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Myrna Hansen

Myrna Hansen
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Yugoslavian postcard by 3K, no. 2946.

Myrna Hansen (1934) was an American actress, model and beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss USA 1953. The glamorous Hansen appeared in 15 films and in many TV series.

Myrna Hansen was born as Myrna Rae Hansen in 1934 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Her father was the line extension manager of Lions Clubs International. She graduated from Carl Schurz High School in Chicago in 1953. Prior to competing in the 1953 Miss Universe contest, she aspired to become a veterinarian. Hansen was chosen Miss Photoflash of 1953 by the Chicago Press Photographers Association. As a prize she flied to Hollywood for a bit part with Tony Curtis in The All-American (Jesse Hibbs, 1953). The brown-eyed blonde was also entered in the Miss USA contest. After winning the Miss Illinois USA crown, Hansen went on to become Illinois's first representative to capture the Miss USA title. For winning this crown Hansen was awarded a Hillman Minx convertible, a Universal Pictures contract, and a $2,500 diamond wrist watch. Because of this, she cancels her enrollment at the University of Colorado. She was chosen as runner-up in the Miss Universe contest of 1953. Hedda Hopper reported in March 1954 that Hansen should have been awarded the Miss Universe title. The winner, Christiane Martel of France, was exposed as having been only seventeen when she won.

In August 1954, Myrna Hansen negotiated a new seven-year contract with Universal. She started with a series of bit parts. The agreement stipulated that her salary would start at $200 weekly, with options to $900 a week. Hansen had a bigger part in the adventure film The Purple Mask ( H. Bruce Humberstone, 1955, starring Tony Curtis). Her character, Constance de Voulois, was one of three female spies in the film. The setting was France after the French Revolution. She followed this project with a role as the fiancee of Jack Kelly in Cult of the Cobra (Francis D. Lyon, 1955) with Faith Domergue. Hansen's most notable film is Raintree County (Edward Dmytryk, 1957), starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, in which she played the character of Lydia Grey, wife of Raintree County citizen Ezra Gray (Rhys Williams). Lydia falls in love with the charming and carefree "Professor" Jerusalem Stiles (Nigel Patrick), and nearly runs off with him. She played a showgirl in Party Girl (Nicholas Ray, 1958), opposite Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse. Her final film parts were in Goodbye Charlie (Vincente Minnelli, 1964) with Tony Curtis, and Black Caesar (Larry Cohen, 1973) featuring Fred Williamson. In 1955 Hansen made her television debut on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. She performed in episodes of The Thin Man (1957), Hawaiian Eye (1960), 77 Sunset Strip (1960), Westinghouse Playhouse (1960), Straightaway (1962), and Green Acres (1971). Myrna Hansen married three times. Her second husband was real estate investor Lee Duke Hyatt (1961-1965) and her third spouse was Allen H. Kane (1985-?). She has a son Darren (b. 1961).

Sources: Mark Sean Orr (Collectors World Online), Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, Wikipedia and IMDb.
Date: 2018-10-09 12:39:17

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