1941 Miss America Pageant - Rosemary LaPlanche Miss California wins
Rosemary LaPlanche, Miss California, won the 1941 Miss America title.
It is one of the rare years when a double preliminary winner has failed to win the crown. Miss North Carolina, Joey Augusta Paxton, who won both the preliminary swimsuit competition and talent competition, placed as 4th runner-up. The gorgeous and glamorous Rosemary had won only the preliminary swimsuit competition.
At the conclusion of her reign, she crowned her successor, Miss America 1942 Jo-Carroll Dennison, Miss Texas.After her reign, LaPlanche signed with RKO Pictures and became the pageant's first true film star, appearing in eighty-four films, including:
Rosemary inadvertently became the centerpiece in an amusing incident at the 1951 Emmy Awards. Legendary actor Groucho Marx created a stir when he was named the winner of an Emmy for "most outstanding personality" in television, by grabbing the former Miss America who was serving as a presenter, instead of his Emmy statuette. He later quipped that he thought LaPlanche "was Emmy".*
On an interesting note, in a 2000 report, "Miss America winners getting skinnier", the curvaceous LaPlanche was cited as the Miss America with the highest body fat index at 22.4.**
Rosemary went on to marry television producer Harry Koplan with whom she raised two children. A multi-talented woman, Rosemary also became a renowned oil painter. She died in 1979 at age fifty-six.
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