Pictures of Joan Rice

Joan Rice in His Majesty O'Keefe

As it is St. Valentine’s Day here in England today (Friday), I thought it would be a nice idea to post a couple of pictures of this web site’s favorite pin-up girl. It is, of course our Joan Rice (1930-1997), the heartthrob of many red-blooded males during the 1950’s. This site is dedicated to her memory and contains much of her life-story here.

The image above was kindly sent in by Christian and is taken of Joan in the lavish Warner Brothers production His Majesty O’Keefe (1954). Sadly, this film, with Burt Lancaster, would be the pinnacle of Joan’s very short rise to stardom. Why she faded from popularity with Hollywood remains a mystery. But her memory lives on in the pages of this web site.

Joan’s big break in the movie world came when Walt Disney chose her personally to play the part of Maid Marian in his second live-action film, the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952).

Joan Rice at the Premiere of Robin Hood

The picture of Joan (above) was taken at the premiere of the Story of Robin Hood at the Leicester Square Theater on March 13th, 1952. In the audience were many distinguished guests and celebrities, including the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Nottingham who presented a gift to Joan.

Other guests included Claudette Colbert, Donald Peers, Petula Clark, Herbert Wilcox and Anna Neagle. It was announced from the stage that the advertising in the programme alone, had produced over £13,000 and all the money raised went to The National Advertising Benevolent Fund.

Also appearing on the stage that Thursday night was Elton Hayes, dressed in his Alan-a-Dale costume, who delighted the audience with one of the songs from the film, which was adapted for the occasion (even with a playful dig at the films critics). The premier was ended with a finely staged observance of the National Anthem with trumpeters beneath the Royal Coat of Arms and illuminated letters ER.

There is a great deal more information about the movie premiere of the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men here.


Clement Glen said...

Joan Rice (1930-1997)

Many thanks to Christian for the picture.

Mike Giddens said...

Really nice photos of Joan, nice thought and upload clement

Neil said...

I have never seen that picture of Joan Rice at the film premiere of The Story of Robin Hood. She looks lovely as always. Also the detail you have got about the occasion is more than we have ever had before - so yet more information comes our way. It is quite remarkable. I wonder what thoughts were going through her mind as she sat there in 1952 - for one thing she must have been immensely proud of the film and her role in it. Astonishingly - and I would say foolishly on his part - Richard Todd did not attend as he was away filming. In this day and age he would have the advice of a manager who would definitely not have let this happen. It would have been mega publicity for him with a world targeted film.

Clement Glen said...

Thanks for your kind comments Mike and Neil.

Joan must have been overwhelmed by the occasion. She now had both feet on the ladder to stardom and was becoming a household name. Such a pity her career never took off in a bigger way.