Virginia Mayo


Actor
Virginia Mayo

About

Also Known As
Virginia Jones
Birth Place
St Louis, Missouri, USA
Born
November 30, 1920
Died
January 17, 2005
Cause of Death
Pneumonia And Heart Failure

Biography

Wholesome blonde actor who played decorative romantic leads opposite comedians Bob Hope and Danny Kaye in several Sam Goldwyn Technicolor romps of the 1940s including "The Princess and the Pirate" (1944) and "Wonder Man" (1945). Goldwyn also tried her in his acclaimed, Oscar-winning study of the difficulties of veterans' postwar readjustment, "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), in whic...

Photos & Videos

White Heat - Movie Posters
Backfire - Movie Poster
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) - Movie Posters

Family & Companions

Michael O'Shea
Husband
Actor. Married 1947 until his death by heart attack in 1973.

Biography

Wholesome blonde actor who played decorative romantic leads opposite comedians Bob Hope and Danny Kaye in several Sam Goldwyn Technicolor romps of the 1940s including "The Princess and the Pirate" (1944) and "Wonder Man" (1945). Goldwyn also tried her in his acclaimed, Oscar-winning study of the difficulties of veterans' postwar readjustment, "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), in which she showed a likeable toughness and ordinariness rather than the usual peaches and cream appeal. Mayo was later in a few creditable "straight" roles including, most memorably, a pair of fine, rough-edged films for director Raoul Walsh, "White Heat" and "Colorado Territory" (both 1949), which suggested a greater acting potential than had been seen to that point.

Through the 1950s, though, Mayo toplined a series of harmless but middling films from every conceivable genre, lending her Technicolor prettiness and doing her professional best until her stardom petered out rather abruptly at the end of the decade. Her better films of the 1950s included "The Flame and the Arrow" (1950), "Great Day in the Morning" (1956) and "Westbound" (1959). She later appeared in slightly over half a dozen features from the 60s through the 90s. Some roles were "guest star" spots but she also played some leads and prominent supporting roles; unfortunately, films such as "Castle of Evil" (1966), "French Quarter" (1978) and "Evils Spirits" (1991) were routine low-budget fare at best and sometimes considerably worse. Mayo was married to actor Michael O'Shea from 1947 to 1973.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Man Next Door (1997)
Burt Lancaster: Daring To Reach (1996)
Midnight Witness (1993)
James Cagney: Top Of The World (1992)
Evil Spirits (1991)
French Quarter (1978)
Haunted (1977)
Fort Utah (1967)
Linda Lee
Castle of Evil (1966)
Sable
Young Fury (1965)
Sara McCoy
Revolt of the Mercenaries (1964)
Lady Patrizia
Jet over the Atlantic (1959)
Jean Gurney
Westbound (1959)
Norma Putnam
Fort Dobbs (1958)
Celia Gray
The Story of Mankind (1957)
Cleopatra
The Tall Stranger (1957)
Ellen
The Big Land (1957)
Helen Jagger
The Proud Ones (1956)
Sally
Congo Crossing (1956)
Louise Whitman
Great Day in the Morning (1956)
Ann Alaine
Pearl of the South Pacific (1955)
Rita Delaine
The Silver Chalice (1955)
Helena
King Richard and the Crusaders (1954)
Lady Edith
Devil's Canyon (1953)
Abby Nixon
She's Back on Broadway (1953)
Catherine Terris
South Sea Woman (1953)
Ginger Martin
The Iron Mistress (1952)
Judalon de Bornay
She's Working Her Way Through College (1952)
Angela Gardner, also known as Hot Garters Gertie
Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (1951)
Carol
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
Lady Barbara Wellesley
Along the Great Divide (1951)
Ann Keith
Starlift (1951)
Herself
The Flame and the Arrow (1950)
Anne
The West Point Story (1950)
Eve Dillon
Backfire (1950)
Julie Benson
White Heat (1949)
Verna Jarrett
Red Light (1949)
Carla North
The Girl from Jones Beach (1949)
Ruth Wilson
Colorado Territory (1949)
Colorado Carson
Always Leave Them Laughing (1949)
Nancy Egan
Flaxy Martin (1949)
Flaxy Martin
A Song Is Born (1948)
Honey Swanson
Smart Girls Don't Talk (1948)
Linda Vickers
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
Rosalind Van Hoorn
Out of the Blue (1947)
Deborah Tyler
The Kid from Brooklyn (1946)
Polly Pringle [Martin]
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Marie Derry
Wonder Man (1945)
Ellen Shanley
Up in Arms (1944)
Nurse
Seven Days Ashore (1944)
Carol Dean
The Princess and the Pirate (1944)
[Princess] Margaret
Jack London (1943)
Mamie

Cast (Special)

Ronald Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime (1996)
Unscripted Hollywood (1995)
Inside The Dream Factory (1995)
Ronald Reagan: An American Success Story (1989)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's Road to Hollywood (1983)
Guest
The Men Who Made the Movies: Raoul Walsh (1973)
Herself
Hollywood: The Dream Factory (1972)
McGarry and Me (1960)
Kitty Mcgarry; Dan'S Wife

Life Events

1943

Feature film debut, "Jack London"

Photo Collections

White Heat - Movie Posters
Following are several original release movie posters from White Heat (1949), starring James Cagney as Cody Jarrett.
Backfire - Movie Poster
Backfire - Movie Poster
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) - Movie Posters
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) - Movie Posters
The Best Years of Our Lives - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), produced by Samuel Goldwyn.
The Princess and the Pirate - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from The Princess and the Pirate (1944), starring Bob Hope and Virginia Mayo. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Big Land, The (1957) -- I Leaned On A Man With a vocal from Tommy Dorsey singer Bonnie Lou Williams, who often dubbed for Virginia Mayo, as Helen, sister of drying-out architect Jagger (Edmond O’Brien), with his new pal Texas cattleman Morgan (Alan Ladd) making a pitch to her railroad-man fiancè (Don Castle) in a Kansas City saloon, villain Brog (Anthony Caruso) watching, song by Leonard Rosenman and Wayne Shanklin, in The Big Land, 1957.
Big Land, The (1957) -- Whiskey Under The Bridge Arrived in Kansas City with notions of pitching a railroad deal, Texan Morgan (Alan Ladd) notices enemy Brog (Anthony Caruso) then wonders what his newly sober pal Jagger (Edmond O’Brien), supposedly making a business contact, is doing with blonde Helen (Virigina Mayo), in The Big Land, 1957.
Princess And The Pirate, The (1944) - Take A Load Off My Eyes Princess Margaret (Virginia Mayo), passenger on a British ship, has complained about the noise being made by Sylvester (Bob Hope), whose rehearsal she interrupts, his first appearance, loaned out from Paramount to Samuel Goldwyn, in the Technicolor hit The Princess And The Pirate, 1944.
Princess And The Pirate, The (1944) - Kiss Me In The Moonlight Actor Sylvester (Bob Hope, on to Samuel Goldwyn from Paramount) still doesn’t believe Margaret (Virginia Mayo) is really a princess but sure needs her to rescue his act before a rowdy pirate crowd, with a song by Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson, vocal by Louanne Hogan, her outfit by Mary Grant, the future Mrs. Vincent Price, in The Princess And The Pirate, 1944.
King Richard And The Crusaders - That Wailing She-Cat Wounded but improving in Palestine, Richard (George Sanders) visited by his wife (Paula Raymond) and conferring with spunky cousin Edith Plantagenet (Virginia Mayo), about plans for an excursion, and a knight who's turned her head, in King Richard And The Crusaders, 1954.
Big Land, The (1957) -- What Am I, A Trout? Outside a livery stable in post-Civil War Missouri, ripped-off Texas cattleman Morgan (Alan Ladd) rescues troubled Jagger (Edmond O’Brien), who had shown him a kindness, from thugs about to hang him for trying to steal a bottle, and they begin negotiating friendship, in The Big Land, 1957.
She's Working Her Way Through College - Delayed By Wolves Angela (Virginia Mayo), burlesque star and new gal on campus, en route to class where charming Professor Palmer (Ronald Reagan), her former high-school teacher, is working his spell, in She's Working Her Way Through College, 1952.
She's Working Her Way Through College - I'll Be Loving You Professor (Ronald Reagan) Palmer presiding, erstwhile burlesque star Angela (Virginia Mayo) and jock Don (Gene Nelson) offer Vernon Duke and Sammy Cahn's I'll Be Loving You, staged by LeRoy Prinz, in She's Working Her Way Through College, 1952
She's Working Her Way Through College - Hot-Garters Gertie Tons of quality if short on plausibility, Ronald Reagan ("Professor Palmer") enters a Times Square burlesque joint where ex-student Angela (Virginia Mayo), under a stage name, offers Harry Warren and Al Dubin's With Plenty Of Money And You, opening She's Working Her Way Through College, 1952.
Song Is Born, A (1948) - Daddy-o Head-turning introduction of Virginia Mayo, as Honey (Barbara Stanwyck was “Sugar” in the original Ball Of Fire, 1942, also directed by Howard Hawks), dubbed by Jeri Sullavan, with the Page Cavanaugh trio (Al Viola on guitar, Lloyd Pratt on bass), song by Don Raye and Gene de Paul, Danny Kaye as observing professor Frisbee, in A Song Is Born, 1948.
Song Is Born, A (1948) - Dorsey, Armstrong, Etc. Danny Kaye is the music professor doing research but this is only a showcase for big musical guests, notably Tommy Dorsey on trombone, ending with Lionel Hampton joining Louis Armstrong, in one of his best-ever on-camera trumpet solos, from Samuel Goldwyn's A Song Is Born, 1948.
Song Is Born, A (1948) - How Jazz Was Born The musical show-stopper, joining the original novelty number by Don Raye and Gene de Paul, Virginia Mayo dubbed by Jeri Sullavan, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet on sax, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Mel Powell on piano, and Louie Bellson drumming, Danny Kaye the professor in charge, in Howard Hawks’ remake of his own Ball Of Fire, 1942, A Song Is Born, 1948.

Trailer

White Heat - (Original Trailer) A government agent infiltrates a gang run by a mother-fixated psychotic in White Heat (1949) starring James Cagney and Edmond O'Brien.
South Sea Woman - (Original Trailer) A Marine sergeant (Burt Lancaster) battles Nazi agents to help a showgirl escape war torn China in South Sea Woman (1953).
Iron Mistress, The - (Original Trailer) American adventurer Jim Bowie (Alan Ladd) fights to make his way in the lumber business in The Iron Mistress (1952).
Great Day In The Morning - (Original Trailer) The Civil War triggers unrest in Colorado. Starring Robert Stack, directed by Jacques Tourneur.
Girl from Jones Beach, The - (Original Trailer) A commercial artist (Ronald Reagan) discovers a real-life version of the perfect woman he's been drawing for years in The Girl From Jones Beach (1949).
Big Land, The - (Original Trailer) A cattleman (Alan Ladd) tries to convince a group of farmers to build a small town as a railroad link in The Big Land (1957).
Flaxy Martin - (Original Trailer) Messing with a mobster's girlfriend gets a lawyer framed for murder in Flaxy Martin (1949) starring Virginia Mayo, Zachary Scott, Dorothy Malone and Elisha Cook, Jr.
Best Years Of Our Lives, The - (Re-issueTrailer) Seven Oscars including Best Picture went to this story of America immediately after World War II, The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946).
Princess and the Pirate, The - (Original Trailer) A cowardly knight (Bob Hope) rescues a disguised princess from pirates.
She's Working Her Way Through College - (Original Trailer) Virginia Mayo and Ronald Reagan take the lead roles in a musical remake of The Male Animal, She's Working Her Way Through College (1952).
West Point Story, The - (Original Trailer) A Broadway producer tries to put on a show at the legendary military academy in The West Point Story (1950) starring James Cagney and Doris Day.
Always Leave Them Laughing - (Original Trailer) Television's first star, Milton Berle, returned to the large screen to play a fictional version of himself in Always Leave Them Laughing (1949).

Family

Lee Jones
Brother
Older.

Companions

Michael O'Shea
Husband
Actor. Married 1947 until his death by heart attack in 1973.

Bibliography