Joan Staley

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Joan Staley
Playboy centerfold appearance
November 1958
Preceded byMara Corday, Pat Sheehan
Succeeded byJoyce Nizzari
Personal details
Born(1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 74)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
MeasurementsBust: 34"
Waist: 23"
Hips: 34"
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight118 lb (54 kg; 8.4 st)
 
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Joan Staley
Playboy centerfold appearance
November 1958
Preceded byMara Corday, Pat Sheehan
Succeeded byJoyce Nizzari
Personal details
Born(1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 74)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
MeasurementsBust: 34"
Waist: 23"
Hips: 34"
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight118 lb (54 kg; 8.4 st)

Joan Staley (born Joan Lynette McConchie on May 20, 1940 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American actress.

Early life[edit]

Staley grew up in Los Angeles. At age three, her mother took her to a concert, after which Joan requested a violin. When her mother realized she was serious, she obliged. Her first instructor was Karl Moldrem, the founder of The Baby Symphony in Los Angeles. By age six, Staley had won by audition first chair/second violin in Peter Meremblum's Junior Symphony (André Previn was an alumnus). This led to her first film appearance, as a child violinist in The Emperor Waltz, starring Bing Crosby and Joan Fontaine.

Her mother and father were missionaries in Africa, after which her father joined the Army as an Army chaplain. His career facilitated her high school experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Munich, West Germany, and Paris, France.

She briefly attended Chapman College, after which she moved to where her father was stationed in San Francisco to find work as the only teletype operator at the William R. Stats brokerage firm. She married Charles Staley in 1956, whom she had met in France. They moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he was working as a television director. Staley worked as an legal secretary for Homer L. Armstrong, a local attorney in Memphis. It was also during this period that Staley sang occasional backup for Sun Records, of Elvis Presley fame.

L.A. beckoned, so the Staleys moved West.

Career[edit]

The Little Theater in Hollywood, California, proved a welcome vehicle for Joan's talents. She procured roles in The Robe, Fiona in Brigadoon, and My Sister Eileen with actress Joanne Worley.[citation needed] This led to small roles in live television, such as Playhouse 90, Climax! and Westinghouse Studio One with such luminaries as Joan Blondell. These appearances opened the door for her in film and television. Staley's first role in film was a 1958 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Corresponding Corpse."

In early 1958, Lawrence Schiller, a "Life" magazine photographer, approached Staley and asked her to pose for "Playboy." They did a photo shoot together, which resulted in the actual spread used by the magazine. Publisher Hugh Hefner selected her to be Playboy's "Miss November" 1958.[citation needed]

Her first marriage to television director Chuck Staley lasted five years. They had a daughter, Sherrye Dee Staley, born in 1959.

During this time, MGM signed Staley to contract. She was one of the last actresses blessed by the great MGM contract system. Her working experience in the opening credits with Director Vincent Minnelli for Bells Are Ringing, starring Judy Holliday, was, for her, a memorable start to her film career.

Staley enjoyed a film and television career that lasted through the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Her first guest-starring role was on The Untouchables. For her first ongoing series role, she was featured in multiple appearances on the popular sitcom The Tab Hunter Show, where she was widely recognized for her comedic abilities. In 1961, she appeared in several roles in The Lawless Years, a 1920s crime drama starring James Gregory. After The Lawless Years, she enjoyed a recurring role as David Nelson's secretary in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. She went on to guest star on Phil Silvers's sitcom The New Phil Silvers Show. A year later, she co-starred with singer Vic Damone in The Lively Ones for NBC, the summer replacement series for The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show. She was a featured artist in the Elvis Presley movie, Roustabout.

Staley made three additional guest appearances on Perry Mason, including the role of murderer Gina Gilbert in the 1962 episode, "The Case of the Lonely Eloper." She was also featured on episodes of Stoney Burke, Wagon Train, McHale's Navy, The Virginian, Burke's Law and Batman, Maverick, Hawaiian Eye, and Surfside Six, among others. She was also a regular as Hannah, the secretary to series character Stuart Bailey (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.) on the seventh and final season of the ABC/Warner Brothers crime drama, 77 Sunset Strip. One of her favorite roles was a small part in A New Kind of Love, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, in which Staley had a sequence with Newman.

In 1964, she appeared on McHale's Navy and was signed to a Universal Studios contract for the McHale's Navy spin-off Broadside where she co-starred with Kathleen Nolan, Sheila James and Dick Sargent. Her character was Roberta "Honey-Hips" Love, a former stripper who had joined the Navy.

In 1966, she appeared opposite Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. In the same year Staley suffered a serious back injury as a result of a horseback riding accident; she stopped working in films after that and concentrated on television.

She also worked alongside other up-and-coming actors such as Charles Bronson. She joined the cast of William Shatner, David Janssen and Carroll O'Connor in two pilots; unfortunately, neither saw screen time. She co-starred alongside World War II hero Audie Murphy in the action/Western, Gunpoint. Her character sang in one sequence (Staley's own voice), and she was thrilled to have been accompanied by Laurindo Almeida, the famous guitarist.

She married again, in 1967, to Dale Sheets, an executive with MCA. Collectively, the Sheets' have seven children (he contributed three, she contributed one, and they had three together). As of 2013, they had ten grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren.

She and her husband founded International Ventures Incorporated (1969) and continue to manage talent to this day. The Sheets live in Southern California, where Staley is active in consumer affairs, her church and prison ministry.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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