Pageant Trivia Famous Winners
A collection of interesting and fun facts about famous former pageant winners and contestants
After Marian McKnight Conway became Miss America in 1957...she appeared on network television shows, in commercials, and served as a spokesperson for companies like Revlon and Philco. She helped found the Amie Karen Cancer Center for Children at Cedar-Sinai in CA. She & her husband Gary Carmody Conway own a vineyard & winery, Carmody McKnight Estate Wines, on the Central Coast of California. As a sustainable winery with rare soil, the vineyard and its wines have won numerous recognitions.
Terry Lynn Huntingdon became California's first representative to win Miss USA in 1959. Huntingdon had a brief career in television & film, appearing on a comedy show "You Bet Your Life" & in the feature flick, "The Three Stooges Meet Hercules." She later moved to Washington D.C., becoming a freelance photographer for the federal government and working as a scheduler for Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign. During her time in government, she met and married US Senator, Joseph Tydings.
Vanna White (far right) participated in the 1978 Miss Georgia pageant. Though she didn't walk away with a win, White became an iconic television personality thanks to her role as the hostess of "Wheel of Fortune." White & Pat Sajak have hosted the game show since 1982, and though the former beauty queen has had several cameos in movies and television shows, her claim to fame continues to be her nightly "Wheel of Fortune" appearance. White even got her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Tonight's episode (1-18-2012) of Modern Family will feature Micaela Johnson, Miss Nebraska USA 2008. She appears as a beautiful bride and Lily is the flower girl. Congrats Micaela 4 being cast on such a great show :)
Rachel Smith was crowned Miss USA 2007. She was previously Miss Tennessee USA and graduated from Belmont University in Nashville. While she was at Belmont, she interned in Chicago, Illinois, for eight months with Harpo Productions, a company owned by Oprah Winfrey. In January 2007, it was announced that she had been chosen by Winfrey to volunteer for one month at her Leadership Academy for Girls in Africa. During her reign as Miss USA, Smith was asked to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about her experience as an intern.
Kellye Cash-Sheppard from Memphis, Tennessee, was Miss Tennessee 1986 and was crowned Miss America 1987. Cash is the great-niece of Johnny Cash. Following her reign as Miss America, Cash toured with Bob Hope’s USO Show, and has appeared on The David Letterman Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, among others. In addition to making approximately 100 appearances each year at charitable, community and political events, Cash has released six music CDs: four Christian and two country. She has performed with numerous musical artists including Vince Gill, Lee Greenwood, and Billy Joel, and appeared in many regional theatrical productions around the country. Cash was chosen for the lead part of country music legend Patsy Cline, in Always...Patsy Cline.
Lee Ann Meriwether (born May 27, 1935) is an American actress, former model, and the winner of the 1955 Miss America pageant. She is perhaps best known for her role as Betty Jones, the crime-solving partner in the long-running 1970s crime drama, Barnaby Jones. She is also known for her portrayal of Catwoman in the 1966 film version of Batman. Meriwether had a recurring role as Ruth Martin on the daytime soap opera All My Children until the end of the series in September 2011.
Julie Bryan Moran was America's Junior Miss in 1980. She was a correspondent Entertainment Tonight from 1994–2001. Before joining ET, she co-hosted NBA Inside Stuff with Ahmad Rashad and later replaced Frank Gifford as host of ABC's Wide World of Sports. While at ABC Sports, she covered such events as the Super Bowl, figure skating, horse racing including the Triple Crown, and the Goodwill Games. In 1994, she was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People."
Lindsay Bloom began her show business career as a participant in beauty contests. She won the titles Miss Arizona and Miss USA in 1972. She became an actress and was loyal secretary Velda on the TV series "The New Mike Hammer" (1984) and appeared as herself in several episodes of the game show "Super Password" (1984). Among the TV shows Lindsay Bloom has done guest spots on are "Trapper John, M.D." (1979), "Dallas" (1978), "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979), "Vega$" (1978), "Charlie's Angels" (1976), "Barnaby Jones" (1973), "Rhoda" (1974), "Starsky and Hutch" (1975), "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman" (1975), and "Emergency!" (1972).
Actress Linda Gray played the iconic role of Sue Ellen Ewing on the smash hit series Dallas. Per the story line of the show, when Sue Ellen won the title of Miss Texas 1967, she met her future husband J.R., who was a judge for the pageant.
Suzette Charles represented New Jersey in the 1983 Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She won her preliminary talent night and finished first runner-up to Vanessa Lynn Williams, who became the first African-American to wear the crown and title of Miss America. When Williams was forced to relinquish the title amid a scandal triggered by Williams' posing for nude photographs published in Penthouse magazine, Charles --who is also African-American -- was crowned in Williams' place and served the remaining seven weeks of Williams' reign. Charles, who already had many credits in advertising and educational television, has gone on to a career as a singer, entertainer, and television personality.
Tamara Walker is a singer-songwriter. Walker began her career as Miss Maryland where she placed in the Top 10 at the 1988 Miss America pageant. In 1999, she signed with Curb Records. Initially, Walker recorded country music, but her due to the failure of her first singles, her album went unreleased. In 2001, she changed her focus to pop music, releasing her debut album, Angel Eyes, and charting three singles on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The title track of her debut album was the theme song to the 2001 Jennifer Lopez film, Angel Eyes. She sang "Don't Rain On My Parade" for her talent in the Miss America pageant.