Joi Lansing was a model, film and television actress, and nightclub singer.
Lansing was born Joyce Rae Brown in Salt Lake City, Utah to Jack Glenn Brown, a shoe salesman, and Virginia Grace Shupe Brown, a housewife. She would later be known as Joyce Wassmansdorff, which was the surname of her stepfather. She began modeling in her teens, and, aged 14, was signed to a contract at MGM. She completed high school on the studio lot.
A model and actress, Lansing was often cast in roles similar to those played by her contemporaries, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren. She was frequently clad in skimpy costumes and bikinis that accentuated her attractive figure, but never posed nude. Lansing practiced yoga for relaxation. A Mormon, she did not drink or smoke.
Lansing’s film career began in 1948, and, in 1952, she played an uncredited role in MGM’s Singin’ in the Rain. She received top billing in Hot Cars. In the opening sequence of Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil, she appeared as Zita, the dancer who dies at the end of the famous first tracking shot, during which her character exclaims to a border guard, “I keep hearing this ticking noise inside my head!” Lansing had a brief role as an astronaut’s girlfriend in the 1958 sci-fi classic Queen of Outer Space. During the 1950s, she starred in short musical films for the Scopitone video-jukebox system. Her songs included “The Web of Love” and “The Silencers”.