||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
|Playboy centerfold appearance|
|Preceded by||Teri Hope|
|Succeeded by||Joan Staley|
|Born||Marilyn Joan Watts
January 3, 1930
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Weight||118 lb (54 kg; 8.4 st)|
Corday was born in Santa Monica, California. Wanting a career in films, she came to Hollywood while still in her teens and found work as a showgirl at the Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. Her physical beauty brought jobs as a photographer's model that led to a bit part as a showgirl in the 1951 film Two Tickets to Broadway. She signed on as a Universal International Pictures (UI) contract player where she met actor Clint Eastwood with whom she would remain lifelong friends. With UI, Corday was given small roles in various B-movies and television series. In 1954 on the set of Playgirl she met actor Richard Long. Following the death of Long's wife, the two began dating and married in 1957.
Her roles were small until 1955 when she was cast opposite John Agar in Tarantula, a Sci-Fi B-movie that proved a modest success (with Eastwood in an un-credited role). She had another successful co-starring role in that genre (The Black Scorpion) as well as in a number of Western films. Respected film critic Leonard Maltin said that Mara Corday had "more acting ability than she was permitted to exhibit."
Mara Corday appeared as a pinup girl in numerous men's magazines during the 1950s and was the Playmate of the October 1958 issue of Playboy, together with famous model and showgirl Pat Sheehan. In 1956, she had a recurring role in the ABC television series Combat Sergeant. From 1959 to early 1961, Corday worked exclusively doing guest spots on various television series. She then gave up her career to devote her time to raising a family. During her seventeen-year marriage to Richard Long she had three children (Valerie, Carey and Gregory).
A few years after her husband's death in 1974, Corday's friend Clint Eastwood offered her a chance to return to filmmaking with a role in his 1977 film The Gauntlet. She had a brief-but-significant role in Sudden Impact (1983), where she played the waitress dumping sugar into Harry Callahan's coffee in that movie's iconic "Go ahead, make my day" sequence. And she acted with Eastwood again in Pink Cadillac (1989) as well as in her last film, 1990's The Rookie.
- Two Tickets to Broadway (1951)
- Drums Across the River (1954)
- Dawn at Socorro (1954)
- So This Is Paris (1955)
- Tarantula (1955)
- Man Without a Star (1955)
- The Man From Bitter Ridge (1955)
- A Day of Fury (1956)
- Naked Gun (1956)
- The Giant Claw (1957)
- The Black Scorpion (1957)
- The Quiet Gun (1957)
- Girls on the Loose (1958)
- The Gauntlet (1977)
- Sudden Impact (1983)
- Pink Cadillac (1989)
- The Rookie (1990)
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