Ruth Hampton, 74; Former Beauty Queen Became an Actress

From Times Staff Reports

Ruth Hampton, 74, a former beauty queen who appeared in 1950s motion pictures, died Thursday in Merriam, Kan., according to her son, Gregory Hampton Palmer.

He did not give the cause of death.

Born April 25, 1931, Regina Ruth Jane Hampton grew up in New Jersey and became a dancer. She performed with the Philadelphia Civic Ballet and New York’s Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

The winner of several beauty pageants, she was crowned Miss New Jersey in 1952.


After participating in the Miss USA pageant, Hampton moved to Hollywood to become an actress. Her looks made her a natural for Hollywood posters, which are still sought by her fans.

Among other films, Hampton appeared in the 1953 western “Law and Order,” starring Ronald Reagan and Dorothy Malone, and in the 1954 comedy “Ricochet Romance,” starring Marjorie Main and Chill Wills. She moved to Kansas in 1999 and at the time of her death was known as Rene Clary.