She was a gorgeous platinum blonde in the tradition of Monroe, Mansfield, and Van Doren but she was nowhere near as popular. Joi Lansing was born Joyce Wassmandorff to Mormon parents in Salt Lake City Utah on April 6, 1929. At about 20 the gorgeous, young, and shapely (36-23-33) model relocated to Hollywood where she was immediately cast in “window dressing” roles in such movies as ‘Easter Parade’ (1948), ‘Blondie’s Secret’ (1948), and `Julia Misbehaves’ (1948). She was crowned Miss Hollywood in 1950 though the title did nothing to further her career and she went back to modeling full time. Later the same year she married and divorced her first husband Columbia Studios executive Jerome Safron in just 4 months. And in early 1951 she eloped with actor Lance Fuller (‘The Bride and The Beast’, ‘This Island Earth’). The same year Joi also returned to films playing minor roles (at least these had names!) in such flicks as ‘FBI Girl’ and ‘On The Riviera’. Due to her incredible looks Joi continued to be cast --- but in miniscule roles, though sometimes she was in big movies like ‘Singing In The Rain’ (1952). She divorced Fuller in 1953.

Then came TV and Joi found better success in the fledgling medium. The 5’5” actress was cast in ‘I Love Lucy’, ‘The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock’, and ‘Four Star Playhouse’, before landing a recurring role as Shirley Swanson on ‘Love That Bob’ (1956-59) with Bob Cummings. The show proved she had acting talent and comic ability. The visibility of the role led to parts on other shows (‘Perry Mason’, ‘Sea Hunt’, ‘Maverick’, 'The Untouchables’, etc) as well as some better roles in films --- she was in the Zsa Zsa Gabor vehicle ‘The Queen of Outer Space’ (1958), as well as ‘Hot Cars’ (1956), ‘So You Think The Grass is Greener’ (1956), ‘The Brave One’ (1956), and ‘Hot Shots’ (1956). Joi also has a brief but important appearance in the Orson Welles’ classic ‘A Touch of Evil’ (1958) as Zita, the girl who hears something ticking in her head at the beginning of the film. In 1959 Joi played Dorine in the film ‘A Hole in the Head’ with Frank Sinatra and Edward G. Robinson. During this period Joi was also the frequent companion of Mr. Sinatra.

Following the end of ‘Love That Bob’ Joi moved onto another series as Goldie on the NBC-TV series ‘Klondike’ (1960-61) with Ralph Taeger. During this period Joi did more television with guest parts on ‘’Make Room for Daddy’, ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ and ‘The Adventures of Superman’ among others. It was also during this period that Joi married her third husband Stan Todd her finance manager. Following this Joi was cast in what would become her most famous role – as gorgeous Gladys Flatt (wife of Lester Flatt) in the popular CBS-TV series ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’. This was Joi’s busiest career period. In 1965 she cut a record album (which included songs written by Stella Stevens!), did some nightclub performing and dinner theatre work, appeared as Lola in the Frank Sinatra-Dean Martin vehicle ‘Marriage on the Rocks’ (1965), and guest-starred on TV shows like ‘The Mothers In Law’ and ‘Petticoat Junction’.

Following this period of work Joi Lansing also made 2 abysmal horror films. The first was the 1967 flick ‘The Hillbillies In The Haunted House’ which concerned the goings on of a group of country-western singers who find themselves spending the night in an spooky old mansion. Joi starred as Boots Malone in this cinematic mess-terpiece, which also starred Ferlin Husky, Merle Haggard, John Carradine, Lon Chaney, and Basil Rathbone. It is pretty much an embarrassment for all concerned. Joi’s second horror flick was ‘Bigfoot’ (1970) in which she played Joi Landis (hmmm). The movie costarred John Carradine and Chris Mitchum. It would also be her final film. In the movie Joi plays a sort of muse/love interest to ‘Bigfoot’ himself – think Faye Wray in the forest. The movie was never released during her lifetime.

In 1970 the Mormon actress (who didn’t drink alcohol, smoke, or consume coffee) was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent removal of the tumor. Joi briefly recuperated, but the cancer returned quickly. Joi Lansing succumbed to the disease on August 7th, 1972 in Santa Monica, CA and was buried in Santa Paula Cemetery. ‘Bigfoot’ was finally released the following year. It was rumored that Frank Sinatra paid her medical expenses after her death.