Jill Whitlow, a name synonymous with the cult classic horror film “Night of the Creeps,” has been a significant figure in the entertainment industry, especially during the 1980s.
But what has she been up to since her days as ‘Cynthia Cronenberg’?
Rise to Stardom
Jill Whitlow started acting at just 3 years old, appearing in commercials and print modeling. Her breakout role was in the raunchy teen comedy Porky’s when she was 16, thanks to director Bob Clark taking her under his wing.
After Porky’s, she moved to LA and soon landed her most well-known role as Cynthia Cronenberg in the 1986 cult classic horror comedy Night of the Creeps.
Night of the Creeps
Night of the Creeps is a 1986 American science fiction horror comedy film written and directed by Fred Dekker. The movie blends elements of zombie films with those of alien invasion films. It has since become a cult classic, known for its blend of horror and humor.
Jill Whitlow portrays the character Cynthia Cronenberg in the film. Cynthia is a popular sorority girl who becomes the love interest of Chris Romero. As the story progresses, she becomes an integral part of the group trying to combat the alien slug invasion.
Whitlow says director Fred Dekker cast her as the girl-next-door Cynthia because she reminded him of someone he had a crush on. Dekker gave the cast a lot of freedom to play with their roles, though he would give direction when needed. Whitlow recalls the fun, relaxed atmosphere on set and joking around constantly with co-stars like Jason Lively and Steve Marshall. A memorable moment was accidentally getting locked in a shed with Lively during a scene involving the flamethrower.
After Creeps, Whitlow co-starred again with Lively in the 1988 film Ghost Chase for director Roland Emmerich. She speculates Emmerich wanted to create a “brat pack” with the Creeps cast.
In 1990 Whitlow ventured into the realm of television with the soap opera “Tribes.” The show was a deep dive into the vibrant and tumultuous world of teenagers in Southern California. Whitlow portrayed the character of Lorraine for 65 episodes of the show.
Retirment from Acting
After a few smaller film and television roles, in 1993 Whitlow stepped back from acting to focus on family life. But the devoted fanbase of Night of the Creeps eventually brought her back to appear at conventions and do interviews about the film.
Whitlow says reuniting with the Creeps cast at an Austin screening around 2005 felt like no time had passed. She remains close with Lively and others from the film. The continued popularity of Night of the Creeps took her completely by surprise initially.
What is Jill Whitlow Doing Now?
While Jill has taken a step back from the limelight, she’s been busy with personal milestones. She recently became a grandmother, referring to herself playfully as “GG.”
Additionally, she’s a newlywed and has been enjoying marital bliss with her husband, Tom. On the professional front, Jill has ventured into real estate, obtaining her license a couple of years ago.
Jill revealed her recent involvement in a short film titled “Victim No More,” a spoof on “Friday the 13th.” In a nod to her role in “Night of the Creeps,” she plays a psychologist named Cynthia, married to a character named Jason Romero. The film, still in production, will be available on YouTube and Amazon, with DVDs for purchase.