Virginia Mayo

Virginia Mayo

actress, soundtrack

Virginia Clara Jones was born on November 30, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of a newspaper reporter and his wife. The family had a rich heritage in the St. Louis area: her great-great-great-grandfather served in the American Revolution and later founded the city of East Saint Louis, Illinois, located right across the Mississippi River from its namesake. Virginia was interested in show business from an early age. Her aunt operated a dance studio and Virginia began taking lessons at the age of six. After graduating from high school in 1937, she became a member of the St. Louis Municipal Opera before she was signed to a contract by Samuel Goldwyn after being spotted by an MGM talent scout during a Broadway revue. David O. Selznick gave her a screen test, but decided she wouldn't fit into films. Goldwyn, however, believed that her talent as an actress was there and cast her in a small role in 1943's La vie aventureuse de Jack London (1943). She later had a walk-on part in Swing Canteen (1943) that same year. Believing there was more to her than her obvious ravishing beauty, producers thought it was time to give her bigger and better roles. In 1944 she was cast as Princess Margaret in La princesse et le pirate (1944), with Bob Hope and a year later appeared as Ellen Shavley in Le joyeux phénomène (1945). Her popularity increasing with every appearance, Virginia was cast in two more films in 1946, Le laitier de Brooklyn (1946), with Danny Kaye, and Les Plus Belles Années de notre vie (1946), with Dana Andrews, and received good notices as Andrews' avaricious, unfaithful wife. Her roles may have been coming in slow, but with each one her popularity with audiences rose. She finally struck paydirt in 1947 with a plum assignment in the well-received La vie secrète de Walter Mitty (1947) as Rosalind van Hoorn. That same year she married Michael O'Shea and would remain with him until his death in 1973 (the union produced a daughter, Mary Catherine, in 1953). She got some of the best reviews of her career in James Cagney's return to the gangster genre, L'enfer est à lui (1949), as Verna, the scheming, cheating wife of homicidal killer Cody Jarrett (Cagney). The striking beauty had still more plum roles in the 1950s. Parts in Du sang sur le tapis vert (1950), La collégienne en folie (1952) and South Sea Woman (1953) all showed she was still a force to be reckoned with. As the decade ended, Virginia's career began to slow down. She had four roles in the 1960s and four more in the following decade. Her last role was as Lucia in 1997's The Man Next Door. She died on January 17, 2005.

  • Birthday

    Nov 30, 1920
  • Place of Birth

    St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Known For

Awards

2 wins & 0 nominations

Golden Boot Awards
1988
Winner - Golden Boot
Walk of Fame
1960
Television
Winner - Star on the Walk of Fame

Movies & TV Shows

All
Movies