A leading teen ingénue of the 1950s and 1960s, Tuesday Weld later emerged as one of the more intriguing actresses in Hollywood, delivering a string of well-received performances in the kinds of offbeat and idiosyncratic projects rarely visited by performers of her beauty and glamour. Born Susan Weld August 27, 1943, in New York City, the name "Tuesday" was an extension of a girlhood nickname, "Tu-Tu." She began working as a child model at age four to help support her family after the death of her father, quickly moving from mail-order catalogues to television commercials. She made her film debut in 1963's Rock, Rock, Rock before understudying in Broadway's 1957 production of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. Upon signing a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox, Weld was labeled by the press as "Fox's answer to Sandra Dee," but after just one film, 1959's Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!, the studio dropped her.
Weld shot to prominence through her work in the television comedy The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which premiered in 1959. That same year she appeared on the silver screen opposite Danny Kaye in The Five Pennies, followed in 1960 by the campus drama Because They're Young. Also in 1960, Weld began appearing under schlockmeister Albert Zugsmith, first in Sex Kittens Go to College and later in the following year's The Private Lives of Adam and Eve. Successive roles in Return to Peyton Place and the Elvis Presley vehicle Wild in the Country further crippled her attempts to mount a serious acting career, although her turn in the 1962 Frank Tashlin comedy Bachelor Flat showed signs of life. Weld then turned down the seemingly tailor-made title role in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita in order to study her craft at the Actors' Studio, and after holding her own opposite Steve McQueen and Jackie Gleason in 1963's Soldier in the Rain, she announced she would no longer accept teenage roles.