|Born||Verna Charlene Stavely
28 April 1928
Snyder, Texas, U.S.
|Died||5 April 1996
Williamson County, Tennessee, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||William A. Tishman (1966-1972) (divorce)|
Holt was born on April 28, 1928 in Snyder, Texas, to Malcolm C. and Verna Vesta Stavely, née Chandler. Her birth is confirmed on the Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997. Some sources claim her birthdate is January 1, 1940 and her birthplace was Abilene, TX, which is incorrect. After she graduated from high school in Hagerman, New Mexico, she attended McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. She was a model in Houston, Texas. In 1956, she was crowned Miss Maryland and in July, 1956 participated in the Miss USA pageant in Long Beach, California where she was a semi-finalist. In August, 1957 she was among nine models sent to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by Rose Marie Reid Swim Suits of Los Angeles and the Eileen Ford Agency in New York. Holt appeared in various TV commercials in 1958 and reportedly signed a $50,000-a-year model contract in New York at age 29. She was in a Revlon lipstick commercial, in which she was reportedly spotted by director Howard Hawks who later cast her in several of his films. She was subsequently named "Miss Sweater Girl" in October, 1958 by the Wool Bureau. The contest was held in the Crystal Suite of the Savoy Hilton Hotel in New York.
Holt's first credited role was as Lisa, a model, in If a Man Answers, a 1962 comedy film directed by Henry Levin and starring Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee. In 1965 she appeared on Perry Mason as Helen Cadmus in "The Case of the Grinning Gorilla." In 1966, she co-starred in El Dorado opposite John Wayne. In all, she performed in over 20 TV and film productions between 1962 and 1980.
Holt married William A. Tishman, a millionaire builder in Los Angeles on October 7, 1966. They resided in Beverly Hill’s Trousdale Estates until they were divorced in June 1972. She died on April 5, 1996 in Williamson County, Tennessee at age sixty-seven.
- If a Man Answers (film, Lisa, 1962)
- Target: The Corruptors (TV series, 1962)
- Hawaiian Eye (TV series, Evelyn Mason, 1962)
- Saints and Sinners (TV series, Woman correspondent, 1962)
- Days of Wine and Roses (film, Guest (uncredited), 1962)
- Island of Love (film, minor uncredited role, 1963)
- The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (TV series, Darlene Vance, 1963)
- Burke's Law (TV series, 2 episodes, 1963–1964)
- Man's Favorite Sport? (film, Tex Connors, 1964)
- Arrest and Trial (TV series, Fay Carlson, 1964)
- Perry Mason (TV series, Helen Cadmus, 1965)
- Red Line 7000 (Film, Lindy, 1965)
- Honey West (TV series, Gloria, 1965)
- El Dorado (film, Maudie, 1966)
- The Hero (TV series, Angie, 1966)
- It Takes a Thief (TV series, 3 episodes, 1968)
- Zigzag (film, Sara Raymond, 1970)
- Wonder Woman (TV movie, Hippolyte, 1974)
- Police Story (TV series, 1 episode, "Company Man", 1975)
- CHiPs (TV series, appeared as herself in 1 episode, 1980)
- Melvin and Howard (film, Mrs. Worth, 1980)