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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Movie Star Mystery Photo

Dec. 14, 2009, Mystery Photo   
Los Angeles Times file photo

Daria Massey in a photo by Bernard of Hollywood.

“Pretty 18-year-old Daria Massey, a former child actress in such films as ‘The Miracle of Fatima,’ ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams’ and ‘The Iron Mistress,’ has the lead in the first ‘Dr. Christian’ telefilm with Jean Hersholt and Rosemary de Camp. Role is her first as a grownup actress. She plays the part of Derry, a famous Hollywood juvenile star who marries a press agent and comes to River’s End to have her child so that the secret can be kept from the world.”

Please congratulate Arye Michael Bender, Cold in PHX, Jenny M, Richard Heft, Mary Mallory, Cinnamon Carter and Michael Ryerson for identifying her.
Just a reminder on how this works: I post the mystery photo on Monday and reveal the answer on Friday ... or on Saturday if I have a hard time picking only five pictures; sometimes it's difficult to choose. To keep the mystery photo from getting lost in the other entries, I move it from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, etc., adding a photo every day.

I have to approve all comments, so if your guess is posted immediately, that means you're wrong. (And if a wrong guess has already been submitted by someone else, there's no point in submitting it again).

If you're right, you will have to wait until Friday. There's no need to submit your guess five times. Once is enough. The only reward is bragging rights. 

The answer to last week's mystery star: Signe Hasso!

Dec. 15, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo
Update: Daria Massey in a photo published Jan. 24, 1956.

Here’s another photo of our mystery star!

Dec. 16, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: “Her Cup of Tea: Pixie-like Daria Massey, as Jennie Dexter, marries the fabulous ‘Lucky’ Baldwin, who makes his fortune in mining investments in the ‘Death Valley Days’ TV film ‘The Man Who Was Never Licked.’ ”

Here's another picture of our mystery woman!

Dec. 17, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: John Payne and Daria Massey in “The Restless Gun,” Monday, Nov. 3, 1958.

Here's our mystery woman with a [not very] mysterious companion.

Dec. 18, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Daria Massey in a photo published May 17, 1959.

Of course, the biggest mystery about Daria Massey is what became of her. There’s nothing in The Times clips after 1961, when the paper reported that she was married to David Lee Joesting on the set of Jerry Lewis’ “The Ladies Man.”  Her last credit on imdb is a 1963 appearance in “McHale’s Navy.”

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Comments (40)

Veda Ann Borg?

Well, that's John Payne, so my sleuthing has led me to believe it's Daria Massey.

John Payne is easy, could the girl be his daughter Julie Payne?

Daria Massey

Daria Massey?

John Payne and Daria Massey in the episode of his TV show called "Bonner's Squaw."

I think this is Daria Massey. And her not so mysterious companion is John Payne, probably in an episode of The Restless Gun (Bonner's Squaw?).


Yvonne Furneaux?

Hi. Love your blog. Look forward to the mystery photo each week. I found something on Daria Massey online that might help you in finding out what happened to her. Here's the link.

There is a picture of her about halfway down. Not sure how recent that photo is though.

Keep up the good work!

I went through the guest stars of "Restless Gun" last night trying to figure out who this was, and Daria Massey was the only one who fit -- her character's name is "Running Fawn" -- but I was so certain the Mystery Star was a teen actress from the late 1940s that I decided it wasn't Massey at all.

Now I'll never figure out who it was that she reminded me of.

Please re-check your filmography source. Daria Massey did "The Miracle" with a young Roger Moore (The Saint and James Bond) and doesn't show-up in the filmography for "The Miracle of Fatima," or "I’ll See You in My Dreams."

Also she starred under the direction of John Ford {Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), Grapes of Wrath (1940), etc.], and in 1951, starred in Fireside Theater with Hamilton Camp [Heavan Can Wait (1972)], not Rosemary DeCamp (That Girl).

Daria Massey in 2008 still looks beautiful and still has a nice figure. The location was in Studio City, CA at a school reunion. We go back to 1948 through 1954 as High School seniors.

Daria Massey is alive and well and living in Los Angeles, and still quite a looker. I saw her a couple of months ago at her son's house, who is a good friend of mine.

I just saw Daria in "Sea Hunt" last night. What a beauty! Movie goers really lost out when she stopped acting in the early 60's.



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