born Dorothy Cook in 1934, Joanna Cook Moore became an orphan at an early age when both her parents and her younger sister were killed in a car accident. when her grandmother became too frail to continue raising her, Dorothy was adopted by a wealthy local couple and changed her name to Joanna. she married and divorced her first husband, Willis Moore, while still a teenager, and shortly thereafter attended college in Decatur, Georgia. while in college, Joanna won a beauty pagent and moved to Hollywood, where she would be discovered at a cocktail party and signed to Universal.
Cook Moore made her film debut in Appointment With a Shadow (1957). in 1958 she appeared in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil as well as the cult classic Monster on the Campus. throughout the 50s and 60s, Joanna appeared in numerous television shows, including Gunsmoke, Afred Hitchcock Presents and The Fugitive, and is perhaps best known for her role as Andy Taylor's girlfriend on The Andy Griffith Show.
in 1962, Cook Moore played sultry, seductive social worker Alisha Claypoole in Elvis' ninth film , Follow That Dream [also starring Anne Helm (see previous post)]. Moore's seduction scenes are convincing, while in real life she is reported to have referred to Elvis as "a real bore". [WHAT?!]
in 1963, Joanna married actor Ryan O'Neal. the two had an infamously tumultuous marriage which ended in a bitter divorce in 1967. Joanna suffered from terrible depression upon separating with O'Neal, and took heavily to drugs and alocohol in an attempt to sooth herslef. in 1970, she checked herself into rehab and a year later was arrested for drunk driving, causing her to loose custody of the couple's two children, actors Griffin and Tatum O'Neal. by the late 1970s, following a third failed marriage which lasted only a year, Joanna was being supported financially by daughter Tatum, who had become an oscar winning actress at age 10, and one of the highest-paid child stars of the era.
despite treatment, Joanna continued to abuse drugs and alcohol and was arrested for driving under the influence not once, but five times throughout the 80s and 90s.
in 1996, Cook Moore, a long-time smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer. she died on November 22, 1997, with her daughter by her side.