Georgia Carroll

Photo of Georgia Carroll
  • Birth Name

    Georgia Ann Carroll
  • Born

    November 18, 1919
    Blooming Grove, Texas
  • Died

    January 14, 2011 (age 91)
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Orchestras

    Kay Kyser

Beautiful Georgia Carroll was America’s top model in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The most photographed woman in the country, her image graced the cover of numerous magazines as well as the pages inside them. Carroll literally appeared in almost every magazine published at the time. One could go to a news stand on any given day and find her picture in multiple periodicals. A well-known celebrity, she was often proclaimed as “the most beautiful woman in the world” by artists and photographers. One New York columnist called her “the closest thing to a Botticelli Madonna that we have ever encountered.”

Carroll was born on her grandfather’s ranch outside of Blooming Grove, Texas. Her family later moved to Dallas, where her modeling career began while attending Woodrow Wilson High School. In 1936, she became the face of the Texas Exhibition, celebrating the state’s centennial of independence from Mexico, and the following year she found herself gaining national attention. Moving to New York, her mother managed her career while Carroll traveled the country appearing in fashion shows. In 1939, she began to take art and music lessons, telling reporters that she wanted to have something to fall back on when her modeling days ended. “Even a popular model never lasts longer than four years,” she said. Carroll had a “deep interest” in painting.

In 1941, talent scouts brought Carroll to Hollywood and put her under contract to Warner Brothers, though the studio never figured out how to properly use her. She appeared in several films, mainly in uncredited roles, and formed part of the “Navy Blues Sextet,” a group of six young women from the film Navy Blues who toured military bases. In 1942, she made a soundie for RCM, singing “When the Roses Bloom Again” with Buddy Clark.

Band Career

In 1943, Kay Kyser asked the studio for two pretty girls to accompany his band during an army camp show. Warner Brothers assigned Carroll as one of the women. While on the return trip, Kyser heard Carroll sing and invited her to be part of his camp shows as a regular, which she accepted. When the female vocalist spot opened up on Kyser’s College of Musical Knowledge radio program shortly thereafter, he offered her the position. Carroll appeared with the orchestra in the RKO picture Around the World that same year and quickly became a hit with audiences, earning fourth place in Billboard magazine’s 1944 annual college poll for most popular female vocalist. Down Beat magazine featured Carroll on the cover of their May 15, 1943, issue.

Carroll and Kyser fell in love soon after she joined the band. A popular story often goes that one night in June 1944 the two were pulled over for speeding in Nevada. After introducing themselves, Kyser, who wanted to avoid a ticket, quickly made up a story that they were in a hurry to get married. Knowing that publicity over the traffic stop would soon catch up to them, they decided it was best to find a Justice of the Peace and marry that night, in order to avoid negative press. But according to Carroll:

We were playing a show in the desert for the service men. Kay was supposed to be headed for Los Angeles but headed for Nevada because that was the only place to get married in a hurry. I knew where he was going but just hoped I was doing the right thing. The story about worrying over the press catching wind of the speeding ticket is not true.[1]

Though Carroll sang on Kyser’s weekly radio program, she entered the studio only once during this period. She considered retiring in early 1945, dismissing rumors that she was pregnant, instead telling reporters that she was having a bad case of stage and mike-fright. She stayed with the band until the end of the year, however, when she did retire due to expecting a child that next spring. The couple had a second child in January 1948.

In 1949, Carroll came out of full retirement. Urged on by an audience member, she gave an impromptu performance during a North Carolina theater appearance where Kyser was emceeing a contest. She then entered the studio later that year to record one song with Kyser’s band. When Kyser took his radio program to television in 1950, Carroll appeared twice, once serving as a judge in the quiz contest and on the second appearance as a singer.

After Kyser quit the music business in the early 1950s, the couple settled in North Carolina. They had another child in 1952. Carroll and Kyser remained together until his death in 1985. Georgia Carroll passed away in 2011, age 91.


  1. Special thanks to Trevor Kyser-Carr and Georgia Carroll for setting the story straight. ↩︎


  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981.
  2. Carroll, Georgia and Trevor Kyser-Carr, Email. Jun. 16, 2004.
  3. “Here Is the Face of Texas' Murals.” The Brownsvile Herald [Brownsville, Texas] 23 Jul. 1936: 7.
  4. “Texas Beauty.” The Rhinelander New North [Rhinelander, Wisconsin] 23 Jul. 1936: 7.
  5. “Ideal Magazine Cover Girl?” The Hammond Times 6 Jul. 1937: 8.
  6. “She Is Artists' Dream Girl.” Somerset Daily American 18 Feb. 1938: 3.
  7. “Georgia Carroll, Native of Navarro County, Considered Most Beautiful Girl World.” The Corsicana Daily Sun [Corsicana, Texas] 27 Jan. 1939: 5.
  8. “Georgia Carroll Taking Lessons in Voice in New York.” The Corsicana Daily Sun [Corsicana, Texas] 1 Nov. 1939: 7.
  9. “Artists' Favorite Model, Georgia Carroll, Works Hard Fame Lasts.” The Milwaukee Journal 1 Nov. 1939: 3.
  10. “Floradora Girls of '41.” Laredo Times 31 Aug. 1941: Every Week Magazine, n.p.
  11. “She's Beauty Without a Flaw.” Laredo Times 19 Nov. 1941: 2.
  12. “Movie Machine Reviews.” Billboard 6 Jun. 1942: 67.
  13. “Correction.” Billboard 20 Jun. 1942: 76.
  14. “Cover Girl On the Cover.” Down Beat 15 May 1943: 1.
  15. “Picture Tie-Ups for Movie Machine Operators.” Billboard 3 Jul. 1943: 64.
  16. “Georgia Carroll Has Last Laugh on 'Wise Boys.'” St. Petersburg Times 7 May 1944: 39.
  17. “Kay Kyser Weds Georgia Carroll.” The Tuscaloosa News [Tuscaloosa, Alabama] 9 Jun. 1944: 6.
  18. “Tied Notes.” Down Beat 1 Jul. 1944: 10.
  19. Manners, Dian. “Men, Maids & Manners.” Down Beat 15 Feb. 1945: 14.
  20. “They've Done It Again.” Billboard 21 Jul. 1945: 15.
  21. “Stork To Call On Georgia Carroll.” Down Beat 14 Jan. 1946: 16.
  22. “New Numbers.” Down Beat 17 Jun. 1948: 10.
  23. “New Numbers.” Down Beat 11 Feb. 1948: 10.
  24. “Dad's Day Draws Snaps From Musician's Family Albums.” Down Beat 16 Jun. 1948: 2.
  25. “Lifetime Passes Given At Pageant.” Down Beat 15 Aug. 1949: 10.
  26. “Record Reviews: Kay Kyser.” Down Beat 16 Dec. 1949: 15.
  27. Foster, Bob. “KSMO First Station in U.S. to Have Its [sic] Own Fan Club.” San Mateo Times [San Mateo, California] 23 Mar. 1950: 29.
  28. Butterfield, C.E. “Radio Day by Day.” The Mt. Vernon Register-News [Mount Vernon, Illinois] 15 Jun. 1950: 7.
  29. Thomas, Bob. “Kay Kyser Doesn't Miss Spotlight.” Corpus Christi Caller-Times [Corpus Christi, Texas] 4 Sep. 1955: 9C.
  30. “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch ( : 12 January 2021), Georgia C Kyser, 14 Jan 2011; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).