Friday, March 06, 2009

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Virginia Mayo

Her honey blonde hair and creamy, flawless face made Virginia Mayo ideal for the Technicolor musicals, westerns and adventures that were the rage in Hollywood in the 1940s and '50s.

Starting as a chorus girl, she quickly advanced to co-star status, appearing opposite Bob Hope in The Princess and the Pirate in 1944. She went on to make five films with Danny Kaye before signing a contract with Warner Bros, where she became one of the studio's biggest stars. When she signed the contract, Warner Bros stated: "At 115 pounds (51.75 kilograms) she is potentially as valuable as an acre of land in downtown Los Angeles - and at least several times more desirable".

Mayo became a hot commodity for Warner Bros, appearing in five movies in 1949 alone. She also starred opposite Ronald Reagan in the romantic comedy The Girl from Jones Beach that year and again in the 1952 musical She's Working Her Way Through College.

Mayo distinguished herself in two classic movies: the 1946 Oscar-winner The Best Years of Our Lives, and White Heat.

Mayo had been in declining health since battling pneumonia and died at a nursing home in Thousand Oaks. She was 84.

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