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Susan Ellen Anton (born October 12, 1950) is an American actress and singer.

Life and career

Youth

Anton attended Yucaipa High School in Yucaipa, California, and graduated in 1968. After high school, Anton attended San Bernardino Valley College. She first experienced fame by winning the Miss Redlands and Miss California contests in 1969 and tied as second runner-up in the 1970 Miss America Scholarship Pageant held September 6 that year.

Career

By the mid-1970s, Anton developed a following for her Muriel Cigar commercials where she provocatively sang, "Let Muriel turn you on / That is my desire / Muriel lights a flame in me / Where there's Muriel smoke, there's fire". Later in the 1970s, Anton appeared approximately 30 times on Merv Griffin's TV show. She was frequently seen and heard in television, print and radio ads for the Perfect Sleeper mattress by Serta. In these ads, she announced her name and sang the company's jingle.

In 1978, ABC gave her and country singer Mel Tillis a summertime variety series, Mel and Susan Together, produced by the Osmond Brothers. The pairing of Anton and Tillis was an unlikely one: he was popular in country music circles but hardly a national household name while Susan was barely known at all. The show disappeared after four weeks; nevertheless, she was later chosen as one of Time magazine's "Most Promising Faces of 1979."

She later starred in her own variety show, Presenting Susan Anton, one of three serials in the Cliffhangers series, and in the films Goldengirl, Spring Fever and Cannonball Run II. She also recorded music, her biggest hit being "Killin' Time" in 1980, a duet with country singer Fred Knoblock. The record made Top 10 on the country charts and hit #28 on Billboard's Hot 100. In 1990, Anton appeared on the TV comedy series Night Court in an episode called "The Talk Show" where she played talk show producer Margo Hunter.

Anton graces the cover of the mass trade paperback edition of "Goldengirl" by Peter Lear (pseudonym for Peter Lovesey) having played the title character in the film version known as "Golden Girl," starring James Coburn and directed by Joseph Sargent.

Anton was the host of the successful "Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular" show at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas for over 5,000 performances until July 31, 2000. She was then replaced by Dorothy Hamill and the show was discontinued soon after. She also appeared in the Las Vegas company of the musical Hairspray and on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies, Hurlyburly and All Shook Up.

She had a recurring role on the TV series Baywatch from 1992 to 1994 and has appeared as herself on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2006), The Larry Sanders Show (1993) and It's Garry Shandling's Show (1987), as well as in several films.

Anton appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU which aired on March 31, 2010.

Personal life

She dated English film and TV star Dudley Moore with much being made of their height difference. He was 5 feet 2.5 inches (1.59m) tall and she is 5 feet 11 inches (1.80m) tall. Anton married television actor Jeff Lester on August 15, 1992, her second marriage. She currently resides in Las Vegas.

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