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Joi Lansing

Joi Lansing (born Joyce Rae Brown), (April 6, 1929 -- August 7, 1972) was a film and television actress

Movie Actress

A model and actress, Lansing was often cast in roles similar to those played by her contemporaries, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren. She appeared in skimpy costumes and bikinis; yet, no nudes exist. Her measurements were 39 - 23 - 35.

She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her earliest work was modeling. Her film career began in 1948. Lansing had an MGM contract at the age of 14 and completed high school on the studio lot.

In 1952 she played an uncredited role in the MGM blockbuster Singin' in the Rain. In the opening scene of Touch of Evil, directed by Orson Welles, she appeared as Zita, a dancer who dies at the end of the famous first tracking shot.

She starred in short musical films for the Scopitone video-jukebox system. Her songs included "The Web of Love" and "The Silencers".

Producer Stanley Todd discussed a film project with Lansing in 1964. The film, which was never made, was tentatively titled Project 22. It was to have been shot on location in Yugoslavia. George Hamilton and Geraldine Chaplin were named to the cast. Busby Berkeley is thought to have been involved in the planning.

Lansing played Lola in Marriage on the Rocks (1965). The movie had an "A-list" cast, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Deborah Kerr. One of her last films was Bigfoot (1970).

Television

She appeared on The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, I Love Lucy, and a recurring role in The Beverly Hillbillies.

Lansing is best known for her role as Shirley Swanson on The Bob Cummings Show or Love That Bob (1956-1959). She appeared in several episodes as a busty model who was the foil for the photographer played by Cummings. The series ran for 173 episodes in the 1950s.

She appeared as the title character in "Superman's Wife," a 1958 episode of The Adventures of Superman. In the 1960–1961 season, Lansing appeared as Goldie in the NBC Western Klondike with costars Ralph Taeger, James Coburn, and Mari Blanchard.

In May 1963 Lansing appeared in Falcon Frolics '63. The broadcast honored missilemen stationed at the Vandenberg Air Force Base. By 1956 she had appeared in more than 200 television shows.

She named Ozzie Nelson as possessing the greatest sex appeal of any actor she worked with. The two played a love scene in a Fireside Theater drama. The show was hosted by Jane Wyman.

Lansing was sometimes referred to as television's Marilyn Monroe.

Singer

She broke into night club entertaining in 1965. She had taken up singing during an actors strike in the early 1960s.

In May 1965, Lansing cut her first record album. It was composed of a collection of songs written especially for her by composer Jimmie Haskel and actress Stella Stevens.

Lansing performed in the Fiesta Room in Las Vegas, Nevada, in July 1966. Featured on the bill were Red Buttons and Jayne Mansfield.

Private Life

Lansing's father was a shoe salesman, Jack Glenn Brown, and her mother a housewife, Virginia Grace Shupe Brown. Lansing began modeling in her teens because of her figure.

Lansing practiced yoga for relaxation. A Mormon, she did not drink or smoke. Her nickname was Baby Face. Chicago Tribune columnist, Toni Remineh, was her press agent at one time.

Death

Lansing died of breast cancer at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. In 1970, she had undergone surgery for the cancer.

References

  • Charleston Gazette, Sexy Blonde Yearns for Drama, June 13, 1957, Page 4.
  • Chronicle Telegram, ''Actress Joi Lansing to be buried Friday, August 9, 1972, Page 6.
  • Long Beach Press-Telegram, Her Voice Isn't Bad, Either, May 7, 1965, Page 37.
  • Los Angeles Times, Filmland Events, May 21, 1963, Page C7.
  • Los Angeles Times, Filmland Events, December 25, 1964, Page D16.
  • Los Angeles Times, Filmland Events, January 1, 1965, Page C6.
  • Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Calendar, April 25, 1965, Page N8.
  • Los Angeles Times, Humor, Social Commentary, April 26, 1965, Page D10.
  • Los Angeles Times, Talent Heads Downtown, July 12, 1966, Page C8.
  • San Mateo Times, Joi Lansing Turns Up and Talks About Men Actors, October 13, 1956, Page 22.

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