Marilyn Joan Watts is an American Actor. She was born in Santa Monica, California. Wanting a career in movies, she came to Hollywood when she was fifteen. She started work as a showgirl at the Earl Carroll Theater. She did modeling, which led to a bit part in the movie “Two Tickets to Broadway” 1951 as a showgirl.
She changed her name to Mara Corday because she though it sounded more exotic. Mara came from a bongo player that called her Marita. Corday came from a perfume bottle.
She has small parts in “B” movies, many of them westerns, until she was cast for the role of Steve in “Tarantula”. This was followed by her roles in “The Black Scorpion” 1957 and “The Giant Claw” 1957. She did TV work until the early 60’s. After her husband’s death she has done some small bit parts for her friend Clint Eastwood. She played the waitress in the third Dirty Harry film, Sudden Impact: the same scene (and location) where Clint Eastwood uttered the line: "Go ahead... Make my day!"
Mara married actor Richard Long in 1957. She gave up her career in the early 60’s to raise a family until Long’s death in 1974. She had three children, Valerie, Carey and Gregory Long. Her marriage to Long was quite tumultuous. She threatened to divorce Richard multiple times each year of their marriage sometimes even hiring a lawyer. There are also many separations during their marriage. There is a history of drinking and abuse by Long.
Corday appeared as a pinup girl in numerous men's magazines during the 1950s and was the Playmate for the October 1958 issue of Playboy. In 1954 she was named "The Most Photographed Model in the World".
Quotes: After Long’s death, Mara consulted a psychic to talk to him. “She was a Mexican woman—someone like Rosa Lopez—she could barely speak English. A friend said she wasn’t a phony, she was legitimate. She also didn’t charge me any money! I asked her to ask Richard if he and Suzan Ball, his first wife who died of cancer when they were married, were together and happy. The psychic told me Richard expected me to say something dumb like that. ‘He also wants you to forgive him for all the bad times in the marriage.’ That was just like Richard—how could this woman know? I’ve lost touch with this medium. She went back to South America. But I would love to contact her again.”
“Richard Long was an enigma. I divorced him 10 times the first year of our marriage, getting a lawyer and everything...and 13 times the second year. He’d plead—literally on his hands and knees, ‘Please forgive me, I don’t know why I did it, give me another chance.’ I loved him and I am still in love with him—22 years after his death.”