Joan Staley

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Joan Staley
Playboy centerfold appearance
November 1958
Preceded by Mara Corday, Pat Sheehan
Succeeded by Joyce Nizzari
Personal details
Born Joan Lynette McConchie
(1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 76)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Measurements Bust: 34"
Waist: 23"
Hips: 34"
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight 118 lb (54 kg; 8.4 st)

Joan Staley (born on May 20, 1940) is an American actress.

Early life[edit]

Staley was born Joan Lynette McConchie in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of James and Jean McConchie. Her father was a minister, and her mother was a musician who played violin piano, organ, and viola.[1] She grew up in Los Angeles, California.

At age three, her mother took her to a concert, after which Joan requested a violin. When her mother realized she was serious, she obliged. Her first instructor was Karl Moldrem, the founder of The Baby Symphony in Los Angeles. By age six, Staley had won by audition first chair/second violin in Peter Meremblum's Junior Symphony (André Previn was an alumnus). This led to her first film appearance, as a child violinist, in The Emperor Waltz, starring Bing Crosby and Joan Fontaine.[1]

Her mother and father were missionaries in Africa, after which her father joined the Army as a chaplain.[2] His career facilitated her high school experiences in Chicago, Washington, DC, Munich, and Paris. She briefly attended Chapman College, after which she moved to where her father was stationed in San Francisco to find work, as the only teletype operator at the William R. Stats brokerage firm.

Career[edit]

She joined The Little Theater in Hollywood with roles in The Robe, Fiona in Brigadoon, and My Sister Eileen with actress Joanne Worley. This led to small roles in live television, such as Playhouse 90, Climax!, and Westinghouse Studio One. These appearances opened the door for her in film and television. Staley's first role in film was a 1958 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Corresponding Corpse". In early 1958, Lawrence Schiller, a Life photographer, approached Staley and asked her to pose for Playboy. They did a photo shoot together, which resulted in the actual spread used by the magazine. Publisher Hugh Hefner selected her to be Playboy's "Miss November" 1958.[3]

Her first marriage was to television director Chuck Staley (1956–60). They had a daughter, Sherrye Dee Staley (born 1959). During this time, MGM signed Staley to contract, one of the last actresses to do so. Her working experience in the opening credits with Director Vincent Minnelli for Bells Are Ringing, starring Judy Holliday, was, for her, a memorable start to her film career. She enjoyed a film and television career that lasted through the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Her first guest-starring role was on The Untouchables.[4]

For her first ongoing series role, she was featured in multiple appearances on the popular sitcom The Tab Hunter Show, where she was widely recognized for her comedic abilities. In 1961, she appeared in several roles in The Lawless Years, a 1920s crime drama starring James Gregory. After The Lawless Years, she enjoyed a recurring role as David Nelson's secretary in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. She went on to guest-star on Phil Silvers's sitcom The New Phil Silvers Show. A year later, she co-starred with singer Vic Damone in The Lively Ones for NBC, the summer replacement series for The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show.[4]

Staley made three additional guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of murderer Gina Gilbert in the 1962 episode, "The Case of the Lonely Eloper". She was also featured on episodes of Stoney Burke, Wagon Train, McHale's Navy, The Virginian, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Burke's Law, Batman, Maverick, Hawaiian Eye, and Surfside 6, among others.[4]

She was a regular as Hannah, the secretary to series character Stuart Bailey (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) on the sixth and final season of the ABC/Warner Brothers crime drama, 77 Sunset Strip. One of her favorite roles was a small part in A New Kind of Love (1963), starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, in which Staley had a sequence with Newman. She also appeared in Johnny Cool (1963), the Elvis Presley movie, Roustabout (1964), and co-starred opposite Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and alongside Audie Murphy in Gunpoint (1966).[4]

In 1964, she appeared on McHale's Navy and was signed to a Universal Studios contract for the McHale's Navy spin-off Broadside, where she co-starred with Kathleen Nolan, Sheila James, and Dick Sargent. Her character was Roberta "Honey-Hips" Love, a former stripper who had joined the Navy. In 1966, she suffered a serious back injury as a result of a horseback riding accident; she stopped working in films after that and concentrated on television.[citation needed]

Recognition[edit]

Staley was one of 12 actresses selected by the Hollywood Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Union as Deb Stars of 1962.[5]

Personal life[edit]

She married Charles Staley in 1956, whom she had met in France. They moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he was working as a television director. Staley worked as a legal secretary for Homer L. Armstrong, a local attorney in Memphis. Also during this period, Staley sang occasional backup for Sun Records, of Elvis Presley fame. The Staley family then moved to California.[citation needed]

She married again, in 1967, to Dale Sheets, an executive with MCA. Collectively, the Sheets have seven children (he contributed three, she contributed one, and they had three together). As of 2013, they had 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Her husband and she founded International Ventures Incorporated (1969) and continue to manage talent. Staley is active in consumer affairs, her church, and prison ministry.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lisanti, Tom. Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies. 2010: McFarland. pp. 53–66. ISBN 9781476601168. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Misurell, Ed (July 21, 1964). "A 'Femme Fatale' Turns Comedienne". The Kane Republican. Pennsylvania, Kane. p. 2. Retrieved November 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Joan Staley at Playboy Online
  4. ^ a b c d Joan Staley at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "Deb Stars of 1962". Valley News. California, Van Nuys. November 26, 1961. p. 43. Retrieved November 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]