Bob Pool had a fun story in the Los Angeles Times this morning about an East Coast autograph collector who had gotten to nearly all of the athletes to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Scott Smith says he has the signatures of 4,413 SI cover figures. Among the missing, one of his holy grails was a model who appeared on the Oct. 17, 1960 cover — Smith didn't know her name, but he really wanted her autograph. In the story, Pool put out the word asking for anyone who might know her.
Turns out the cover model was Dolores Greer, and she died at age 81 [age fixed] on the same June day that Pool interviewed Smith. Former Brentwood fashion model Julie Chandler, who works in real estate, emailed a suggestion. “Just a guess, but if it was shot in Los Angeles, one of the top models was Dolores Greer. Just read an obituary of her in your paper. Same look.”
She nailed it. From Pool's follow-up story:
When reached, Greer’s daughter, Robin, hadn’t yet read the story about Smith’s search. She quickly looked at the photograph of the mystery cover that accompanied it.
“Oh wow, it’s her!” Robin Greer exclaimed. “The thing that’s so interesting that she was a big model back when you didn’t have super models that everybody knows their name. My mother was constantly on magazine and album covers. But darn, nobody knew who she was.”
Robin Greer, an actress known for her roles in such TV movies and series as “Falcon Crest” and “Ryan’s Hope,” now works as a Beverly Hills realty agent.
Smith was dismayed by the news that Dolores Greer passed away when he was so close to finding her and securing her signature. He was stunned by readers’ swift response.
“Oh, my goodness. This is unbelievable. I wish I’d done this two or three years ago. This is a bummer,” he said.
Dolores Greer's paid obituary in the Times this past Sunday said that she was grandmother who died June 5 at age "29." She had been a Miss American finalist from Michigan in 1951, then moved to Los Angeles. From the obit:
She married director/producer Donn Greer, brother of film actress Jane Greer. Her International high fashion run spanned over 30 years. She worked with such notable designers as Rudi Gernreich, William Travilla, Edith Head, Hubert Latimer/Dior, among many others. Her image ran in Life Magazine, and all major International fashion publications including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. During that time, Dolores juggled her thriving modeling career with raising three children.
Cover via Sports Illustrated Vault.