Joan O'Brien

It Happened At The World's Fair, 1963

Born: February 14, 1936 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Husband(s): Jack Myers (1957 - ?)
Harvey Allen (1963?)

In It Happened At The World's Fair, Joan O'Brien played a nurse. In fact, in about half the films she ever made, Joan O'Brien played a nurse.

Leaving her steady job as a singer on Bob Crosby's TV show in 1957, Joan decided to try her luck as an actress. A role in Handle With Care (1958), served to get Joan initiated. Probably her most memorable appearance was in her second film, Blake Edwards' Operation Petticoat (1959), as the nurse who gets in everyone's way because of the tight confines of a submarine and Joan's (ahem) proportions. Because of her, Cary Grant becomes the first navy officer to sink a truck! Joan then appeared in two John Wayne westerns, The Alamo, and The Comancheros, before making another comedy. It's Only Money (1962), finds Joan playing a nurse again, this time with Jerry Lewis.

As nurse Diane Warren in It Happened At The World's Fair, Joan plays hard to get with Elvis as he goes to great lengths to see her, finally resorting to the tactic of having a young Kurt Russell kick him in the shins. Elvis then proceeds to woo the lady, of course, and --- (oh no! I spoiled the ending for you!!) Joan sings a few lines of "Happy Ending" with Elvis at the conclusion. However, both stars had to yield to little Vicky Tiu, who played Sue Lin, as the real scene-stealer. (Most Elvis fans assume she is the same girl that appears as the older sister in Girls, Girls, Girls, but that is actually her sister Ginny Tiu. The younger sister in that film is played by Elizabeth Tiu.)
Joan's next and final film was another teen-movie, Get Yourself A College Girl (1964). This one boasts three other "Elvis-Women" as costars: Nancy Sinatra, Chris Noel and Mary Ann Mobley. Throw in some music by the Animals and The Dave Clark Five, and you've got a swingin' sixties classic, right?.... Wrong. It's a bomb. Joan called it quits after this one, too, and that's a cryin' shame! It would've been interesting to see what she would've done through the next few decades, but she apparently quit acting to concentrate on her family, and later was an executive with Hilton Hotels.

Joan Links

Joan & Elvis with director Norman Taurog
on the set of It Happened At The
World's Fair

Joan Photos

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with Ken Curtis
in The Alamo

atop the Space Needle
with Elvis

"Nurse, I got somethin'
in my eye!"

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