As we trawled through some old Eureka High School yearbooks for vintage photos of Jimmy Smith for this week's issue, we stumbled on this bygone custom: writing to the hottest celebrity of the day and asking him or her to determine the most pulchritudinous of Eureka's young students. In honor of the Sequoia Spring Dance, faculty chose the most attractive senior class members (not creepy at all) and sent the photos on to Richard Chamberlain and Lana Turner.
As you can see from the scanned pages, in 1965 Chamberlain chose senior Elaine Horntvedt as the most comely of the four finalists. Lana Turner, after proclaiming it one of the more difficult tasks of her career, proclaimed Steve Jacobs that year's Mr. Sequoia. Turner, who was married eight times, attempted suicide in 1951 and appeared at the murder trial of her young daughter, who stabbed her mother's abusive mobster boyfriend to death, had likely seen tougher. Chamberlain, meanwhile, was desperately trying to stay in the closet to save his career. (The celebrity judge in 1966 was Rock Hudson, incidentally.)
Were the lives of the class of 1965 equally turbulent? We've reached out to some of the seniors who appeared on these pages to ask. What was it like to have your attractiveness judged by a celebrity? If you're one of these former teens or their classmate, we'd love to hear from you.