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Miss World 1960

By Julio Rodríguez Matute

BEGINNING OF A NEW DECADE.-

                The year of 1960 arrived, the beginning of a new decade, a year of changes in various aspects. This year the laser was invented and the second wave of feminism of the “Women’s Movement” emerged that lasted until the late 1980s. The Hippie movement also emerged. Yé-yé music and rock were in full swing. It was also in 1960 when the British band The Beatles was born, mainly led by John Lennon who was influenced by the music of the American Elvis Presley. At the end of 1959, the directors of the Miss Universe contest, who were the same of the Catalina swimsuit company, decided to move the 1960 contest to the city of Miami Beach in Florida after receiving a modest sum of $ 25,000 from the city; hence, Long Beach, which saw the contest born in 1952, would run out of its annual beauty event. However, this city of California, already accustomed to holding a global contest of beautiful women, decided to create its own contest, that of Miss International, which in its first edition on August 12th, 1960 was called “Miss International Beauty Congress “. Meanwhile, in London, Eric Morley, then Director of Mecca Dancing and organizer of the Miss World contest, was preparing to marry his beautiful girlfriend, model Julia Evelyn Pritchard, known in the model environment as Julia Rogers and who years later would take the reins of the famous English contest. And it was precisely on Sunday, August 14th, 1960, when Eric and Julia married in the city of London.

                However, the wedding did not prevent Morley from planning a much larger Miss World contest, as the event was already in its first ten years of existence. For this reason, he sent about sixty invitations to the same number of countries, as he wanted to gather a record of at least 50 participants for the tenth anniversary of his event.

                In 1960, the rights of Miss World in Italy were given to Enzo Mirigliani, who sent his winners to London starting this year. But not all the invited countries would send a representative to the Morley contest. In Cuba, the revolution of Fidel Castro that arrived in 1959 turned the country into a socialist Marxist-Leninist state and just in 1960 they began their approach to the Soviet Union. With the beginning of the Cuban “revolution” all beauty contests on the island ended because the Communist Party, under the mandate of its Prime Minister Fidel Castro, considered that such shows discriminated against women and therefore were suspended and eradicated from Cuba.

                The Miss Poland contest was definitely canceled by the socialist government of that country, while Hawaii had become the 50th state of the American union in August 1959 so it would no longer send representatives separately to Miss Universe, Miss World and the new-born Miss International contests. Meanwhile, in Gibraltar, Malaya, Honduras and Puerto Rico, a national beauty contest was not held that year. Despite these casualties, another 54 nations responded positively to Morley’s invitation !!

WHAT HAPPENED IN VENEZUELA.-

Mirian Estéves (left), Gladys Ascanio (center) and Aura Rodríguez (right)

                After not having held the contest in 1959, a Miss Venezuela was crowned on July 30th, 1960. The winner, Gladys Ascanio, was sent to the first edition of the Miss International contest as there were good relations between the President of the local competition, Reinaldo Espinoza Hernández, and the directors of Long Beach, in addition, Miss Venezuela was held late for which Espinoza appointed a 1957 candidate, Mary Quirós to represent the country in the Miss Universe contest in Miami Beach. The First Runner-up of the Miss Venezuela 1960 contest, Mirian Estéves Acevedo, would be in charge of representing the country in the Miss World contest in London.

                However, Mirian was “discovered” by a film producer, Harold Mc Clyde, who in those days was in the Venezuelan capital and who invited her to London not precisely to participate in Miss World, but to be the protagonist of a thriller called “The Lady of the Tropics.” Mirian would receive $ 8500 for two months of extendable work, so the beautiful girl left for the British capital with many dreams and plans and two months before the date of Miss World. Once there, she informed that due to commitments with the film company, she had declined her participation in Miss World, so Espinoza appointed at the last minute the Third Runner-up of the Miss Venezuela 1960 contest, Aura Josefina Rodríguez Acosta to represent the country in London. However, although her data and photography were received on time by Morley and published in the “program book” of that year, the Venezuelan girl never arrived in the British capital for reasons that are unknown.

THEY WERE REPLACED.-

                Fifty-four countries chose their beauty queens in what would be the record of participation in the Miss World contest. The debuting countries were Bolivia, Burma (now Myanmar), Cyprus, Ecuador, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Spain, Tahiti and Tangañica (now Tanzania). But, not all the chosen ones would arrive in the British capital for Miss World. In addition to the Venezuelan girl, of which I already commented in a separate paragraph, other participants were replaced at the last minute for unknown reasons. They were Miss Uruguay (Iris Teresa Ubal Cabrera), Miss Ecuador (Alicia Stokhelmeir Matos) and Miss France (Yolanda Biecosai).

DISQUALIFIED FOR BEING UNDERAGE.-

                Annette Driggers won the title of “Miss United States 1960” for which she won the right to represent the United States in the Miss World. But, two weeks later, it was discovered that she was only 15 years old, so she was immediately disqualified.

               “They’ve handed me a dirty deal, but I haven’t lost any tears over it and what’s more I don’t intend to.” This was the more or less philosophical reaction of Miss Annette Driggers to being deposed as “Miss United States 1960” after her short, bittersweet 14-day reign as a beauty queen.

                Miss Driggers, a native of Charleston, SC, who now lives in Freeport, NY, said she plans no legal action against Alfred Patricelli, organizer of the Miss United States pageant in Bridgeport, Conn., where she won the title Oct. 15. One of the prizes was a trip to London to compete for the “Miss World” title, but Annette’s runner-up Judith Ann Achter, 18, of St. Louis, Mo., was flying to London while Annette was unpacking.

               On Monday October 31st, Annette received a wire from Patricelli saying he could overlook the fact she was a married woman, but he had learned that she was trifling with the truth when she said she was 20 years old. “That’s not so,” Annette said. But she wouldn’t say she was not 15 – nor that she was really 20. “I’m old enough to hold the title, period,” she insisted. Patricelli claimed a check with a naval hospital at Charleston revealed Annette was only 15 years old.

               “It’s true I was married about a year and a half ago, but my husband and I have been living apart for four or five months,” Miss Driggers said. “As soon as this publicity has died down, I intend to divorce him.”

                “How about my trophy and other presents?” Judith Ann Achter asked upon leaving Bridgeport for London where she would compete in the Miss World pageant with girls from 52 other countries. Annette, meanwhile, has refused to return the trophy, the diamond-studded wrist-watch and other awards given to her upon winning the Miss U.S.A. crown at the Klein Auditorium on Oct. 15. “I’ve at least got the Miss United States ribbon that you will wear in the London contest,” Alfred Patricelli, U.S. director of the pageant informed Judith.

                The new Miss United States already has a trophy that points out that she was the runner-up, but she says she wants the one with the words “Miss United States of 1960” printed on it.” “I’m overjoyed at having to replace Annette, but I’d love the trophy too,” she disclosed in an interview prior to departure via jet plane to England with a girlfriend, Diane White, who was Miss Baltimore in the event there. Mr. Patricelli said “it is almost impossible to get Annette to return the trophy and other awards.” .

                Annette was disqualified after a member of the judging panel learned from her husband that she was married but only 15. Married, single or divorced girls could compete in the contest, according to the rules. “I was with Annette every day during the four days she was in Bridgeport with other candidates and she sure surprised me when I was told she was only 15,” said the new Miss U.S. “Annette and her shapely figure could easily pass over for 21,” said Judith. “I feel sorry for Annette – but just look at all the national publicity she is getting,” Judith pointed out. The new Miss United States is 5 feet, 5 inches tall. She has brown eyes and brown hair.

ARGENTINA CROWNS THEIR NEW BEAUTY QUEEN.-

                The Argentine representative for the “Miss World” contest was elected on Monday, October 24th at the “Lassalle” theater of the Argentinian capital city and under the title of “Miss Sweater Argentina 1960”, name of the sponsors. The contest was also sponsored by the firm Beckermann, who was in charge of the costs of sending Miss Argentina to London. Twenty contestants participated and were presented in sport suits and refined sweaters. The judges were composed of the English ambassador in Argentina and numerous local artists. The crown favorites were candidate number 12 Dosia Fath and the shocking candidate number 16, the beautiful Norma Gladys Cappagli. Finally, the judges announced their verdict and considered the brunette beauty of Norma Cappagli, a 21-year-old Buenos Aires girl from the neighborhood of Parque Patricios who worked as a professional model. Norma, 5 feet 7 inches tall, measurements 36-23-36, with black hair, black eyes and with a captivating look, was crowned by the head of the Theater House, actress Iris Marga. As First Princess was chosen the redhead Dosia Fath, 21, of the city of La Plata, who had told the judges in a previous talk that she wanted to travel to London to study classical dances, data that for some judges played against her. As Second Princess was chosen Marta Williams, also 21 years old.

RECORD NUMBER OF NO SHOWS.-

                In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and after several years, the “Miss Ceylon” contest was held again. The great favorite, Jennifer Gillian Thorne, was denounced by another participant because she was half British (her father was), for which she was disqualified. The winner, Yvonne Eileen Gunawardene, was sent to Miss International. However, Morley, knowing the incident, contacted Jennifer to go to London on behalf of Ceylon, but, due to economic reasons, this could not materialize. The young woman finally emigrated to the United Kingdom with her family the following year.

                In the Republic of China (Taiwan) the “Miss China” contest was held for the first time on June 11th, 1960. The winner was also sent to the Miss International contest and represented her country with the “Miss Free China” sash. The First Runner-up, Yeh Mo-Chu, had been in charge of representing Taiwan in the Miss World contest but could not participate by visa issue.

                In Ghana, Miss Comfort Kwamena was chosen as the new queen of beauty and, as her predecessors, received a trip to London as a prize. However, the young woman preferred to make her 25-day trip to the British capital effective in August and gave up participating in Miss World.

                In the other hand, Miss Austria (Luise Kammermeier) had been Third Runner-up in the Miss Europe 1960 contest and also declined her participation, as did Miss Switzerland (Elaine Maurath) who also competed in the Miss Europe and the Miss Universe pageants. Other elected queens that did not attend Miss World at the end, although they were officially pre-registered were Miss Chile (Marinka Polhammer Espinosa), Miss Tunisia (Fatma Yahyaoui), Miss Hong Kong (Lena Woo), Miss Jamaica (Judith Willoughby), Miss Morocco (Marilyne Escobar), Miss New Zealand (Lorraine Nawa Jones), Miss Paraguay (Mercedes Teresa Ruggia), Miss Portugal (Maria Josabete Silva Santos) and Miss Peru (Maricruz Gómez Díaz), the latter nobody knows where she came from because she did not compete in Miss Peru 1960 and neither was the Miss Venus contest held that year. Although the reason for all these withdrawals is unknown, it is speculated that it may have been an economic issue.

ARRIVAL IN LONDON.-

                The Miss World 1960 contest would be held from November 2nd to 9th of that year, as was customary, in the British capital. The host hotel this year was the famous Waldorf and 32-year-old Alan Ferris was hired as the head of the participants’ safety and head of chaperones. By November 1st, of the 54 pre-registered countries, the attendance of 42 was confirmed and they were what Morley finally expected. The first candidate to arrive in London was Miss Korea (Lee Young-hie) who arrived on October 30th at one of the international airports of that city accompanied by a chaperone that served as an interpreter. When asked by the press about her aspirations, the Korean beauty said she hoped one day to become a good housewife and mother.

                The next day Miss Tanganyika (Carmen Lesley Woodcock) arrived. On November 1st, Miss Israel (Gila Golan), Miss Cyprus (Mary Mavropoulos), Miss Japan (Eiko Sakimurai) and Miss Australia (Margaret Pasquil Nott) did the same. The latter had sailed by boat from Sydney at the beginning of October to Naples, Italy, and from there she took a flight to London.

                On November 2nd, the day the contest officially began, most of the contestants arrived: Miss Argentina (Norma Gladys Cappagli), Miss Belgium (Huberte Box), Miss Bolivia (Dalia Monasterios Thornee), Miss Brazil (Maria Edilene Vidal Torreão ), Miss Burma (Ma Sen Aye), Miss Canada (Danica d’Hondt), Miss Ecuador (Maria Rosa “Toty” Rodríguez Vascones), Miss South Africa (Denise Muir), Miss Germany (Ingrun Helgard Möckel), Miss Spain (Concepción Molinera Palacios), Miss United States (Judith Ann Achter), Miss Uruguay (Beatriz Benítez), Miss Ireland (Irene Ruth Kane), Miss Denmark (Lise Bodin), Miss France (Diane Medina), Miss Kenya (Jasmine Batty), Miss Norway (Grethe Solhoi), Miss Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (Jenny Lee Scott), Miss Holland (Carina Verbeek), Miss Jordan (Eriny Emile Sebella), Miss Luxembourg (Liliane Mueller) and Miss Madagascar (Rajaobelina Bedovoahangy). They were joined by Miss United Kingdom (Hilda Fairclough).

CONTESTANTS

NO SHOWS:

PRE-ACTIVITIES AND DELAYED CONTESTANTS.-

                That day, Wednesday, November 2nd, the participants who had arrived visited the Shepperton film studios, where they toured the film sets and posed for photos with renowned actors of the time.

                On Thursday, November 3rd, in the morning hours Miss Italy (Layla Rigazzi), Miss Finland (Margaretha Schauman), Miss Sweden (Barbro Gunilla Olsson), Miss Iceland (Kristin Thorvaldsdóttir) and Miss Nicaragua (Carmen Isabel Recalde) arrived. On the afternoon of that same day, the usual Presentation to the Press in swimsuits was held at the Lyceum Ballroom, with the attendance of the 34 contestants who had arrived until that moment. Only two of the girls used a two-piece swimsuit, Miss Canada and Miss South Africa. Precisely the attention of the graphic reporters was for these two ladies who began to emerge as great favorites along with the representatives of Germany and the United Kingdom. The statistics showed that four of the contestants measured 38 around the bust, while three of them were 21 around the waist … Miss Lebanon (Giselle Nicolas Nasr) and Miss Greece (Kalliopi Geralexi) arrived on that night.

                On Friday the 4th, the candidates visited the Mayor of London, Edmund Stockdale at the Mansion House, all dressed in their national costumes and carrying gifts from their countries as an act of good will. Later they attended a dinner courtesy of Air France. That day a couple of girls arrived in the city, they were Miss Turkey (Nebahat Cehre) and Miss India (Iona Pinto). By the way, Miss India was First Runner-up in the first edition of Miss International held in Long Beach in August.

                On Saturday, November 5th, the participants visited the House of Commons where they had lunch with the parliamentarians and made a tourist tour of the different points of interest in London. At night they attended a cocktail at the Pigalle Club.

                On Sunday the 6th, the last candidate arrived, Miss Tahiti (Teura Teuira Bauwens) completing the final group of 39 participants. The candidates from Venezuela, Chile and Tunisia, who had been expected until the last moment, never arrived. The girls spent the day on rehearsals at the Lyceum Ballroom in London and at night they attended an elegant dance dinner at the Stork Club in Streatham Hill. Finally, on Monday, November 7th, the contestants attended a renowned London Beauty Salon in groups to be ready for the grand finale.

                On Tuesday the 8th, in the morning hours, the Dress Rehearsal was held at the Lyceum Ballroom and the representatives of Israel and Brazil emerged as favorites. In this rehearsal the representative of Ireland was crowned as Miss World, and the finalists were Denmark and Argentina. That same day the presidential elections were taking place in the United States where John F. Kennedy was elected president. “We’ll have a sellout audience, a much bigger paid attendance than the American election,” laughed publicity director Philip Nathan. “We’d have asked the U.S. to put theirs off if we had realized earlier that it was on the same day.” Meanwhile, Miss USA said she thought the Miss World contest was more exciting than the US presidential elections and that one of the reasons was that she was too young to vote.

ANOTHER ATTEMPT OF BRIBE.-

                Eric Morley again received a bribe attempt. On this occasion by two executives from the manufacturing sector of a Latin American country. They had hired the Miss of their country as an image of their products and had realized that if she won Miss World, the value and impact of that advertising campaign would be worth about fifty times more than what it cost at that time. The gentlemen visited Morley in his offices and told him that they knew that the cost of running the contest was very high, but that if their candidate won, they would gladly contribute £ 5,000 to the expenses of the event. Morley thanked them for the gesture and told them that if they wanted to contribute to the costs of the contest, they could do so before the election. “What would guarantee us that our candidate wins?” asked one of the gentlemen. Morley replied: “You want me to predetermine the outcome of the contest, isn’t it? I can’t do that, my job is to see everything is scrupulously fair.” After this, the gentlemen left his office. Of course, the candidate they wanted to win didn’t even manage to become a semifinalist …

THE FINALS.-

                The Miss World 1960 contest began at 8 pm on Tuesday, November 8th at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, an event organized by Mecca Dancing and under the auspices of News of the World. The overture was in charge of the “Miss World Concert Orchestra” directed by David Wooldridge and the contest officially began at 8:30 pm with “The Herald” Trumpeters of the Royal Artillery under the direction of Major S. V. Hayes.

                As usual, Eric Morley addressed the audience with brief words and introduced the Master of Ceremonies of the night, the American Bob Russell and the commentator Peter West of the BBC. Russell called to the stage all of the 39 participants in the Parade of Nations, all elegantly dressed in their evening gowns, then the National Anthem of the United Kingdom was heard.

                The 7 judges were then introduced. They were:

                – Rajah Gunsekard (Gunasekera), a Diplomatic from Ceylon.

                –  The British artist Oliver Messell.

                – Lady F. Asafu-Adjaye, wife of the Ambassador of Ghana in Great Britain.

                – Major Stafford W. Somerfield, a British journalist from Blackpool.

                – Bobo Sigrist, wife of the British Film Producer Kevin Mcclory.

                – The British Formula One racing driver Stirling Moss.

                – And the Russian-born British theatrical impresario Bernard Delfont.

                It should be noted that this year was not present as a judge the French Claude Berr of the Miss Europe Committee, who was an everlasting member of the panel of judges since 1952 due to the scandal of the previous year, in which he was accused of maintaining a sentimental relationship with the winner of Miss World 1959.

                After this, the 39 delegates paraded individually in their evening gowns in strict alphabetical order and at 9 o’clock in the evening it was broadcast live and for 15 minutes the closing of the gown parade through the BBC screens. Miss Argentina, Norma Cappagli, wore an elegant gown by renowned fashion designer Horace Lannes.

                There was a musical intermission by the Miss World Orchestra to later present the 39 candidates in their individual parade in one-piece swimsuits. As customary, the candidates were covered by velvet layers that were carefully removed by two gentlemen dressed as pages while parading in front of the judges and the audience.

                Then there was a first cut. Of the 39 contestants, the group was reduced to 18 semifinalists, for the first time in the history of Miss World. They were Miss ARGENTINA (Norma Gladys Cappagli, 21, from Buenos Aires), Miss BRAZIL (Maria Edilene Vidal Torreão, 18, from Recife), Miss CANADA (Danica d’Hondt, 21, from Vancouver), Miss CYPRUS ( Mary Mavropoulos, 19, from Limassol), Miss DENMARK (Lise Bodin, 19, from Copenhagen), Miss GERMANY (Ingrun Helgard Möckel, 19, from Dusseldorf), Miss INDIA (Iona Pinto, 19, from Bombay), Miss IRELAND (Irene Ruth Kane, 18, from Londonderry), Miss ISRAEL (Gila Golan, 20, from Tel-Aviv), Miss ITALY (Layla Rigazzi, 18, from Milan), Miss KENIA (Jasmine Batty, 21 from Nairobi), Miss KOREA (Lee Young-hie, 20, from Pusán), Miss NORWAY (Grethe Solhoi, 20, from Oslo), Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Denise Muir, 19, from Kaapstad), Miss SOUTHERN RHODESIA AND NYASALAND ( Jenny Lee Scott, 18, of Que Que), Miss SWEDEN (Barbro Gunilla Olsson, 19, of Umea), Miss UNITED KINGDOM (Hilda Fairclough, 23, of Heisham) and Miss UNITED STATES (Judith Ann Achter, 18, of St. Louis, Missouri).

                The 18 semifinalists made a final parade in front of the judges in their bathing suit, and then they selected the top 10. They were: Miss Argentina, Miss BRAZIL, Miss GERMANY, Miss IRELAND, Miss ISRAEL, Miss ITALY, Miss KOREA, Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Miss UNITED KINGDOM and Miss UNITED STATES. At that time, 10:50 pm, it began the live broadcast by the BBC of the last half hour of the contest, with comments for Television by Edgar Barrie. The Master of Ceremonies, Bob Russell, was in charge of briefly interviewing the 10 semifinalists and then moving on to a musical intermission.

                Soon the 5 finalists of the contest were called: Miss ARGENTINA, Miss GERMANY, Miss ISRAEL, Miss SOUTH AFRICA and Miss UNITED STATES. The judges made the last vote and Eric Morley proceeded to announce the final results in reverse order, while the finalists waited to be called behind the scenes.

                In the fifth place and winner of 50 pounds sterling prize, was Miss USA, Judith Ann Achter. In the fourth position and with £ 60, Miss GERMANY, Ingrun Helgard Möckel. Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Denise Muir, achieved third place and a prize of £ 75. And as runner-up, Miss ISRAEL, Gila Golan, who won £ 100 and a sports car. As a curious fact, Miss Israel was born in Poland but taken to Israel during the world war. The first two finalists received small tiaras at the time of the awards.

                Finally, MISS WORLD 1960 was announced and she was Miss ARGENTINA, Norma Gladys Cappagli, who received scepter and a royal cape from Bob Russell and was crowned by Alan B. Fairley of Mecca Dancing in the absence of the previous Miss World, the Dutch Corine Rottschäfer .

                Norma won 500 pounds sterling (about 1400 dollars of the time), a blue and white sports car valued at 700 pounds courtesy of York-Nobel Industries, a film test and the possibility of winning another $ 28,000 in contracts of advertising during her year of reign.

                “I’m just too astonished, and so, so happy,” she gasped, blinking into the flash bulbs of photographers. She said that being a woman, she’d probably spend the prize money for clothes. The coronation ball was held, as was customary, at the Café de Paris. There the brand new Miss World told the press that she hoped to turn her beauty title into a film career.

               As in almost all beauty competitions, several candidates protested the election of Miss Argentina as Miss World. Who was leading the protest was Miss Spain.

MISS WORLD LOST HER CAR.-

                After winning the Miss World title, Norma traveled to Paris and Milan to fulfill commitments where she was required and said she would pick up the car on her return. Upon returning weeks later, she learned that if she took the car to Argentina she would have to pay a high import tax so she returned home thinking that she could pick up the car the following year. The car company agreed to keep the vehicle but this incurred parking costs. Norma did not want to sell the car and the collect of the vehicle was again postponed. The story continued for a couple of years until the sponsoring company disposed of the car to cover parking costs. That was when Norma traveled to London to claim her car. Upon learning that the company had disposed of the car, she made a tremendous scream to the press, claiming that they should give her the value of the car in cash. But she was unlucky, the company ignored the matter and said that the sponsorship clauses did not include the amount of what the car cost in cash. Similarly, Morley told Cappagli that it was not his responsibility, so the Miss World definitely lost the car they had offered as a prize.

A KIDNAPPER CONTESTANT.-

                On March 3rd, 1961, Miss Denmark, Lise Bodin, was arrested for being involved in the kidnapping of four-year-old Eric Peugeot, son of billionaire Raymond Peugeot, owner of the car factory, who was kidnapped while playing in a golf course on the outskirts of Paris in April 1960. The rescue requested was considered ridiculous for the time: only $ 35,000, paid immediately and the child released. The arrest of Miss Denmark and five others was the result of the investigations of the case. In 1962, a sentence was handed down and she and the others involved were sentenced to 20 years in prison.

BIOGRAPHY.-

                Norma Gladys Cappagli was born in Buenos Aires on September 20th, 1939. A Professional Model, at age 21 she won the title of “Miss Sweaters Argentina” and later the “Miss World”crown in London, being the first Argentinian to achieve an international beauty title. After winning the crown she traveled to France and Italy. The brand new Miss World returned to Buenos Aires in December 1960. In her reception she was strolled through the streets of the city of Buenos Aires in the firemen of La Boca’s car and later received by the then president of the nation, Arturo Frondizi. After the welcoming in her country, Norma returned to Europe where she was offered to start her acting career alongside the well-known English car race runner Stirling Moss, who was one of the judges, but she did not accept the challenge.

                She started to work as a Model in different European capitals becoming one of the most sought-after models in the world during that decade of the 60s, being represented by her brother Aldo Cappagli who served as manager, managing to position her as an exclusive model of Christian Dior, a fact that would be key to the development of her professional life. During her year of reign she traveled a lot and she visited Japan, India and Australia among other countries. In 1961 she became the highest paid model in the world. In 1962 she starred in the Italian Film “Sexy”, an erotic documentary by Giuseppe Russo and lent her voice to the musical theme of the film with the song “Sexy World” by Armando Sciascia. She was offered other jobs to make movies but she rejected them all, preferring to continue to devote herself to modeling.

                In Italy, she was portrayed by the painter Gioacchino Parlato and it was in that country that she settled in 1962 after marrying a nobleman. In Milan she opened a men’s clothing store. “It’s up to a woman to tell a man how he should dress,” she told reporters.

                After many years of work in Europe and after her divorce, Norma returned to South America. She lived for a time in Brazil and then returned to Buenos Aires and opened a restaurant in the Palermo neighborhood. Later she managed several top restaurants of her property in Buenos Aires. The last time she appeared on television was during a tribute made by the famous conductor Susana Giménez in 1997. Norma looked splendid, thin and very elegant. She recalled her triumph with great joy and stressed the importance of representing the country. To the question of what the Miss World left her, the Argentine beauty admitted that she supposed that she would not have achieved all that she had if she had not won the maximum beauty title. This triumph of Norma Cappagli was the beginning of a decade of gold for the Argentine representatives.

                On Thursday, December 17, 2020, Norma was run over by a bus when she left her house in the La Recoleta neighborhood (Buenos Aires) to go for a walk as she used to do every afternoon. She was going through Callao with the traffic light in her favor when the bus hit her, according to a police statement that saw the incident. She was in intensive care in a very serious condition and in a pharmacological coma until Tuesday, December 22, when at 4:30 p.m. she unfortunately died at the age of 81 at the Fernández Hospital. She lived in the Argentine capital surrounded by her brothers.

PICTORIAL GALLERY

Thanks to Donald West, Daryl Schabinger, Glamour Argentino and Toni Hidalgo

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