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.