Miss America 1941 (9-6-41)



Miss America 1941
Rosemary LaPlanche of California

1st runner-up
Roselle Marie Hannon of Pennsylvania (West)

2nd runner-up
Jean Fidelis Cavanaugh of Washington, DC

3rd runner-up
Lillian Helena O’Donnell of New York (Westchester County)

4th runner-up
Joey Augusta Paxton of North Carolina

Top 15

  • Virginia McGraw of Alabama (Birmingham)
  • Mitzi Strother of Florida
  • Esther Bette Shepard of Georgia
  • Dorothy Slatten of Kentucky
  • Gerry Marcoux of Michigan
  • Grace DeWitt of New York (NYC)
  • Janice Sulzman of Ohio
  • Mifaunwy Dolores Shunatona of Oklahoma
  • Jacquelyn McWin of Virginia
  • Betty Ann Miller of Wisconsin


Lifestyle and Fitness

  • Rosemary LaPlanche of California
  • Dorothy Slatten of Kentucky
  • [tie] Joey Augusta Paxton of North Carolina
  • [tie] Lillian Helena O’Donnell of New York (Westchester County)


  • Virginia McGraw of Alabama (Birmingham)
  • Joey Augusta Paxton of North Carolina
  • Roselle Marie Hannon of Philadelphia (West)

Miss Congeniality
Mifaunwy Dolores Shunatona of Oklahoma

The Pittsburgh Press (September 7, 1941)


Atlantic City, NJ, Sept. 6 (UP) –
Miss Rosemary LaPlanche, a 19-year-old Los Angeles blonde, was tonight chosen Miss America 1941 before a crowd of 24,000 wildly approving spectators in Atlantic City’s Convention Hall.

Miss LaPlanche is 5’5½" tall and weighs 120 pounds. She has hazel eyes and a fair complexion.

The new Miss America tap dances and once won a beauty contest at Redondo Beach, Cal.

Miss LaPlanche has no special hobby but she likes to cook – her favorite dish is barbecued lamb. Her favorite sport is swimming.

The California beauty has ambition toward a motion picture, theatrical or radio career.

The Pittsburgh Press (September 8, 1941)


Miss America 1941 says she hopes to get into pictures; she’ll be heard in play with Raft

Atlantic City, NJ, Sept. 8 (UP) –
Miss Rosemary LaPlanche, 19, appearing every bit as “Miss America 1941” should appear, speaks:

My goal, of course, is pictures.

Miss LaPlanche came here from Los Angeles to win the Miss America title on her second try. She was runner-up last year. Runner-up this year was Miss Roselle Hannon of Pittsburgh who was entered in the contest as Miss Western Pennsylvania.

Miss LaPlanche, who is a blonde, 5’5½" tall and weighs 120 pounds, has no boyfriend.

She said:

I’m out for a career. I think that marrying can come later. I plan to marry if I find the right one, but not for a long, long time.

She added:

My favorite type is blonde and athletic.

Her career appeared to be well on its way, with some $10,000 in contracts already lined up for the coming year, including endorsements, modeling and personal appearances.

She will make her first appearance Wednesday night as guest star on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in a dramatic skit with movie star George Raft as her hero.

Miss LaPlanche wants it known that she is no “dumb blonde,” and boasted a little of her accomplishments in two years at the University of Southern California.

She said:

I got straight A’s.

She was a little more naive about her beauty.

My sister Louise is much more beautiful than I am. She’s dark and is under contract to Paramount.

Asked if she had won any beauty contests as a child, Miss LaPlanche turned to her mother and said:

Mother, was I a cute baby?

Her mother reassured her:

You were a very cute baby.

She is still a very cute baby.