Mary Ann Mobley

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Mary Ann Mobley
Mary Ann Mobley, Brandon. (Miss Miss. '58,) (Miss America, '58-'59,) (Photo at WLBT)..png
Mary Ann Mobley in 1958
Born (1939-02-17) February 17, 1939 (age 75)
Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
Alma mater University of Mississippi
Occupation Actress
Title Miss Mississippi 1958
Miss America 1959
Predecessor Marilyn Van Derbur
Successor Lynda Lee Mead
Spouse(s) Gary Collins (m. 1967–2012)
(his death)

Mary Ann Mobley (born February 17, 1939) is a former Miss America,[1] actress, and television personality.


After serving her reign as Miss America 1959, Mobley embarked on a career in both film and television. She made her first five television appearances on Burke's Law from 1963-1965. She made two guest appearances on Perry Mason in 1964 and 1966. In the first episode she played title character and defendant Dianne Adler in "The Case of the Blonde Bonanza." In the latter episode she played murderer and title character Sharon Carmody in "The Case of the Misguided Model." Between 1969-1973 she made five appearances on Love, American Style, and eight appearances on Fantasy Island from 1978-1984. She had a recurring role as Maggie McKinney Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes in the final season of the series, having taken over the role from Dixie Carter. (She would later guest star as Karen Delaporte, a snide head of a historical society who crossed swords with Dixie's character, Julia Sugarbaker, in Ms. Carter's later series, Designing Women)

She also made appearances on Match Game '76 as one of the celebrity panelists. She ended her television career in 1994 with an appearance on Hardball. She was Awarded the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year- Actress in 1965. She has been active in many charitable causes and was awarded the Outstanding Young Woman of the Year Award in 1966 by Lady Bird Johnson.[2]

Miss America[edit]

Mobley was crowned Miss America 1959, the first Mississippian to achieve this honor,[3] winning the national talent award.[4]

Mobley joined her husband, Gary Collins, as co-host of the 1989 Miss America pageant.[5]


She was a member of Chi Omega sorority at the University of Mississippi[6][7] and in 1981 was inducted into the University of Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame.[8]

She married actor and TV host Gary Collins in 1967.[9] They have one child, a daughter, Mary Clancy Collins. The Collinses separated in 2011, but reconciled and he moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, to be with her in 2012. He died on October 13, 2012.[10]

In an interview with a scuba diving magazine, Mobley described herself as an "avid diver" [11] who holds certification as a scuba diver.[12]

Ms. Mobley has Crohn's disease, and has at times been an activist for improvements in treatment.

Mary Ann Mobley was treated in 2009 for Stage 3 breast cancer and is currently in remission.[13]




  1. ^ Associated Press (1958-09-07). "A Mississippi Miss Is New Miss America". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. 
  2. ^ a b "TV Personalities Film In The Area". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1983-11-23. p. 2C. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (1960-02-15). "Beauty Queen On Way To Stardom". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 5. 
  4. ^ Associated Press (1958-09-03). "Ann's Faith Didn't Let Her Down". Miami News. p. 10A. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (1988-09-08). "A Changed Miss America Pageant Airs". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 23. 
  6. ^ "All the Miss Americas, Then and Now". Life (Time Inc.). September 28, 1959. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Prominent Chi Omegas". Chi Omega. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  8. ^ United Press International (1981-10-28). "People". Beaver County Times. p. D12. 
  9. ^ United Press International (1967-11-25). "Former Miss America Weds In Mississippi". Henderson Times News. p. 4. 
  10. ^ Gary Collins obituary
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Beauty Queen Set To Attend Dayton Benefit". Dayton Daily News. 1990-11-08. p. 3A. 
  13. ^ Info on Mary Ann Mobley's breast cancer battle and activism
  14. ^ "Elvis Presley Film Set For Weeklong Run". The Free Lance Star. 1965-05-29. p. 2. 
  15. ^ "Harum Scarum". The Evening Independent. 1969-03-14. p. 9-B. 
  16. ^ Associated Press (1985-08-04). "Mary Ann Mobley Shouldn't Make A Difference". Spokesman-Review. p. 20. 
  17. ^ "Actress Starred on Designing Women". Victoria Times Colonist. 2010-04-14. 
  18. ^ "The Bulletin Board". Toledo Blade. 1988-02-14. p. TVT12. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Marilyn Van Derbur
Miss America
Succeeded by
Lynda Lee Mead
Preceded by
Mary Allen
Miss Mississippi
Succeeded by
Margie Wilson
Media offices
Preceded by
Gary Collins
Miss America host
(with Gary Collins)
Succeeded by
Gary Collins & Phyllis George