Model History Dovima

Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba, better known as Dovima, was one of top model names of the 1950’s. Some would debate she was the model of the 1950’s and not Suzy Parker. I still prefer Suzy’s sister Dorian Leigh, but then that’s just a personal choice! All 3 women had very different looks, Dovima’s was one  of  haughty sophistication.

Dovima took her name by adding the first 2 initials of her 3 names together. The name was originally created by her, for the invisible friend she created while being ill with rheumatic fever when she was ten and subsequently kept in doors by her over protective mother for 7 years. (eek)

Discovered outside a Manhattan automat, (a what? you say?I know I had to look it up) A woman working for Vogue, spotted her and dragged her up to the Vogue offices, the very next day she was shooting with the famous Irving Penn. (some women have all the luck)

Dovima was already married to her upstairs neighbor at the time she was discovered (of course she was, since she wasnt allowed to leave the house for 7 years) However she divorced him to marry her second husband, Alan Murray. Alan was an angry bitter man, who beat her continuously, sometimes so bad she couldn’t show up to work. When she finally decided to leave him, she took her then 2 year old daughter Alison to live with her in L.A. Alan, claimed she kidnapped her own daughter and she lost custody of her. She never saw Alan or her own daughter again

Sadly at this point in her life the modeling and acting roles had started to dry up and she had neglected to save much money. She moved to Florida to be near her parents and took up a job, working as a hostess in a restaurant.  It was here she met her 3rd husband. They were together for 12 years and married in 1983, sadly he died just 3 years later from cancer. ( I take back the former ‘all the luck’ statement) She herself was diagnosed with cancer a few years later and passed away in 1990. Through it  all the though, she seems to have remained fairly upbeat, I love this quote by her,

“The only ‘has been’ is one who has been. You have to Have Been in order to be a has been”


Happy Wednesday All! x


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  • http://beautyshy.com Courtney

    What happens to these people after they get famous always kills me! 

    Also, my model name would me Cojumi if I was going the Domiva way

    • Anonymous

      Ha, mine would be Jeelro…. doesnt really sound quite as glamorous as Dovima, does it?

      Jessica Robinsonhttp://enchantedvintageclothing.com/http://www.vintageclothing.ie/catalog/

      Subject: [thisgirlsvintage] Re: Model History Dovima

  • http://twitter.com/gritandglamour Grit and Glamour

    Beautiful lady…look at her itty bitty waist!

    • Anonymous

      I know! The average waist size back then was like 23 inches…… ridiculous! Id rather have cake.

      Jessica Robinsonhttp://enchantedvintageclothing.com/http://www.vintageclothing.ie/catalog/

      Subject: [thisgirlsvintage] Re: Model History Dovima

  • http://made-to-travel.com/ Jamillah

    OMG, she’s stunning. But her story is saaaaaad. 7 years at home, then a victim of domestic violence, then a widow to cancer only to have cancer herself! Gawsh, I’m amazed that she still kept positive. 

  • Sa_phyzz

    I’m pretty sure the model with the umbrella jumping off the curb isn’t Dovima

    • Anonymous

      You’re totally right. Its Carmen Dell’orefice…. (shame face)

      Subject: [thisgirlsvintage] Re: Model History Dovima

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  • Jim Freyler

    I was a friend of Dovima from 1986-1990 when we both lived in Ft. Lauderdale.  When I first met her she was 58 and still quite stunning and regal.  But she was also quite down to earth with none of the haughty airs that one might assume from looking through photos of her modeling work.  It’s all debatable but the top 3 models from the 1950s were Dovima, Jean Patchett, and Suzy Parker.

    • Anonymous

      Wow, that is amazing! I cant imagine what it would have been like to talk to someone had lived such an incredible life! I agree wholeheartedly with your top 3 selections, they were all amazing women and stunning models! Thank you so much for commenting!! Subject: [thisgirlsvintage] Re: Model History Dovima

  • Philbodivebo

    She is my wife’s aunt and her brother is still alive and living in Austin, Tx  She was a stunning woman

    • jezebel538

      Agreed! and thank you!! :)

      Subject: [thisgirlsvintage] Re: Model History Dovima

    • Jim

      Phil –  You can see my post below about Doe.  I’ve spoken to Stanley.  Please contact me regarding Dovima.  Freyler@prodigy.net  Jim Freyler

  • jbs

    Just to set the record straight—The “lines” about Alan Murray beating her are all false– a total crock. And YES she did, indeed, kidnap Allison. Alan had full custody because she was so neglectful. She came to NY in red wig and took Allison off the school bus and fled with her to LA. They lived in a motel until finally they were found. Alan was with the FBI and they were discovered in no time. Allison went before a judge and said she wanted no part of her mother. Alan then took her to Monterrey, Mexico where she was raised until she was a teenager. Doe was, indeed, a stunning woman–self absorbed until her later years when she could no longer grace the covers of Vogue and Harpers. How do I know all this? Allison is my first cousin. And I knew Doe in her final years just prior to her death. This is the very abridged version.

    • Kathleen Kate Valerio

      Hi – if you are still in touch with Allison let her know she is fondly remembered by her Cooke family cousins. My mom lived with her when she arrived from Ireland. My dad rented a room in Aunt Peg’s (her mom, my aunt) Jackson Heights house.

    • bogart

      I would love to hear more about her! Thanks.