Mitzi Gaynor in Rhodes

Woman magazine on the 26th March 1960, featured a short piece with American actress and singer Mitzi Gaynor. Gaynor who starred in several films, most notably There’s no business like show business in 1954 and South Pacific in 1958. She was pictured on the Greek Island of Rhodes while on a break from filming Surprise Package. The film co-starred Yul Brynner, Noël Coward and was released in 1960. None of the island girls had heard of the King and I film star, Brynner.

Mizi Gaynor Surprise Package movie poster
By Source, Fair use,

What struck me first when reading this article was the price to fly to Rhodes. It states it will cost about £110 pounds return (Tourist class), yikes that seems pretty expensive for 1960, out of the reach of the vast majority of people reading the magazine. Although this is similar to the cost of travelling to Australia today.

According to a cost of living website, £110 pounds sterling is equivalent to £2,342 pounds today. Although people have more disposable income today. The average wage in 1960 was £634 or £13,503 pounds in today’s money, whereas the actual average wage today is £27,600. It tries to sell the holiday in Rhodes by pointing out you will have three stopovers in Paris, Rome and Athens. It must be assuming you can brag to your friends that you holidayed in all those locations not just a two-hour stopover at the airport.

Mizi gives some fashion advice in the form of using up those small foreign worthless coins you have leftover from your holiday and try some DIY crafts and use them to decorate beach bags and play skirts. If I just spent over a hundred pounds to fly to Rhodes in 1960, I’d probably have used up every last penny to cover my food and accommodation. I’m glad today most airports have those donate old currency boxes!

Mitzi Gaynor actress in 1960 on a Greek Island
Mitzi Gaynor on Rhodes Island

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