Jo-Carroll Dennison


Jo-Carroll Dennison Biography

Jo-Carroll Dennison (born December 16, 1923) was a beauty queen and actress originally from Tyler, Texas.

Dennison was a reluctant participant in the pageant. She was initially stopped on the street by the Vice President of Citizen's National Bank and he asked her to be "Miss Citizen's National Bank" in the Miss Tyler Pageant held by the Tyler Junior Chamber of Commerce. She initially declined. He insisted that many of the city's finest young women were going to compete for the crown, and each girl could go to Swartz Department Store and pick out their own new swimsuit. Eighteen, and on her own as a Student at Federal Institute, Jo-Carroll figured she could use a new swimsuit, so she became Miss Citizen's National Bank and in short order, Miss Tyler. Her prizes were a scholarship to the Federal Institute and flying lessons. She thought her pageant days were complete, when she was approached by the Tyler Junior Chamber of Commerce that they expected her to represent them in the Miss East Texas Pageant to be held in Dallas. She politely declined but was made to feel as though it were her civic duty to her city, so she eventually agreed to compete.

After she won the Miss East Texas Pageant she found out she was expected to go on to Miss Texas to be held August 16th at Austin Stadium with an audience consisting of soldiers from one of the largest Army camps in Texas, Camp Swift. Eight girls competed representing the points of the compass of Texas. Jo-Carroll won. It was afterward that Jo-Carroll first heard of the Miss America Pageant. She didn't even know where Atlantic City was. She protested that nobody had told her this included a trip to New Jersey, and she just had no desire to go. Yet, after experiencing everyone's pride in her she decided to go on the three-day train trip East. While in Atlantic City, she won the swimsuit and talent contests with a hand-clapping, foot-stomping rendition of "Deep in the Heart of Texas", the national pressed dubbed her "The Texas Tornado", and became Miss America 1942.

As a wartime Miss America, Dennison traveled to visit defense plants, hospitals and service camps and sold war bonds. She was the first Miss Texas to win the Miss America crown.

Dennison later moved to California and signed with Twentieth Century-Fox and became a successful actress, with appearances in the acclaimed Winged Victory and the Oscar-winning The Jolson Story. In the 1950s she also made many appearances on television programs.

Dennison was briefly married to comedian Phil Silvers from 1945"1950. In 1954 she married movie producer Russell Stoneham (divorce 1981) and successfully raised a family. For many years, she was involved with hospice care in her community and was later involved in writing a book entitled "Finding My Little Red Hat".

LIVES: in Idyllwild, CA




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jo-Carroll_Dennison" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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