Former Miss America, Actress Mary Ann Mobley Dies at 77

Mary Ann Mobley Obit Dead
David Livingston/Getty Images

Mary Ann Mobley, actress and former Miss America, died in Beverly Hills Dec. 9 after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 77.

Mobley, a native of Mississippi, was crowned Miss America in 1959. After studying acting with Lee Strasberg, she appeared on a 1963 episode of Aaron Spelling’s “Burke’s Law,” which led to a breakout role opposite Elvis Presley in “Girl Happy” in 1965. She and Elvis also starred in “Harum Scarum” later that same year. Her other notable film roles include “Get Yourself a College Girl” and “Young Dillinger.”

In addition to her film career, Mobley appeared on several television shows, including “Perry Mason,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Partridge Family” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” and was a recurring panelist on game show “Match Game.” She also performed on Broadway and traveled to Africa and Southeast Asia to make documentary films about homeless and starving children.

Actor Gary Collins and Mobley were married in 1967 after meeting on the set of “Three on a Couch.” Collins, who was also a talkshow host, died in 2012.

Mobley is survived by daughters Clancy Collins, senior vice president, drama development, Warner Bros. Television, and Melissa Collins; son Guy William Collins; sister Sandra Young; and two grandsons, Garrett and Gaston Collins.


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  1. I was 12 years old the year Mary Ann became Miss America, just the right age to love those kinds of things. Thinking about it now, I think she was my all time favorite Miss America. As years went by, I would see her in other things, and interviewed, and she was always adorable. She seemed like a lovely person.

    I was very sad to hear about her passing. After all, by today’s standards she was still relatively young, and it was like hearing another part of my childhood pass away. The pageants no longer hold any interest for me, but I’m sure that’s because I’m older.

  2. A true class act, from a bygone era…Always lovely with her southern grace and charm…there will never be another. My heart goes out to her family. Her smile shines bright in the heavens above…There she is…Miss America!

  3. Mary Ann Mobley should be an example to others in Hollywood about what it takes to be a real talent while having grace and style.
    She was genuine.
    While I am saddened by her passing, I am lucky to have so many memories of her.
    RIP and thank you.

    George Vreeland Hill

  4. What is strange is that she and Gary Collins divorced after many, many years together. He had a couple of drunk driving episodes and then died. Now, she has died two years later. A sad end to what looked to be a golden couple.

    • Smooth says:

      You had to try and put a bad light on her death, your information is in the public domain and documented. No need to bring it up. Haters like you are pathetic jealous celebrity stalkers. I guess you thought that it would make your life better or at least make you feel better about your obviously miserable life. It may make you feel better but if you look around you, you’re still in the same place. RIP Mary Ann.

  5. kate says:

    You were a nice person and you had a lot of grace. My sympathy to her daughter and the famalies. God is with you know.

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