Mara Corday

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Mara Corday[1][2]
Playboy centerfold appearance
October 1958
Preceded by Teri Hope
Succeeded by Joan Staley
Personal details
Born Marilyn Joan Watts[3]
(1930-01-03) January 3, 1930 (age 85)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Measurements Bust: 35"
Waist: 24"
Hips: 35"
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight 118 lb (54 kg; 8.4 st)

Official website

Mara Corday (born Marilyn Joan Watts on January 3, 1930) is a showgirl, model, actress, Playboy Playmate and a 1950s cult figure.

Early life[edit]

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.


Corday signed on as a Universal International Pictures (UI) contract player. 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.[4]

Her roles were small until 1955 when she was cast opposite John Agar in Tarantula,[5][6] 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,[7] together with famous model and showgirl Pat Sheehan. In 1956, she had a recurring role in the ABC television series Combat Sergeant.[8] From 1959 to early 1961, Corday worked exclusively doing guest spots on various television series.

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.[9] And she acted with Eastwood again in Pink Cadillac (1989) as well as in her last film, 1990's The Rookie.

Personal life[edit]

Following the death of, Suzan Ball, the first wife of actor Richard Long, in 1955, Corday began dating Long; and they married in 1957. In the early 1960s, she gave up her career to devote herself to raising a family. During their seventeen-year marriage, they had three children (Valerie, Carey and Gregory). Corday has also been a lifelong friend of actor Clint Eastwood, whom she met while working for Universal Pictures.[9]

Partial filmography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lisanti, Tom (2001). Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies. McFarland. pp. 12–. ISBN 9780786408689. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Petersen, James R. (2005-09-22). Playboy Redheads. Chronicle Books. pp. 10, 16. ISBN 9780811848589. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Weaver, Tom (2004-10-30). It Came from Horrorwood: Interviews with Moviemakers in the Sf and Horror Tradition. McFarland. pp. 67–. ISBN 9780786420698. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Magers, Boyd; Fitzgerald, Michael G. (2004-07-31). Westerns Women: Interviews With 50 Leading Ladies Of Movie And Television Westerns From The 1930s To The 1960s. McFarland. pp. 62–. ISBN 9780786420285. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Weaver, Tom; Brunas, John; Brunas, Michael (2006-09-30). Interviews With B Science Fiction And Horror Movie Makers: Writers, Producers, Directors, Actors, Moguls and Makeup. McFarland. pp. 2–. ISBN 9780786428588. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Williams, Tony (November 1985). "Female Oppression in "Attack of the 50-Foot Woman" (L'oppression des femmes dans "Attack of the 50-Foot Woman")". Science Fiction Studies 12 (3): 264–273. JSTOR 4239701. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Craddock (September 1996). VideoHound's golden movie retriever. Visible Ink Press. p. cxcviii. ISBN 9780787607807. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2009). Encyclopedia of television shows, 1925 through 2007. McFarland. p. 300. ISBN 9780786433056. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  9. ^ a b O'Brien, Daniel (1996-08-08). Clint Eastwood: film-maker. B.T. Batsford. p. 153. ISBN 9780713478396. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 

External links[edit]