Click image to enlarge
| Download archival scan
Saugus Speedway trophy girl Amedee Chabot, 17, is crowed Miss California in July 1962 (above). In September she won the Miss USA competition, and she finished 8th in the Miss World finals in London in November.
8x10 Associated Press wire photo. Cutline reads:
(LA3) Los Anglees, July 28  — Miss California — Blue-eyed blonde Amedee Chabot, 17, of the Newhall-Saugus area, poses with her trophy in Los Angeles last night after she was named Miss
California in preliminary competition for the Miss World contest. Miss Chabot will join Linda Kennon, previously named Miss Los Angeles, in the September competition for Miss United States
at Huntington, W.Va. Miss USA will then compete in London for the Miss World crown.
Newspaper reporters understandably misinterpreted Chabot's identification with Saugus, Calif., to mean she hailed from the Newhall-Saugus area (Santa Clarita Valley). She didn't. She lived in Northridge and attended high school in Tarzana. She was enrolled in the John Robert Powers modeling school in Sherman Oaks, which provided trophy girls to the races at Bonelli Stadium, aka Saugus Speedway. Somehow or another, the Miss San Fernando Valley competition held at the Speedway in May 1962 was a qualifier for Miss California.
After making the rounds as Miss USA in 1962-63 and touring with Bob Hope, Chabot (as Amadee Chabot) enjoyed a successful albeit short-lived film career — in Mexico. For a time in the mid-late 1960s, Mexican film producers were casting blonde bathing beauties in Elvis-type movies, which were as popular abroad as they were in the United States.
Chabot ended up in Merced, California, where she went into real estate in 1988 (as Joy Chabot) and became a licensed Realtor in 1998. From her website (written in both first and third person):
I appeared in 23 Mexican features in three years, generally casting as gringa, stereotyped as sexy outsiders. I myself, Amedee Chabot (I was frequently billed as "Amadee Chabot" or "Amedée Chabot" in Mexico) was born in Chicago in the year 1945. Sometime later, I moved to Northridge, California, and in 1962 was chosen "Miss California." I participated in the "Miss U.S.A." contest and on the 22nd of September 1962 I won the crown in Huntington, Virginia. I later went on to represent the United States in the "Miss World" contest that year in London and made it to the finals of that competition, held in November.
Later in 1962, I was part of Bob Hope's annual Christmas tour of military bases, visiting Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines and Guam. I was with many other people on the tour such as Lana Turner, Janis Paige, Anita Bryant, and Hope stalwarts Jerry Colonna and the Les Brown Band of Renown.
My first Mexican film was shot in May 1966, the Santo-Jorge Rivero spy adventure "El Tesoro de Moctezuma" in which she had the female lead as Rivero's love interest, an Interpol agent. Ironically, Elizabeth Campbell had been featured in "Operación 67," which "Tesoro" was a sequel to. "Bañame mi Amor," shot in the later summer of 1966, teamed Chabot with the Texas-born Emily Cranz, an actress and dancer who had been working in Mexico for a number of years. Amedee's final film of 1966 was "Autopsia de un Fantasma," which starred three former Hollywood "names:" Basil Rathbone (his last film), John Carradine and Cameron Mitchell.
What brought me to Mexico? At this point, I don't know. However, it was undoubtedly a good career move for me. After playing bit roles in routine Hollywood pictures, I was given substantial parts in Mexico, and work was plentiful: I acted in 10 features in 1967 and 10 more in 1968, even though my dialogue was virtually always dubbed. (In Operación Carambola my real voice can be heard in one scene; otherwise, although in many of my pictures I seem to have been speaking my lines in Spanish during filming — based on the movements of my lips — my voice was over-dubbed by others.)
The Mexican movies I starred in were mostly comedies, with a number of action films and Westerns in the mix. Her most "serious" picture was "Narda o el Verano," basically a three-person drama with Chabot as the romantic interest for Enrique Alvarez Félix and Héctor Bonilla.
Click to enlarge.
Beauty Queen to be Chosen at Auto Races.
Los Angeles Times | Thursday, May 31, 1962.
SAUGUS — One hundred laps of late-model stock car racing will be combined with judging of the Miss San Fernando Valley beauty pageant at Saugus Stadium Friday night.
First warm-up laps will be run at 6:30 p.m. with judging of the eighth annual beauty contest at 7:15 p.m. Time trials begin at 8:15 p.m. with the first race at 9.
Twelve girls are finalists in the beauty contest, according to George Bruce of Van Nuys, pageant chairman. Runner-up will be named Miss Saugus Stadium.
Feature race will be a 50-lap event with Ron Hornaday of San Fernando, who won the race last year, as the favorite. Hornaday and his teammate. Eddie Gray, will drive 1962 Fords.
Gray is 1961 Pacific Coast champion of National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.
Gray and Hornaday are ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the association's 1962 point standings.
Others entered are Denny Letner, Don Noel, Eddie Pagan, Jim Cook, Denny Weinberg, Bob Perry, Biil Clifton and Marvin Porter.
Click to enlarge.
The Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise | Thursday, August 2, 1962.
The typical frenzy that accompanies beauty contests and completely destroys any inclination that press agents might have for facts was evident in early LA. metropolitan news releases. The truth is, the lovely Amedee grew up and attended the schools of Tarzana, not Saugus High School. And when her queen candidacy was rejected by that community, she chose the Newhall-Saugus banner because the Pacific Racing Association jalopy contests at Bonelli stadium was a rendezvous for her favorite sport.
Amedee, who stands 5'8", weighs 120 and measures 36-21-34, lives at 17451 Raymer St, Northridge. As "Miss California" she will represent the state in the Miss United States contest at Huntington, W.Va., beginning Sept. 23. From there she hopes to go to London for the "Miss World" competition in November.
'Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much!'
(Bridgeport, Conn.) Sunday Herald | November 25, 1962.
Click to enlarge.
Connecticut beauties have usually enjoyed good fortune in this country when taken into tow by the stale's foremost impresario of pulchritude, Alfred Patricelli, promoter-manager of beauty contests, often described as "The Merchant of Venus."
But his American beauties have had notoriously bad luck when he's taken them to London and enrolled them in the annual Miss World contest.
When his most recent pride and joy, Amadee Chabot, 17, who won the Miss U.S.A. contest, which he conducted in September, came in eighth and last in a field of eight international beauties the other day, Patricelli blew his top and homburg hat and cried: "This is the biggest robbery since Jesse James!"
The judges preferred [Catharina] Lodders, 20, a green-eyed, 37-23-37 brunet fashion model from Holland.
Said Catharina modestly:
"I don't think I'm the most beautiful girl in the world but I'm the most beautiful girl here!"
The judges agreed — but not Connecticut promoter-manager Patricelli.
Under the discerning eyes of such distinguished beauty experts as American comedian Bob Hope (whose integrity had never before been questioned) and Mrs. [Jennifer] Armstrong-Jones (stepmother of Princess Margaret's husband Tony), the eight finalists paraded in London for the title of Miss World.
When green-eyed Miss Lodders of Holland was chosen, Miss Chabot (Miss U.S.A.) burst into tears and her green-eyed manager, Patricelli, burst at the seams.
"We've been robbed," he cried. "My girl should have at least placed in the first five."
Patricelli, and expert at throwing verbal brickbats when he doesn't get his way, has been the target for bitter criticism in this state.
Smarting under an attack six years ago by New London Mayor James May, who charged the preliminary Miss Universe beauty contest staged in New London was operated by Patricelli in a fashion unfair to local girls, the promoter declared:
"I am banning Mayor May. In the future he will not be permitted to serve as a judge at my beauty contests!"
Mayor May shot right back at Patricelli:
"He's a little too late. I wouldn't even DREAM of serving as a judge in a contest such as the one run off in New London which is manifestly unfair to our local girls."
Patricelli, who was previously drummed out as promoter of Miss America contests in Connecticut, has been running the Miss Universe contests in the state and the Miss U.S.A. competitions.
When winners are chosen, he then becomes their personal manager.
Estranged from his wife in Hamden, Patricelli has been living and operating from a base in Bridgeport in recent years.
The bane of Patricelli's existence as a beauty pageant promoter has been the reluctance of local girls to enter his contests in their home town.
He has had to import the contestants from other towns.
Displaced beauties, they're usually called.
Through the years you read of a Miss So-and-So of New Haven or a Miss such-and-such of West Hartford winning the Miss Stasmford or Miss Bridgeport title, but seldom is heard the encouraging word of a local girl winning a beauty title on her home range.
Once a pretty Bridgeport girl entered a Patricelli beauty contest in her home town, and after going through her paces on the runway, her bathing suit was spotted as missing from the stock of a local store.
Her case came up in City Court, but she got off with a suspended sentence when she returned the bathing suit.
Things like this can be very disconcerting to Promoter Patricelli.
But running beauty contests is his life — his livelihood — his everything.
Staging beauty pageants is a seasonal task for most promoters, but Patricelli devotes the entire year to rounding up pretty contestants and sponsors for his local, state and national contests.
Click to enlarge.
Became Miss USA of 1963 [sic]
Story of Amedee Chabot of Interest to Every Girl.
Van Nuys News | Tuesday, February 26, 1963.
The Cinderella story of San Fernando Valley resident Amedee Chabot, Miss USA, is worthy of study for every young girl. According to Mrs. Margaret Ropolo, resident director of the John Robert Powers school in Sherman Oaks, the first meeting of Amedee and Mrs. Ropolo came about when Mrs. Ropolo was a judge for a contest in which Amedee was a contestant.
The Independent Order of Foresters had requested Mrs. Ropolo to judge this contest, being held in Reseda to select a girl to represent their chapter in the statewide beauty contest of the Independent Order of Foresters to be held in Pasadena.
Amedee won the contest in Reseda and then went on to win the one in Pasadena.
During these exciting events Amedee had been approached often by people who felt she could be successful in the modeling field. However, she wisely felt that she needed training.
She asked Mrs. Ropolo to enroll her in the John Robert Powers School in Sherman Oaks and began the training that was to aid in the shaping of many good things to come.
While Amedee was still attending classes, Mrs. Ropolo was asked by officials of the Saugus Motor Races to send them a girl from her school to award the winning trophy. Mrs. Ropolo felt that Amedee was a good representative of John Robert Powers beauty and chose her for the job. It was this particular event that was to mark the beginning of her path to the title of Miss U.S.A.
The Saugus race officials were impressed with Amedee's beauty and poise, and asked her to enter the Saugus Beauty Contest. It was winning the title of Miss Saugus that made her eligible to compete in the Miss World contest in which she won the title of Miss California.
With this string of titles added to her name, she went on to Virginia to vie for the Miss USA crown. Once again Amedee outcharmed her competitors and won the crown.
Amedee then left for London to take part in the finals of the Miss World contest.
Bob Hope, a judge of the contest, asked Amedee to join his group that entertains overseas troops every year at Christmas time.
From beauty representative for John Robert Powers to beauty representative for the United States — that is the story of Amedee Chabot, Miss USA of 1963.
LW3523: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph purchased 2019 by Leon Worden.
• Bonelli Stadium
• Fireball 500
Saugus Speedway Scrapbook 1979‐1995
* RACING PROGRAMS *
Kurtis Midget 1950, Art 2006
Ron Hornaday Sr.
Trophy Girl Amedee Chabot, Miss USA 1962
Aerial View 1971
Video: Rolling Man (ABC 1972)
Charlie's Angels 1976
Dan Press Story 1981
Jason Priestly, Charlie Sheen, Charity Benefit 1991
Assessor's Map 2008
• Old Barn Burns
Video: Driver Reunion 8-21-2017
Legacy: Sad Sam Stanley