Mary Ann Mobley was born on February 17, 1939 in Biloxi, Mississippi. in 1959, she entered the Miss America Pageant. for the talent portion of the competition, Mobley sang a highly formal, operatic rendition of Puccini's "Un Bel Di" that transitioned into an energetic version of "There'll Be Some Changes Made", as she stripped into something skimpier. she won the crown, becoming the first Mississippian to do so.
when her reign had ended, Mobley began her television career, making appearances in shows like Perry Mason, Mission Impossible, and later Fantasy Island, the Love Boat and Different Strokes.
of course, the reason i'm writing of her now is for her connection to the King.
in what i consider to be the highlight of a career that included a standing position on Hollywood Squares, Mary Ann appeared in not one, but two Elvis films: Girl Happy, costarring Shelley Fabares, and Harum Scarum - both in 1965.
as it's tagline suggests ("Elvis brings the big beat to Bagdad in a riotous rockin' rollin' adventure spoof!!!"), Harum Scarum is a little on the silly side. Mobley plays Princess Shalimar, damsel-in-distress to Elvis' tanned and turbaned Johnny Tyrone. though much of the film remains below the standards of most, there lies a hidden gem within the mire, in So Close, Yet So Far - one of the better songs in an an Elvis flick of this period [if you can get past the outfit].
in 1967, Mary Ann married actor Gary Collins. they have one child, daughter Mary Clancy Collins. Mobley is well know for her charity work and has been a March of Dimes spokeswoman for over 25 years. in 2009, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and is currently in remission.