Actress Virginia Mayo, Jan. 17She was one of the most beautiful women of her time, yet it was perhaps Virginia Mayo's beauty that kept her talents from being fully appreciated by film critics and audiences, say some who knew the actress well. Mayo died Jan. 17 at a nursing home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., following a year of declining health. She was 84. Rising from chorus girl to feature film star almost overnight, Mayo went on to appear opposite many of the most popular actors of her time, including James Cagney, Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, George Raft, Danny Kaye, Ronald Reagan, Rex Harrison, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. Although many of her films were light escapist fare, she landed two solid dramatic roles -- in 1946's "The Best Years of Our Lives" and 1949's "White Heat" -- and made the most of both of them.
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