It’s sometimes easy to forget that celebrities are people too and that their life goes on even after they’ve passed the peaks of their fame and the pinnacles of their career. Sometimes it’s nice to do some digging around the internet and see what these people are up to now. The same goes for the people who were once considered to be the epitome of beauty in the United States — the women who have won the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants. Here are 10 beauty queens that seem to have not changed one bit since they won their place in the history of US beauty pageants.
Terry Lynn Huntingdon, Miss USA 1959
Terry Lynn Huntingdon was the 7th winner of the Miss USA beauty pageant (the first was held in 1952). Following her success on the stage and runway, Mz. Huntingdon became a film and TV actress. The most famous movie she stared in was Five Finger Exercise. In 1975 she married a democratic senator and had a daughter Alexandra Tydings (whom you may know as Aphrodite from Xena: Warrior Princes).
Bobbi Johnson, Miss USA 1964
Even though beauty pageants are stereotyped as events where looks are everything and brains don’t matter – this couldn’t be further from the truth. After winning the Miss USA beauty pageant of 1964, Bobbi Johnson worked as an applications engineer at General Electric!
Sylvia Hitchcock, Miss Universe 1967
Sylvia Hitchcock won both the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants of 1967. After winning the titles she pursued a modeling career, but soon found herself disillusioned by the world of professional modeling. She transitioned into work on a TV station.
Wendy Dascomb, Miss USA 1969
When the first Miss USA beauty pageant happened, Wendy Dascomb was only 2 years old. After her year-long tenure as Miss USA she got married. Since 1990 she and her husband have owned a farm where Mz. Dascomb trained horses. Riding and training horses is also the secret ingredient to Wendy Dascomb’s ability to stay fit and healthy over the past 50 years. This has been something she was doing ever since she was a kid, and she’s very happy to have been able to continue doing it in the years after being Miss USA. Over the years she has been a teacher, tutor, mentor, and pastry chef.
Barbara Peterson, Miss USA 1976
Barbara Peterson’s tenure as Miss USA was difficult. In her book, Becoming a Beauty Queen: the Complete Guide, Peterson describes her experiences preparing for the Miss Universe beauty pageant and how hectic her schedule was at the time. She had very little time for sleep, not to mention any time for herself, so she kept herself fit by doing ballet exercises in her hotel room.
Julie Hayek, Miss USA 1983
After winning the Miss USA pageant, Julie Hayek (of no relation to Selma Hayek) became an actress. She has appeared in cult shows like Twin Peaks, Moonlighting, and Dallas as well as the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Commando. Today, Julie Hayek is a real estate agent and is working on a book about health and fitness.
Gretchen Polhemus, Miss USA 1989
After winning, Gretchen Polhemus was an on-camera reporter for ESPN for more than 10 years. She has also worked as a model and motivational speaker in the time since then. To date, she has had five children and lives in Salt Lake City. Her daughter, Baylee, won the Miss Utah beauty pageant in 2017.
Lu Parker, Miss USA 1994
Lu Parker became a news anchor with her husband on the KTLA network. She has also launched the Lu Parker Project, which is an animal advocacy group focused on improving the lives of at-risk youth and homeless animals.
Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995
After winning the Miss USA beauty pageant in 1995, Shanna Moakler became a model, and later worked in television. When it comes to relationships, Shanna Moakler was definitely into the “rockstar” type of man. She was in a relationship with rockstar Billy Idol and later married Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, with whom she had two kids that they now raise together despite their divorce and tumultuous on-and-off again relationship.
Brook Lee, Miss Universe 1997
After her victories in Miss USA and Miss Universe, Brook Lee transitioned into work on TV, making cameos in many TV shows and appearances in commercials. She’s also hosted episodes of a travel show on the Travel Channel in addition to being a regular host on Pacific Fusion, which is a show that focuses on Asian-American lifestyles.