Born Jo Ann Heckert in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 1, 1930, actress Joyce Holden made only a handful of films during her brief career. Nonetheless, she starred in several now-cult classic films including Girls in the Night (1953; with Glenda Farrell and Harvey Lembeck), The Werewolf (1956), and Terror From the Year 5000 (1958). Holden signed with Universal in 1949 and landed her first film role in the comedy The Milkman (1950; with Piper Laurie). Universal press releases in the early 1950s made much of Holden's youth and inability to gain weight.

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Universal-International stills of Joyce Holden

the films of joyce holden

The Milkman (1950)

Joyce Holden

From the Universal-International comedy The Milkman

You Never Can Tell (1951)

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From another Universal-International comedy, You Never Can Tell. The photo on the left also features Dick Powell

Bronco Buster (1952)

Joyce Holden

Universal promotional photo from the western Bronco Buster

Girls in the Night (1953)

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Promotional stills from Universal's campy noir Girls in the Night. The photos on the right include Harvey Lembeck, who portrayed Eric Von Zipper in American International's 1960s beach party films

joyce holden today

When her contract with Universal International lapsed in 1953, Joyce Holden's film career floundered. She found work as a model and on television, acting in many anthology programs, such as The Lux Video Theater and General Electric Theater in the mid 1950s. Holden had a brief first marriage to songwriter Arnold Stanford that proved turbulent, ending with their divorce in November 1955. Her second marriage in 1958 called a halt to her acting career. Holden's last film was the effective 1958 American International horror flick Terror From the Year 5000, originally released on a double bill with The Screaming Skull. Following the release of this film, she then retired to concentrate on domestic life and religion.

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Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) with Ward Costello and Salome Jens; aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000 during season eight
The Werewolf (1956) with Steven Ritch and Don Megowan
Girls in the Night (1953) with Glenda Farrell, Patricia Hardy, Harvey Lembeck, and Dolores Fuller
Private Eyes (1953) with Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall
Murder Without Tears (1953) with Craig Stevens
Bronco Buster (1952) with Scott Brady and Chill Wills
You Never Can Tell (1951) with Dick Powell and Peggy Dow
Iron Man (1951) with Jeff Chandler and Rock Hudson
Target Unknown (1951) with Mark Stevens and Gig Young
The Milkman (1950) with Donald O'Connor, William Conrad, and Piper Laurie

The Guiding Light, 1952-present CBS daytime drama. Holden portrayed Marie Grant during the 1954 season

The Lineup, episode The Glorietta Shakedown Case, originally aired June 20, 1958
The Thin Man, episode The Duke of Sing Sing, originally aired September 27, 1957
Soldiers of Fortune, episode The Black Cat Waits, originally aired October 21, 1956
Robert Montgomery Presents, episode Pilgrimmage, originally aired October 15, 1956
TV Reader's Digest, episode The Man Who Dreamt Winners, originally aired May 28, 1956
The 20th Century-Fox Hour, episode Mr. Belvedere, originally aired April 18, 1956
Front Row Center, episode The Human Touch, originally aired April 15, 1956
Science Fiction Theatre, episode Signals from the Heart, originally aired April 6, 1956
Cavalcade of America, episode Star and Shield, originally aired January 24, 1956
Chevron Hall of Stars, episode Blood and Stain, originally aired January 1, 1956
TV Reader's Digest, episode When the Wise Men Appeared, originally aired December 19, 1955
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Fabulous Sycamores, originally aired December 1, 1955
G.E. True Theater, episode Prosper's Old Mother, originally aired November 20, 1955
The Man Behind the Badge, episode The Case of Operation Sabotage, originally aired September 17, 1955
Soldiers of Fortune, episode Aloha Means Goodbye, originally aired August 19, 1955
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Bride Came C.O.D., originally aired July 28, 1955
Science Fiction Theatre, episode The Brain of John Emerson, originally aired May 20, 1955
G.E. True Theater, episode Atomic Love, originally aired November 22, 1953
Fireside Theatre, episode Bless the Man, originally aired September 8, 1953
Gruen Guild Theater, episode Victim: Ann Norville, originally aired January 1, 1952

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Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen: Joyce Holden
Visit the Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen website for photos and an interesting, well-researched biography of Joyce Holden.
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This page premiered March 19, 2002.
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