The glamorous Mary Ann Mobley, who won the Miss America crown in 1958 ands costarred with Elvis Presley in several flicks, has died from breast cancer at 77. Mary Ann and her husband Gary Collins (“the hardest working man in show biz” my mother always said), were longtime fixtures on the talk show circuit and reigned over Beverly Hills society in the 70’s and ’80s, a time when Hollywood was both grander and much smaller.
Fr0m the National Enquirer:
She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1958, the same year she won the Miss America crown She quickly turned thesp – appearing in TV shows as “General Hospital”, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Perry Mason, Falcon Crest and movies such as Girl Happy, “Harum Scarum with Elvis and Three on a Couch with Jerry Lewis.
She was a regular on Circus with the Stars, and she appeared in Diff’rent Strokes, Falcon Crest, Fantasy Island and Love Boat. Some of her many stage productions included Brigadoon, Cabaret, Finian’s Rainbow, Hello Dolly!, Irene, Love Letters, The Music Man, Nowhere to Go But Up, Oklahoma!, On a Clear Day and The Pajama Game.
The star married actor/talk show host Gary Collins in 1967. They became philanthropists who traveled with relief organizations to end world hunger in places like Cambodia, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Sudan. The couple separated in 2011, but reconciled the following year. Collins died at age 74 on Oct. 13, 2012.
Mary Ann always carried herself with great style, wearing diamond salamander brooches on her shoulder and such, as exhibited in some of the pics below. Very old Hollywood. Very big shouldered with ruffles and bows and lots and lots of pearls. Truly, we have lost an unrecognized style icon this week.
Watch this adorable clip of Mary Ann answering the question-and-answer portion of the Miss America pageant, and see why she the nation immediately fell in love.
And, really, how many Miss America’s do you really remember? I can think of three (besides Mary Ann). There’s Vanessa Undressa, Bess Meyerson, and that Cat Woman… Lee Meriwether.
Watch her adorable