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MISS WORLD SIDELIGHTS

Miss World pageants have always been eventful. And often the most interesting things have happened off the ramp than onit. Here's a sample of Miss World oddities through the years.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2003 16:58 IST

Miss World pageants have always been eventful. And often the most interesting things have happened off the ramp than onit. Here's a sample of Miss World oddities through the years.


1951

Eric Morley attracted the attention to the first Miss World contest by having the contestants wear the newly-designed bikini, which was daring for that time. Many countries were reluctant to have their beauty queens appear in bikinis, among other reasons, therefore only five showed up for the contest. Mr. Morley had to take in 21 British beauty queens of various titles to increase the number of contestants.

1953

Miss Egypt, who had expected to win, screamed and fainted when she was given third place.

Eric Morley wrote: "...despite the headaches and frights she gave me at the time I shall always remember her as one of the outstanding figures, in every way, among all those who have entered the contest at any time."

1954

Eric Morley Described Carmen Susana Dujim as probably the shyest Miss World titleholder. Already a photogenic model in her country, she worked for three yeras doing film, photographic and modelling work until her engagement. She conquered the first of 11 crowns Venezuela has won in the three big pageants over the past 50 years. Her daughter competed as Miss Venezuela in Miss World 1983.

1955

Petra Schurmann, 23, was at that time the oldest competitor ever to have won the title. She took full advantage of her title by becoming not only a top model, but also one of Germany's leading television announcers.

1956

Petra Schurmann, 23, was at that time the oldest competitor ever to have won the title. She took full advantage of her title by becoming not only a top model, but also one of Germany's leading television announcers.

1957

Finland's Marita Lindahl was the tallest and heaviest delegate in the contest, but Eric Morley described her as having "the haunting beauty and intrigue of a Greta Garbo." Marita also possessed an inner radiance, which could be instantly switched off for those who displeased her. She later married a publicity manager from her country and ran one of the most popular restaurants in Helsinki. USA's Charlotte Sheffield, who had missed the opportunity to compete in Miss Universe when the original winner, Leona Gage, won the national event but was then disqualified during the Miss Universe finals, was not among the finalists at Miss World. One who did was Israel’s Sarah Elymor.

1958

After her victory, Penny Coelen, an 18 year-old architect's secretary from Durban, exclaimed on the telephone to her parents, "It's just wonderful. Just think - I was only Miss South Africa yesterday. Now I'm Miss World. And I feel on top of the world." After her reign, she went to Hollywood and was taught acting by film star James Garner, but failed her screen test in which she wore a white dress once used by Marilyn Monroe. She returned home to marry the boy-next-door, developed a highly successful sugar plantation and became a high-society woman.

1959

Holland's Corine Rottschafer won the title with first-place votes from five of the nine judges, a majority. This was no surprise, as she had won the Miss Europe title in the previous year. The second runner-up, Ziva Shomrat, was a soldier in the Israeli Army. Miss USA, Loretta Powell, who was not among the semi-finalists, charged that Corine was "padded in the bra." Corine disproved the charge by changing into a one-piece swimsuit for a measuring ceremony, which confirmed her 37-22-37 statistics.

First Published: Dec 06, 2003 14:09 IST