Best Local Girl Made Bad

Darva Conger

The connection here may be somewhat tenuous, but when you think about it, it's no worse than the links to our city of some of the local folks made good who are enshrined on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. For half-a-decade -- 1990-95 -- Darva Conger, of Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire? infamy, resided in our fair city -- or rather close to it. Before becoming the latest in a long line of people whose 15 minutes of fame amounted to 14-and-a-half more than they were worth, Conger served in the Air Force and was stationed at Scott Air Force Base. She studied nursing at Southern Illinois University, both Carbondale and Edwardsville, and eventually graduated (magna cum laude, no less) from the latter in 1995. Her whirlwind marriage to failed comedian, supposed multimillionaire and alleged girlfriend abuser Rick Rockwell (all we seem to really know about the guy is that he's pathetic) scarcely needs be recounted. But in the days following her nuptials, Conger refused to consummate the wedding, had it annulled after 50 days, made the rounds of the talk shows, tried to lay claim to Kathie Lee's chair alongside Regis -- no kidding -- and, of course, posed nude for Playboy. (We're happy to note that Darva is apparently a natural blonde.) "Isn't there a blueprint for this?" Conger asked in the skin mag's August issue. "One gets involved in a scandal of one sort or another, does the book of the week, the movie of the week and then poses nude." That's about right. Call it the exchange of two nipples for a dime. But a girl's gotta eat, of course, and because of all the distractions from the tabloid press and paparazzi, she can no longer hold a job as a nurse. So how much longer until she takes over for Patty Hearst in the future films of John Waters? If and when that happens, we'll be here to report it.
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