What it's like being the 'ugly' daughter of Miss America

Bess Myerson was the first -- and still the only -- Jewish Miss America. She was a concert pianist, political activist, TV personality, and worked for three presidents and two New York mayors. But in the late 80s, she hooked up with a mobster, got caught shoplifting, and was indicted by attorney Rudy Giuliani. She died three years ago in Santa Monica. Her only child, Barra Grant, has a new play about growing up in the shadow of her famous mom. “Miss America’s Ugly Daughter” is playing at the Edye Theater in Santa Monica through August 12.

Bess Myerson as Miss America.
Courtesy of Deborah Keaton.

Bess Myerson and her daughter Barra Grant. 
Courtesy of Deborah Keaton.

Barra Grant courtesy of Bader Hower



  • Barra Grant - writer and actress, “Miss America’s Ugly Daughter”