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Mara Corday Profile

Mara Corday
Mara Corday
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(Marilyn Joan Watts)
3 January 30 is born in Santa Monica, California. Her grandfather is David Watts, a Shakespearean actor. Her mother’s maiden name is Wood.
47 changes her name to Mara Corday and "advances" her age to eighteen to become a showgirl at the Earl Carroll Theater on Sunset Boulevard
49 joins George White's Scandals at the San Francisco's Geary Theatre
51 appears with the Edwin Gale Dancers in nightclub performances; is in the Los Angeles Greek Theatre production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
52 is signed to a long-term contract by Hal Wallis Productions, but Wallis breaks up the company and lets all his new talent go
53 has an off-screen romance with Lex Barker, whom she met while filming Tarzan and the She-Devil, which lasts only until he meets and marries Lana Turner
has her only role for Wallis as a bit in Money from Home, which ends up on the cutting room floor
August 53 signs a contract with Universal-International. Her favorite men are John Wayne and Gilbert Roland. She measures 37-24-35.
September 53 is regarded as one of the top models in New York and Hollywood
54 is considered for the title role in a movie about the famous 1947 Los Angeles murder of the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short
has a paranormal encounter with co-star Audie Murphy while filming Drums Across the River. Asked out for dinner, she witnesses Audie reaching for his gun over some teenagers who are giving him the finger at a stoplight at Ventura Boulevard.
January 54 will enliven the upcoming Johnny Dark
c. 54 has a lunch, a dinner, and a romance with Lex Barker, her co-star in The Man from Bitter Ridge, but when Lana Turner returns from filming The Sea Chase in Hawaii, he again takes up with Lana
May 54 is elected "Ich Bon Girl of 1954," picking up the title from a headquarters company of the 15th Regiment in Korea
October 54 dreams to be in the next Charlton Heston movie done at Universal-International
decides to stay at Universal-International and to draw the same salary, $175 a week. Lori Nelson and Susan Cabot leave the studio.
explains about her name: "I was an usherette at the Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles and there was an attraction there called the Lecuona Cuban Boys. I fell in love with bongo player. He called me Marita, which he said meant little Mara. I liked the name and kept it. As for the Corday, I picked that up when I looked through a magazine and came across a perfume ad."
the press heralds: "Three years ago Mara Corday played a bit in a Lex Barker film. Now she's his co-star in Justice Comes to Tomahawk."
is elected honorary fire chief of Universal City, California. Mamie Van Doren becomes honorary police chief, and Tony Curtis its mayor.
December 54 was photographed some 50,000 times and is named "The Most Photographed Model in the World"
31 December 54 she and Jack Kelly, brother of actress Nancy Kelly, swap New Year's toasts at Major's Cabin
55 Kirk Douglas proves to be quite humorless and almost chokes her when he grabs her necklace during the filming of Man Without a Star
January 55 promotes the signature dish in the kitchen of the Senate restaurant in Washington, D.C., famed for its bean soup
is the first candidate under consideration for title of queen of the New York Press Photographers Association ball of 1955. She is off to New York to promote a film in which she appears.
April 55 is haunted by eye-popping poses published by girlie-magazines this month. The shots were taken three years ago when she was a model and needed the money. She considers a lawsuit but says, "I've thought about it but you know Hollywood. Maybe I want to work as a model again some day and I don't think it would be a wise move. But I'd sure like to stop them."
she and Mickey Carrol of the publicity department at Universal Studios are seen dining at The Keys Restaurant on Lankershim Boulevard across from the studios. There she even picks up the telephone.
28 April 55 helps promote Walter Winchell's Damon Runyon Fund together with Bob Hope, Frankie Laine, Dagmar, Joe E. Lewis, Ray Bolger, Jack Kearns, Sonja Henie, Bob Considine, and Jon Daly. At the $35,000 Tournament of Champions Golf Play in Las Vegas, Nevada, she parades about in what appears to be an airmail stamp and two three's.
11 November 55 Walter Townsend, postmaster at Universal City, is bid Godspeed by four film lovelies as he heads for the postmasters’ convention. The four well-sacked beauties are Mara Corday, Gia Scala, Dani Crayne, and Jane Howard.
September 55 is nominated for the Annual Audience Awards as one of 20 hopeful screen newcomers. Among the others are Terry Moore, Marge Champion, Mary Murphy and Betsy Blair.
January 56 is designated the "Go Girl" by the jet pilots, the Go Boys, of the 33rd Marine Air Wing stationed at Marine Air Station, El Toro, California
February 56 she and fellow Universal-International contract players George Nader and Cynthia Patrick live it up at Malibu
April 56 is president of the Hollywood Bachelor Girls' Club, which lists a "most wanted man" every year, and dates George Nader, whose romance with Dani Crayne seems to have gone "bust"
25 May 56 she and fellow starlet Betty Jane Howard are sponsors of the Universal Softball Team. During a game at North Hollywood Park, Betty Jane walks away in the 7th inning, disgusted because of the score, 8 to 0 in favor of Mara's team.
June 56 columnist Jimmy Fidler reports that she and Mamie Van Doren are saying goodbye to friends at Universal-International. They don't tell were they are going from there.
August 56 young actor Dick Long is her frequent escort, but he has no plans on remarrying. Their dates are "just fun," not "serious."
? while filming Naked Gun, co-star Jody McCrea develops a big crush on her, but he turns out to be “a little bit nuts”
September 56 advertises for Hollywood Bread
December 56 she and Richard Long set a spring date for the wedding. Long's first wife was actress Suzan Ball, who died in 1955 of cancer after they had been married 16 months. Long won the movie colony's admiration for the happiness he gave to Suzan during the last days of her tragic illness.
57 is announced to star with Rex Reason in Universal-International's The Deadly Mantis. Her part will finally go to Alix Talton.
is scheduled to be the female lead in The Incredible Shrinking Man. Her part will finally go to Randy Stuart.
is scheduled to play opposite James Stewart and Audie Murphy in Night Passage, but her husband turns it down. Elaine Stewart gets the part.
26 January 57 marries Long at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. He's 29; she's 27. Best man and matron of honor are Mr. and Mrs. Richard Canning. Canning is a Los Angeles insurance man.
February 57 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reports some trouble in paradise. Mara and Dick have been married less than a month.
? is married to Long for only two weeks before she moves home to her mother
April 57 is slated for a visit from the stork in October. Only a few weeks ago she and Dick were separated for a few days.
is bedded with a rosy case of measles. "I've already lost two jobs on account of it," she wails.
? before starting the filming of The Giant Claw, she spends the night awake due to an argument with her husband
11 September 57 her son Cary R. is born in Los Angeles
? threatens to divorce her husband ten times during the first year of marriage, even going so far as hiring an attorney
58 threatens to divorce her husband thirteen times during the second year of marriage. He pleads on his hands and knees, asking her to forgive him.
c. February 58 she and Long are separated five days when she goes to see A Farewell to Arms. Long sits right across the aisle. "He looked so lonesome," says Mara. "That we made up right in the theater."
Early March 58 she and Long call it a day after many separations
April 58 despite rumors of trouble, her marriage to Long is very solid. On the set of Take Five From Five, she's even lovelier than before the birth of their son Cary.
June 58 her separation from Long lasts just four days. They reconcile happily and buy a new house at 4277 Navajo Street, Toluca Lake. She expects another baby in September.
September 58 she and Long give their marriage another try. "We also plan to consult a counselor or analyst and try to find out the cause of our quarrels," Long tells on the set of House on Haunted Hill.
5 / 9 September 58 her daughter, Valeria, is born at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California
October 58 is Playboy's Playmate of the Month
59 is scheduled to star opposite Fred MacMurray in The Oregon Trail, but her husband turns it down without her knowledge
15 January 59 announces she will start divorce proceedings against Long. "Fifteen separations in two years are ridiculous," she says. She claims both have been consulting a psychiatrist.
Late January 59 doesn't seem to torch at all for her estranged husband at Paul Ross' farewell party for John Ireland
tells columnist Harrison Carroll that she will go through with the divorce this time. Of course, she says that after previous fights with Long, they always got back together. In the meantime, Long is seen with Barbara Byrnes at Jack Denison's late spot.
14 February 59 sues for divorce from Long in Los Angeles claiming cruelty. Later she will drop the suit.
April 59 is riding with her friend Dorothy Martinson in Griffith Park when their horses get out of control. Lindsay Crosby and his pal, Eddie Goldstone, gallop to their rescue. Mara steers her horse into an embankment; Dorothy jumps off and lands on her head.
says she is far from agreeing to a reconciliation with Long. "We can't solve our problems alone. I won't go back to him unless he consults a psychiatrist. I am willing to go, too."
May 59 wields the shovel at the ground breaking for Rancho Conejo Light Manufacturing and Research Center near Thousand Oaks, California
goes to a party with Juan Rodriguez, but columnist Harrison Carroll thinks it's still an even bet that she and Long will get back together
Mid-May 59 is seen hand holding with Long at the Ice Capades
September 59 reconciles with Long after several separations. To celebrate, they redecorate their house.
60 while filming an episode of “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Steve McQueen proves to be the most unprofessional actor she has ever worked with
June 60 she and Long split despite the expected baby. She says she’ll really go to court this time. Meanwhile, she heads to Palm Springs with her chum, Dorothy Martinson, who has broken up with the doctor boyfriend she’s dated for two and a half years.
the split from Long may end in yet another reconciliation since she's expecting another baby
3 September 60 her son Gregory W. is born in Los Angeles
12 April 61 decides to keep her husband. She and Long appear in Los Angeles court for a support hearing in connection with her divorce suit, but their attorneys say they have reconciled. Her suit alleged cruelty, asking that Long be banned from their Toluca Lake home.
21 April 61 her husband is arrested in Hollywood when she tells police he beat and kicked her and tried to strangle her. She claims he had been drinking.
23 April 61 refuses to sign a battery complaint against Long, and he's released from jail on $250 bail
26 April 61 Long is treated at Valley Doctors Hospital for a heart ailment. He was brought in at 1.30 a.m. by his friend, actor Robert J. Wilke, from his home at 14208 Dickens Street, Sherman Oaks. Long's physician, Dr. Saul Moss, says the actor should be hospitalized for at least a month and not see any visitors. Mara's divorce suit is slated to come up in Burbank this day. She expresses sympathy over Long's illness but indicates there will be no reconciliation.
September 61 she and Long are seen at Robaire's in Sherman Oaks
c. 65 her husband prevents her from getting a part in a “Big Valley” episode. Jill St. John is hired instead.
April 65 she and Long guest on TV's "I'll Bet," playing against actress Beverly Garland and her husband, builder Filmore Crank
May 66 columnist Walter Winchell advises not to list her marriage to Long "among the coast casualties. They have a way of bouncing back into each other's heart."
26 January 69 she and Long separate again after 12 years of marriage
31 January 69 sues for divorce from Long in Los Angeles Superior Court saying he threw water on her and pushed her to the floor. She also alleges that he came home at odd hours and lost large sums gambling. "He broke the only long fingernail I ever grew."
70 she and Long reside in Encino
August 71 she and Long are partygoers and can be seen living it up at the homes of Hollywood’s inveterate hostesses. Their home is a sprawling California five-bedroom causal on a half acre of the most expensive area of the hills in the San Fernando Valley. Long says he sits at his desk at home and ponders how to pay the bills.
73 her former love, Lex Barker, comes back into her life. His death on May 11 ends the possibility of their reuniting after the death of Long.
? while dying, Richard Long chooses to be in bars with strangers instead of being with her and the kids
Late November 74 her husband is hospitalized for heart trouble at the Tarzana Medical Center
21 December 74 Richard Long dies and leaves her with their three children. At his funeral service, an astounded Mara and her business manager are approached by Suzan Ball’s father, who wants to collect the $10,000 inheritance Suzan had left her younger brother Howard almost twenty years earlier.
March 77 it's strictly friendship between her and actor Robert Goulet. She flies to Las Vegas to catch his opening at the Frontier Hotel.
September 77 attends the party thrown by Ruth and Paul Marsh of Toluca Lake. The celebrity guests eat an end-of-summer supper of chili, salad, hot biscuits and watermelon. Mara's seen talking with screen writer Sonia Chernus and Jane Stempel.
? consults a female Mexican psychic to talk to her deceased husband. From the beyond, Long asks her to forgive him for all the bad times in the marriage.
96 22 years after his death, she is still in love with Richard Long
Sources:
It Came from Horrorwood by Tom Weaver, Western Women by Boyd Magers and Michael G. Fitzgerald, "Her Monster Mara-Thon" by Steve Swires in Fangoria, The Era, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The News, Waukesha Daily Freeman, The Frederick Post, Dixon Evening Telegraph, Chronicle-Telegram, The Bridgeport Post, Nevada State Journal, Indiana Evening Gazette, Van Nuys News, The Coshocton Tribune, The Zanesville Signal, Syracuse Herald-American, Pasadena Independent, The Progress, Mansfield News-Journal, The Lethbridge Herald, Appeal Democrat, The Vidette-Messenger, Reno Evening Gazette, Ironwood Daily Globe, The Daily Gleaner, Manitowac Herald-Times, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, The Lima News, Edwardsville Intelligencer, Denton Journal, The Sheboygan Press, The Port Arthur News, Bucks County Courier Times, The Times Recorder, Valley News, Screen World, People Today, 66, Show, Screen Stories, Silver Screen, Screenland, Fallen Angels by Kirk Crivello, www.Ancestry.com
Recommended Books:
Western Women by Boyd Magers and Michael G. Fitzgerald
It Came from Horrorwood by Tom Weaver
Links:
Filmography
Mara Corday Homepage
Official Site
The Mara Corday Tribute Page at the Spooky Tom's Nightmare Mansion Site
Mara Corday at Brian's Drive-In Theater
The Astounding B Monster