1946 Miss America Pageant - Marilyn Buferd Miss California wins
Marilyn Buferd, Miss California, won the 1946 Miss America Pageant on September 7, 1945 in Atlantic City, New Jersey by outgoing Miss America 1945 Bess Myerson. She is the first Miss America to be crowned after the end of World War II.
Miss America 1946 Marilyn Buferd, Miss California.
The stunning UCLA student won the preliminary swimsuit competition earlier in the week. The blue-eyed blond is 5 ft. 8 in., 123 lbs. During the talent competition, she performed a dramatic monologue, "Accent on Youth". Buferd, beat a double preliminary winner, Janey Miller, Miss Atlanta, who had won both the preliminary talent competition and swimsuit competition.
She returned to crown her successor, Miss America 1947, Barbara Jo Walker, Miss Memphis.
After her reign, Marilyn studied at Berlitz in Rome and signed with MGM Studios, appearing in fifteen Italian films.
Interestingly, she also became one of the most desired women of her times. According to newspaper accounts of the era, Buferd became a highly sought after romantic interest of a number of famous men who had fallen for her, which reportedly included Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Italian film director and screenwriter Roberto Rossellini, actor Peter Lawford, Totò the European clown, and renowned photographer Lazlo Willinger.
on June 27, 1951, Buferd secretly married Count Francesco Barbaro, a dashing Italian movie producer and former submarine commander under Mussolini, with whom she has a son, Nicolo Rafael).** Buferd was granted a divorce from Barbaro on August 16, 1954 on grounds of extreme mental cruelty.
In 1958, Buferd married Hans E. Orton, a restaurant owner/businessman who she divorced a year later, claiming physical abuse.***
After their divorce, in 1960 she married Milton Stevens, a wealthy businessman and board chairman/CEO of the Briggs Manufacturing, who later revealed that, "his wife gives him women's views and that it was her complaint that led to one of his company making a top-loading clothes dryer."*
In 1990, the beautiful and vivacious Marilyn Buferd died from pancreatic cancer.
Sources: *Sarasota Journal, www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com, Reno Evening Gazette, Time magazine
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