Joi Lansing was born Joyce Renee Brown on April 6, 1929 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was a young lady who developed, physically, early as a teen. Because of her striking good looks, she began to model and was extremely successful throughout the 1940s. It was only natural that her physical assets eventually landed her on the silver screen. Her first go at films occurred in 1948 with roles as – what else? – a model in The Counterfeiters (1948), Julia Misbehaves (1948) and Easter Parade (1948). She was 20 years old. Her acting wasn’t exactly polished in the beginning, but producers did not care – she was hired because of her looks and her body.
The following year brought more of the same, getting parts (mostly uncredited) in films as nothing more than a showpiece. Joi took a hiatus from films in 1950 while she concentrated on her modeling career. She returned to the big screen in 1951 to play minor roles, but this time it was a little better. She played Susan Matthews in F.B.I. Girl (1951) and Marilyn Turner in On the Riviera (1951) – at least she had names to go along with her characters. Then it was back to being a showpiece. In 1952, she had an uncredited role in one of the most popular movies of all time, Singin’ in the Rain (1952). Another minor role as the Maxim Girl in The Merry Widow (1952) followed. She began appearing on television in 1955 when she played in an episode of Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1951) and one of I Love Lucy (1951) the following year.
In 1955, Joi landed a recurring role as Shirley Swanson in the television series The Bob Cummings Show (1955). It was this series that proved to all that Joi could, indeed, act and act well. Because of this series, she began to get a few more substantial parts in films such as The Brave One (1956), Hot Cars (1956) and So You Think the Grass Is Greener (1956), all in 1956. Then it was back to bit roles. For the balance of the 1950s, she continued to appear in B movies with less than quality roles. After appearing in the comedy film Who Was That Lady? (1960), Joi landed the role of Goldie in the television series Klondike (1960). However, most viewers remember her as the wife of Lester Flatt on the situation comedy The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), which she appeared on and off from 1965-1968.
As Gladys Flatt, her beauty even surpassed that of Elly May Clampett, played by Donna Douglas. Her film career was winding down and she appeared as Boots Malone in the B movie Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967), which went nowhere. Joi Lansing was diagnosed with breast cancer, and died at age 43 on August 7, 1972 in Santa Monica, California.
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