Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...
12/11/1995 at 01:00 AM EST
MAHARISHI MAHESH MIMIEUX
IN THE ULTIMATE SPRING-BREAK-MOVIE—1960's Where the Boys Are—18-year-old swimsuit-clad Yvette Mimieux redefined the classic beach babe. That year, the L.A.-born actress strode memorably through the sci-fi adventure The Time Machine wearing a skimpy sarong. By the time she appeared on two episodes of TV's Dr. Kildare in 1964, playing a surfer who falls in love with series star Richard Chamberlain, Mimieux was a certified '60s sex kitten, until director Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain), 18 years her senior, wed her in 1972. Today she says she considers herself "retired from acting." Yet at a remarkably youthful-looking 53, she could still be a spokeswoman for time travel. Her secret, she says, is yoga, and its benefits are on ample display in her new video, Yoga Workout with Yvette. "I can do things now that I couldn't 15 years ago. I was always strong, but I wasn't flexible," says Mimieux, who turned on to the Eastern discipline in 1980 after becoming interested in Buddhism and Hinduism. Mimieux practices neither religion, but she says they made their mark on her mind as well as her exercise routine, which combines calmative, deep-breathing techniques with stretching and balancing routines. "I don't do Buns of Steel yoga," she says. "I teach meditation in motion."
Looking back on a career that included Monkeys, Go Home! (1967), The Black Hole (1979) and, her last movie, the made-for-TV Lady Boss (1992), Mimieux laughs, "I wish I'd been a better actress." Today, she mostly travels with her current husband, Howard Ruby, 60, a real estate executive she wed in 1986 (Mimieux and Donen divorced in 1982). On their trips to Europe and Asia, Mimieux says she sometimes sees a pernicious side to the pop culture she helped create. "All around the world," she says, "they all want porno, McDonald's and MTV, and we're exporting it as fast as we can. It saddens me deeply."