Joan O’Brien might not have had an extensive career in the entertainment industry but her short-term career earned her a spot among the big shots in the industry during the 1950s and 1960s. Her acting skills which became noticeable from her appearance on The Bob Crosby Show paved the way for her to star alongside the likes of Cary Grant, John Wayne, and Jerry Lewis.
However, her story will be incomplete without a mention of her failed marriages and relationships which later turned the attention of the public from her talent to her relationship crisis. Read to know all about this 50s and 60s film star.
Joan O’Brien whose full name is Joan Marie O’Brien is a Valentine baby as she was born into the family of David and Rita O’Brien on the 14th day of February in 1936. She spent only a few years at her place of birth in Cambridge, Massachusetts as her family relocated to California when she was about 8 and got her into a dance school to develop her talent.
It was also in California that Joan was enrolled in Chaffey Union High School located in Ontario but there was no record of her going to college as Joan O’Brien became quite talented in dancing and singing which prompted her to plunge into the entertainment industry at an early age.
It didn’t take long for her talent to be noticed by the public and other entertainers, one of whom was Cliffie Stone – an entertainer hosting the television show called Home town Jamboree. Cliffie invited her to join him in staging his show and her skills made her get more slots in other shows like The Bob Crosby show on which Joan O’Brien became a regular face. She also joined stars like Cary Grant and Tony Curtis to stage the movie Operation Petticoat in 1959.
It is also known that Joan O’Brien’s performance on The Bob Crosby show was so remarkable it brought her much recognition and other entertainers sent in their proposals to get her into their shows. Lawrence Welk was one of such entertainers as he too spotted Joan in the show and immediately fell in love with her singing talent. In 1959, he got her to stand in for a week for the singer Alice Lon and really wished to hire her on a long-term basis but her young age at that time gave him second thoughts.
However being dropped by Lawrence did not slow Joan O’Brien down as she began living the life of her dreams, featuring in shows, concerts, and movies. She showcased her acting skills and comedic talent in major movies like The Case of the Lover’s Gamble, The Man from UNCLE and many others.
There is quite a story to tell about Joan O’Brien and her relationships as she wasn’t so fortunate in most of her relationships. She has been into five different marriages, 4 of which ended in a divorce and the last ended because her spouse died. It is also known that the instability in her relationships took a toll on her career as more attention was paid on her sour relationships than her performances.
The vibrant actress had her first marriage in 1954 at age 18, while she was still putting together the bits in her career. This marriage was to Billy Strange who was an instrumentalist, although two years into the carriage in 1956, it was called off. This marriage produced a child who was under Joan O’Brien’s care.
Joan got married the second time to John F. Meyer in 1957, barely a year after the first ended. Well, the second marriage followed suit as it lasted for only 3 years, ending in 1960 with a child too. The third marital journey which lasted for only one year, from 1963 to 1964 was with Harvey Allen Godorov, and the fourth with Dino Kotopoulis also lasted for a year from 1966 to 1967.
After a short-lived affair with Elvis Presley, a famous actor in Hollywood, she decided to get married for the fifth time but it was not to Elvis. She married Lt. Col. Malcolm Bernard Campbell who was in the military. Joan O’Brien and Malcolm tied the knot on August 4, 1979, and lived together in Auburn in California. The countdown began, one year, two years, until five years down the line and they were still together. This could have been her happily ever after perhaps but the marriage ended as Malcolm lost his life on May 8, 2004.
Joan O’Brien was a beautiful lady during her heydays – with blonde hair, bright eyes, and a fabulous physique. Although her height is about 5 ft 4 inches, she had a spectacular hourglass figure with a 35 inches bust, 25 inches waist and hips-width of 36 inches.
Other Interesting Facts About The Actress
1. Joan O’Brien’s last 3 marriages did not produce children, but she and Malcolm took care of her two kids.
2. In the short span of her active career, she was able to feature in about 40 films.
3. The last movie she acted in her career was in 1965 and it’s titled Perry Mason – she played Jill Fenwick.
4. Challenges in her personal life, especially her failed marriages, forced her to get off the public scene to live a private life.