At fifteen years of age, Gail Gilmore joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in her native Canada. Later, she taught ballet for a time in upstate New York.
For a whirlwind three years, Gail enjoyed a successful acting career. In a short time, she made appearances on the popular television series Mr. Novak, My Three Sons, Perry Mason and Wagon Train. In 1965, she was cast in six films including two with Elvis Presley, Harum Scarum and Girl Happy. Gail’s other film roles were mindless romps, capitalizing on the “beach movie” craze that drew flocks of teenagers to theaters. These films featured musical acts of the day — The Supremes, The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons — and very little plot. Gail also co-starred in the infamous cult favorite Village of the Giants, alongside Ron Howard, Johnny Crawford, Joy Harmon and Beau Bridges.
Gail retired from show business in 1966 after meeting (and eventually moving in with) author and screenwriter Terry Southern, best known for his work on Dr. Strangelove, The Cincinnati Kid, Easy Rider and Barbarella. His film The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, included Gail’s final screen role.
Fifteen years after Terry’s death, Gail published a tongue-in-cheek account of their life together. Entitled “Trippin’ with Terry Southern: What I Think I Remember,” the book was honored with the Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal.
In 2014, Gail, a longtime smoker, passed away from complications related to lung cancer. She was 74.