Jenny Maxwell

Jennifer Helene Maxwell[1] (September 3, 1941 – June 10, 1981) was an American film and television actress, probably best remembered for her role in the 1961 Elvis Presley film Blue Hawaii.[2]

Jenny Maxwell
Christine White Jenny Maxwell Ichabod and Me (cropped).JPG
Maxwell in Ichabod and Me, 1962
Jennifer Helene Maxwell

(1941-09-03)September 3, 1941
DiedJune 10, 1981(1981-06-10) (aged 39)
Cause of deathHomicide
OccupationFilm, television actress
Spouse(s)Paul W. Rapp (1959–1961)
Ervin M. Roeder (1961–1981 {death})

Early yearsEdit

Maxwell was the daughter of a construction worker of Norwegian descent[3] (the original name of Moksvold was changed when the family emigrated in 1949), and a distant relative of Marilyn Monroe.[4]

Film and televisionEdit

Vincente Minnelli saw Maxwell when she was 16 years old and a high school student in Brooklyn. He had her do a screen test to possibly portray Frank Sinatra's niece in Some Came Running.[5]

Maxwell played spoiled Ellie Corbett in Blue Hawaii, whom Elvis' character eventually tames by spanking her on the beach. She also appeared in Blue Denim (1959), Take Her, She's Mine (1963, which starred James Stewart), and Shotgun Wedding (also 1963; Maxwell's cinematic swan song, co-written by infamous filmmaker Edward D. Wood, Jr.). In addition to this she appeared in several television shows, including Father Knows Best (1959), The Twilight Zone (1961), Route 66 (1961), The Joey Bishop Show (1962), and 77 Sunset Strip (1963).

Personal lifeEdit

On April 17, 1959, the 18-year-old Maxwell married 24-year-old Paul W. Rapp, an assistant director.[6] After separating in December 1961, they had a very public divorce and custody battle over their son Brian, with Maxwell winning after testifying about Rapp's "extremely possessive and overly jealous" nature.[4] The divorce was granted January 29, 1963.[7]

She later married Ervin M. Roeder, a successful attorney who was 21 years her senior, on February 15, 1970 in Los Angeles.[8]


In the afternoon of June 10, 1981, shortly after their separation, Maxwell and Roeder were killed in the lobby of her Beverly Hills condo during a possible botched robbery.[4] She was 39 years old. The murders remain unsolved.


  1. ^ "Jenny Maxwell and Elvis : The Seat Of The Trouble - Elvis' Movies".
  2. ^ Biography for Jenny Maxwell, Accessed 2009-05-18.
  3. ^ Wilson, Earl (August 28, 1954). "It's a Smile World; Town Named for Yul". Janesville Daily Gazette. Wisconsin, Janesville. p. 12. Retrieved June 2, 2016 – via  
  4. ^ a b c Tom Lisanti's book Drive-In Dream Girls
  5. ^ Kilgallen, Dorothy (June 28, 1958). "Gossip in Gotham". The Record-Argus. Pennsylvania, Greenville. King Features Syndicate. p. 7. Retrieved June 2, 2016 – via  
  6. ^ Parsons, Louella G. (May 22, 1959). "Gina Is Reading Script For Movie Version Of 'Lady L'". Anderson Daily Bulletin. Indiana, Anderson. p. 14. Retrieved June 2, 2016 – via  
  7. ^ "Actress Gets Divorce from Movie Director". The Bridgeport Post. Connecticut, Bridgeport. United Press International. January 30, 1963. p. 7. Retrieved June 2, 2016 – via  
  8. ^ California Marriage Index 1960-1985

External linksEdit