Myrna Hansen (born August 5, 1934) is an American actress, model and beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss USA 1953.
Hansen is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond E. Hansen.She graduated from Carl Schurz High School in Chicago, Illinois, in June 1953. Prior to competing in the 1953 Miss Universe contest, Hansen planned to study animal husbandry in Colorado. She had already mailed her tuition for admission to college, aspiring to become a veterinarian.
Hansen was chosen Miss Photoflash of 1953 by the Chicago Press Photographers Association.She was entered in the Miss USA contest by virtue of winning this title. She was 5’7″ tall and weighed 125 pounds. Her measurements included a 37 – inch bust, 25 – inch waist, and 35 – inch hips. By the end of 1955 her bust had increased by an inch. Her measurements read 38 – 25 – 33. She is a blond with brown eyes.
For winning the Miss USA crown Hansen was awarded a Hillman Minx convertible, a Universal Pictures contract, and a $2,500 diamond wrist watch. She also received an ornate trophy presented by Ruth Hampton, actress, and 1952 Miss New Jersey. Hansen was presented with a solid silver and gold replica of the crown on the Statue of Liberty. A gigantic loving cup was also among the prizes she won.
After winning the Miss Illinois USA crown, Hansen, from Chicago, went on to become Illinois’s first representative to capture the Miss USA title. She was chosen as runner-up in the Miss Universe contest of 1953. Hedda Hopper reported in March 1954 that Hansen should have been awarded the Miss Universe title. The winner, Christiane Martel of France, was exposed as having been only seventeen when she won.
In January 1954 Hansen accompanied Martel in the sixty-fifth annual Tournament of Roses Parade. They were aboard the float entitled American Heritage. It was an entry of the city of Long Beach, California. Adorned by cupids and thousands of white orchids and chrysanthemums, the float captured the sweepstakes prize.
Hansen negotiated a new seven-year contract with Universal in August 1954. The agreement stipulated that her salary would start at $200 weekly, with options to $900 a week. As a minor she was required to purchase a $25 U.S. savings bond weekly.When she turned 21 in August 1955, she claimed $2,400 in bonds, which had been held for her at the Los Angeles County clerk’s office.
Soon after her contract was negotiated, Hansen filmed The Purple Mask (1955). Her character, Constance de Voulois, was one of three female spies in the film. The setting was France after the French Revolution. She followed this project with a role as the fiancee of Jack Kelly in Cult of the Cobra (1955). She played a showgirl in Party Girl (1958), a film which featured Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse. Her final parts in movies were roles in Goodbye Charlie (1964) and Black Caesar (1973).
In December 1955 Hansen made her television debut on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. She appeared on the screen for eight minutes of the CBS-TV show. This was longer than her total time on screen in the fifteen movies she had made. Hansen was featured in two additional appearances as the love interest of Ronnie Burns (actor).
She performed in episodes of The Thin Man (1957), Hawaiian Eye (1960), 77 Sunset Strip (1960), Westinghouse Playhouse (1960), Straightaway (1962), and Green Acres (1971).
In 1959 Hansen did advertising for Coppertone sun tan lotion as a model.