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Joan O'Brien Profile

Joan O'Brien
Joan O'Brien
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(Joan M. O'Brien)
14 February 36 is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to David and Rita O'Brien
? moves to California as a youngster
? while attending Chaffey Union High School in Ontario, California, she's discovered by Cliffie Stone and begins appearing on his local TV program "Hometown Jamboree" with Tennessee Ernie Ford, Tommy Sands, and Molly Bee. This leads to a successful four-year run beginning in 1954 on "The Bob Crosby Show."
September 53 is among Hollywood’s new deb stars introduced at a splashy party tossed by Hollywood hair stylists and make-up experts. The others are Barbara Darrow, Kathleen Hughes, Marilyn Novak, Pat Crowley, Ann Francis, Joan Weldon, Marjie Millar, Doe Avedon, Sara Shane, Elaine Stewart, and fellow TV actress Dona Cole.
? marries singer William "Billy" Strange
4 October 55 her son, Russell Glenn, is born in Los Angeles
56 divorces Strange
? is a vocalist with Liberace on his ABC television series
57 marries NBC/CBS executive John Fred Meyers two weeks after her bit in Handle With Care
2 June 58 her daughter, Melissa Ann, is born in Los Angeles
59 becomes extremely close with Madlyn Rhue while filming Operation Petticoat and will be a bridesmaid at her wedding
April 59 she and Jack Meyers are a surprise twosome at Ivan Townsend Smith's party for actress Jo Morrow
May 59 she and Meyers dance every dance together at Romanoff's after the invitational showing of This Earth is Mine
? is bothered by a heckler during a performance at a Hollywood nightclub. The heckler is her husband, Meyers. Afterwards they separate.
23 March 60 obtains a divorce from Meyers in Santa Monica, California. She testifies they quarreled almost constantly, and he told her he no longer loved her. She waives alimony; her one-year-old daughter will receive $225 monthly support. Meyers will die at age 66 in 1988 in Los Angeles.
December 60 television actor Anthony George, currently seen in "Checkmate," breaks up with her
28 June 61 wins custody of her three-year-old daughter
November 61 catches the eye of Clint Eastman
62 the minute she arrives in Manila to film Samar, director and co-star George Montgomery makes a pass at her, while still married to Dinah Shore. She threatens to return to the States immediately.
while filming It's Only Money, she goes through a bleak period due to her bad marriage and feels depressed, but director and co-star Jerry Lewis sets her head straight
Spring 62 her father dies
Summer 62 meets her future husband, Harvey Allen Godorov, while appearing in South Pacific at the Thunderbird in Las Vegas
September 62 drops out of her starring role in South Pacific; her fiancé, Allen, remains as one of the dancers
c. 63 has a romance with Elvis Presley
13 March 63 she and Harvey Allen, of Philadelphia, announce their engagement in Las Vegas, Nevada. They plan to wed this summer.
April 63 she and Allen have a row and postpone their Las Vegas wedding, which is scheduled for April 7
12 April 63 marries Allen after a stormy courtship in Las Vegas, Nevada, six months after their first meeting. He's 27; she's 24.
16 April 63 takes an overdose of sleeping pills and has to be hospitalized at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas
May 63 she and Allen embark on a trial separation after a one-month marriage
29 July 63 she and Allen separate
9 August 63 sues for divorce from Allen in Los Angeles. She claims he beat her and destroyed her clothing. She charges him with extreme cruelty. She asks for no alimony and wants her married name, Joan Godorov, restored to Joan O'Brien. He's 31; she's 27. Her address is 15248 Encanto Drive, Sherman Oaks, California.
23 August 63 is before the Superior Court in Los Angeles and says her Las Vegas suicide attempt was a fake to tell Allen "how disappointed and hurt he made me feel and how much I loved him." Her first two husbands, Billy Strange, 32, and John Meyers, 41, sue her for custody of her two children, Russell, 7, and Melissa, 5, and charge she neglects the youngsters and has entertained boyfriends in her home while the children were present. Their attorney, Frank W. Swann, Jr., asks to examine her wrist. She admits she cut her wrist with a razor while she was still in the hospital but confirms that she did not want to commit suicide. Swann introduced two pictures taken by Allen after their marriage showing her in semi-nude and revealing poses. She denies posing for the pictures. Allen testifies that his wife was promiscuous before their marriage and that he was intimate with her three months before their marriage, several times while the children were sleeping in another room. Even her former neighbor testifies against her, stating she treated her children with "great annoyance and lack of patience."
September 63 is voted most likely to wed actor Robert Vaughn, until she weds and sheds her number 3, Harvey Allen
16 September 63 cries when she regains custody of Russell and Melinda after a bitter Superior Court hearing in which she was required to take a psychiatric examination
18 October 63 wins a divorce from Allen in Los Angeles, testifying her husband was "very critical and hateful"
64 has had three stormy marriages and divorces, two children, and is 5'-4" tall
c. 64 after Get Yourself a College Girl, she retires from acting and tours with the Harry James Orchestra as their girl singer, playing universities and supper clubs all over the U.S.
1 February 65 is taken to a small Hollywood receiving hospital in a coma after gulping down the contents of a pillbox at the home of actor Robert Vaughn. From there she is sent to the intensive-care unit of Los Angeles County General Hospital. Vaughn tells that she and eight other people were at his Mulholland Drive home Sunday for a party. He retired about 11:30 p.m., and the party broke up around midnight. He got up about 2 a.m. and discovered the pillbox empty. It had contained 25 to 35 tablets, he says. Then he discovered Joan in a drugged sleep in his guest room. Unable to awaken her, he took her to the hospital. Vaughn told the police Joan appeared in good spirits at the party and he knew no reason why she might take the pills. Police list the incident as an attempted suicide.
2 February 65 the County General Hospital reports her improving
May 65 is a twosome with TV actor Robert Vaughn
65 starts dating Dino Kotopoulis, producer-director of TV commercials
? holds positions with Literary Oral Reproductions Inc., Los Angeles, and Merle Norman Cosmetics, Inglewood
27 March 66 marries Constant G. Kotopoulis at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California. He's 33; she's 30.
October 67 divorces Kotopoulis in Los Angeles
? is a Las Vegas television station executive
August 66 columnist Harrison Carroll tells "some happy news for a change about actress Joan O'Brien. She introduced friends at La Scala to her new husband, Dino Kotopoulis. 'And I couldn't be happier,' she says."
March 73 is named director of sales for Valley Hilton Hotel, Van Nuys, California
90s is happily remarried and resides in northern California. She contemplates writing her autobiography.
Sources:
Tom Lisanti in Films of the Golden Age, Dell's Who's Who in Hollywood, Movie Life, Van Nuys News, Syracuse Herald-Journal, Tri-City Herald, The Odessa American, The Daily Gleaner, Mansfield News-Journal, Indiana Evening Gazette, Nevada State Journal, The Times Recorder, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, The Lowell Sun, The Gettysburg Times, Reno Evening Gazette, News-Herald, New Castle News, Long Beach Independent, www.Ancestry.com
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