Angie Dickinson was born in Kulm, North Dakota, the daughter of Fredericka (Hehr) and Leo Henry Brown, a newspaper editor and publisher of The Kulm Messenger. Her parents were both of German descent, with the family surname originally being “Braun”(which in German is pronounced as brown). The family left North Dakota in 1942, when Angie was 11 years old, moving to Burbank, California. In December 1946, when she was a senior at Bellamarine Jefferson High School in Burbank, she won the Sixth Annual Bill of Rights Contest. Two years later, her sister Janet did likewise. Being the daughter of a printer, Angie at first had visions of becoming a writer, but gave this up after winning her first beauty contest. After finishing college, she worked as a secretary in a Burbank airplane parts factory for 3-1/2 years. In 1953, she entered the local Miss America contest one day before the deadline and took second place. In August of the same year, she was one of five winners in a beauty contest sponsored by NBC and appeared in several television variety shows. She got her first bit part in a Warner Brothers film in 1954 and gained fame in the television series The Millionaire (1955) and got her first good film role opposite John Wayne and Dean Martin in Rio Bravo (1959). Her success then spiraled until she became one of the nation’s top movie stars.