Haji was truly like no other. She spoke in a strange accent that was definitely not French-Canadian (my grandfather was) and doted on animals, especially the forgotten and downtrodden. She adored my rescue pit bull, Chester, and took it upon herself to be the unofficial gardener for my patio...so I'd be home and hear "Bay-bee? It's Haji!" and find her outside, arms full of plants, ready to dig in the dirt.
Haji and I had a few things in common, one of them a very "only in LA" type thing, and we enjoyed a few girlish giggles. But getting Haji to answer a question, well, that was different. Everything was on Haji-time.
Her stories were incredible: David Janssen, Johnny Carson, Frank Gorshin (!) working with John Cassavettes and of course, her devotion to Russ Meyer. But her real love was animals. I was shocked when I heard she died because she was in great shape, always. Never a smoker or a drinker, she loved to swim, walk, bike, run and eat healthy. She really believed she was from another planet. No, really! She did all of her own makeup in her films and always added an extra touch, like the black-body-paint in "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," or the face jewels in "Super Vixens."
I will miss her.
Haji! from Primolandia Productions on Vimeo.