Judi Meredith was not much more than a tabloid celebrity in the late '50s and early '60s; her onscreen career was improbable enough to almost qualify as a minor miracle. Born Judith Clare Boutin in Portland, OR, she was an athletic child and became a figure skater. She turned professional and became a star performer with the Ice Follies in her teens. Her career was cut short, though, by an accident in which her back was broken. Her doctors told her that she would never skate again, but she resumed her career after a period of recovery until she broke her kneecap, which finally did end her professional skating. She turned to acting in her late teens and was performing in stock when she was spotted by George Burns, who liked her outgoing personality and healthy, athletic look. He cast her in a recurring role late in the run of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, playing Bonnie Sue McAfee in 1957.
From there it was on to Studio One in "The Left-Handed Welcome" and a boisterous guest performance in the John Payne Western series The Restless Gun; she also played herself in the short-lived series The George Burns Show (1958). Meredith began appearing in movies that year, in pictures such as the Western drama Wild Heritage and teen romance Summer Love. She quickly began moving into actor and celebrity circles, and at one time was linked romantically to Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. Meredith's biggest theatrical film role was as Princess Elaine in the fantasy-adventure film Jack the Giant Killer (1962). Her career arc was confined largely to television; however, Meredith's work included a string of appearances on the show Ben Casey, and she delivered a truly poignant performance in "Errant Knight," an episode of Bonanza featuring Dan Blocker and John Doucette. She was in her element as the whip-wielding Calamity Jane, working opposite Wild Bill Hickock (Robert Culp) in the made-for-TV film The Raiders (1963). She also had a role in William Castle's The Night Walker (1964), but two years later, she closed out the major part of her career in Curtis Harrington's Planet of Blood, made at American International Pictures. She was largely absent from the screen until 1971's Western comedy Something Big, and was last seen on television in an episode of Emergency two years later. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi