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Beer In Ads #4623: Miss Rheingold 1962 Portrait

Saturday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1962. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area and beyond. In 1962, Kathy Kersh won the contest and became Miss Rheingold for that year. She was born Kathleen Kroeger Kersh on December 15, 1942 in Los Angeles, California (though one source claimed it was Hawaii). She attended a theatrical school, studying dance and acting. In 1959, she won the title of Miss Junior Rose Bowl, and became a professional model, and later an actress and singer. After her year as Miss Rheingold 1962, she married actor Vince Edwards, best known as Dr. Ben Casey on the TV show of the same name. But they were married for only four months before divorcing, and her daughter was born shortly thereafter when she became a single mother. Some of her more memorable appearances were on Burke’s Law, My Favorite Martian, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and a small part in the film “The Americanization of Emily.” In 1967, she signed a record deal with Power Records, and released two singles. After a small role as Cornelia, one of the Joker’s henchmen, on Batman, she married Burt Ward, who played Robin. That marriage last two years, and afterwards she attended business school and embarked on successful a career in commercial real estate. As far as know, she still lives in Sherman Oaks, California. This breweriana piece, it’s a framed portrait of Kathy Kersh, the new Miss Rheingold for 1962, and it’s also leaning into Rheingold’s sponsorship of the inaugural season of a new professional baseball team, the New York Mets. The headline reads: “New girl … new team … same great beer!”

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