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Miss World 1973

By Julio Rodríguez Matute


                In 1973, Aishwarya Rai (Miss World 1994) and Diana Hayden (Miss World 1997), both from India, the American Miss Universe 1995 Chelsi Smith (RIP), the models Tyra Banks, Eva Herzigová and Heidi Klum, Puerto Rican singer Jerry Rivera, the actor and ex-Manhunt México 2000 David Zepeda, the Spanish porn actor Nacho Vidal, the Colombian actress Ana María Orozco (Betty La Fea), the actress and former Miss Venezuela contestant Gabriela Spanic and the American Ali Landry were born. Regarding the Vietnam War, US President Nixon announces the suspension of offensive actions in North Vietnam thanks to the approval of a peace agreement, ending the eight and a half years in which the US was directly involved in the war. . In that country the “Watergate” scandal begins, which will end up removing Nixon from the presidency a year later. In Chile, Augusto Pinochet takes power with a coup, bombing the Palacio de la Moneda and where ex-President Salvador Allende died after allegedly committing suicide. In Argentina, the Ezeiza massacre occurs after the arrival of Juan Domingo Perón after 18 years of exile. An earthquake occurs in Veracruz and Puebla, Mexico that left about 3,000 dead. Queen Elizabeth II inaugurates the famous London Bridge and the Sydney Opera House (Australia) and in New York the famous twin towers of the World Trade Center are inaugurated; The Bosporus Bridge is also inaugurated in 1973 in Istanbul, which connects Europe with Asia. The Skylab (it crashed in 1979 in Australia during the Miss Universe pageant) is launched into space. NASA explores Jupiter and Mercury. Bahamas gains independence from the United Kingdom and Guinea-Bissau from Portugal. DEA is founded in the US and CARICOM in the Caribbean. In Mexico, the television company Televisa is created and in Memphis, USA, the international correspondence company Federal Express. Carlos Andrés Pérez is elected president in Venezuela. Margarita Morán from the Philippines is crowned Miss Universe in the Greek capital (days after the contest an attack against civilians of the terrorist group Black September takes place at the Athens airport) while the Finnish Tuula Anneli Bjorkling, who was seventh in Miss World 1972, is chosen Miss International in Japan. The Luxembourg song “Tu te reconnaîtras”, by Anne-Marie David, wins the Eurovision Song Contest in its own country. The films “The Sting” with Robert Redford and Paul Newman, “The Exorcist” with Linda Blair, “Robin Hood” from Walt Disney, “Jesus Christ Super Star” and “American Graffiti” are released. Rock band Aerosmith debuts in the US with their first album. In the US, the novel “The Young and the Restless” is released, which is still broadcast in that country in 2020. This year the former,Presidents Lyndon Johnson (USA) and Eleazar López Contreras (VEN), the Chilean President Salvador Allende, the North American actors Bruce Lee and Michael Dunn, the Spanish singer Nino Bravo, the French artist Pablo Picasso and the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda passed away.


                In the month of February 1973, Miss World Belinda Green announced her intentions to join a 200-mile grand walk from Scotland to London, which would take place in April to raise money for charities, but it was not knew if this happened. In early September, she returned to her country, Australia, for the first time since winning the title. Upon arrival at the Sydney airport, she told reporters that she had had a year of many trips and a lot of champagne. “I have completely spoiled myself and next year I think I will spend it on a holiday across Europe in a camping caravan.” Last year she had her problems, apart from the thousands of dollars she had to pay in taxes for her Miss World award. She also said that it had been difficult to be Miss World because people expected her to be something different, a stunning beauty with a happy personality. “I don’t sing or dance, but I can speak” was one of her favorite phrases. The Australian beauty attended the election of “Quest of Quests 1973” as a special guest and then toured her country. She declined a $ 5,000 offer to pose nude for Playboy magazine. “I would never make such images, although I do not condemn the girls for posing nude”, she said, adding that in addition to the aforementioned payment they had offered her additional money for the publication. She said that after handing over the title she would not remain quiet as she intended to become a Top Model. She confessed to the media what her most embarrassing moment had been. “I was in Sheffield, opening a new disco, and I said cheerfully: I feel so welcome here in Leeds.” There was a deep silence and then a man said to her, ‘My dear, you are not in Leeds. You’re in Sheffield’. “It was really horrible. Like getting off the plane at Mascot and saying, ‘It’s wonderful to be back here in Melbourne.’ Belinda returned to London in late October to crown her successor.


Miss Spain (Amparo Muñoz at center)

               In 1973, two countries withdrew from Miss World (Guyana and Uruguay) so there were 66 nations with directors and none debuting in the contest this year. Of the 66, five of them did not celebrate the election of their beauty queens to the Morley contest (Liberia, Nigeria, Panama, Tunisia and Trinidad-Tobago), so initially, 61 participants were expected. In the Bahamas, for reasons of independence celebrations, the Miss Commomwealth Bahamas was not held, but the organization designated the third runner-up of the 1972 national pageant, Deborah Louise Isaacs, as their representative. In India, the “Bharat Sundari” contest was also not held, but the organizers had decided to send one of the finalists from the previous year, Firoza Cooper, who also went to the “Queen of the Pacific” in 1973. The Colombians sent Miss World to their third princess from Señorita Colombia 1972, Elsa María Springtube. In Ecuador, Miss Ana Patricia Rivadeneira Peña, who initially would go to Miss World, was chosen, but for unknown reasons she did not travel to London. The young woman only attended the Miss Maja International contest, being the debut of that country in that beauty event. Due to a disagreement between the Morleys and the organizers of Miss Germany, they decided not to send their titleholder, Ingeborg Braun, to London but to Miss International. Among the national competitions that were held are the following:

                – Miss France.- On Thursday December 28, 1972, at the Hotel Meridien-Etoile in Paris, Miss Lorraine, Isabelle Nadia Krumacker, from the city of Troisfontaines, was crowned the new Miss France. The finalists were Christine Schmidt from Arcachon, Dany Coutelier from Flandres and Lydie Morochi from Corsica. 40 beauties participated.

                – Miss Holland.- Yildiz de Kat was chosen “Miss Holland 1973” in Roermond with 12 candidates. She was sent to Miss International. The first runner-up, Anke Groot, went to Miss World and Miss Europe, a contest that she won in January 1974. The remaining finalists were Conja Mosk, Marie-Louis Ultee and Charlotte Jautze.

                – Miss México.- It was celebrated on June 9 at the Camino Real hotel in Mexico City and was won by Rossana Villares of Yucatan who went to Miss Universe. The first runner-up, Rosario González from San Luis Potosí, could not go to Miss World, so she was sent to the International Coffee Queen contest of 1974. At the last minute, when it was thought that Mexico would not be present in London, the Mexican titleholder was sent.

Miss Dominican Republic

                – National Beauty Contest (Dominican Republic) .- The Acoustic Shell of the Hotel El Embajador was once again the venue for the National Beauty Contest, on Saturday May 19, where Claritza Duarte was crowned Miss Dominican Republic. Wanda Thorman was chosen as Queen of Tourism and Carmen Álvarez as Queen of Merengue. The Miss World franchise was still in dispute between Ramón Darío Cruz and Manuel Ramírez de la Mota. The latter announced with hype and cymbals that his chosen Miss Coffee on Wednesday June 20, Griselda Valdez Minguez, would go to Miss World, but this did not happen. The queen chosen by Ramón Darío Cruz was sent instead.

                – Miss Brazil.- On June 22, at the Presidente Médici gym in Brasilia, the 20th edition of Miss Brazil was held, an event won by Sandra Mara Ferreira, Miss Sao Paulo, who went to Miss Universe. In second place was Denise Penteado Costa of Guanabara (to Miss International) and in third Miss Minas Gerais, Florence Gambogi Alvarenga (to Miss World). 26 contestants.

                –  Miss Dominion of Canada.- Deborah Ducharme, a 20-year-old receptionist from Port Colborne, Ontario, was chosen “Miss Dominion of Canada 1973” in Niagara Falls on Saturday, June 30, at an event that featured 20 participants. The finalists were Jay Olsen, Nancy Henderson, Laurie Brooks and Lucille St.Pierre. Ducharme went to Miss Universe and Miss World. She also had to go to Miss International but was replaced in that contest by the second runner-up, Nancy Henderson.

Miss Venezuela

                – Miss Venezuela.- The contest was held on Tuesday, July 10 at the Sub-officers Army Forces Club of Caracas and was animated by Gilberto Correa and Liana Cortijo. Desirée Rolando, Miss Carabobo, was crowned “Miss Venezuela 1973” heading to Miss Universe. Miss Zulia, Edicta García was chosen for Miss World and the remaining finalists were Ana Cecilia Ramírez (Miss Federal District), Hilda Carrero (Miss Táchira) and Bettina Rezich (Miss Barinas). 15 candidates.

                – Miss Jamaica.- On Saturday, August 4, Patsy Yuen was crowned “Miss Jamaica 1973”, the first Jamaican of Chinese origin, in an event held at the National Arena.

                – Miss United Kingdom.- Miss England, 23-year-old Veronica Ann Cross, won the title of “Miss United Kingdom 1973” on Wednesday August 15 at the Blackpool Open Stadium. The finalists were Marie Kirkwood and Pam Wood. 46 candidates participated.

                – Miss Spain.- Miss Costa del Sol, Amparo Muñoz, 19 years old, was crowned “Miss Spain 1973” on August 26 in the port of Lanzarote. Subsequently, she was crowned as Miss Universe in Manila, Philippines, in 1974. Maribel Lorenzo, “Miss Las Palmas”, was chosen as “Miss National” and Mariona Rosell, “Miss Catalonia”, as the first runner-up, who went to Miss World.

                – Quest of Quests.- On Sunday, September 16, at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney, the “Quest of Quests 1973” contest was held with 21 candidates. The winner, Susan Currie, took three titles: Australia’s Dream Girl, Miss Asia Australia and Miss Apex Australia. The finalists were Virginia Radinas, 22, of Strathfield, Sydney, as Miss World Australia; Yasmin Nagy as Miss Universe Australia, Monique Daama as Miss International Australia, and Deidre Raynor as Miss Young Australia. Miss World 1972, also Australian Belinda Green, Miss Asia, Tara Fonseca from India and the first runner-up of Miss World 1972, the Norwegian Ingeborg Sorensen, attended.

                – Miss World-USA.- On Thursday, September 20, the “Miss World-USA 1973” pageant was held at the Broome County Veterans Arena in Binghamton, New York, with Marjorie Wallace, Miss Indiana, winning among 50 candidates (Miss Maine withdrew). The event, which was hosted by Dick Clark, actress Meredith McCrae and Bob Hope, had as finalists Miss Washington, Lexie H. Brockway, Miss Oklahoma, Rebbeca O’Haver, Miss Florida, Denise Ann Kranich, and Miss Arizona, Carol J. Dawson.

                – Miss Republic of the Philippines.- Evangeline Pascual won the crown of “Miss Republic of the Philippines 1974” in October 1973, which gave her the right to represent her country in Miss World. The finalists were Rosemarie Peña, Marissa Corpuz Andrada, Gloria Cuenca and Eileen Dimalanta.

                – Miss Malaysia.- The “Miss Malaysia World” contest was held on Saturday October 27 at the Negara Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The winner was Marjorie Anne Hon, who was dismissed on Wednesday, October 31, when she refused to go to Miss World. In their place was the first runner-up, Narimah Mohamed Yusoff.

                – Miss Peru.- During the military dictatorship in the South American country in 1973, beauty pageants had been banned. However, in mid-October, a group of Peruvian refugees in Venezuela chose Miss Mary Núñez Bartra, who had lived in Caracas since she was one year old, as the representative of Peru in Miss World. In 1972, Mary had been elected Venezuela’s representative to the Miss Caribbean International, but they disqualified her when they discovered she was Peruvian.

                It should be noted that the organizers of Miss World asked their directors to link their events with the Variety Club or with any charitable cause, to change the bad reputation that beauty pageants had worldwide, which were compared to “cattle markets” . They wanted to give another meaning to these contests and the income generated by them in the different countries would be used for the benefit of social causes, following the motto of Julia Morley of “Beauty with a purpose”. The Miss Africa South pageant benefited the Alexander Hostel Foundation, Miss Commomwealth Bahamas offered scholarships to low-income youth, and Miss Honduras was affiliated with the country’s Red Cross. The Miss Republic of the Philippines donated money to the homeless children, Miss Switzerland helped develop artificial hearts, and Miss World-USA raised money to benefit the “American Cancer Society”. In addition, after winning their national competition, each candidate had to fill out a questionnaire where they had to indicate which places they would like to visit in London. Based on this, the organization tried to fix the activity schedules to be able to fulfill the requests of the majority of the participants.





                The 23rd edition of Miss World was scheduled to be held in London from November 13 to 23. The crown was again changed. This time it was a simple rhinestone tiara, but quite light and able to resist accidental falls. The first candidate to arrive in the British capital was Miss Jamaica, who traveled on Wednesday, November 7. Later, Miss Guam and Miss Canada arrived on Sunday the 11th. On Monday the 12th, the candidates attended the opening of a new business of the former English footballer Geoff Hurst. Notably, with increasing feminist demostrations, British newspapers lost interest in reporting on activities prior to the Miss World pageant. The official arrival day was November 13, which was the day that Miss World activities officially began and on which, responsibly, almost all the contestants arrived.

                On Wednesday the 14th the participants traveled to the port of Greenwich where they visited the Cutty Sark and Gypsy Moth sailboats, they did a tour of the “Royal Naval College” and a ride on the “Father Thames” ship that was released that year. In the evening, a welcome dinner was held at the Sportsman Club on Tottenham Court Road. While the press was dedicated to covering the wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, the Miss World pageant was almost ignored. But on Thursday the 15th, a group of contestants posed for a themed photo for the Daily Mirror. This time as bridesmaids for an elegant wedding of the beginning of the XX century. They were the candidates from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Jamaica and Colombia. That same day, the program book was sent to the printing press, in which there were 54 confirmed countries that had sent their flight itineraries, and another five to be confirmed.

               On Friday, November 16, the customary luncheon that the Variety Club of Great Britain offered every year was held to raise funds for the children’s charities they managed. Once again it was held at the Dorchester Hotel in London, where the applicants to Miss World attended, dressed in their national costumes and with the gifts that each of them had brought from their countries of origin to be delivered to Earl Mountbatten. As always, the beauties were greeted by actor Stanley Baker. It should be mentioned that in early 1973, Eric Morley, President of Mecca and Director of Miss World, had been appointed Chief Barker of the Variety Club of Great Britain. That same day, the Variety Club delivered a donated ambulance to the Italian Red Cross. Miss Venezuela used as a national costume a fantasy of Guajira blanket in white, embroidered in the center by an authentic Guajira native; She wore the “bellotas” (large white wool sandals), which brought her some problems with the Colombian Consul in London, who claimed that she could not wear that national costume, as it is a clothing belonging to Colombia and not Venezuela. By the way, her roommate was Miss Colombia. In the evening, the beauties attended the theater “The New Victoria” for the show “The Black and White Minstrel”. That same night, another group of girls posed for a photo with the Australian rugby team (Stuart MacDougal, David L’Estrange, Dick Cocks, Peter Sullivan and Reg Smith) who were visiting and staying at the same Britannia hotel. They were Miss Argentina, Miss Australia, Miss South Africa, Miss Ireland, Miss Switzerland and Miss USA. On Saturday the 17th, the contestants went shopping in the morning and, in the afternoon, they made the customary tour of the city of London. In the evening, at the Britannia hotel, they had a fun time when a group of candidates presented their talents to the audience made up of the remaining participants (the talent was optional), the chaperones and the Mecca staff. The most applauded was Miss Bahamas, who gave a modern dance demonstration and who unofficially would be the first talent winner in the history of the contest. Another of the most applauded was Miss Philippines, who sang and played violin and guitar.


                In view of the success of the bookmakers, Mecca did not want to be left behind. They also opened an agency and devised a triple betting coupon system that was played like a pool and in which the public, who tuned in every year through the BBC, could bet for a few pence who would be the winner and the first two finalists in exact order. Winners would be paid all multiple odds offered for individual bets. At that time, the lowest probability was 12-1, which would mean a profit of £ 173 for every £ 10 played, in the case of selecting the correct order of winners. A Mecca spokesperson said these bets were aimed primarily to housewives and their relatives, who usually bet on their favorites among family members while watching the contest broadcast. “We are giving them a chance to win a lot of money for a few pence in a contest that is followed by millions on television.”


                At the time, and after the contestants’ first appearance at the Variety Club luncheon, the stakes were as follows: With 12-1 Miss Israel, Miss South Africa, and Miss United States. With 16-1 Miss Africa South, Miss France and Miss Philippines. With 18-1 Miss United Kingdom. Miss Holland and Miss Venezuela shared a 20-1, while Miss Argentina, Miss Austria, Miss New Zealand and Miss Norway had a 25-1 chance. At 33-1 were Miss Brazil, Miss Jamaica, Miss Malaysia, Miss Malta and Miss Spain. The rest were 40-1 or more.


                On Sunday, November 18, the Press Presentation was held at the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square. There were 53 contestants, who had so far arrived in the British capital, who posed for the photojournalists in their bathing suits for the first time. The arrival deadline was Saturday the 17th, but the Morleys made an exception with ladies from three countries, including Miss Mexico, who was appointed at the last minute since the preregistered candidate was originally unable to travel. The tallest contestants were Miss Brazil, Miss South Africa, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Finland and Miss Belgium at 5 feet 10 inches, while the shortest were Miss Peru, Miss Guam, Miss Botswana and Miss Honduras, at 5 feet 3 inches. The 53 candidates who posed individually and in groups to the press were:

                Miss AFRICA SOUTH (Ellen Peters), Miss ARGENTINA (Beatriz Callejón), Miss ARUBA (Edwina Diaz), Miss AUSTRALIA (Virginia Radinas), Miss AUSTRIA (Roswitha Kobald), Miss BAHAMAS (Deborah Louise Isaacs), Miss BELGIUM (Christiane Devisch), Miss BERMUDA (Judy Joy Richards), Miss BOTSWANA (Priscilla Molefe), Miss BRAZIL (Florence Gambogi Alvarenga), Miss CANADA (Deborah Anne Ducharme), Miss COLOMBIA (Elsa María Springtube Ramírez), Miss CYPRUS (Demetra Heraklidou), Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Clariza Magdalena Duarte Garrido), Miss FINLAND (Seija Mäkinen), Miss FRANCE (Isabelle Nadia Krumacker), Miss GIBRALTAR (Josephine Rodríguez), Miss GREECE (Caterina Bacali), Miss GUAM (Shirley Ann Brennan), Miss HOLLAND (Anna Maria “Anke” Groot), Miss HONDURAS (Belinda Handal), Miss HONG KONG (Judy Yung Chu-Dic), Miss ICELAND (Nina Breidfjord), Miss IRELAND (Yvonne Costelloe), Miss ISRAEL (Haja Katzir), Miss ITALY (Mafra Bartolucci), Miss JAMAICA (Patricia “Patsy” Teresa Yuen Leung), Miss JAPAN (Keiko Matsunaga), Miss KOREA (Soon-young An), Miss LEBANON (Sylva Ohannessian), Miss LUXEMBOURG (Giselle Anita Nicole Azzeri), Miss MALAYSIA (Narimah Mohamed Yusoff), Miss MALTA (Carmen Farrugia) , Miss MAURITIUS (Daisy Ombrasine), Miss NEW ZEALAND (Pamela King), Miss NORWAY (Wenche Steen), Miss PERU (Mary Núñez Bartra), Miss PHILIPPINES (Evangeline Louise Ancheta Pascual), Miss PORTUGAL (Maria Helena Pereira Martins), Miss PUERTO RICO (Milagros García), Miss SEYCHELLES (June Gonthier), Miss SINGAPORE (Debra Josephine de Souza), Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Shelley Latham), Miss SPAIN (Mariona Rosell Rami), Miss SRI LANKA (Shiranthi Wickremesinghe), Miss SWEDEN (Mercy Nilsson), Miss SWITZERLAND (Magda Lepori), Miss THAILAND (Pornpit Sakornujiara), Miss TURKEY (Beyhan Kiral), Miss UNITED KINGDOM (Veronica Ann Cross), Miss UNITED STATES (Marjorie “Marji” Sue Wallace), Miss VENEZUELA (Edicta de los Ángeles García Oporto) and Miss YUGOSLAVIA (Atina Golubova). That same afternoon Miss MEXICO (Gladys Rossana Villares Moreno) arrived in London but did not arrive on time for the presentation to the media. The young woman had to wait five hours at the airport until the staff came for her because they were all busy with the press event.

               Although this year no country debuted in Miss World, seven countries that had been absent in the last edition returned: Colombia, Cyprus, Korea, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Peru and Sri Lanka (former Ceylon). The candidates’ ages ranged from 17 to 24 years, the youngest being the contestants from Gibraltar, South Africa, Guam and Ireland, while the oldest was Miss United Kingdom. The representatives of Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom (as Miss England) had previous experience in the Miss Universe pageant of that same year. Miss Luxembourg participated in both Miss Young International and Miss International; meanwhile, the Norwegian beauty previously competed in Miss Young International 1970 and the Colombian girl competed in the International Coffee Queen 1973. That same day, the candidates took the official photos that would be shown during the broadcast of the contest and at night they attended the Themed dinner “Old Time Music Hall” at the Tiffany Club in Purley.

                The girls that could not arrive in London on the deadline imposed by the Morley were Miss COSTA RICA (Rossy Mora Badilla), Miss DENMARK (Anette Grankvist), Miss INDIA (Firoza Cooper), Miss NICARAGUA (Ana Cecilia Saravia Lanzas) and Miss PARAGUAY (María Gloria González). After the Press Release, the William Hills bookmaker had Miss Norway as the top favorite with 10-1, followed by Miss Israel and Miss United States with 12-1 and Miss United Kingdom with 14-1, while Mecca had Miss South Africa scoring 10-1 while the British representative was only 16-1.


                On Monday, November 19, the participants visited the House of Lords and had the usual lunch in the House of Commons, being received, as in previous years, by MP Stephen McAdden. That same day a special activity called “Children’s Tea Party” was held in which the contestants received the visit of a group of homeless children and shared an afternoon of tea with them at the Britannia Hotel.

                On Tuesday the 20th and Wednesday the 21st they were dedicated exclusively to the arduous rehearsals at the Royal Albert Hall. On Wednesday, a group of candidates was chosen to be photographed in tiny bikinis for the Daily Mirror newspaper. They were Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Australia, Miss United States, Miss United Kingdom, Miss Venezuela, Miss South Africa, Miss Iceland, Miss Norway, Miss Greece, Miss Jamaica, Miss Israel and Miss Yugoslavia. On Thursday, November 22, it was held the first meeting of the 54 candidates with the judges, who briefly interviewed them. Then the BBC made the recording of the opening and individual presentation of the contestants in their national costumes, images that would be broadcast during the finals. After this, the “Dress Rehearsal” was held and where Eric Morley awarded Miss Holland as Miss Photogenic and Miss Seychelles as Miss Personality after the parade of all the candidates in swimsuits. Both received a trophy. During this rehearsal Miss Jamaica fell down the stairs, suffering a bruise. In the rehearsal the representative of Holland was crowned “Miss World” (see photo in gallery). After the rehearsal, in which all the young women received a case with a medallion and a gold chain in remembrance of their participation in the event, the young women were sent in groups to the “Dorothy Grays” beauty salon on Conduit Street, Soho. Due to an accident with the dye, Miss South Africa’s hair turned pink, which had to be quickly fixed by stylists.


                Ladbrokes’ latest bets that day indicated that the big favorite was Miss Israel at 10-1, closely followed by Miss South Africa and Miss USA, both 12-1. Miss Venezuela and Miss Norway approached with 16-1 while Miss Philippines, who was 33-1 the day before, dropped to 20-1 the night before the final. For its part, Miss Australia, which was 12-1, dropped to 16-1. Miss Canada and Miss Thailand were both 66-1 at Ladbrokes. While at Williams Hills, the stakes favored Miss USA with 12-1, followed by Miss Israel, Miss South Africa, and Miss United Kingdom with 14-1, Miss Australia, Miss Norway, and Miss Philippines with 16-1. Miss Venezuela and Miss France were 20-1, while the candidates from Africa South, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, the Dominican Republic and Holland traded 25-1. This year a little over £ 100,000 was wagered on the Misses, an unprecedented record.


                On the eve of the contest, three candidates became ill with a powerful virus, a product of the excessive cold that it was in London in that winter start. Miss Australia spent the last two days in bed but improved just to attend Thursday’s dress rehearsal. The other two girls who became ill were Miss Guam and Miss Gibraltar, but both also attended the rehearsal and the BBC recording. The virus also affected four of the twelve chaperones and four security guards, two of whom had to be replaced.


                Happily this year, there were no demostrations against the contest outside the Royal Albert Hall in London. At 7:15 p.m. on Friday, November 23, the doors were opened to the public and at 7:45 p.m., they were closed. Each person, of the 3,500 who would fill the venue that night, had to go through an anti-metal arch and their bags were seized to avoid events such as those of 1970. At 8 o’clock the event began with the chords of the Phil Tate’s orchestra and the intonation of the British National Anthem. Eric Morley welcomed the event as usual and gave his words of thanks before calling the 54 candidates to the stage in their first presentation of the night, in evening gowns, who were introduced in alphabetical order. The young women, as they were parading, went to dressing rooms to put on their bathing suits. They immediately made their parade in their swimsuits, individually, and then in groups of six contestants, who posed in front of the judges so that they could make the appropriate comparisons. Some of the participants paraded barefoot. Morley immediately introduced the 15 semifinalists to the Albert Hall audience in their bathing suits. They were:

                Miss AFRICA SOUTH (Ellen Peters, 17-year-old secretary from Cape Town); Miss BRAZIL (Florence Gambogi Alvarenga, 18-year-old student from Campo Belo, Minas Gerais); Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Clariza Magdalena Duarte Garrido, an 18-year-old architecture student from Santo Domingo); Miss GREECE (Caterina Bacali, a 21-year-old model and television presenter from Athens); Miss HOLLAND (Anna Maria “Anke” Groot, 21-year-old model from Zaandam); Miss ISRAEL (Haja Katzir, 18-year-old artist, from Tel-Aviv), Miss ITALY (Mafra Bartolucci, 19-year-old model and actress, from Rome); Miss JAMAICA (Patricia “Patsy” Teresa Yuen Leung, 21-year-old tennis champion and sales executive from Kingston); Miss LEBANON (Sylva Ohannessian, 18-year-old experimental science student from Beirut); Miss NEW ZEALAND (Pamela King, a 20-year-old receptionist from Dunedin); Miss PHILIPPINES (Evangeline Louise Ancheta Pascual, an 18-year-old television and photo model from Orani, Bataan); Miss SEYCHELLES (20-year-old June Gonthier from Victoria); Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Shelley Latham, a 22-year-old designer from Kaapstad); Miss UNITED KINGDOM (Veronica Ann Cross, 24-year-old model from Peacehaven, Sussex); and Miss UNITED STATES (Marjorie “Marji” Sue Wallace, 19-year-old model, from Indianapolis, Indiana).

                There was an intermission of 15 minutes, for the semifinalists to change into their swimsuits and meanwhile the BBC-1 broadcast began at 9:25 p.m., for 67 uninterrupted minutes, with the prerecorded opening with the Ralph Tobert Dancers, the voices of the Mike Sammes Singers and the candidates in their national costumes. The broadcast continued live when Master of Ceremony, Michael Aspel, entered the stage to introduce the judges. They were:

1- David Hemmings, British actor.

2- Michael Crawford, British comediant and actor.

3- Suzanna Leigh, British actress.

4- Gregory Peck, American actor.

5- Peter Dimmock, general manager of the BBC’s outside broadcasts and Chairman of the Judges.

6- Engelbert Humperdinck, British singer.

7- Brenda Arnau, American singer and actress.

8- Christopher Lee, English actor.

9- Joe Bugner, Hungarian-British-Australian actor and boxer champion.

                After introducing the judges, Michael Aspel proceeded to call the 15 semifinalists in alphabetical order, so that they would parade to the audience wearing their elegant evening dresses. As they paraded, David Vine commented on each of them. Immediately the presentation in swimsuits of the 15 semifinalists began, presented by David Vine with comments from Aspel. At the end, the semifinalists posed in a group in front of the judges. This year the swimsuit turn, which was so widely criticized by feminists, was removed.

                Michael Aspel proceeded the call to the stage the last seven finalists, whom he briefly interviewed as he introduced them. The 7 finalists were Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Miss ISRAEL, Miss JAMAICA, Miss PHILIPPINES, Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Miss UNITED KINGDOM and Miss UNITED STATES. The Dominican said that she owned a gym, Miss Israel said that her ambition was to travel around the world, the Jamaican spoke of her achievements as a junior tennis champion, the Philippine said that she practiced karate and said a few words in her language, the Tagalog, the South African said that she spoke Afrikaans, German and English and inadvertently called Aspel “daddy”, the British said she wanted to become a singer and the North American girl spoke of her travels as Miss World-USA. The judges, in this opportunity, would evaluate the personality of the contestants to decide who was the new Miss World and the order of the finalists. David Vine introduced the outgoing Miss World, the Australian Belinda Green, who did her farewell by dancing with a choreography along with the dancers of Ralph Tobert, with the songs “Unforgettable” and “She’s a Lady” performed by the Mike Sammes Singers. Michael Aspel called on stage Julia Morley to present the awards and Eric Morley to give the results of the contest in reverse order. Meanwhile, the seven girls waited behind the scenes. It should be noted that this year the prizes of the finalists increased. The results were the following:

                Fifth, Miss SOUTH AFRICA, Shelley Latham, who won a £ 250 prize. Fourth, Miss ISRAEL, Haja Katzir with £ 500. Miss JAMAICA, Patsy Yuen took third place with a Thousand Pound award and Miss PHILIPPINES, Evangeline Pascual, won £ 1500 after being named second and Miss World runner-up. All the finalists received crowns behind the scenes and Julia Morley presented them with their silver trophies on stage. At the backstage remained Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Miss UNITED KINGDOM and Miss UNITED STATES.


                And Miss WORLD 1973 is … Miss UNITED STATES !!!. Marjorie Wallace, a 19-year-old “dark” blonde with brown eyes, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 112 pounds and measurements 35-24-35, had become the first American to obtain the coveted Miss World crown. Marjie received her sash from Jon Osborne, a member of the staff, in backstage and stepped out to receive her silver trophy from Julia Morley. Immediately she sat on the throne where a page placed her royal cloak and the outgoing queen, Belinda Green, crowned her as Miss World 1973. The page replaced the trophy for the scepter and the brand-new queen took her triumphal walk with the official march of the contest by Phil Tate and his orchestra before sitting back on the throne and being congratulated by the finalists, to conclude the broadcast. The event was seen live in the United Kingdom and delayed in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and, for the first time, in Venezuela through Venevision. In Britain alone, it was estimated that more than 30 million viewers had tuned into the contest. Marjorie won a check for £ 3,000 and the chance to win another £ 50,000 during her year of reign for advertising and personal appearances.

                At the Coronation Ball, held at the Lyceum Ballroom, the winners officially received their checks. Likewise, the remaining semifinalists won £ 50 each, while the sixth and seventh place winners received silver trophies along with £ 150 and £ 100 respectively. They were Miss United Kingdom (6th) and Miss Dominican Republic (7th). Marjorie danced all night with boxer Joe Bugner and with her favorite English singer, Engelbert Humperdinck, with whom she had some sensual kisses and with which she began her scandalous reign !!.

                The next day she received the press at the Britannia Hotel while having breakfast. “It is incredible, it is wonderful” she said excitedly referring to her new beauty title. While eating breakfast she confessed that she believed that her legs were very short, that she had no special talent and denied that she wanted to swim across the English Channel, as the press had speculated. She said that she was the girlfriend of a car racer, the millionaire Peter Revson, who was heir to the Revlon company, but that they were not engaged and that her year of reign would be a test for that courtship. She confessed that her favorites were Miss South Africa and Miss Israel. Her mother Alice Wallace, who accompanied her to London with her director, Alfred Patricelli, was very happy: “I am very pleased with my baby,” she said. Mrs. Wallace won a total of $ 600 at a bookmaker after betting $ 50 on her daughter. “She wanted this since she was a child” said her proud mother. After breakfast, the brand-new Miss World posed for photographers in Hyde Park and then went shopping. The day ended with her visiting the Grandstand Studios where she was interviewed. On Monday, November 26, Marjorie visited the Mayor of London, Hugh Wontner, at the Mansion House, where she was very well received. On Tuesday the 27th she attended Michael Parkinson’s “talk show” on BBC-1 with Glenda Jackson, who was totally against beauty pageants. Marjorie defended them tooth and nail and said that there was nothing different from a beauty contest to a casting for a play, for example, because in any case, this would also be a kind of “cattle market”. Meanwhiile, Julia Morley stated that for the next event the private interview time will be increased from 3 to 5 minutes, so that the judges can get to know each participant better before evaluating them on the final night. In addition, she said that during the 15 days of the 1974 contest, the candidates would be evaluated by a different panel of judges, preferably made up of ladies, to evaluate the social behavior of the girls during previous events.


                Marjorie quickly fell in love with fame, a matter that went up to her head. In a newspaper article she said, “As long as I was going through this charade, I might as well win. The contests never exploited me because I was using them for my own purposes.” A first episode involving the beauty queen occurred on December 18 during a visit by Marji to the city of Hythe, Kent. One of the police officers, Brian McConnell, 29, who was in charge of her custody, was fined and dismissed for having gone out for a drink at a city nightclub with the beauty. At Christmas, she posed on a warship alongside proud sailors and toured Mecca’s salons, attended supermarket and club openings. At the end of December she attended, along with the journalist Don Short, a concert that Tom Jones gave at the London Palladium and whom she met backstage. Marji was fascinated by Tom and did nothing but talk about him all night. Until then everything was fine. After New Year, things began to turn sour and she confessed that she felt nostalgic and missed her home very much. But, days later, the BBC called Marji to attend a Tom Jones television show in Barbados as a special guest. Consequently, Miss World traveled to Barbados accompanied by Julia Morley for 10 days and in one of the recordings, Tom Jones and Marji kissed controversially, starting rumors between a possible love relationship between them. Julia Morley, furious, demanded that the kiss shots be edited since they were not included in the original script. From there the discussions and fights between the two began. Even Mrs. Morley found a note under the door of her hotel room where they threatened her and demanded that she return home. Marji said it had nothing to do with that note, but accused Morley of being pedantic and “closed-minded”. Julia decided to leave Wallace in Barbados and immediately returned to London presenting a picture of nervous exhaustion that lasted a week. After Tom Jones and Marji had spent time flirting, Jones said to her, “What do I have to do to get you to go out with me? Get down on my knees and ask?” Marji, who had a wicked sense of humor replied to the diminutive Jones, “I thought you already were!”. Soon after, Marji returned to London to fulfill her obligations as Miss World, but the rumors of romance between Jones and her were growing stronger. Marji denied any relationship and, furthermore, Jones was married. The BBC postponed the premiere of Jones’ show due to the incident.

                But Marji was a renowned “man-eater”. Not self-conscious, she was a determined woman who “attacked” men, for example, what she did in Scotland with footballer Derek Parlane, who put shame on him at a restaurant, touching his “crotch” with her bare feet while she told him not to be so shy. She was also hinted at by her escorts, to whom she once told them, while traveling by limo from Cornwall, who would “get her out” that night. She was heard to say, “I want to make love to as many men as possible.” In Manchester, she met the Northern Irish footballer George Best, a renowned Casanova, who invited her to go out the same night they met. George followed her to London and dated her a couple of times. At a dinner he was even declared her to get married. But the romance only lasted two days and ended as savagely as it began, when she unexpectedly left her apartment in Marylebone in the middle of Best’s visit to go to the BBC to participate in another television show with Tom Jones. That was the last time she saw George Best !!. Days later, Marji’s apartment was robbed. Bottles of champagne, which she kept, had been uncorked and their contents watered everywhere. She lost her passport, jewelry, her $ 2,000 mink coat she had won at Miss World-USA, newspaper clippings, and her personal diary. Eric Morley summoned her to his home in Dulwich and warned her that by continuing to “hover” with George Best or Tom Jones, she was missing out on making a lot of money. Marji promised not to see either of them again, but two hours later she was meeting Tom Jones at the Churchill Hotel in London. George Best was arrested on February 21, 1974, accused of robbing Marji’s apartment and his trial was scheduled for March 27. But not everything was like that. Immediately, Marji and Mrs. Morley received threatening phone calls. They told Marji that they were going to disfigure her and Julia that they were going to murder her. It followed that such calls were made by fans of the footballer for being arrested! Days later, someone sent a package to a London newspaper with part of Marji’s belongings that had been stolen: her passport and jewelry. Other belongings were found days later in a London phone booth. What never appeared was the mink coat. Much later it was discovered that Best had thrown it into a garbage can in revenge for Marjorie’s defiance. However, he did not know that her passport, cash and her checkbook were in the coat’s pockets.

                Marji traveled to the US to clear up a bit and flew into the arms of her “official boyfriend” Peter Revson. She should have returned in two days but she stayed four. She returned to London as she had a modeling engagement in Paris days later. She flatly denied rumors that she would give up the title to marry Revson. Julia Morley picked her up at Heathrow Airport and took her to her Marylebone apartment. But when they arrived, there was Peter Revson, who had gone ahead of them and who forcibly removed Julia from the apartment. Revson said “Marjorie is not going to be told what to do ever again.” The following day, Eric Morley summoned Marji to the Mecca offices in Blackfriars, ready to remove her. She showed no emotion and there were no tears. The now-ex-Miss World turned pale from Morley’s offices but said, “I’m not bitter at all. Frankly, that’s fine with me. The tension was getting too hard to bear. I couldn’t have stood it any longer. They hoped to manage my life for me, without any will of my own.” It was Thursday, March 7, 1974. Her reign lasted exactly 104 days !!. For the first time in history, a Miss World had been fired from her job! Marjorie kept her £ 3,000 that she won on the night of the contest and an additional £ 15,000 that she had earned from performances during her 104 days of reign.

                In a press release, Mecca announced that Marji had been dismissed for failing to meet the basic requirements of a Miss World: having a good relationship with the press, discipline and a first-class public image. “We have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it would be against the competition if she continued with the title”. Marji told the media that there had been no ill will between her and Mecca and that everything had been by mutual agreement. Julia Morley said that “it had been a sad day for us, but we cannot say anything else”. Julia Morley was upset by the measures that were taken but added that they had no other alternative. Marji had broken all the rules of good conduct that a Miss World must observe. “If a Miss World has an active sex life, she must be very discreet. Those dawned in nightclubs were not doing well on the face of Miss World, who was exhausted in official commitments,” said Julia. “We do not expect a Miss World to live like an angel. We are not infallible. But it is essential that when a young woman becomes Miss World, she must act with decorum. She must have good manners, be graceful, elegant and dress well all the time, like an Ambassador would. Miss World is a figure. There are more than 60 countries with their eyes on her during the year and some of these countries have high moral standards to observe, therefore the title should not be in disrepute”. “Of course Miss World is a human being and has the right to fall in love and live those emotions, we accept that she has the right to have a personal life, as long as she keeps it ‘personal’.” The Morleys also announced something very important: “No one will be chosen to take the title of Marjorie, which will remain vacant until the month of November.” This debunks rumors that the crown had been offered to Miss Philippines and that Miss Jamaica had replaced her in some engagements as Miss World.

                The dismissed Miss World took refuge in the arms of Peter Revson and both flew to Florida to overcome the shock of their dethronement. Marji said that she had not married Peter because he had not asked, but that if he did she would not hesitate to accept him. “I love him very much,” she finished saying. Marji flew to Las Vegas to her mother’s house and accompanied Peter at the airport as he was leaving for South Africa. That was the last time she saw him. On March 22, Revson, 35, tragically passed away in a car race test in Midrand, South Africa, before the South African Grand Prix. At the time of his death he was wearing a gold chain that Marji had given him with the inscription “If it weren’t for you”. Interestingly, his brother Douglas had died in similar circumstances in Denmark in 1967. The terrible news reached Marji when she was in New York about to board a flight to meet him in South Africa. Thirty years later, Julia Morley denied that the dismissal had anything to do with Marji’s love life. “The only reason Marjorie was fired, and quite correctly, was because she had been given too many opportunities. She was so funny and charming but she had a great modeling engagement in Paris and she let it go. The boyfriends had nothing to do with it. I think it’s healthy for a girl to have a boyfriend and a happy social life. “


                Marjorie Sue Wallace was born in Indianapolis on January 23, 1954. Her father, Dell Wallace, owned a general supply company. He separated from Marji’s mother, Mrs. Alice Wallace, when Marjorie was 14 years old and Mrs. Wallace went to live in Las Vegas. Marjorie studied at Broad Ripple High School, standing out as a good student. At 17, Marji fell in love with a guitarist named Jeff Myers of the rock band “Pure Funk”, who was her first love. They both went to live together. After two years of relationship, it ended abruptly. To overcome the love failure, Marji went on vacation to Florida with a friend, where the bad life began, big parties with binge drinking and where she tried drugs for the first time. Later she went to Chicago, where she worked as a model and as a host at openings. She returned to Indianapolis and when she was there, she heard that Peter Revson, the famous car racer and heir to the Revlon emporium, would be in town to participate in the “Indianapolis 500” and that he would be signing autographs at a store. There they met and for her it was love at first sight. However, she recognized that Revson’s only love was auto racing. There was no way she could have made him leave it.

                A year later, Marji entered the “Miss Indiana World” pageant, which she won on August 3, 1973. Subsequently, on September 20, she won the “Miss World-USA” crown and on November 23, the Miss World 1973 title being the first North American to achieve such an award. During her reign she was embroiled in romantic scandals with singer Tom Jones and British soccer player George Best. She was dismissed as Miss World on March 7, 1974 after 104 days of reign. Her boyfriend, Peter Revson, passed away tragically on March 22 in South Africa. Marji attended the burial at the “Unitarian Church of All Souls” in Manhattan. She felt so bad that she did not want to go to the hearing against George Best, who had been postponed to April 24 and who, for lack of accusation, was released. Marji sought comfort with Tom Jones, whom she was seen with shortly after in Las Vegas, but Jones decided to break the relationship due to pressure from his wife. Marji fell into a deep depression and on Monday June 3 was found unconscious by her sister Nancy, apparently due to an overdose of sleeping pills. Her mother said that perhaps “she felt it was no longer possible to continue.” She was treated at the St.Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis where she arrived in critical condition but managed to be saved. She was put on a dialysis machine to clean her kidneys. Days later, already recovered, Marji denied that she had tried to kill herself. “I was depressed and maybe took a lot of sleeping pills, but I never attempted suicide.” Soon after, she was seen again with Tom Jones in Mexico City. She said she did not forget Revson but that “life must go on”. Then she dabbled in television with roles in the series “Baretta” and “Get Christie Love.” She was also a panelist on the “Match Game” program.

               In 1975 she traveled to London when the silver anniversary of Miss World was coincidentally celebrated, to which she had not been invited. In an interview she said: “My advice to the winner is to get a good lawyer, otherwise you will end up being used as a pawn in a chess game, which was what happened to me. I was exploited.” “I regret the mistakes of the past but from the experiences I have had in life, I will now build my future.” In 1975 she had a romantic relationship with Berry Gordy of the Motown recording company and then, in 1976, with the tennis player Jimmy Connors, with whom she went to live in Los Angeles, but the relationship did not last long. Following the breakup, Marjorie moved to New York where she did castings to host sports shows on CBS and ABC and participated in numerous TV commercials. In the summer of 1977, she met film producer Michael Klein at a party in Beverly Hills, and the couple married in May 1978; soon after they had a son named Adam. In 1981 she was one of the hosts of the recently released “Entertainment Tonight” program, but months later she was offered to become a reporter for the same program but she declined. Her marriage to Klein ended in divorce in 1982. Soon after, she was romantically linked to Richard Cohen. In 1994 she married real estate developer Donald Soffer, whom she divorced in 1996. She currently lives in Aventura, Florida.


                Miss Dominican Republic won the 1973 Pan American Reign in Cali, Colombia and was an instructor in a well-known gym in Santo Domingo. Clariza studied architecture, married a Cuban and went to live in Florida where she continued studying. She still lives there.

                Miss Argentina worked as a model in London and later as a model and actress in Spain. Upon her return to Argentina, she worked in theater. Known as “Geraldine” and with a great future ahead, she tragically died on December 31, 1974 in a car accident. The car in which she was returning with some friends tragically overturned.

Miss Venezuela and Toni Hidalgo

                Miss Venezuela.- After returning from London, she said: “I am not disappointed, on the contrary, I think I knew how to represent my country in an honorable way. On the other hand, I found nice and good friends worldwide. I regret not having achieved a better position for the glory of this land and for the benefit of our women, whom I was representing in that difficult and complex world competition”. Later, Edicta began studies in Food Technology at the University of Zulia. She worked as a model, participated as a judge in several beauty contests, and also gave workshops to young people who wanted to participate in them. Radio Caracas Televisión offered her several offers to become an actress but she rejected them. On January 29, 1977, she married the businessman Alfredo Negrón, father of their three children: Carlos, Alfredo and Jonathan. Unfortunately, she could not finish her studies at LUZ, because after her marriage union she went to live in Guatemala, where she stayed for some years. Currently, Edicta García is residing in Venezuela, she is a cosmetologist, an outstanding plastic artist and has held some exhibitions of her paintings and sculptures. She completed studies in Art, Graphic Design and Photography. She likes to write poems. She travels constantly because her three children live outside the country. She is the grandmother of two granddaughters.

                Miss Philippines dedicated herself to making movies and television and currently continues to be active in those media. Miss Jamaica became a designer and was recognized as Vendor of the Year in 1974. She married reggae producer Warwick Lyn and immigrated to the USA. In Miami she organized the “Miss Jamaica Miami” contest. She later returned to Jamaica and worked on American Airlines. She currently lives in Miami and continues to work with American Airlines. Miss Israel worked as an actress in her country in the 1970s, as did Miss Italy and Miss Yugoslavia.

                Miss Colombia studied Business Administration and worked in banking in Colombia. Then, in Europe, she dedicated herself to her family. Lives for more than 20 years in Spain. Miss Mexico married Luis Hernán Bolio Medina and in 2015 made headlines after being arrested in Mérida, Yucatán, accused of tax evasion; she was imprisoned for 6 months. Her son Luis Hernán Bolio Villares was also detained for the same cause. Two years later, Miss Honduras married Japanese businessman Yukio Hashimoto and went to live in Tokyo. She had two daughters and a son. Later she widowed and currently lives in San Pedro, California.

                Miss Holland won the Miss Europe 1973 held in January 1974 in Austria, an event where Miss Belgium was 3rd. runner-up and where Miss Austria did not obtain classification. Miss Ireland and Miss Luxembourg competed unsuccessfully in Miss Europe and Miss Universe 1974. Miss Greece also competed in Miss Europe 1974 without figuration. Miss France was Miss Photogenic and semi-finalist of Miss International 1975 while Miss Spain competed unsuccessfully in Miss Young International 1974. Miss Singapore was 4th. runner-up in Miss Asia Pacific 1974 and Miss Norway won a parallel Miss Europe pageant in 1974 , later becoming an actress.


Thanks to Donald West, Daryl Schabinger, Neil Craig, Norberto Colón Tapia, Mario Jérez, Sally-Ann Fawcett (Misdemeanours), Mills Aldorino, Jon Osborne, Toni Hidalgo, Junior Zelaya, Orlando Ospina and Glamour Argentino.


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