Virginia Clara Jones was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 30, 1920. Virginia began taking lessons at a dance studio at age 6. She graduated from high school in 1937. Virginia became a member of the St. Louis Municipal Opera.
Virginia entered show business as a chorus girl; she danced in movies such as "Follies Girl" (1943) . Virginia was then signed by producer Samuel Goldwyn of MGM, who featured her as a Goldwyn Girl in "Up in Arms" (1944) with Danny Kaye. Goldwyn teamed Virginia with Danny Kaye 4 more times: in "Wonder Man" (1945), "The Kid from Brooklyn" (1946), "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (1947), and "A Song Is Born" (1948) -- Virginia went from being a chorus girl to being a big Hollywood star.
Besides musicals and comedies, Virginia was cast in serious movies, too -- she gave a great performance as a supporting actress in the Oscar-winning movie "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), which won 9 Academy Awards.
In 1947, Virginia married actor Michael O'Shea (1906-1973), whom she first met during the filming of "Jack London" (1943) in which Michael had the title role. (Michael had just divorced his first wife, Grace Watts, in 1947; they had 2 children.) Virginia and Michael had a daughter, Mary Catherine, in 1953. Virginia and Michael remained married until his death in 1973.
Warner Bros. made Virginia a better offer in 1948, and stole her away from MGM; WB gave her the starring role in "Smart Girls Don't Talk" (1948). WB then starred Virginia in a wide variety of roles, including Westerns, high-seas adventures, and crime dramas-- in addition to the comedies and musicals that had made Virginia famous, such as the smash hit "She's Working Her Way Through College" (1952).
Virginia appeared in over 40 movies in the 1940s and 1950s. She only appeared in 4 movies in the 1960s, and 4 movies in the 1970s. Virginia made 9 TV guest appearances from 1958-1997, and was a regular in the soap opera "Santa Barbara" (1984) TV series playing Peaches DeLight. Virginia appeared in 2 movies in the 1990s, her last being "The Man Next Door" (1997).
Virginia has 3 grandsons and she enjoys being a loving grandmother to them. Her favorite hobby is painting, primarily in oils and watercolors. Virginia Mayo is retired from showbiz, and sends her best wishes to all her fans.
Sadly, Virginia passed away on January 17, 2005. We all miss her.