Marian McKnight
McKnight at 1957 Florida Products Festival
Born (1936-12-19) December 19, 1936 (age 87)
Occupation(s)Actress, model
TitleMiss America 1957
PredecessorSharon Ritchie
SuccessorMarilyn Van Derbur
(m. 1958)

Marian McKnight (born December 19, 1936) is an American actress, model and former beauty pageant winner. She was crowned Miss America in 1957.


She earned the 1957 Miss America title with a Marilyn Monroe act in the talent portion. She later worked with Monroe's ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio, for a Virginia supplier of military bases. Despite the contention of Monroe biographer Donald Spoto, McKnight denied that she and DiMaggio were romantically involved.[1][2]


In 1967, McKnight played Jack's mother in Hanna-Barbera's live action version of Jack and the Beanstalk, an Emmy Award-winning film directed by Gene Kelly, in which he also appeared as Jeremy the Peddler. Her voice was dubbed by Janet Waldo so she would sound as well as resemble the animated Princess Serena.[3]

She appeared in an episode of The Love Boat in 1984, along with Jean Bartel, Miss America 1943; Nancy Fleming, Miss America 1961; and Vanessa L. Williams, Miss America 1984.

Personal life

McKnight married actor Gary Conway in 1958 after meeting at UCLA. They have two children (Gareth and Kathleen).

McKnight and Conway are the owners of Carmody McKnight winery.[2][4]


  1. ^ South Carolina's first Miss America, Marian McKnight The Hartsville Messenger, May 20, 2005 (removed from site)
  2. ^ a b Tauber, Michelle; Neill, Mike; Russell, Lisa; Fowler, Joanne; Dam, Julie; Tresniowski, Alex; Miller, Samantha; Dougherty, Steve; Yu, Ting (October 16, 2000). "American Beauties: 80 Years". People.
  3. ^ Jack and the Beanstalk (1967 TV Movie), Full Cast & Crew,
  4. ^ "Miss America: Road to Success or Heartbreak?".
Awards and achievements Preceded bySharon Ritchie Miss America 1957 Succeeded byMarilyn Van Derbur Preceded byMartha Chestnut Miss South Carolina 1956 Succeeded byCecilia Colvert