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Mary Ann Mobley

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Title: Mary Ann Mobley  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lynda Lee Mead, Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America 1959, List of Miss America titleholders, Gary Collins (actor)
Collection: 1937 Births, 1939 Births, 2014 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Actresses, Actresses from Mississippi, American Film Actresses, American Television Actresses, American Television Personalities, Cancer Deaths in California, Deaths from Breast Cancer, Living People, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Contract Players, Miss America 1950S Delegates, Miss America Preliminary Talent Winners, Miss America Winners, Miss Mississippi Winners, New Star of the Year (Actress) Golden Globe Winners, People from Biloxi, Mississippi, People from Brandon, Mississippi, People with Cancer, University of Mississippi Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mary Ann Mobley

Mary Ann Mobley
Mary Ann Mobley in 1958
Born (1937-02-17)February 17, 1937
Brandon, Mississippi, U.S.
Died December 9, 2014(2014-12-09) (aged 77)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of death Breast cancer
Alma mater University of Mississippi
Occupation Actress
Title Miss Mississippi 1958
Miss America 1959
Predecessor Marilyn Van Derbur
Successor Lynda Lee Mead
Spouse(s) Gary Collins (m. 1967–2012)
(his death)
Children 3

Mary Ann Mobley (February 17, 1937 – December 9, 2014) was an American actress, television personality and Miss America 1959.


  • Career 1
  • Miss America 2
  • Personal 3
    • Health and death 3.1
  • Filmography 4
  • Television 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Mary Ann Mobley was born in 1937 in Brandon, Mississippi.[1] After serving her reign as Miss America 1959, Mobley embarked on a career in both film and television. She signed a five-year contract with MGM.[2] She made her first five television appearances on Burke's Law from 1963-1965, and went on to make multiple appearances on Perry Mason; Love, American Style; and Fantasy Island. She had a recurring role as Maggie McKinney Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes in the final season of the series, having taken over the role from Dixie Carter. She would later guest star as Karen Delaporte, a snide head of a historical society who crossed swords with Dixie's character, Julia Sugarbaker, in Carter's later series, Designing Women.[3]

She also made appearances on Match Game '76 as one of the celebrity panelists. She ended her television career in 1994 with an appearance on Hardball. She was Awarded the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year — Actress in 1965. She was active in many charitable causes and was awarded the Outstanding Young Woman of the Year Award in 1966 by Lady Bird Johnson.[4] Most recently, she appeared in the documentary film Miss America which aired on PBS in 2002.[5]

Miss America

Mobley was crowned Miss America 1959,[6] the first Mississippian to achieve this honor,[7] winning the national talent award.[8]

Mobley joined her husband, Gary Collins, as co-host of the 1989 Miss America pageant, the 30th anniversary year of her own title.[9]


Mobley was a member of Chi Omega sorority at the University of Mississippi[10][11] and in 1981 was inducted into the University of Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame.[12]

She married actor and television host Gary Collins in 1967.[13]

The couple separated in 2011 but reconciled and were married and living in Biloxi, when he died on October 13, 2012.[14] Collins and Mobley had one daughter together, Mary Clancy Collins. Mobley was also step-mother to Melissa Collins and Guy William Collins, her husband's children from his first marriage.[15]

Health and death

Mobley had Crohn's disease, and had at times been an activist for improvements in treatment.[16]

She was treated in 2009 for Stage 3 breast cancer.[17] Mobley died at her home in Beverly Hills, California, on December 9, 2014, aged 77, from breast cancer.[1][15]




  1. ^ a b Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (December 10, 2014). "Mary Ann Mobley, a Midcentury Miss America and an Actress, Dies at 75 [sic]".  
  2. ^ Barnes, Mike (December 9, 2014). "Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America Turned Actress, Dies at 77".  
  3. ^ "Actress Starred on Designing Women".  
  4. ^ a b "TV Personalities Film In The Area".  
  5. ^
  6. ^ Associated Press (1958-09-07). "A Mississippi Miss Is New Miss America". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (1960-02-15). "Beauty Queen On Way To Stardom". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 5. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (1958-09-03). "Ann's Faith Didn't Let Her Down". Miami News. p. 10A. 
  9. ^ "A Changed Miss America Pageant Airs". Ocala  
  10. ^ Staff (September 28, 1959). "All the Miss Americas, Then and Now".  
  11. ^ "Prominent Chi Omegas" (PDF). Chi Omega. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  12. ^ United Press International (1981-10-28). "People". Beaver County Times. p. D12. 
  13. ^ United Press International (1967-11-25). "Former Miss America Weds In Mississippi". Henderson Times News. p. 4. 
  14. ^ "Actor, TV host Gary Collins dies at 74 in Miss.".  
  15. ^ a b D'Zurilla, Christie (December 9, 2014). "Mary Ann Mobley, actress and Miss America 1959, dies at 77".  
  16. ^ Hauprich, Ann (2003). "Mary Ann Mobley". Archived from the original on December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mary Ann Mobley". Producers, Inc. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Elvis Presley Film Set For Weeklong Run". The Free Lance Star. 1965-05-29. p. 2. 
  19. ^ "Harum Scarum". The Evening Independent. 1969-03-14. p. 9-B. 
  20. ^ Associated Press (1985-08-04). "Mary Ann Mobley Shouldn't Make A Difference". Spokesman-Review. p. 20. 
  21. ^ "The Bulletin Board". Toledo Blade. 1988-02-14. p. TVT12. 
  22. ^ """IMDB: Season 1, episode 10 - "This Town for Sale. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Marilyn Van Derbur
Miss America
Succeeded by
Lynda Lee Mead
Preceded by
Mary Allen
Miss Mississippi
Succeeded by
Margie Wilson
Media offices
Preceded by
Gary Collins
Miss America host
(with Gary Collins)
Succeeded by
Gary Collins & Phyllis George
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