Mara Corday: Cult of the Buxom

Born Marilyn Joan Watts on 3rd January 1930 in Santa Monica, California. As a small child, Corday adored the silver screen, securing a job as an usherette aged 13. Corday began her show biz career as a showgirl. Like so many past and future show girls, modelling work featured strongly for Corday, as we will see later. In this instance it lead directly to her beloved silver screen. Her first ever appearance was as a showgirl (what a master stroke of casting!) in ‘Two Tickets to Broadway’, 1951.  Signed to Universal Pictures, she appeared as mostly in small roles in B-movies and television. Through her Universal connection, she meet Clint Eastwood, proving to be loyal friend when needed.Not exactly on the path to leading lady splendour, but it was steady work. By 1955 Corday bagged her first leading role in Sci Fi flick ‘Tarantula’, her biggest break was yet to come to fruition. A western, this time ‘The Black Scorpion’ earning her plenty of acclaim for her acting chops. Like a lot of beautiful women, Corday was hindered from really pushing herself, to expand her range as an actress. Just another pretty face in an ocean of prettiness.

Thanks to her buxom build and beautiful face, Corday secured steady work as a pin up model. At one point Corday was the most photographed model in the world, with a whopping 50,000 pictures taken of her! Her pin up peak came in 1958, when she was was added to the long litany of playmates for Playboy magazine (October was her month incidentally).

Unlike many Hollywood love lives Corday, appeared to buck the trend of doomed affairs. She meet husband Richard Long on the set of ‘Playgirl’ in 19full54, marrying in 1957. Electing to raise her family rather than progress with her showbiz career, she retired from acting. All was well until Long’s death in 1974, forcing Corday to return to the limelight. Old friend, Eastwood offered her small roles in 1977’s ‘The Gauntlet’ but her most significant Eastwood part was ‘Sudden Impact’. Notice the waitress for is spooning sugar into Dirty Harry’s coffee during his iconic ‘Go ahead make my day’ scene. That’s Corday, for a B-movie actress this cinematic gold. Her last feature (another Eastwood film) was ‘The Rookie’ in 1990.

Corday currently runs her own company Argosy Productions. Besides her beauty, Corday actually managed her career extremely well. Even though she never really reached her full potential as an actress, she worked steadily and hard. Leaving an impressive collection of stunning pin ups and a little 50’s B-movie kitsch. Not bad for a ‘B-Girl’.


mara corday siren

mara stockings

mara wow



  1. Nice to hear about someone who worked hard, raised a family and had some fun success along the way. Definitely a “looker”! 😀

    1. Indeed, she was a one off!

  2. Some great trivia about her I didn’t know — thank you !

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed Mara’s entry!

  3. Wonderful post! Here’s my appreciation of this under-appreciated actress:

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