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Miss World 1961

By Julio Rodríguez Matute


                In 1961, Morley managed to introduce Bingo in Great Britain, which was played in the 32 rooms that Mecca Dancing had throughout the country. This generated high dividends to the company. In addition, this year the BBC began paying broadcasting rights of the Miss World contest. The beauty competition was sustained thanks to the sponsorship, first, of the Sunday Dispatch and, later, of the News of the World. Additionally, advertising was sold in the “program books” that began to be published in 1955. At that time no country paid franchise fees, the only expense incurred was the travel expenses of their candidate to London. But thanks to the increasingly high rating in the broadcastings of the last half hour of the contest from 1956 to 1960, the BBC decided to formally broadcast the contest on television for fifty uninterrupted minutes in primetime, so it began paying broadcasting fees, generating a good extra money to the contest.

                Due to the fact that the company that granted a vehicle to both the winner and the First Runner-up had withdrawn from the sponsorship due to the problem with the car of the Miss World winner of the previous year, Morley decided to increase the cash prize that would receive the winner and the runner-ups as an incentive for countries to send their queens, since each national organizer had to cover the airfare expenses of their candidates to London. Now, instead of £ 500, the winner would receive £ 2,500, four times more than in the past, a fortune taking into account that one pound amounted to USD2.80 at that time. In addition, it was substantially more than what Miss Universe earned at that time, which was USD5,000 in cash. Similarly, the girl who obtained second place in Miss World would receive £ 500 (same amount the winner received until 1960) and the remaining finalists 250, 150, 100 and 50 pounds respectively. This, without a doubt, would attract the interest of the directors of the different countries in sending their representatives.


                By 1961, Morley not only organized the Miss World and Miss United Kingdom contests. He also directed the Miss England pageant for Miss Universe and Miss Europe. At the same time he reinstated the events of Miss Wales and Miss Scotland that had not been held in 1960 and that would debut in Miss Universe and Miss International and decided to also take the reins of Miss Ireland, a contest that allowed young women from both the Republic of Ireland and neighboring Northern Ireland to participate in a single event. Ireland would also debut that year in both Miss Universe and Miss International. Besides that, Morley created the “Miss Britain” contest so that the English representative would leave for the new Miss International contest. All these contests generated even more profits, as tickets were sold to all these events, which were generally crowded.

                The Miss United Kingdom contest had some changes. The local events began in the month of May, being the final generally in late August or early September. Some 34 local competitions were held in different British cities, whose winners went to the final of the Miss United Kingdom. Additionally, and for the first time, the winners of the Miss Wales and Miss Scotland competitions, after participating in Miss Universe, also achieved a place in the final of the Miss United Kingdom, where the British representative would be chosen for Miss World. The winner of Miss United Kingdom won a prize of one thousand guineas (1050 pounds sterling) plus an additional 150 pounds in wardrobe for the world final.

                From 1958, Morley decided to instruct the judges in what was sought internationally in a beauty contest, because he wanted his representatives to bring the crown home. And this was put into practice both in the Miss England and in the Miss United Kingdom competitions at first, and then in the other regional competitions that he created in 1961. Another of the criteria that changed was that of age, which should be between 17 and 25 years. In addition, he implemented a new rule and it was that young women could register again a maximum of three times in the case of not having won the title. Four years later, all these changes paid off and this can be read later.


Rosemarie was second at Miss England 1961

                On Tuesday, September 5th, 1961, the representative of Wales, Rosemarie Frankland, a young woman who lived in Lancarshire for 18 years, was crowned as Miss United Kingdom. Rosemarie previously competed at Miss Great Britain in 1960 (she placed third) and Miss England 1961 on May 8th at the Lyceum Ballroom in London where she placed second. In addition, Frankland had previously won the titles of “Queen of the Southport Festival”, “Miss Morecambe” and “Miss Lakeland” among others. Then, a month later, she entered in the Miss Wales contest as she was born there and managed to take the crown. This allowed her to represent Wales for the first time in Miss Universe, achieving the position of First Runner-up in Miami Beach. She later won the Miss United Kingdom crown thanks to the experience she had obtained in the numerous previous beauty events.


                The election of Miss United States for Miss World 1961 was held on August 26th at the Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was won by Jo Ann Odum of Huntington, West Virginia, while the finalists were Janet Boring of New York and Marlena Loren of California. As a prize, Miss Odum received a trip with all expenses paid to London to compete in Miss World from November 1st to 10th and then to Paris from the 11th to the 17th of the same month.


                The organization of the French contest that chose the representative of France to the Miss World pageant and was organized by the Miss Europe Committee, was dissolved and was not held that year. Therefore, Morley approached the organizer of the official Miss France contest, Louis de Fontenay. The election of Miss France 1961 took place on December 31st, 1960 at the casino d’Aix-les-Bains (Savoie), and the winner was Luce Auger of French Indochina (whose real name was Huguette Oggeri). Luce had worked as a model in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1953 to 1960, when she returned to France. On January 21st, 1961, weeks after her election, she was dismissed upon discovering she was a single mother. Although Luce fought her rights because at the time of signing the contract it was not stipulated that a single woman with children could not participate (after this incident the organizers of Miss France changed the clauses where they indicated that they did not accept married or single women with children), the French beauty Queen was officially replaced on February 4th, 1961, when at the “Palais de la Mutualité” in Paris, they crowned Miss Michèle Wargnier, First Runner-up of Luce, as the new Miss France 1961. Michèle was then the representative of France to the Miss World contest. Luce did not keep her arms crossed and filed a lawsuit that lasted six long years. In the end, in 1967, the Versailles Correctional Court sentenced the husband of Madame De Fontenay to two months of suspended prison and a thousand francs of fine for falsification. And for good reason, the investigation revealed that the mention “single without a child” had been added to Luce’s contract after she signed it. It was then that she had to be “restored” as Miss France 1961 for the annals of history.


                In 1961 numerous national beauty contests were canceled due to the political and economic situation of some nations. No contests were held in Honduras, Puerto Rico, Jordan, Tunisia, Tanganyika and Kenya. Nor was the “Miss Maple Leaf” held in Canada for the second consecutive year. The Canadian event changed hands and the new organizer, Emile St. Pierre, failed to make a competition. The previous year, in 1960, he hand-picked Danica d’Hondt, who had been Miss Canada 1959, to take the title of Miss Maple Leaf 1960 and represent the country in Miss World. But in 1961, he neither made a contest nor nominated any candidate, so Canada was absent from Miss World that year.

                The organizers of Miss Norway gave up continuing to send candidates to Miss World from 1961, due to the little success achieved by their representative the previous year, who only managed to reach the first 18 semifinalists and in whom they had high expectations. The same happened in Switzerland and Morocco, countries that were absent for several years since then. On the other hand, in Hong Kong, local directors who had the rights of Miss World preferred to send their queen only to Miss International.

                In Australia, preliminary beauty events were held since January 1961 and the election of the Australian representative for Miss World was scheduled to be held in August, but for unknown reasons, the national final was not held. In Ghana, the contest changed hands and the event was postponed until the end of November, so this African country was again absent. Meanwhile, in countries such as Burma, Paraguay and Peru, national competitions were held but they did not appoint any representative for Miss World, preferring to send their queens only to Miss Universe and Miss International, contests that at that time sent air ticket to their participants.

Miss Chile 1961

                Chile was going to debut in Miss World the previous year with Marinka Polhammer but this did not materialize at last minute. In 1961 either, because Miss Chile, María Gloria Silva Escobar when returned from Miss Universe decided to settle in Europe, concluding her beauty queen life. In addition, she was more interested in having a family than in being a beauty queen. It was during her participation in Miss Universe, when she was hired as a model for a television program in Buenos Aires. Three days later she had met an Argentine executive and a month later she was married to him. Chilean organizers did not select any other candidate for Miss World.

Miss Hawaiian Islands 1961

                On the other hand, in Hawaii, despite being an integral part of the United States, the organizers who had sent a Miss World candidate in 1959 chose “Miss Hawaiian” again, and the winner was Mae Yae Beimes, a 29-year-old hula dancer. As a prize, the Hawaiian queen did a world tour, London included, but could not participate in Miss World for two reasons: Hawaii was already a state of the American union and the lady was older the age limit that was 25 years.




                The Miss World 1961 contest was scheduled to be held from November 2nd to the 10th, and Morley expected the participation of 40 contestants, including the debuting nations of Nationalist China (Free China) and Surinam, who were officially pre-registered. As usual, already at the end of October, the beauties of the entire earth globe began to arrive in the city. The first to arrive was Miss South Africa on Friday, October 27th. Then, on Sunday the 29th, Miss Ceylon, Miss Free China and Miss Cyprus arrived. On the other hand, on Tuesday the 31st, Miss Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland arrived by ship. At night on Wednesday November 1st, Miss United States left for London from the Idlewild airport in New York; before leaving she was so excited that she told the press that she felt “on cloud nine”. The young woman arrived in London on Thursday morning. By November 2nd, the day the contest officially started, 32 of the 40 expected candidates had arrived in the British capital. The last to arrive that day was Miss Japan. While almost all applicants had arrived by air to London, the representative of the United Kingdom arrived by train to Euston station and had to load herself with her luggage. The contestants were hosted again at the Waldorf Hotel for the second consecutive year.


                On Thursday, October 19th, the Italian ship Ascania arrived at the port of London. On board came 19-year-old Miss JAMAICA (Chriss Leon) with her chaperone Rhoda Henry, to compete for the title of Miss World. The young woman had placed second in the Miss Jamaica 1961 contest and was appointed to represent the Caribbean island in the London event. But before arriving in Britain, the chaperone discovered that the girl had had a secret affair with a Trinidadian Doctor. Due to the scandal that arose due to the embarrassing situation, the chaperone did not allow Miss Jamaica to disembark in London calling her a “naughty girl”. The next day, the ship sailed from London to Vigo, Spain, with both passengers on board. Eric Morley tried to communicate so that the young woman could land in Spain and from there try to return her to London, but everything was in vain, the chaperone did not allow the young woman to get off the ship for anything in the world. So much was the fuss that the chaperone got sick due to a nervous breakdown. After docking in Vigo, the ship continued towards Port of Spain, Trinidad, where Miss Jamaica was finally able to disembark on November 3rd. The beautiful girl admitted her secret affair with the Doctor and told the media that she did not wish to return to Jamaica. However, after an hour-long tour of Port of Spain, the young woman returned to the ship to continue her journey back to her country. Before leaving she told the press that “what you do not get today, you get tomorrow” …


                That day, Thursday, November 2nd, the usual Press Presentation of the candidates was held at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, an event that usually opened the week of the contest. The 32 candidates who had arrived so far posed for the lens of photographers in bathing suits. They were: Miss ARGENTINA (Susana Julia Pardal), Miss BELGIUM (Jacqueline Oroi), Miss BOLIVIA (Nancy Cortez Justiniano), Miss BRAZIL (Alda María Coutinho de Moraes), Miss CEYLON (Sushila Perera), Miss FREE CHINA-TAIWAN (Grace Li Shiu-ying), Miss CYPRUS (Andreava “Rita” Polydorou), Miss DENMARK (Inge Jörgensen), Miss ECUADOR (Magdalena Dávila Varela), Miss FINLAND (Ritva Tuulikki Wächter), Miss FRANCE (Michèle Wargnier), Miss GERMANY (Romy März), Miss GREECE (Efstathia “Efi” Karaescaki), Miss ICELAND (Johanna Kolbrun Kristjansdóttir), Miss INDIA (Verónica Leonora Torcato), Miss IRELAND (Olive Ursula White), Miss ISRAEL (Errela Hod), Miss ITALY (Franca Cattaneo) , Miss JAPAN (Chie Murakami), Miss KOREA (Chang-aie Hyun), Miss LEBANON (Leila Antaki), Miss LUXEMBOURG (Vicky Schoos), Miss NEW ZEALAND (Leone Mary Main), Miss RHODESIA and NYASALAND (Angela Joyce Moorcroft), Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Yvonne Brenda Hulley), Miss SPAIN (María del Carmen Rosario Soledad Cervera Fernández de la Guerra), Miss SURINAM (Kitty Essed), Miss SWEDEN (Ingrid Margaretha Lundquist), Miss TURKEY (Güler Samuray), Miss UNITED KINGDOM (Rosemarie Frankland), Miss URUGUAY (Roma Spadaccini Aguerre) and Miss UNITED STATES (Jo Ann Odum).

                The representatives of Denmark and Italy were the only ones who appeared in bikinis and started to be press favorites, along with the representatives of Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. It was precisely this year that bookmakers began to play for the preferred candidates in the different British bookmakers. Statistical data included that the younger candidates were Miss Ireland and Miss Surinam with 17 years and the oldest Miss India, with 25. That same night (Thursday, November 2nd) Air France offered an elegant welcome dinner at a recognized nightclub of the British capital.

                On the afternoon of Friday the 3rd, the 32 participants who had arrived so far, visited the Shepperton film studios, where they witnessed the filming of the movie “War Lovers” with actors Steve McQueen and Robert Wagner. That same day five more candidates arrived in London: Miss MADAGASCAR (Jeanne Rakotomahanina), Miss AUSTRIA (Hella Wolfsgruber), Miss NETHERLANDS (Rita van Zuiden), Miss NICARAGUA (Thelma Arana) and Miss VENEZUELA (Bexi Cecilia Romero Tosta). On the other hand, the Portuguese organizers sent a telegram announcing to Morley that unfortunately Miss PORTUGAL (María Jose Santos Trindade Defolloy) could not travel due to health problems.

                At dawn the next day, on Saturday, November 4th, 18 of the candidates with their chaperones approached the doors of the Clarence House on Stable Yard Road, London’s royal residence, for the official announcement of the birth of David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones, son of Princess Margarita – Countess of Snowdon and sister of Queen Elizabeth II – and Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was born the night before. That same day, the contestants took a tour of the city, visiting the legendary Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the Embankment of the Thames. On Sunday, November 5th, the contestants had rehearsals and that night, as usual, the beauties were invited to a dance dinner in their honor at the Stork Club of Streatham Hill. The cold London had wreaked havoc in the ranks of the candidates for the title and some of them had suffered throat conditions. The last expected candidate, Miss TAHITI (Tahia Piehi) never arrived in London.

                On Monday the 6th, the 1961 Miss World applicants had lunch with parliamentarians in the House of Commons at the Palace of Westminster and began rigorous rehearsals at the Lyceum Ballroom. On Tuesday the 7th, in the morning hours, the 37 contestants recorded in the Lyceum Ballroom a micro that would be televised Thursday night by BBC before the finals showing the young women wearing their national costumes.

                Jo Ann Odum, the US representative said she was “having a wonderful time” on her first visit to London. When asked if the continuous round of activities and strenuous rehearsals were getting too tiring, she said, “No, not at all. I’m enjoying every minute and I find it very exciting.” Looking very pretty with the “national costume” of the USA (blue leotard, red top hat with white stripes and cane), Miss Odum had just returned from a pre-televising of the contestants in their national costumes. From there they attended a lunch offered to the press at the Savoy hotel and organized by the Variety Club of Great Britain, all still wearing their national costumes. They had to carry with them a small symbolic gift of friendship between nations. Miss USA’s gift was a miniature helicopter that represented the one that President Kennedy used to travel. The gifts came together to send them to the Mayor of the city, who could not receive the contestants this year. At night, the candidates attended one of London’s nightclubs for dinner and dance.

                On Wednesday the 8th, the participants went to the dress rehearsal at the Lyceum Ballroom and were later taken in groups to a beauty salon that was sponsoring the contest to prepare for the final night on Thursday. During this rehearsal, Miss France sprained an ankle and had to move or on crutches or loaded by a staff member, however the young woman confirmed that she would participate in the finals. Miss USA, Jo Ann, who had been nervous during the final rehearsal, pronounced herself ready for the final Thursday night and commented with her mild southern accent that the contestants had been “sweet with each other, I just love them all.” Miss Belgium was worried because her evening gown was still in Paris and was unfinished, but her roommate, Miss France, lent her one for the final night.


                Another who was worried about her gown was the New Zealand candidate. British customs retained her gold lame sheath ball gown, presented by a New Zealand firm that had arrived in London two days before the finals. The candidate had to fill out some forms and pay about 30 pounds of tax so that they could deliver the dress, but due to an airport strike, it was not known when they were going to deliver it. This caused deep concern to the beauty of New Zealand that did not even let her sleep since she had never tried on the dress and did not know if it was going to need any alteration. Fortunately, the gown arrived on time at the Waldorf Hotel where the candidates were staying!


                On the night of Thursday, November 9th, 1961, the eleventh Miss World contest was held, an event organized as always by Mecca Dancing. The show began at 7:55 p.m. with an overture by the Joe Loss Orchestra. At 8 o’clock, a fanfare of the Trumpeters of the Royal Mounted Guard, with the permission of Colonel Julian Berry, announced the start of the live show from the Lyceum Ballroom in London. David Preedy of the Lyceum Ballroom proceeded to present to the audience the organizer of the event, Eric Morley, who after a few words of welcome proceeded to introduce the judges, consisting of nine personalities. They were:

                1- Denis Anthony Brian Butler, Ninth Earl of Lanesborough.

                2- The British fashion designer and fashion designer of the Queen, Norman Hartnell.

                3- La Countess Ethel Beatty, member of the English aristocracy.

                4- American actor and comedian Bob Hope.

                5- The Russian-British theater businessman Bernard Delfont, who repeated again as Chairman of the judges.

                6- British businessman of South African origin and general manager of numerous camping parks, Billy Butlin.

                7- The Duchess of Rutland, Kathleen Manners.

                8- The British-Irish actor Richard Todd.

                9- John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough and nephew of Winston Churchill.

                Subsequently, the 37 aspirants appeared on stage wearing their evening gowns, in what was called the “The Nations of the World”. Once located on stage, the British National Anthem was sung.

                Next, Eric Morley introduced the contestants in evening gowns, individually and in alphabetical order in two groups, the first from Argentina to Israel and the second from Italy to Venezuela. After a musical intermission by the Joe Loss Orchestra, Morley introduced the candidates again, this time, in swimsuits, equally divided into two groups. Miss France paraded with her bandaged ankle.

               After the parades, the judges selected the 15 semifinalists. They were: Miss ARGENTINA, Susana Julia Pardal, 22, of Buenos Aires; Miss AUSTRIA, Hella Wolfsgruber, 18, from Salzburg; Miss FREE CHINA, Grace Li Shiu-ying, 19, of Taipei; Miss DENMARK, 19-year-old Inge Jörgensen of Odense; Miss FINLAND, 20-year-old Ritva Tuulikki Wächter from Helsinki; Miss FRANCE, Michèle Wargnier, 19, from Paris; Miss GERMANY, Romy März, 20, from Munich; Miss IRELAND, Olive Ursula White, 17, from Dublin; Miss JAPAN, 19-year-old Chie Murakami from Osaka; Miss NEW ZEALAND, 22-year-old Leone Mary Main from Auckland; Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Yvonne Brenda Hulley, 19, of Voelklip; Miss SPAIN, María del Carmen Cervera Fernández, 18, from Barcelona; Miss TURKEY, Güler Samuray, 20, from Istanbul; Miss UNITED KINGDOM, Rosemarie Frankland, 18, of Lancaster; and Miss USA, Jo Ann Odum, 19, of Huntington, West Virginia.

                At 9:25 p.m. the broadcast of the contest began on BBC, with the voiceover of Bryan Cowgill, which showed the prerecorded of the participants in national costumes they did on Tuesday. They also showed the Presentation of the Judges and the parade of the participants in evening gowns and the call of the 15 semifinalists that had been recorded minutes before and they were live and direct at the time of announcing the 7 finalists. The transmission was uninterrupted for the next 50 minutes with comments for television by Michael Aspel, who replaced at the last minute David Coleman who was ill.

                The Master of Ceremonies, Peter West, was introduced, and he proceeded to interview the 15 semifinalists, among which Miss Free China (Taiwan) stood out, who said she wanted to be a singer and briefly sang a song in her native language (although she was really born in Korea), achieving a standing ovation among the audience. Then, the names of the finalists were announced with live broadcast by BBC. A last minute change made Morley choose 7 instead of the 6 finalists he had determined at the beginning and it was precisely since 1961 that the final selection is made with 7 finalists. They were: Miss FREE CHINA, Miss DENMARK, Miss FRANCE, Miss NEW ZEALAND, Miss SPAIN, Miss UNITED KINGDOM and MISS UNITED STATES.

                The seven finalists were briefly interviewed to the audience and posed together for the judges while they issued the final verdict. The scrutiny of the votes was made by the Editor of the Modern Dance Magazine, Charles Jacobs, who had been doing this work since 1958. The finalists went behind the scenes while Eric Morley proceeded, as usual, to announce the results in reverse order, starting with fifth place.

                In the fifth position and winner of £ 100 ranked Miss DENMARK, the blonde Inge Jörgensen and one of the gamblers’ favorite. In the fourth place was Miss FRANCE, Michèle Wargnier, with her ankle bandaged, receiving a prize of 150 pounds sterling. Winner of £ 250 and in third place, the beautiful Miss SPAIN, María del Carmen Cervera Fernández, 5 feet 5 inches tall, black hair and green eyes. In the second place, the oriental beauty of Miss FREE CHINA, Grace Li Shiu-ying, who took home a prize of £ 500. All received a small globe-shaped trophy and the first two finalists received additionally beautiful tiaras. The awards were presented by Alan B. Fairley of Mecca Dancing.

                Three young ladies were left behind the scenes waiting for the name of the winner. Morley called on stage the actor Bob Hope who was in charge of crowning the new Miss World in the absence of Argentina’s Norma Gladys Cappagli, titleholder of 1960. Then Morley announced that the new MISS WORLD 1961 was Miss Rosemarie Frankland of the UK, who cried excitedly while receiving the crown, scepter and the corresponding kiss from actor Bob Hope and the ermine cloak and trophy by Fairley. Bob told her while she was crowned that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen … Rosemarie, the first Briton to receive the title of the most beautiful woman in the world in the history of the event, received a check as a prize for 2500 pounds sterling (the highest sum earned by a Miss World so far), a beautiful trophy and a film test with Columbia Pictures, in addition to the possibility of earning about 20 thousand pounds more in presentations during her reign year. Miss United Kingdom was not among the big favorites of the contest and her choice was therefore almost a surprise. The big favorites of the bookmakers had been Miss Denmark, Miss Germany and Miss United States. As you can see, the changes implemented by Morley in the British competitions had paid off!


                The new Miss World was only 18 years of age, had blue eyes, dark brown hair, was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 124 pounds and her measurements were 36-22-36. She was a professional model and wanted to become an actress. “Hooray, I’m Miss World, I’m rich,” she exclaimed excitedly after winning the coveted title. In addition, she confessed that her boyfriend, Gary Talbot, a Daily Mail graphic reporter, had proposed to her the night before and that she had accepted, however, now the wedding plans were postponed although she confessed that her ambition in life was to marry and have children. “Everyone believes that the role of a beauty queen is pleasant as a picnic, but it is hell. A hell for me has been the last days,” exclaimed the brand new Miss World. “You have to become an automaton, we walk and smile mechanically to the sound of music. Hour after hour we have been rehearsing; if someone thinks there is something glamorous about this, they must be crazy,” Rosemarie concluded. The contest broadcast had a record audience of 10 million viewers through the BBC.

                As almost always happens in beauty pageants, there were complaints among the losers after the election. The South American candidates expressed their disagreement on the way they were treated during the contest. They complained that they were practically ignored by the organization and by the press, that they didn’t even photograph them, they only had eyes and attention towards the European ones. Miss Argentina said she agreed with the first place but thought she was better than some of the finalists. She confessed not to agree with the position reached by Miss Denmark saying that she did not look like a lady. Miss Uruguay said the same thing. “And what do they think, I’m a man?” the Danish finalist replied indignantly. Miss Sweden left the Lyceum Ballroom tormented upon learning that she had not been chosen even as a semifinalist. Another one who protested was Miss Italy, who said she hoped at least she reached the semifinal. Miss United States said she had shared a room with Rosemarie and that she rarely spoke to her and when she did it was to criticize the President of the United States. “I think she has a beautiful face but I think her bust is too big,” added the American girl. But Rosemarie defended herself by saying that the one who had not been friendly was Miss USA herself. As for the US President, she said that Miss USA “always tried to stick his name in her throat.” Miss Spain was crying, according to joy, however she complained that in all competitions she always finished third, as was previously the case in Miss Europe and in Miss International.

              At the Coronation Ball that was subsequently held at the Café de Paris, Morley officially presented the awards to Miss USA in sixth place, with a prize of £ 50 and in the seventh, Miss NEW ZEALAND, with a prize of 25 pounds Sterling. There, the winners and those who did not reach any position danced and drank champagne until dawn. Commenting on the fact that no American girl had won the title in 11 years, Alfred Patricelli, 49, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, sponsor of the Miss USA contest said: “Our girls are the sweet, flowery type generally. They are lovely – don’t get me wrong. But foreign women know how to project sex appeal, how to get the eye of a man they’re interested in.” Patricelli also said: “American girls are too reserved. They won’t put themselves out to please a man and make themselves beautiful to him …”. He emphasized that Miss Odum’s beauty “took a back seat to nobody” in the contest, “but she has the girl-next-door look, which we in America prize so highly and she couldn’t make any headway against British judges who are used to the other type of woman who puts herself forward.”

                The next day, the new Miss World received the press while having breakfast in her suite’s bed at the Waldorf Hotel while checking the press and reading congratulatory telegrams. The new queen was guarded by the security officer and manager of one of the Mecca Dancing salons in Derby, Mr. Alan Ferris. The next day she left for Paris for a short and well-deserved one-week vacation. On November 17th she returned home to Granville Road in Lancaster, helping her mother wash the dishes after dinner as usual in her.

With Frankie Avalon in 1965


                Rosemarie Frankland was born the 1st. February 1943 in Rhosllannerchrugog, Wrexham, Wales. Daughter of a hospital cleaning operator and a factory foreman, Miss Frankland was raised in North Wales by her grandmother and then moved to Lancashire, England, where she worked behind the counter of the Marks & Spencer store. She won numerous local beauty pageants before finishing third in Miss Great Britain 1960 and second in Miss England 1961. She was later crowned Miss Wales, was First Runner-up at Miss Universe, won the Miss United Kingdom title and then won the Miss World crown on November 9th, 1961, being the first British to win an international beauty pageant. The relationship with her boyfriend Gary Talbot failed after winning the world beauty title. It was the first Miss World to be invited by Bob Hope to entertain American troops and for which she traveled to Alaska shortly after being crowned as Miss World.

               She attended Miss World 1962 to crown her successor, the first titleholder to do so sine 1955. After the pageant she recalled and told the press “I think I spent the first three days, after winning the title, crying. The phones never stopped ringing. For weeks on end I met nobody but strangers. I was so lonely”.

                During her year of reign she was an impeccable Miss World, attended all the events to which she was required and she trust Eric Morley to whom she appointed her manager. After her reign, the beautiful girl managed to earn almost 20,000 pounds sterling, and Morley, very cautious, asked for a good check for 2,000 pounds to invest in the stock market. In early 1963, Morley received a call from Rosemarie, where she tearfully told him that she had to pay a tax of £ 2,200 pounds and that she had no money. Everything she had earned as Miss World had being wasted and at that time she was bankrupt. Rosemarie went to visit Morley at his office and crying she said she didn’t know what to do. Morley, with his usual character, scolded her and told her that it was useless to be crying, to dry her tears to see what solution they could find. One of the ideas that Morley found was to ask the taxpayers office to give her a deadline to pay. However, Morley remembered what she had invested in the stock market and that she had completely forgotten. Morley called his agent and asked him to sell the shares of Rosemarie, which were already valued at about £ 3,500. Rosemarie changed her face completely because she didn’t know she had those values ​​saved. With that money, Rosemarie paid her taxes and reinvested the rest in new actions in case she needed extra money one day. For Eric Morley, Rosemarie was the Miss World with the most beautiful face in history.

                Rosemarie married on January 10th, 1963 with Fleet Street journalist Benjamin Jones, 32, in Caxton Hall, Westminster. Soon she starting her acting career getting small roles like “Miss Australia” in the movie “The Beauty Jungle”. She also participated that same year in the movie “A Hard Day´s Night” with the Beatles, served as a waitress in two more films in 1964 called “We Shall See” and “The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theater” and in the film “I ‘ ll Take Sweden” with Bob Hope and Frankie Avalon in 1965, with the role of Marti, the Swedish girlfriend of Avalon. Rosemarie divorced Jones at the end of October 1966 because Jones accused her of adultery. After the separation, Bob Hope, then 60, took her to Los Angeles and installed her as his Personal Assistant. Rosemarie became friends with Dolores, Hope’s wife.

                At the beginning of the year 1970 Rosemarie visited the US troops with Hope in the Arctic, so Bob, with his usual jokes, said that “she was so hot that they would surely have trouble in that ice.” After her failure as an actress, Rosemarie returned to Bob Hope’s home in Palm Springs, California as his Assistant, but that job also ended when Hope’s wife, Dolores, discovered that they were both lovers.

                On October 12th, 1970 she married for the second time, this time with Warren Entner, a former guitarist of the rock band “Grass Roots” with whom she had her only daughter, Jessica Entner in 1976. The couple lived in Los Angeles in a house built by F. Scott Fitzgerald while writing “The Grand Gatsby”. Rosemarie divorced Entner in early 1982 after almost twelve years of marriage.

Miss World 1961, Rosemarie Frankland from the UK in 1964

                Although Rosemarie never had nostalgic affection for the Miss World contest she attended as a guest at the 25th anniversary of the pageant in London in 1975. In 1998, she told a newspaper: “Beauty queens are dressed up and parade down the catwalk just so some fellow can get a quick thrill. They should shove it in the archives and forget about it.”

                On December 2nd, 2000, her body was found lifeless at her home in Marina del Rey, California. She was the first Miss World to die. Ironically she died a month after Eric Morley and two weeks after the 50th anniversary of the contest. She was 57 years old at that time. Apparently she had suffered a heart failure due to a drug overdose. Her body was found a week after she died with an empty bottle of pills in one hand and a bottle of tequila near the body. Her friends said Rosemarie never got over her depressive state after Bob Hope, her lover for over thirty years, had canceled her regular payments three years earlier. In fact, the last time Rosemarie saw Hope, he was 88 years old and in a senile state he didn’t recognize her. That was a blow to her. “Life has no meaning anymore” she was heard to say. “Bob was the only man she had truly loved,” said a friend who preferred anonymity.

                However, Rosemarie’s uncle, Ray Jones, said it could have been an accident, because he believed she had never attempted suicide. Months before he had visited her and she looked normal and together they had made plans for an upcoming meeting. The night before the day she supposedly passed away she had gone to the movies with a friend and was apparently “normal.” A Rosemarie neighbor said Rosemarie “had been depressed for about a year. She had fallen out with her boyfriend and daughter. Her looks had faded and her glamorous life was behind her.” During her life cycle, she only suffered depression, panic disorder and, in recent years, according to her daughter, she had been diagnosed with cancer.

One of her last pictures

                The ashes of Miss World were sent to Wales to be buried in the Rhos Cemetery in February 2001 in a ceremony attended by relatives still living in Wrexham. Her first husband, Ben Jones, said “Rosemarie was star-struck and I don’t think she had the capacity to deal with it. For an 18-year-old behind the counter at Marks & Spencer to be thrown in the deep end of Miss World with no guidance and nobody to help her was too much. In the end, it was a bit of a Marilyn Monroe story”.


                Some participants achieved notoriety after their participation in Miss World. We can mention the case of the famous Miss Spain, María del Carmen Rosario Soledad Cervera Fernández de la Guerra, better known as Tita Cervera, who in 1965 married the American actor Lex Barker. With her brand new husband she went to live in Los Angeles starting her film career in 1967 with small roles but her husband prevented her from starting a stable career as an actress. Carmen unexpectedly widowed in May 1973 when Lex Barker died of a heart attack in New York. Some sources claim that the couple was experiencing a marital crisis and explain it by the age difference between them and by the possessive character of the actor; There are even those who say that the death occurred in the process of divorce.

                In 1975 she married again, this time with Spartaco Santoni but the new couple had a stormy relationship and it was rumored that Tita was a victim of abuse. Santoni was implicated in litigation for fraud and documentary falsehood, ending up in prison, and economically harming his wife, for whom the search and capture was requested by taking out of the country a film that he had produced and was seized. Santoni ended up ruining Carmen Cervera, as he fled after she paid a million dollar bail to get him out of jail. In the end, this conflicting marriage was discovered not valid by bigamy, since he never divorced his first wife, which Carmen did not know. In her years of relationship with Santoni, Carmen Cervera participated in mostly discreet quality films and her last film included one filmed in 1981 with some nude scenes. In that same year she began her engagement with Baron Thyssen, which moved her away from acting .

                On July 24th, 1980, a year before meeting the baron, Carmen gave birth to her only biological son, Alejandro Borja. This redoubled her presence in the magazines, as she hid the paternity of her son. Borja’s father’s identity was covered up for almost twenty years, and Carmen Cervera ended up recognizing in 2009 that it was the result of a relationship with the Santander publicist Manuel Segura. The media rumored that at that time Carmen was pretended by Kirk Kerkorian, a tycoon from Hollywood and Las Vegas, president of the powerful MGM Grand Inc., and that the relationship did not prosper. In 1985 she reached the social and media top by becoming the fifth wife of Baron Hans Heinrich von Thyssen-Bornemisza, one of the greatest collectors of the twentieth century. In the summer of 1986, in Marbella, she was distinguished with the title of Lady Spain, and in the following years the new baroness Carmen Thyssen stirred the international museum for her mediation so that the fabulous Thyssen-Bornemisza collection was exhibited and preserved in Spain, in the Art Triangle of Madrid; process that culminated in July 1993 with the purchase of the collection by the Spanish State. In 2002, she widowed the baron who suffered from a serious stroke and in 2007 she adopted two newly born twins in the United States under a rental belly through fertilization in vitro: María del Carmen and Guadalupe Sabina.

                Recurring character of the press, Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza has her own art collection, which she exhibits in several public museums on a loan basis, and her fortune is estimated at 900 million euros; Since 2013 she occupies the 7th place among the richest women in Spain, and is ranked 45th among the largest Spanish fortunes. In 2011, the Venezuelan network Venevisión by the hand of the writer Martín Hahn aired a soap opera called “The Young Widow”, a story based and inspired by the life of Carmen Cervera, starring the former Miss Venezuela Mariángel Ruiz.

                On the other hand, Miss Argentina became a famous actress in Peru (where she lived for many years) and Mexico (with the movie “In the Shadow of the Sun” in 1967), Miss Italy did the same in Italian cinema and Miss Turkey became in a renowned musical composer in her country.


Thanks to Donald West, Daryl Schabinger, Jimmy Steele, Sally-Ann Fawcett (Misdemeanours) and Ricardo Guiraldes (Chilean Charm).


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