Penelope Coelen

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Penelope Anne Coelen
Penelope Anne Coelen, Miss South Africa.jpg
Penelope crowned as Miss South Africa 1958.
Born (1940-04-15) April 15, 1940 (age 78)
Known forMiss World 1958

Penelope Anne Coelen (born 15 April 1940 in Durban, South Africa) is a South African actress, model and beauty queen who was Miss World 1958.

Durban Place in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa—after Johannesburg and Cape Town—and the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is famous for being the busiest port in the country. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. Durban forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, which includes neighboring towns and has a population of about 3.44 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast of the African continent. It is also the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. In 2015, Durban was recognised as one of the New7Wonders Cities.

Union of South Africa state in southern Africa from 1910 to 1961, predecessor to the Republic of South Africa

The Union of South Africa is the historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony. It included the territories that were formerly a part of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.

Miss World beauty contest

Miss World is the oldest running international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000, Morley's widow, Julia Morley, has co-chaired the pageant. Along with Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants—the most coveted beauty titles when it comes to international pageant competitions.


In 1958, the Miss World Pageant was still in its early years. A total of 22 contestants from Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa competed in the finals. Europeans dominated the semi-finals with 9 out of 12 places secured by women from the host continent. Five of the 6 finalists were from Europe as well, but it was a striking young woman from the Union of South Africa who took home the coveted crown.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Americas landmass comprising the continents of North America and South America

The Americas comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they make up most of the land in Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World.

Asia Earths largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres

Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.

Penelope Anne Coelen, or Penny to her friends and fans, was elected Miss World and was the first major international titleholder to come from Africa. The 18-year-old secretary from Durban enraptured the audience with her poise and beauty. She gained widespread international attention during her reign and received several lucrative modelling offers. After her reign as Miss World 1958, she tried her luck out in Hollywood with the help of James Garner, but failed her screen test. She later managed her own line of clothing and endorsed beauty products, particularly perfumes.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hollywood Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.

James Garner American film and television actor

James Garner was an American actor, producer, and voice artist. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western series Maverick and Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files, and played leading roles in more than 50 theatrical films, including The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueen, Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood, and The Notebook (2004).

Coelen swore that she would never go through the terror of competing again, noting that it was "too nerve-wracking," yet that being a Miss World contestant and titleholder was "something I would not have liked to miss."[ citation needed ]

She appeared as a contestant on the television game show To Tell the Truth on 25 November 1958. [1]

To Tell the Truth is an American television panel game show in which four celebrity panelists are presented with three contestants and must identify which is the "central character" whose unusual occupation or experience has been read out by the show's moderator/host. When the panelists question the contestants, the two "impostors" may lie whereas the "central character" must tell the truth. The setup adds the "impostor" element to the format of What's My Line? and I've Got a Secret.

Later she returned to South Africa, married wealthy sugar cane farmer Michel Rey from the Natal Province and she remains today a prominent socialite in South Africa. She runs a guesthouse and has five sons and five grandchildren from one son. [2]


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Miss World 1958

Miss World 1958, the eighth edition of the Miss World pageant, was held on 13 October 1958 at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, United Kingdom. 22 contestants competed for the Miss World. The winner was Penelope Anne Coelen, who represented South Africa. She was crowned by Miss World 1957, Marita Lindahl of Finland.

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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Adele Kruger
Miss South Africa
Succeeded by
Moya Meaker