Mari Blanchard Profile

Mari Blanchard
Mari Blanchard
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(Mary Blanchard)
13 April 27 / 32 is born in Long Beach, California. Her father is an oil and mining man; her mother, Dr. Mary Sennott, a professional psychotherapist.
c. 36 suffers from severe poliomyelitis at the age of 9; the illness will last for three years
c. 39 recovers by the age of 12. To exercise her once-paralyzed limbs, she will swim daily for several years afterwards.
c. 44 runs off to join the Cole Brother Circus at the age of 17. There she rides elephants and performs on the trapeze. Finally, her mother calls her home.
? attends Santa Barbara State College, UCLA, and USC to study international law
? between studies, she models for a Los Angeles swimsuit company
? shortly before receiving her degree in international law from USC, she goes to New York to seek employment in the international trade business
? signs with the Conover Model Agency
48 is spotted by cartoonist Al Capp and becomes the inspiration for Stupefyin' Jones in his L'il Abner comic strip
July 48 as a Conover Girl, she advertises for Modern Shoe Shop
? is a $50-an-hour New York model
Winter 48 Capp sends her on a nationwide publicity tour to promote Sadie Hawkins Day
? a Kodak advertisement on the back page of The Hollywood Reporter brings her to the attention of Paramount
49 signs with Paramount
March 50 columnist Walter Winchell heralds her the new femme lead in Bentley Ryan’s life. “His wife Marguerite Chapman applied for Renoblivion...”
August 50 is seen at the Captain's Table with Scott Brady
is seen escorted by Broadway attorney Bentley Ryan
February 51 columnist Erskine Johnson reports that she is boiling over the reports that she and Louis Hayward are headed for the altar. Bentley Ryan, ex of Marguerite Chapman, she insists, is number one man in her whirl book and she's never even met Hayward.
November 52 her romance with movie lawyer Greg Bautzer is in the sizzle stage
"the girl we'd most like to train our lens on," she's chosen "Miss Click of 1953" by the Hollywood Cameramen's Guild
spends her evenings as a night school student at UCLA
December 52 says "I couldn't have been lower when Paramount let me go. I am grateful to the studio for training me, but every role that came up was either too big or too small for me to do. I'd have gone back to New York and modeling if it hadn't been for my agent, Bob Schwartz. He wouldn't let me get discouraged. I figure that a girl has until 35 to use her face and figure. I wanted to use up those years left to me constructively."
January 53 pals of her and Greg Bautzer are predicting wedding bells. "Greg, last wed to Buff Cobb, just brought a Bel Air home with His and Her towels. And: Mari just gave him a gold ring."
is confirmed to breathe more passionately than almost any other movie actress by Joe Lapis, Hollywood movie sound expert. "In the stillness that is part of the film's love scene when she kisses Victor Mature in The Veils of Bagdad, she inhales and exhales the sexiest I've ever heard," he says. High on his list of Hollywood's sexiest breathers he places Hedy Lamarr, Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Russell, Lana Turner, Virginia Mayo, Marlene Dietrich, Greer Garson, and Corinne Calvet.
June 53 her new Universal-International contract - the result of her The Veils of Bagdad click - puts her in the salary class of Shelley Winters and Tony Curtis
vows she isn’t going to allow Greg Bautzer to visit her anymore on the Son of Sinbad set. “The girls all give him the eye,” she explains, “and that’s too much temptation.”
August 53 loses the plum role in Saskatchewan to Shelley Winters
November 53 attends a party thrown by actor John Carroll and Lucille Ryman with entertainment lawyer Greg Bautzer
is the U.S. Pacific Fleet's "Aye Girl" for December, chosen by the Fleet's publication, Aye
is on location in Arizona and tells friends that her romance with Greg Bautzer is over so far as she knows. She adds: "Of course Greg is a wonderful fellow. Undoubtedly we'll have a talk when I get back."
Late December 53 Erskine Johnson reports that she and Bautzer have a date in Mexico in January and it could mean wedding bells for the elusive bachelor
54 refuses to dance in Son of Sindbad because she considers her outfit too revealing
January 54 is named "Miss Classy Chassis" by the United Auto Workers of the West
columnist Harrison Carroll reports that “everybody had to give a double-take to recognize Mari Blanchard, with her new black hair, at the Mocambo. In fact, agent Paul Small didn’t recognize her at all. Greg Bautzer went along with the gag and introduced Mari to him as a Senorita La Plaza from Mexico City. Small motioned Greg closer and whispered: ‘I’d like to handle this girl. I could do a lot for her in pictures.’”
March 54 columnist Walter Winchell reports her and Bautzer, "with the tannest tan," at La Rue
April 54 poses with "Miss Universe," Christiane Martel, and "Miss U.S.A.," Myrna Hansen, for their upcoming Rails into Laramie
announces to a newspaper service that she will wear only a smile in a Vera Cruz bathing scene while Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper look on. "Fiery Mexican actress Sarita Montiel has a bathing scene in the same film and says she'll shed everything, too."
her new pet is a mink on a string. "Mink breeders claim that only one out of 200,000 minks can be tamed."
July 54 columnist Erskine Johnson reports that "she and director George Marshall aren't living examples of how swimmingly a star and a director can get along together during filming of Destry at Universal-international. Many tense moments on the set."
October 54 her pretty schnoz, damaged in a fight scene in Destry, is repaired at a Hollywood hospital
November 54 the latest of her admirers is attorney Umberto Corral, who came to Hollywood with the party of the new governor of Baja California
January 55 she and director Hugo Fregonese, estranged husband of Faith Domergue, are a surprise twosome at the Harlequin
March 55 is valentined by the critics for her allure in Destry, but will part company with Universal-International in July
April 55 is seen a lot with Greg Bautzer
she and Bob Evans, the dress manufacturer, are a among the "twosomes of the week"
May 55 plans to enter a Mexican road race and needs an assistant. He must be strong, have plenty of nerve and be able to read maps.
columnist Jimmy Fidler reports her and actor Lance Fuller being an interesting twosome
July 55 frequently dates actors Lance Fuller and Don Barry
is very much in love with film actor John Dennis, Rocky Marciano's protégé
she and John Dennis are at the Mocambo to catch Dick Shawn
August 55 is a twosome with George Raft
phones Walter Winchell and says that she hardly knows John Dennis. She just "worked with him in a picture but never went out socially with him, and she's fed up to her pretty little ears with the press agents, who link her with him."
September 55 at Ciro's, she and George Raft stay for two shows but dance only once. "But what a mambo!"
November 55 goes out with George Raft
December 55 attends Frank Sinatra's bon voyage party at the Villa Capri with George Raft
January 56 dates Mel Tormé. Mel's wife, Candy Toxton, sues for divorce, as she plans to wed Hal March of "The $64,000 Question" fame.
February 56 columnist Louella Parsons reports that Mari and George Raft "got together at a party Brynie Foy gave, and they've been seeing each other very often these evenings."
April 56 once a steady with Greg Bautzer, she's almost getting to be the same with Mel Torme
July 56 says that "Uncle Sam's income tax demands should be an incentive rather than a bugaboo to all self-respecting actors. "If a star earns a $150,000 studio salary, Uncle Sam snatches most of it, but if they're the boss they take a capital gain on the profits from each film and if the gain is $150,000 the tax is only $37,500. 'That's for me,' Mari insists. 'Maybe a couple of years from now.'"
says that the number one man in her life is still Mexican singer-actor Luis "Tony" Aguilar
columnist Lee Mortimer writes that she and Aguilar, "the Mex tonail and tune man, are still a marriage threat"
November 56 is noted at the Encore Room with Tom Chatham
? while filming She Devil, she barely survives an emergency appendectomy at Temple Hospital
March 57 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reports that the death of Mexican swimming champion Apolino Kastillo is a sad blow to Mari. "She had recently visited him in Acapulco, and told friends she was deeply in love with the handsome athlete who lost his life while diving for the bodies of the New York couple murdered in a glass bottom boat. Apparently Kastillo returned Mari's affection; he gave her an emerald and diamond ring and earrings to match before she returned to Hollywood."
February 58 she and Jackie Barnett are over the crisis. They kissed and made up after a terrible rift.
8 April 58 her name shows up in Johnny Stompanato’s “little brown book containing the names and telephone numbers of dozens of Hollywood actresses.” Stompanato was stabbed to death by Lana Turner’s daughter on April 4. Others in the book are Anita Ekberg, Zsa Zsa Gabor, June Allyson, Arleen Whelan, Peggy Connolly, June Easton, Beverly Tyler, and Patricia Powell.
September 58 Victor Mature and Bruce Cabot show Madrid to her and her traveling companion, Gwen Davis
October 58 columnist Walter Winchell thinks that upon her return she will decapitate Jackie Barnet and Joan Bradshaw, who are hanky-pooing while she’s away
November 58 is scheduled as the lead in TV's upcoming "Belle Starr"
14 February 60 marries Los Angeles attorney Reese Hale Taylor, Jr., at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. He's 31; she's 32. His father is a Union Oil Company board chairman and the president of the Los Angeles Turf Club, the operators of the Santa Anita Race Track. The marriage, performed by Justice of the Peace Oscar Bryan, is Mari's first. Taylor was previously married to Lucille Langdon, who divorced him in 1958. He has four kids from this marriage.
March 60 columnist Harrison Carroll reports a tense moment at La Rue’s when she and Reese Taylor, Jr., are seated unintentionally at a table near Juli Reding, Reese’s former girlfriend, who’s there with James Taylor, no relation to Reese. “The ice was broken when Juli went over and congratulated the honeymooners.”
April 60 she announces she is pregnant. When her husband reacts angrily, they separate, and she seeks an annulment.
? loses her child and returns to work
October 60 is Regatta Queen at the Second Annual Reno Regatta at Pyramid Lake
Fall 60 gets her divorce from Taylor. He will marry starlet Juli Reding in 1962.
December 60 columnist Walter Winchell thinks that she and lawyer Ed Schofield are a new combination
c. 63 develops cancer
January 65 columnist Walter Winchell tells: “Mel Torme’s new interest in life is Mari Blanchard. But is he Mari’s?”
May 65 columnist Harrison Carroll reports "Meat packer Hank Hendler, who used to date Kathryn Grayson, now is seeing actress Mari Blanchard. No romance. They just like to go dancing together..."
September 65 marries George Shepard in Mexico
November 65 she and Shepard separate. Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen expects her to go for a Mexican divorce.
February 66 Walter Winchell expects her to marry Mexican businessman Carlos Granya in the spring
December 66 attends Henry Kingston’s surprise birthday party for his mother with Vince Conti
? marries photographer Vincent J. Conti
March 69 columnist Harrison Carroll reports: "No date set but Mari Blanchard faces more surgery..."
10 May 70 as Mari B. Conti, she dies at age 43 at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, from cancer. Her husband and her mother survive. Conti will die at age 62 in 1979 in Los Angeles.
? is cremated and her ashes are scattered at the sea
"Mari Blanchard" by Ted Okuda in Filmfax, The Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz, Screenland, Screen Stories, Photoplay, Movieland, Variety, Ironwood Daily Globe, The Oelwein Daily Register, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The Era, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Reno Evening Gazette, The Coshocton Tribune, Dixon Evening Telegraph, Valley Morning Star, The Monessen Daily Independent, Chronicle-Telegram, The Portsmouth Herald, Waukesha Daily Freeman, Nevada State Journal, The Independent Record, Ironwood Daily Globe, The Lethbridge Herald, Stateville Record & Landmark, Mansfield News-Journal, The Lima News, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Appleton Post-Crescent, The Odessa American, The Zanesville Signal, Burlington Daily Times-News, Charleston Daily Mail, The Daily Gleaner, The Vidette-Messenger, The Lowell Sun, New Castle News,
Recommended Books:
Fifties Blondes by Richard Koper