknown if the revue ever occurred but in August, Miller was tapped by Dodge to replace Joan Parker for the 1970-1971 year.

Here is a strange coincidence; Parker was from the East Coast raised in Warwick, New York. Miller was from the West Coast, raised in Sherman Oaks. Parker was leaving the auto PR business to marry a stock broker in LA. Miller had just married a stock broker and entering the auto PR business. Another weird coincidence is Miller and Shapiro were divorced by 1971 which is the final year of Miller’s car promotion run. You’d be hard pressed to find a matching set of book ends. It’s almost like Vanishing Point but with people instead of cars.

scene from Dr. Death, Seeker of Souls

Scene from Dr. Death, Seeker of Souls

Scene from The Man from Clover Grove

Scene from The Man from Clover Grove

The big question remains, what happened after the Dodge Material Girl era for Cheryl Miller? If you like the show business world, you keep on working. First, Cheryl got a role in NBC’s soap opera, Bright Promise starring as Samantha Pudding. NBC’s soap effort started in 1969, right about the time Daktari ended its run and Miller was hired by Dodge to replace Ms. Parker. By 1972, Bright Promise was on its last legs and was getting crunched by Edge of Night. Miller entered the movie world with a role in Doctor Death, Seeker of Souls, a 1973 horror flick. Miller was one of five unfortunate ladies to succumb to John Considine’s evil aura. From there it was a role in a mid 70s comedy children’s movie, The Man from Clover Grove.  Eventually Cheryl phased herself out of movies and big productions. She gained a family life and had a child in 1980 named Erik Seidenglanz. Today, he is known as a concept artist and was a noted child magician.

Posted 23rd October 2014 by Patrick Smith

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4 comments on “More on Cheryl Miller as the Dodge Girl

  1. Thanks a lot for the detailed article. The Parker-Miller thing was really incredible!
    But oh she’s so pretty! The first pic for instance is amazing 😀

  2. It seems that the Chrysler Corporation chose the best looking women for their Dodge Girls. Cheryl was one of the best. What a beautiful woman!!!

  3. What an awesome woman in her heyday, such a natural beauty! I was a fan of Daktari. They should bring a show like that back.

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