An actress who was often referred to as "television's Marilyn Monroe," Joi played the bombshell wife of bluegrass musician Lester Flatt.

The glamorous, buxom blonde was an unlikely wife of the country bumpkin banjo picker from Tennessee. It was a running joke that Gladys and Louise Scruggs (Midge Ware) -- wife of Flatt's music partner Earl Scruggs -- were not worthy of their husbands because neither girl could cook. Comparing their inability to prepare basic foods to the culinary skills of Granny (Irene Ryan) and Pearl (Bea Benaderet), the gorgeous girls felt insecure.

Joi was a rival of Monroe's, as well as two other curvy blondes of that era -- Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren -- but while her contemporaries earned riches and starring roles, somehow fame eluded her.
A starlet in B movies and a veteran of more than 300 appearances in TV episodes in the 1950s and 1960s, Joi was typically cast as a sexpot model or beauty queen. She was frequently outfitted in tight, skimpy, low cut clothes or swimsuits to show off her 36-23-33 figure. However, she never posed nude during her career.

Her acting skills were raw when she broke into show business, but producers didn't care. They hired Joi because they were enamored by her sultry blonde looks and  -- during a time before skinny girls could enhance their chest size with breast implants -- her voluptuous figure. When Joi walked in front of the camera exuding confidence and sex appeal and her physical assets, she immediately stole the scene.

Joi's bikinied body was prominently displayed in ads for the 1965 film "Marriage on the Rocks," yet audiences saw her on the screen for a scant five minutes.

Screenwriter Joseph Dougherty immortalized Joi with the part memoir-part biography "Comfort and Joi: I Spent the Weekend With a Hollywood Starlet" more than 30 years after her death. Doughtery wrote, "she couldn't ruin a movie, she could only improve it by smiling and leaning over."
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Peggy Lipton Julie Barnes "The Mod Squad"
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No. 29
Classic TV Beauties 1960s Countdown
JOI LANSING as Gladys Flatt in "The Beverly Hillbillies"
She was born Joy Brown in Salt Lake City, and she would be later known as Joyce Wassmansdorff.  A girl who blossomed into a woman at a young age, Joi began modeling swimwear when she was only 13, and she signed a contract with MGM at 14.

Joi was a very successful model in the 1940s, landing on the cover of Life magazine in 1949.

She briefly appeared in the classic "Singin' in the Rain" in 1952, and she's also remembered for Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil" (1958), but many of her roles were as walk-ons in fortgettable movies.

Joi's TV credits included a recurring role as model Shirley Swanson  in the Bob Cummings series "All About Bob" (1955-59), and she guest-starred in a variety of series, from Petticoat Junction" to "Maverick" to "Perry Mason."

Joi earned a starring role in the Western series "Klondike" in 1960, but the show lasted only 17 episodes.
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Barbara Feldon "Get Smart" Agent 99
Joi Lansing "The Beverly Hillbillies" Gladys Flatt
Joi Lansing "The Beverly Hillbillies" Gladys Flatt
Joi Lansing "The Beverly Hillbillies" Gladys Flatt
Joi showcased her singing talents in "The Beverly Hillbillies" and she recorded an album and developed into a top nightclub performer in the 1960s..

Joi has been credited for making one of the original music videos in 1965 with her recording of "The Silencer.," a campy song that compares a woman's breasts to a gun. Check out the video on YouTube. Wearing a variety of revealing swimsuits, Joi purrs and teases a young man while she sings, "she's 38 where it's great to be 38."

She was a mature woman (for that era) in her mid-30s, but Joi became one of the favorite pinup models for soldiers during the Vietnam War.

Although known in Hollywood as a party girl who had affairs with Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney and George Raft, Joi never smoked or drank, and she was a devout Mormon.. She practiced yoga for relaxation, and Hollywood columnist Earl Wilson noted that Joi "drinks tiger milk for her health, also goes in the nude swimming for the same.."
Joi Lansing "The Beverly Hillbillies" Gladys Flatt
Joi was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970, and the disease took her life two years later. She was 44..

Her longtime friend, actress Nancy Hunter, aka Rachel Lansing, praised Joi as "an angel and a pure person. Her innocence was never destroyed by the studios."

An admirer of Joi Lansing once observed that if TV history could've been rewritten and Joi, not Dawn Wells' Mary Ann Summers, had been one of the shipwrecked women in "Gilligan's Island," then the glamorous Ginger Grant (Tina Louise), when compared to Joi's sex appeal, would've appeared dowdy and plain.

Joi was a hard working, serious actress who, unfortunately, could never escape the typecast of a dumb blonde so she never rose above playing any role that wasn't eye candy. As Dougherty lamented in his ode to Joi, she will forever be known as an under-appreciated actress remembered only by cinema connoisseurs of that time.
Joi Lansing "The Beverly Hillbillies" Gladys Flatt
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