Meredith Howard Harless

Meredith Howard Harless Brief Biography

Meredith Howard Harless (born September 6, 1909 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma-June 19, 1996) was a performer and Miss America contestant who earned fame with her twin sister, Virginia, at the Miss Tulsa beauty pageant in 1927 when they were both elected to win the contest. A winning coin flip earned Meredith a trip to the Miss America pageant of 1928 where she finished as a runner-up. Her experiences at Miss America led to a five-year stint as a performer with the Ziegfeld Follies, where she worked with such stars as Eddie Cantor, Fred Astaire and Ed Wynn.

In 1935, Meredith joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Hollywood, California working in public relations, advertising, and fashion, working directly with Louis B. Mayer. While at MGM, Meredith continued to model with her sisters, Virginia and Mary, who starred in several films for MGM at that time. From 1937 to 1941, Meredith took a job with Crowell-Collier publishing in Washington, D.C. with their advertising department. In addition to her work in advertising, Meredith wrote two syndicated columns: "At Random" under her own name, and "Selective Tuning" under the name Jean Abbey on the Washington, D.C. social scene and women's fashions. Already well known in Washington as a writer and radio commentator, Meredith made a bigger splash further west in Arizona with her marriage to Arizona Congressman Richard F. Harless.

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