See Miss USA Winners From the Last 61 Years
Miss USA is set to crown a new beauty queen this Sunday on NBC, but before the next batch of 51 ladies compete for the title, take a moment to look back at some winners from the past. Miss USA — not to be confused with Miss America — was started in 1950 by Catalina Swimwear as a reaction to the reigning Miss America Yolande Betbeze refusing to pose for swimsuit publicity pictures. Early winners had hourglass figures popular at the time, but as time passed, title holders grew progressively slimmer and more athletic. A caption for 1968’s winner, Dorothy Anstett, describes her as “measuring 40-25-36, 5’9”, and weighing 127 lbs.” Modern-day queens like 2002’s Shauntay Hinton and 2004’s Shandi Finnessey had positively ripped physiques — check out the knots of their biceps as they raised their arms in victory.
In its 61 years of existence, Miss USA has enjoyed many success stories along with a few scandals. In 1957, 18-year-old Mary Leona Gage was stripped of her title after it was discovered that not only was she secretly married but also the mother of two children. Kelli McCarty won the pageant in 1991 before seguing into a semi-successful acting career that included a stint on the soap opera Passions; she is now an adult film actress. McCarty was succeeded by Shannon Marketic, who famously filed a lawsuit against the prince of Brunei, alleging she was paid to perform sexual acts for party guests. Kenya Moore won the year after Marketic and now features on the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Two years later, a young Ali Landry took the title before capturing the country’s attention as the Dorito girl in an infamous 1998 Super Bowl commercial. Most recently in the early aughts, Susie Castillo won in 2003 and would go on to host MTV’s TRL. Click ahead to see these women and more, in all of their sash and crowned glory.