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Authorities Say Movie Starlet Was Really Flimflam Man

September 6, 1991

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) _ Hollywood starlet Angela Renne Hendley traveled through Alabama in style, hiring limousines and a valet and ordering flowers for her hotel room.

But after the bills went upaid, police arrived. They say they discovered that Hendley was no star, and no lady either. They arrested Mark Hendley on theft charges involving more than $1,700.

″I was the one that called the police,″ Johanna Petty, who operates a local van service, said Thursday. ″To let them know he was not a girl.″

Hendley, 28, appeared in court Wednesday wearing makeup and his hair in a ponytail. He pleaded innocent to theft of service charges pressed by Petty, a photographer, a hotel and a florist.

He has been jailed since his June 6 arrest, unable to post $4,500 bond. If convicted of all charges, he could face at least 10 years in prison.

He also faces a theft of service charge involving a valet in Selma, and a private investigator hired by Warner Brothers has inquired about his case, police said. The investigator, Bill Patterson, declined to discuss the studio’s interest in Hendley.

Assistant District Attorney Christ Coumanis said the FBI identified Hendley through fingerprints. Coumanis said authorities believe Hendley may be from Detroit.

Hendley’s court-appointed attorney, Michael Upchurch, said he knew little about Hendley’s background, but that his client once had been ″a ward of the state″ in Michigan.

Mrs. Petty said she got involved when a man who called and told her he was movie star Angela Renne Hendley’s producer asked her to send a van to take Hendley from a bar to a hotel. Authorities say the caller was Hendley.

Mrs. Petty said her business normally requires payment up front, but she was convinced Hendley was legitimate and extended credit.

Authorities say Johnny Stewart, a Selma used car dealer, also was taken in. Selma police Sgt. Joe Harrell said Stewart drove Hendley around the area before leaving him at a Montgomery motel.

Authorities in the Selma area have indicted Hendley on a theft of service charge involving more than $1,000.

Police said Hendley, posing as a woman, told those he met he was a movie star stranded in Alabama.

Mrs. Petty suspects he wasn’t acting alone.

She said the bag Hendley carried contained nothing but a Madonna cassette and pantyhose, but kept a hairdresser and makeup artist in the hotel room.

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