Her real name is Marley Shelton, but to this day, I can’t go to a public pool without flashing back to my childhood and remembering Wendy Peffercorn.
For those unfamiliar, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you didn’t find solace in the thought that even a guy like Michael “Squints” Palledorous could muster the courage to do something crazy and make a move on the girl of his dreams. You see, while 1993’s The Sandlot stands tall above almost every coming-of-age sports movie ever made, the memory of Wendy Peffercorn (as Squints so eloquently said) “oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling” will stick with me forever.
And yes, I still have a huge crush on Wendy Peffercorn.
Who Played Wendy Peffercorn?
Marley Eve Shelton is a Los Angeles, California native who studied Film and Theatre at UCLA. Her debut came in the 1991 film Grand Canyon, but shortly after, she took on the role of lifeguard-ultra babe Wendy Peffercorn.
Shelton was 18 years old when she landed that role, and The Sandlot rose to national fame and developed a cult following. As the eye of every teenage boy in the film, it was Squints Palledorous — played by Chauncey Leopardi — who made the love interest narrative work beautifully. Squints’ crush on Wendy rages throughout the movie until the iconic moment that, to this day, makes me laugh every time I see it.
At the public pool where Wendy was a lifeguard, Squints pretends to drown so he can be saved. In the slyest of moves, he waits until Wendy and her one-piece, red bathing suit try reviving him with mouth-to-mouth. Squints plants a big kiss on her only to be dragged out of the local pool, called a “little pervert,” and banned.
Don’t worry. The fictional couple got married and had nine children.
Squints and Wendy Peffercorn
“I’m shocked! Initially, people liked the movie but nobody thought it was going to have the legs that it did and become this cult classic. I think it had something to do with it being this very coming of age story. It’s such a fun movie — there are so many great throwback moments. I think it’s still relatable. Something about baseball and adolescence and that simpler time in life, I think people really relate to.”
— Marley Shelton, via Us Weekly
Wendy Peffercorn Now
Despite being a minor character in The Sandlot, Shelton went on to appear in numerous films and television shows you very well may have seen. She played Tricia Nixon Cox in Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995), then had roles in Never Been Kissed (1999), Bubble Boy (2001), Death Proof and Planet Terror (2007), Scream 4 (2011) and most recently was in Rampage (2018) alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Shelton’s also appeared in TV shows like Family Matters, Eleventh Hour, Mad Men, and NBC’s Rise.
She married film producer Beau Flynn in 2001, and the couple share two daughters. She joked that her husband once purchased a T-shirt printed with Wendy in her swimsuit and wore it to her birthday party.
Wendy Peffercorn Costume
The Sandlot kids are reportedly reuniting for a television show. That means icons like Benny Rodriguez, Alan “Yeah Yeah” McClennan, the incomparable Ham Porter, and narrator Scotty Smalls are bringing my favorite movie back to live, and I can only hope Wendy Peffercorn gets a cameo role.
Because with all due respect to Beau, my childhood crush on Wendy isn’t going away any time soon.
This article was originally published March 23, 2020.