In a movie summer when Lois Lane goes to bed with Superman and Julie Andrews goes topless in S.O.B., you wouldn’t think the G rating could take another shock, but it has. Lynn-Holly Johnson, the fresh-faced former Ice Capades star who made her film debut playing a blind figure skater mooning over Robby Benson in the 1979 WW. Ice Castles and followed that with a Disney flick, is now putting her wholesome image on ice as well. In For Your Eyes Only, the 22-year-old Chicagoan hops into bed, wriggles out of a towel and issues a come-hither invitation to Roger Moore’s worldly James Bond. In a rare show of morality, 007 turns her down. But Johnson’s character, a skating prodigy, is a bad-tempered brat who won’t quit. Lynn is quick to point out there’s a world of difference between her and the role she describes as “a figure of fun. It certainly isn’t me up there on the screen.”
Indeed it is not. The real Lynn, who has lived alone for three years in a small apartment in Marina Del Rey, is no swinger. Her social life is closely watched over by the nearby family of David Kirby, 25, a former skating partner, and though she owns up to having dated aspiring actor Kenny Griswold, 28, for a year, that romance recently cooled and she’s playing the field with “three or four guys” and nothing serious in view.
For the record, Lynn sheds that towel only under the covers. “I wasn’t asked to pose nude and wouldn’t have if I was asked,” she insists. Yet in her drive to become a serious actress like her idol, Meryl Streep, she has come to feel that her bubble gum perkiness, Midwestern accent and youthful 5’3″, 106-pound frame get in her way. “I’d kill to be taller,” she sighs. Still, her athletic prowess came in handy on Eyes, which gave her the chance “to skate, ski and work out on the trampoline—all the things I can really do.”
Johnson has, in fact, been gliding through the worlds of acting and athletics most of her life. Raised in the comfortable Chicago suburb of Glen-view (her father was a general contractor, her mother a housewife), she hit the ice at age 4 and the cameras a short time later. Doing commercial spots for Sears, Coke and McDonald’s took her attention from skating for a while, and at 10, she played Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker with Rita Moreno in Chicago. But by the time she was 11 the rink dominated her life. She was there at 6 in the morning for two and a half hours of practice, and back again after school for four more hours. The grind paid off. At 15, she placed second in the U.S. novice figure-skating championship. Not long after, she broke her leg in practice and was off the ice for seven months. But in 1977 she quit school for intensive coaching in Los Angeles. At 18, she turned pro and soloed with Ice Capades until, six months later, the chance to make Ice Castles came along. She jumped at it. “Competitive skaters peak at about 20,” she jokes. “I’m over the hill.”
Anxious to improve her acting techniques and drop her Chicago twang, she has taken vocal and drama coaching for the past three years, but takes pains to revisit old friends in the Windy City often to show them “I’m still regular old Lynn.” She also keeps in close touch with brother Gregg, 25, a Navy pilot, and sister Kimberlee, 24, a former paralegal turned publicist who helped on the promotion of For Your Eyes Only. “We’ve become very close in the last eight months,” Lynn says. “I feel like I’ve really got a sister for the first time. It’s been one of the nicest new things in my life.”
Now if she could only get some age lines. “I just missed getting a fabulous movie role because I didn’t look old enough,” she says. “I told the director I was going on a promotional tour of London and Japan for For Your Eyes Only. ‘You wouldn’t believe these tours,’ I said. ‘They give you gray hairs and wrinkles, and I’ll look a lot older when I get back.’ ” The director didn’t buy it, but Lynn thinks her stint as Bond’s bad girl may be her turning point. “I got to prove,” she says, “that I don’t always have to be on ice to act.”