Latest Movie Hotties Headlines

Then & Now: Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga)

05.17.2013by: Salacious Crumb

Time: the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. The greatest time of year is here, ladies and gents, and that's the time of exciting summer movies. This weekend, of course, sees the release of the one of the most anticipated nerdgasms for some time, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. I was going through some past   "Star Trek" hotties in the hopes that I would find a significant hottie to write about, but naturally, I wound up watching the Mel Brooks comedic space-terpiece, SPACEBALLS instead. Can you really blame me? Anyway, this got me wondering what ever happened to the beautiful Princess Vespa, as portrayed by Daphne Zuniga. Let's find out, through a series of pics!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...  in Berkeley, California, Daphne Zuniga was born. In her early teens, she became involved with the American Conservatory Theater in San Fransico. After graduating from Woodstock Union High School, in Woodstock, Vermont, she studied Theater Arts at University of California, Los Angeles. Everybody got that? Good.

Zuniga may be known to most for playing Jo Reynolds in the 1990's TV series "Melroes Place", but her career began about 10 years earlier, when she starred as Alex P. Keaton's girlfriend in several episodes of "Family Ties". In 1985, Daphne had a significant role in the coming-of-age drama VISION QUEST, and starred alongside John Cusack in the Rob Reiner rom-com THE SURE THING. This was the same year in which she starred with Lucille Ball in the TV-movie STONE PILLOW, in which Lucille tried to show off her dramatic chops. The next year, she starred in the comedy MODERN GIRLS.

If you can read this you don't need glasses.

Early in her career, Daphne's beauty was greatly recognized. She was one of the main sources of eye-candy in early '80's slasher flicks like THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1981) and THE INITIATION (1983). By the second half of the '80's decade, Daphne was undoubtedly one of the most saught-after babes in Hollywood. This all leads up to Daphne's participation one of the most quoted parody movies of all time... 

Yes, SPACEBALLS. Anyone who's a fan of movies involving space-travel probably loves this film as much as the next guy. The film begins with the Druidian Princess Vespa (Zuniga) who, unwilling to marry the narcoleptic Prince Valium, escapes her wedding with her droid friend Dot Matrix (voiced by Joan Rivers... of all people). She is soon captured by the film's antagonist, Lord Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis), who was given the orders to do so by President Skroob (Mel Brooks). You see, Skroob has wasted all of the air on planet Spaceball, so they plan to steal 35 thousand years worth of air from planet Druidia. It's left up to noneother than a Han Solo-esque slacker from the Ford galaxy, Lone Starr (Bill Pullman), and his Mog/best friend, Barfolomew (played by the legendary John Candy) to save the princess, and ultimately, the day. 

With motivation like this, who needs a plot?

This might sound like some odd form of child-abuse, but when I was young, my dad was all about getting me into the original STAR WARS trilogy. Then, by the time I'd had those films instilled in my brain, he introduced me to SPACEBALLS (1987). Needless to say, I absolutely loved it. At the time, I wasn't so familiar with the "parody" genre, so it's almost as if this movie was just as real to my imaginative mind as the STAR WARS films. I could quote this film as much if not more than any of George Lucas's projects. It was one of the movies I watched over and over again as a 10-year-old, which is strange, because the film's humor is so mature and sophisticated…

If you ask me, SPACEBALLS was almost like the PSYCHO of Mel Brooks's directing career. At this point, he'd already mastered the art of satire in different forms of genre films, whether horror (YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN), western (BLAZING SADDLES), or silent film (SILENT MOVIE). SPACEBALLS gave him the chance to bring this same talent to the world of sci-fi, and he did it with a near-and-dear understanding and love for the original material. The script of SPACEBALLS aimed to make fun of everything from STAR WARS to STAR TREK to ALIEN to PLANET OF THE APES to the BUCK ROGERS films to FLASH GORDON, and was even the first to poke fun at the "Transformers" cartoon series. One of my favorite moments is when the group approaches the all-powerful Yogurt (Mel Brooks), which serves as a great spoof of the classic scene from THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Many of you may also recall Daphne's role in THE FLY II (1989), GROSS ANATOMY or PANDORA'S CLOCK (1996). Of course, she became quite famous for her role in the '90's hit soap opera series "Melrose Place" (1992-1998). She's also made guest appearances in literally dozens of TV shows since the turn of the century. If you've kept up with this hottie over the past decade, you probably have somewhat of an idea what to expect. If not, you just might want to prepare to set your heart-rate for ludicrous speed...

Okay, I suppose there are there are some "One Tree Hill" fans out there who know what Zuniga looks like these days, but for those who don't this should be a pleasant surprise. Aside from her role as Victoria Davis on "One Tree Hill", Daphne has reprised her role as Jo Reynolds recently on "Melrose Place". She's also partaken in a ton of independent projects, including A FAMILY THANKSGIVING, CHANGING HEARTS, and A REMARKABLE PARADISE. Keep in mind that Daphne is now 50-years-old, and the photo above is one of her most recent. At least she doesn't look like a horse-faced space dog! Here are some other great photos of Daphne from the past few years... 

After all these years, I'm glad I've brought myself up to date on Daphne Zuniga's current whereabouts. Sure, some of you have seen her recently on shows like "One Tree Hill" or even a few episodes of "Nip/Tuck". But I will always know her as Princess Vespa, daughter or Roland, Queen of the Druids. It brings me joy to know that she's still acting after all these years, and in my opinion, still looking quite fine. I hope you enjoyed this little glance back at one of Mel Brooks's finest parodic voyages, and feel free to shoot back your opinion of the current state of Princess Vespa. Enjoy your much-deserved nerdgasm weekend, and may the Schwartz be with you!

Extra Tidbit: Daphne Zuniga reprised her role as Princess Vespa in "Spaceballs: The Animated Series" (2008). She was the only original cast member besides Mel Brooks and Joan Rivers to do so.


Latest Movie News Headlines


Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week


Latest Hot Celebrity Pictures

{* *}