You Might Have Forgotten These Beauty Queens, But They’re Still Turning Heads

Carol Morris – Miss Universe, 1956

Carol Morris might look different in her 80s, but she is still breaking the glass ceiling by being active in the Miss Iowa contest that ushered her way to success back in 1956. The gorgeous model lives in Texas with her husband and children. We are sure that the slow life makes her think of days gone by, like her time in the TV and movie arena. She used to steal hearts in fan-favorite films such as Crazy Love as part of the package that comes with beauty throne triumph. You wouldn’t be wrong by saying her modeling job and acting career was also a smooth success.

Marlene Schmidt – Miss Universe, 1961

Marlene Schmidt competed on the ramp by chance and was followed by luck. The lovely Master’s Engineering holder was the only German who won the top beauty spot in the world. She later focused on developing a movie career after almost two decades of her reign as Miss Universe, 1961. She has credits for eleven productions as writer, producer, and actress. Whereas they did not gain much applaud, titles such as They are Playing With Fire, The Stepmother and Kidnapped sparked people to watch them, genuinely for Marlene’s stunning looks. The golden ager looks much different than her glory days, but she is happily retired back in her homeland.

Margareta Arvidsson – Miss Universe, 1966

Margareta Arvidsson managed to become an international model ever since her endorsement from the popular Ford Modelling Agency. The contract was no brainer since the supermodel won the Miss Photogenic title at age 18 with the crown in the 1966 Miss Universe Pageant. Before the crown, Margareta was slaying on movies such as Slayground. When she grabbed her title, the blue-eyed beauty received a lot of love and support from the crowds. Arvidsson made a comeback looking stunning as always at the Sweden pageant’s 50th anniversary as the guest of honor after a hiatus from the glam during her marriage.

Anne Marie Pohtamo – Miss Universe, 1975

The blonde stunner captured the crown in 1975’s pageant in El Salvador. Anne could not be crowned by her predecessor since tradition holds because the former winner, Amparo Munoz, had resigned before completing her reign. Years after the win, the beauty queen pursued a movie and modeling career that worked well for her. Even though she is off the spotlight now in her 60s and, of course, a full-time mom of four kids, you would not be wrong to think that she maintains her golden smile and gorgeous blonde curls. If only we could see her now!

Rina Messinger – Miss Universe, 1976

Rina Messinger, now using her last name Mor, is a loving mother of two and works in a private company in her homeland, Israel, in public relations.
The smart lawyer is still turning heads today as she did during her reign in 1976 as Miss Universe with her signature dark blonde hair. Rina is a real beauty with brains; she is an accomplished attorney with work experience at Israel Bonds in New York, and her pageantry’s life was turned into a book in the ‘80s. The star appeared as a revered judge on Miss Israel for years.

Margaret Gardiner – Miss Universe, 1978

Marget Gardiner was the first South African to be crowned as the world’s most beautiful. By then, she was just 18 years old. She received her crown from the first woman of color to win the pageant. How iconic is that! Today Gardiner is an active member of the Golden Globes presenting, Hollywood Foreign Press Association. She studied Psychology and has author credits for two books on beauty and health. The LA journalist is still slaying with her green eyes only getting brighter with each day passing by.

Maritza Sayalero – Miss Universe, 1979

Maritza Sayalero’s beauty and poise shone through when she was crowned Miss Universe, 1979, along with a few minor ones. But what people may never be able to forget is how the stage collapsed soon after, with crowds rushing to congratulate the new beauty queen. Maritza splendor became a legacy in Venezuela, with ships and babies being named after her. Today the mother of three lives a quieter life with her tennis player husband, Raul Ramirez, in Baja, California. She also used to operate a quaint boutique in the same city, where she sold her own designs.

Shawn Nichols Weatherly – Miss Universe, 1980

Shawn Weatherly is popular for her million-dollar smile, hair, and perfect figure. Leading with huge margins every step of the way, Shawn winning the miss universe 1980 title was an easy prediction. With roles in Police Academy and Baywatch, she had one of the successful acting careers for a beauty queen. Even in her 60s, she is still turning heads with her stunning looks. Shawn settled down with Chip Harris, a biotech mogul, after high-profile romances with prominent Hollywood celebs.

Irene Lailene Sáez Conde – Miss Universe, 1981

Irene Saez Conde, former Venezuela, grabbed the Miss Universe title in 1981. She used her platform’s connections and power to her advantage and ventured in politics soon after. Serving as a state governor of Esparta, and a mayor of the wealthy town of Chacao, she has accomplished what most people fail to achieve in the political arena. She even formed her own party, called IRENE for the 1998 presidential elections, and contested. Irene is still stunning as ever while serving on many director boards in Miami, Florida.

Yvonne Ryding – Miss Universe, 1984

Before appearing on the Miss Universe, Yvonne Ryding was a National Lucia Bride, soccer player, and nurse in Sweden. She has aged so gracefully that no one can suspect she is approaching her 60s. The blue-eyed beauty joined the fashion industry after her win and even opened her own skincare line named Y.Riding. It is no surprise she still maintains her baby-smooth skin perfectly. Ryding moved back to Sweden after experiencing homesickness and has appeared on many TV shows like Melodifestivalen and Let’s Dance, as both a host and participant.

Porntip Nakhirunkanok – Miss Universe, 1988

Porntip Nakhirunkanok has a gorgeous smile that can win anybody’s heart in a flash. So it did not come as a surprise when she was crowned Miss Universe in 1988. Even though it was an easy prediction for some, Nakhirunkanok made a mark in history as the second Thai woman to grab the title of Miss Universe. Today, she is known as Bui Simon. Even in her 50s, this Oriental beauty still has an impeccable figure than most women can only dream of. Bui founded many endowments, including the Angel Wings Foundation, that empowers underprivileged children and their education in Thailand. 

Mona Grudt – Miss Universe, 1990

Mona Grudt might be the beauty from Hell, but her looks were undoubtedly heavenly. The beauty queen is the only Norwegian who has gotten hold of the Miss Universe title and has been in the spotlight since then. The brunette model hosted season 7 of her local Next Top Model show and served as a judge for later beauty pageants. Grudt has guest-starred in Satar Trek, The Next Generation, and is currently the editor of a Norwegian wedding magazine, Ditt Bryllup. One thing that we can all agree that has not changed over the years is her striking grey-brown eyes. They are still captivating as ever!

Lupita Jones – Miss Universe, 1991

Lupita Jones is in her 50s but still looks like a 20s gal. Then again, she is one of the respected women in the beauty industry, being the national director for Miss Universe Mexico. Jones has been a producer for Nuestra Belleza Mexico from 1994 and has produced three winners for popular global pageants, including Miss International. The pageant beauty is certainly beautiful both inside and outside since her pageant project was committed to helping mistreated girls in Mexico. We adore her work as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador. And do you know, she has been doing that for over two decades!

Michelle McLean – Miss Universe, 1992

Michelle McLean was crowned as Miss Universe in 1992. She uses her title and international diadem for the benefit of the less fortunate. The beauty funded the development of McLean Primary School, in the early 2000s, in Namibia, which supports the health care and education of thousands of underprivileged children.  This rare beauty has quite a resume. She is a professional life coach, a popular media influencer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Damn! We must agree, no one could have been a better person for this title.

Sushmita Sen – Miss Universe, 1994

Sushmita Sen won the title of Femina Miss India in the mid-90s. She also won Miss Universe’s title at the age of 18, making her the first Indian to win the big salutation. Since then, Sushmita has acted in several Bollywood movies, including Main Hoon Na and Aankhen. In 2016, she was a judge on the same national pageant that paved the way to her success. Even though the beauty queen is in her 40s, her glow has not diminished at all, and her salient eyes are still captivating.

Yoseph Alicia Machado Fajardo – Miss Universe, 1996

Yoseph Alicia Farajardo was a performer at a very young age before her venture on Miss Universe. Maybe that is the reason she was super confident on stage as she competed for the immense title. Even though it was a hit in the Venezuelan Agent culture, the brown-eyed beauty refused to get plastic surgery during her pageant training. Given her ethereal beauty, she certainly did not need it. After her big win, she started her career in acting and appeared in a Spanish soap opera, La Granja de Los Famosos, and other comedic melodramas. It is not a wonder she gained immense popularity in many countries.

Wendy Fitzwilliam – Miss Universe, 1998

Wendy Marcelle Fitzwilliam was crowned as the Miss Universe in 1998. The beauty pageant studied to become a lawyer, but destiny would bring her the world’s biggest stages. She was the second woman to win the big salutation from Trinidad and Tobago. During her reign as the beauty queen, she advocated for HIV Aids awareness. As a result of her incredible activism, Wendy was also given the UNAIDS and UNFPA goodwill ambassador title for UNICEF. She also promoted the ‘Clear Essence Skin Care,’ and who knows, the skin might just be the secret behind her skin glow!

Justine Pasek – Miss Universe, 2002

Even though Justine Pasek was crowned after the original winner of Miss Universe, 2002 was de-throned, there is no denying her ethereal beauty.  The Polish-Panamanian diva has since been using her platform for the greater good, with charitable causes globally, including visiting American soldiers in Guantanamo Bay. The star even set up an HIV/AID center in Panama, first of its kind. Justine promoted the CDC’s Act Now Campaign, and being a Christian Dior Model; she doesn’t appear to have aged at all since she was crowned.

Natalie Glebova – Miss Universe, 2005

You would be forgiven to think of Natalie Glebova as an angelic vision dressed in a captivating white gown during the 2005 Miss Universe Pageant. Natalie has used her title’s powers for nothing but a good cause, including saving street pooches and HIV/AIDS awareness across the world. The brunette enchantress has traveled widely to serve on various humanitarian projects. She is a huge inspiration to the youth of Thailand, via her Empowered You program at the University of Bangkok. She has also shown her adventurous side, in The Amazing Race-Asia edition. Since 2016, the beauty has found her perfect match in Mister Panama, Dean Kelly.

Riyo Mori – Miss Universe, 2007

The Japanese beauty has starred in many VHI and MTV reality shows since being crowned miss universe, 2007. In 2019 Roi was a Miss Universe pageant judge, and she even looked fabulous than her crowning moment. Roi exudes grace like no other since she has been a dancer all her life. Surely, she would be a great dance teacher when she is not on the screen. Roi ventures in philanthropy and humanitarian causes across many counters. And don’t we all adore this self-professed samurai-soul for it?