1961 Miss Universe Pageant

1961 Miss Universe Pageant

Pageant Results > Miss Universe Pageant > 1961

  • Miss Universe 1961: Marlene Schmidt, Miss Germany
  • 1st runner-up: Rosemarie Frankland, Miss Wales
  • 2nd runner-up: Adriana Gardiazábal, Miss Argentina
  • 3rd runner-up: Arlette Dobson, Miss England
  • 4th runner-up: Sharon Brown, Miss USA 

1961 Miss Universe Pageant Interesting Facts

Miss Universe 1961 Marlene Schmidt
Miss Universe 1961 Marlene Schmidt, Miss Germany.
  • Marlene Schmidt, Miss Universe 1961, from Germany, poses for her headshot. Schmidt, the first Miss Universe from Germany, won her title in Miami Beach, Florida.
  • Marlene Schmidt, Miss Germany, was notable on several fronts. First, she was an East German refugee in a frightening era when nuclear war was an imminent threat, President Kennedy was facing off against Khrushchev, and politics focused on Western freedoms versus Communist imprisonment of their own people.
  • in an era when sporty women were not exactly fashionable, Schmidt was an athlete who was an absolute knockout in the swimsuit competition - and easily eclipsed the competition.
  • She was also an electrical engineer in a profession heavily dominated by men ... in a decidedly pre-feminist movement era.
  • Schmidt was crowned in her swimsuit with the trappings of royalty - an ermine cape, scepter and crown - by outgoing Miss Universe 1960 Linda Bement (Miss United States)... and serenaded by a hilarious coronation tune.
  • Schmidt was such a stunning beauty that she completely eclipsed a future Miss World, Rosemarie Frankland, Miss Wales, who finished as her first runner-up. Frankland was crowned Miss World 1961 the following year, competing as Miss United Kingdom.
  • Some of the more exotic national titleholders who competed at the 1961 Miss Universe Pageant were Miss Cuba, Miss Burma, Miss Saigon, Miss Madagascar, and  Miss Rhodesia.
  • Two women of color competed in 1961: Miss Virgin Islands and Miss Jamaica.
  • Miss England was introduced to the audience with a stuffy royal musical selection worthy of introducing Queen Elizabeth...and she walked out with a suitably stiff demeanor expected of a blue-blood.
  • Miss Iceland spoke to the audience in fairly decent English, inviting Americans to visit her country: "Iceland really isn't as cold as you think," she quipped.
  • Miss Korea, Yang Hi Su, an extremely pretty Asian beauty, offered the audience her blessing in English, "May God bless all of you!"
  • Miss Scotland delivered the most humorous introduction of the night, when she invited Americans to visit her country, "whose outstanding attraction is perhaps....whiskey!"

Marlene Schmidt, Miss Universe 1961

1961 Top 5

  • Miss Argentina, Adriana Gardiazábal
  • Miss Germany, Marlene Schmidt
  • Miss England, Arlette Dobson
  • Miss USA, Sharon Brown,
  • Miss Wales, Rosemarie Frankland

1961 Semi-finalists

  • Miss Argentina, Adriana Gardiazábal
  • Miss Germany, Marlene Schmidt
  • Miss Chile, María Gloria Silva
  • Miss England, Arlette Dobson
  • Miss France, Simone Darot
  • Miss Iceland, Kristjana Magnusdóttir
  • Miss Israel, Atida Pisanti
  • Miss Korea, Seo Yanghee
  • Miss Peru, Carmela Stein Bedoya
  • Miss Scotland, Susan Jones
  • Miss Sweden, Gunilla Knutsson
  • Miss Switzerland, Liliane Burnier
  • Miss Taiwan, Wang Li-Ling
  • Miss Wales, Rosemarie Frankland

Other Award Winners

  • Miss Congeniality - Miss Greece - Eleftheria Deloutsi
  • Miss Photogenic - Miss USA, Sharon Brown

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