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VIDEO GEM: Miss Universe 1965 Full Broadcast


Here's a great video gem - the full broadcast of the Miss Universe 1965 pageant held at the Miami Beach Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida on July 24, 1965. I have never seen this video before and I am just simply amazed by the sheer elegance and classiness of the entire production - something that has been missing since former MUO president Harold Glasser stepped down in 1986. 


The video is fascinating for several reasons. First, we see how stage projection, runway walk and posing have evolved since then. Every girl looked so "stiff" on stage, but what we think as stiff today was actually the standard for grace and elegance in those days.

Second, the eventual winner, Apasra Hongsakula of Thailand, expected for Miss USA Sue Ann Downey to win (notice Apasra's puzzled look after USA was called as second runner-up). Her reaction changes from puzzlement to total surprise when she was declared the winner, and since she did not speak or understand English very well, she didn't realize that she had won over Finland's Virpi Miettinen. 

Third, we learn that the announcer mentions 18-year-old Apasra's height: 5'4" - which officially makes her as the shortest Miss Universe from the 1960s - and not the 1969 winner Gloria Diaz who is 5'5".

Fourth, there was a "Parade of Friendship" when the girls were riding on floats waving to the public; later we would see this parade changed to "Parade of Nations" on the telecast.

Fifth, a mini-pageant called Miss Little Universe was held and won by Miss Little USA (how endearing to see the Miss Universe contestants playing Big Sisters and escorting their Little Sisters during the Miss Little Universe pageant!)

And Sixth, contrary to the popular notion that the Miss World pageant introduced the "Dances of the World" segment when Julia Morley took over the pageant in 2001, Miss Universe actually had its delegates dance to their national costumes during a dress rehearsal.


Contestants receive their swimsuits from Catalina, the official swimsuit sponsor
Outgoing Miss Universe Corinna Tsopie of Greece waves to the crowd during the Parade of Friendship
Miss Israel Aliza Sedeh is interviewed by judge Gladys Zender, Miss Universe 1957 from Peru
The Monte Carlo was one of three official host hotels
The contestants lounge by the pool at the Monte Carlo Hotel
The marquee outside the Miami Beach Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida
The elegant and beautiful stage of the finals
Karen Raguianti of Memphis, Tennessee is crowned Little Miss Universe 1965.
Miss Germany Ingrid Bethake wins Miss Congeniality
Miss USA Sue Ann Downey wins the Best Native Costume award. Note "native" and not "national".
Miss Austria Karin Schmidt wins Miss Photogenic
The 15 semifinalists sashay on stage carrying their plaques of recognition
Miss France Marie-Thérèse Tullio during the swimsuit competition
Miss Hong Kong Joy Drake performing a sword dance during the dress rehearsal. Look at that gorgeous face!
Miss Tunisia Dolly Allouche performing a native dance during the dress rehearsal
Miss Australia Pauline Verey struts during the Top 15 swimsuit segment
Miss Philippines Louise Vail Aurelio charms the judges during the Top 15 Evening Gown competition 
The Top 5: Finland, Holland, Sweden, Thailand, USA
Apasra Hongsakula of Thailand is crowned Miss Universe 1965!

Text by Rafa Delfin

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