Elyse Knox

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Elyse Knox

This article is part of
"The Pin-up Girl History Project"
"The Movie Star History Project"
"The YANK Magazine History Project"
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Elyse Knox (born December 14, 1917 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American actress and the daughter of US Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox. She studied at the Traphagen School of Fashion in Manhattan then embarked on a career in fashion design. Her good looks enabled her to model some of her own creations for Vogue magazine that led to a contract offer from 20th Century Fox film studio in 1937. Knox performed mainly in minor or secondary roles until 1942 when she had a leading role with Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummy's Tomb, one of the series of "Mummy” horror films made by Universal Studios.

Knox appeared as herself in the Universal Studios 1944 production "Follow the Boys," one of the World War II morale-booster films made for both the soldiers serving overseas as well as civilians at home. Knox also was a pin-up girl during the War, appearing in such magazines as YANK magazine, a weekly put out by the United States Military.

Knox continued to do modeling work for print ads and while appearing on the Bing Crosby radio show she met American football star and decorated soldier Tom Harmon. They married in 1944 and remained together until his death in 1990.

Her wedding dress was made out of the parachute that saved his life in the Pacific Theater.

They are the parents of:

  • Kristin Harmon (b.1945), actress and painter who at seventeen married recording artist Ricky Nelson;
  • Kelly Harmon (b. 1948), who modeled and also acted in film and television (TJ Hooker) and was once married to automaker John DeLorean;
  • Mark Harmon (b.1951), film and television actor. He is married to actress Pam Dawber. They had two sons; Sean Thomas Harmon (born April 26, 1988) and Tyrone "Ty" Christian Harmon (born June 25, 1992).
More information about Mark Harmon is available at [ Wikipedia:Mark_Harmon ]

In late 1945 she was signed by Monogram Pictures to portray Anne Howe, the love interest of fictional boxer Joe Palooka in "Joe Palooka, Champ." Based on the very popular comic strip, the instant success of the May 1946 film led to Elyse Knox appearing in another five Joe Palooka productions. After acting in thirty-nine films, Elyse Knox retired in 1949 following her performance in the musical film "There's a Girl in My Heart."

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