Mari Blanchard ~ The Voluptuous Beauty

Mari Blanchard

Mari Blanchard was a beautiful model and actress who died young from cancer

 She was born Mary E. Blanchard on April 13, 1923 in Long Beach, California. Her father was a wealthy oil tycoon and her mother was a psychotherapist. Mari wanted to be a dancer but she contracted polio at age nine. It took her three years to learn how to walk again. When she was seventeen she ran away from home to join a a traveling circus. She returned home and began studying law at the University of Southern California. The beautiful brunette dropped out in her senior year to pursue a modeling career. Mari became a very successful model earning up to $50 an hour. Her voluptuous 36-25-36 was the inspiration for Al Capp's cartoon character "Stupefyin Jones". She made her film debut in the 1947 musical Copacabana. After her photo was featured in the Hollywood Reporter she was offered a contract at Paramount. Mari appeared in numerous films including Mr. Music, Ten Tall Men, and Something To Live For. Unfortunately most of her roles were bit parts. In 1953 she landed a leading role opposite Victor Mature in The Veils Of Bagdad.

Mari Blanchard MagazineMari Blanchard

Mari Blanchard

Then she starred in the western Destry with Audie Murphy. She tried to change her image by dying her hair platinum blonde. While filming the horror film She-Devil in 1957 she nearly died from an appendicitis. Mari adored her fans and answered all her fan mail personally. She was romantically involved with Mel Torme, attorney Greg Bautzer, and gangster Johnny Stompanato. On February 13, 1960 she married Reese Taylor Jr, a prominent lawyer. When she became pregnant a few months later he left her and she miscarried the baby. During the 1960s she appeared on the television shows Perry Mason and The Detectives. Mari had a small part in the 1963 film McLintock! starring John Wayne. That same year she was diagnosed with cancer. She married George Sheppard in 1965 but they split up a few months later. In 1967 she married Vincent J. Cotti, a photographer. Her final role was in a 1968 episode of It Takes A Thief. Tragically on May 10, 1970 she died from cancer. Mari was only forty-seven years old. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered at sea.

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