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Offstage Archive
People on PNB: October - December 2001

On the Web: A site called the Forbidden Zone of the Planet of the Apes (www.theforbidden-zone.com) features an interview with actress Linda Harrison, a former beauty queen who appeared in the original "Planet of the Apes."

Devon Noel Lee, director of Miss Brazos Valley USA/Brazos Valley Teen USA and co-director of the Mrs. Texas United Nation Pageant, and husband Andy are the proud parents of a new baby daughter, Rachel Abigail Lee, born Dec. 14, 2001. The new father passed up his graduation ceremony at Texas A&M University to be at the hospital for Rachel's birth. The new mother, who was also Miss Palestine 1997 (in the Miss Texas/Miss America system) is the daughter of Penny Geiszler, founder of the influential pageant publication Turn for the Judges.

Kelli McCarty, Miss USA 1991, has been labeled a "porn star" in an article in the Nov. 27, 2001, issue of the National Enquirer. The supermarket tabloid cited some of her recent roles that included nudity and sex scenes. Characterizing these movies as "porn" is open to question, however, considering that many mainstream films now have full nudity and heavy sexual content. And Ms. McCarty is hardly the first former Miss USA to appear au naturel. Miss USA 1995, Shanna Moakler, is the centerfold in the December 2001 issue of Playboy, and Miss USA 1970, Deborah Shelton, has had a number of revealing film roles.

Former Miss Universe Mpule Kwelagobe, a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund, has been chosen as a recipient of the Jonathan Mann award for her work against HIV and AIDS. She will receive the award in Chicago in December 2001. The award is named for Jonathan Mann, who headed AIDS policy at the World Health Organization until his death in a 1998 plane crash. Ms. Kwelagobe is from Botswana, a southern African nation that has been hit hard by AIDS, and she made the disease an important cause during her reign.

Miss Germany Universe 1993, Verona Feldbusch, received the BAMBI Award, Germany´s most important TV award, on Nov. 15, 2001.

Miss United States Teen 2001, Chelsea Cooley, helped open the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 9, 2001. She toured the exchange and also had an opportunity to meet with New York firefighters.

Jay Mann, the veteran broadcaster, publicist and model search entrepreneur, is back onstage. He has recently been seen as master of ceremonies at several prestigious events in the Caribbean. He tells PNB that he is available to work as an emcee throughout the industry.

Canadian pageant scholar Jimmy Steele conducts an interview with a former Miss World on the Global Beauties Web site. It's a must-see for pageant enthusiasts.

The 2002 Ms. World, Effie Horning, LPT, RN, will appear with Martha Stewart at a Nov. 19, 2001, fund-raiser for the San Diego Center for Children. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency in San Diego and will raise funds to build a state-of-the-art kitchen for the center.

Cynthia Pensiero, Mrs. America 1996, has become a licensed Realtor. She has joined Homeward Bound, a division of Helen Adams Realty in Charlotte, N.C.

Frozen out of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Miss America, Katie Harman, will participate in the 6ABC/Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. The Macy's spot went to Miss Universe, Denise Quinones.

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  • Shanna Moakler, who was Miss USA 1995, is the Playmate of the Month in the December 2001 issue of Playboy magazine. Her nude pictorial also features photos from her pageant career. The cover girl for the magazine is actress Gina Lee Nolin, a former Miss Las Vegas.

Donna Williams, owner of the American Productions Pageant System for 26 years, died on Oct. 24, 2001. She had been hospitalized some days earlier due to a heart attack. Her pageants were commonly called Miss American Beauty and Hollywood Showcase pageants.

In a departure from a decades-old tradition, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York will include Miss Universe instead of Miss America in November 2001. The decision by parade organizers to invite Denise Quinones of Puerto Rico surprised the Miss America Organization and disappointed Miss America, Katie Harman of Oregon. Macy's denied a New York Post report that Miss Universe co-owner Donald Trump was behind the change. It said the fact that many New Yorkers are of Puerto Rican extraction made Ms. Quinones an appealing choice. The parade appearance will be especially high-profile this year as New York seeks to recover from September's terrorist attacks.


TV alert

The WB will air an episode of "Felicity" on Oct. 31, 2001, in which the title character competes in a pageant. Check local listings.

Kelly Jahner-Byrne, Mrs. Minnesota International 2001, has become a published author. Her book "Volunteer for Life!" is now available. In October 2001, she will become host of the new "Metro Mix" talk show on Metro Cable Channel 6 in Minnesota.

Holly Campbell-Bradley, All American Woman Plus, was selected to appear on the TV quiz show "The Weakest Link." She was joined by other national pageant titleholders, including Effie Horning, who is Ms. Elegant Worldwide and Ms. World; Shelly Munoz, Ms. Petite US Achievement; Lori Sikorzsky, Mrs. Galaxy; and Diana Santoro, Mrs. US Achievement. The episode will raise money for charities. It was taped on Nov. 1, 2001. Air time has not yet been announced.

After two months in California, model and pageant star Lindy Christopher has landed a featured extra role on the movie "Local Boys." She has auditioned for several other projects and will be one of the subjects on the "MTV True Life Documentary I Am A Beauty Queen," to be aired in 2002.

The WB, an American TV network, is exploring the idea of running its own version of the long-running BBC program "Top of the Pops." It has hired former Miss Teen USA Vanessa Minnillo to be co-host for a pilot program. The British program has run since the early heyday of the Beatles.


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  • The Nov. 1, 2001, issue of Women's Day magazine contains a story on "Mothers Of Invention." Among those featured is Melanie Patterson, a former Mrs. United States and her invention, PIBS, the disposable bib on a roll, which is now being sold in selected Wal-Mart stores.
  • Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995, is to be featured in the December 2001 issue of Playboy magazine.

Pamela Powell, a police officer in Kentucky who was Mrs. Jefferson County Globe 2000, has died. She placed third in the Mrs. Kentucky Globe Pageant and won the Family Values Award.


TV alert

Heidi Rickey, who recently succeeded Katie Harman as Miss Oregon after Ms. Harman was crowned Miss America, will appear on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" on ABC-TV on Oct. 4, 2001. Check local listings. Ms. Rickey, 18, was first runner-up when Ms. Harman won Miss Oregon in July 2001.

Katie Marie Harman, newly crowned as Miss America, will appear on "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox on Sept. 28, 2001, with the hour repeated later. Check local listings.

"The Boca Story," an episode of "The Nanny" will air in the early morning of Oct. 3, 2001 on Fox affiliates in syndication. Among the guests are Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado, and Brook Lee, who was Miss USA at the time of the program and went on to become Miss Universe.

Gloria Almonte, Miss New York Teen USA, is mourning the loss of an uncle, firefighter Angel Juarbe, in the World Trade Center attack. She would be honored if donors to the Firefighters' Fund make the donation in his memory.

Holly Lee Henderson, who has held numerous beauty titles in Wisconsin, including Miss Junior Wisconsin 1989, Miss Wisconsin World America 1993 and Miss Southeastern Wisconsin 1995, has announced her engagement to Minnesota executive Matthew Ernst. They will marry on Dec. 15, 2001, and will reside in Minnesota. Her mother, Bonnie, is the former state director of the Junior Wisconsin pageant program.

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  • The October 2001 issue of "People en Español" features a myriad of stories related to the pageant world, including:

    "At Home with Marc Anthony and Dayanara Torres" (Miss Universe 1993); 

    "The Latest Style" featuring Viviana Gibelli, a former Miss Venezela contestant, now a popular talk show host across Latin America and in the United States; 

    "Pasarela" (Fashion trends), featuring Miss New York USA 1994, Jennifer Gareis, and Miss World Venezuela 1975, Maria Conchita Alonso, sporting the same Christina Perrin dress. Both women have gone on to success in the entertainment industry.
  • Laura Harring, Miss USA 1985, is on the cover of "Cosmopolitan en Español" magazine's September 2001 issue. A three-page article inside talks about the former national titleholder's year as Miss USA and her success as an actor.
  • The Sept. 25, 2001, issue of the American tabloid Star has a story about the flamboyant lifestyle of Darcy LaPier, who has been married to several prominent men, including Hawaiian Tropic founder Ron Rice.

Dr. Lori Sikorszky, president of Coronation, Inc., has announced that the Miss American Achievement and Miss Universal Achievement programs will be changing hands. Kimberly Heaton, former Miss Utah Achievement state director and reigning Miss Utah Achievement 2001, will take over the national directorship of both. Dr. Sikorszky, a psychiatrist and health care administrator, cited the "increasing demands" of her professional life. She has been a major force in bringing other professional women into pageant competition. She lauded Ms. Heaton, who has been with the program from the beginning, as an ideal successor.
More news ...

Melanie Patterson, the inventor of Pibs, the disposable bib, is calling for women in all Mrs. pageant systems to help her on national Make a Difference Day. She plans to distribute bibs to homeless babies across the United States, and wants pageant volunteers. The day is Oct. 27, 2001. Mrs. Patterson was Mrs. United States 1993.

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