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February 13, 2019

Glamorous Photos of Virginia Mayo, the Warner Brothers' Biggest Box-Office Money-Maker in the Late 1940s

Born 1920 as Virginia Clara Jones in St. Louis, Missouri, American actress and dancer Virginia Mayo graduated from high school in 1937. She became a member of the St. Louis Municipal Opera before she was signed to a contract by Samuel Goldwyn after being spotted by an MGM talent scout during a Broadway revue.

In 1944, Mayo was cast as Princess Margaret in The Princess and the Pirate (1944), and a year later appeared as Ellen Shavley in Wonder Man (1945). Her popularity increasing with every appearance, Virginia was cast in two more films in 1946, The Kid from Brooklyn, and The Best Years of Our Lives - the Oscar-winning movie which she also co-starred. Her roles may have been coming in slow, but with each one her popularity with audiences rose.

Mayo finally struck paydirt in 1947 with a plum assignment in the well-received The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). She got some of the best reviews of her career in White Heat (1949).

The striking beauty had still more plum roles in the 1950s. Parts in Backfire (1950), She's Working Her Way Through College (1952) and South Sea Woman (1953) all showed she was still a force to be reckoned with.

As the decade ended, Mayo's career began to slow down. She had four roles in the 1960s and four more in the following decade. Her last role was as Janet Wilson in Evil Spirits (1990).

She died of pneumonia and complications of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles in 2005, aged 84, at a nursing home in Thousand Oaks.

Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Virginia Mayo in the 1940s and early 1950s.



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