Dorothy Anstett is one of the former winners of the Miss USA competition. Here’s everything we know about the former queen.
Dorothy Anstett was born with a face many can only dream of, and she put it to perfect use, building a great life and career for herself.
Who Is Dorothy Anstett?
Dorothy Catherine Anstett is an American model and pageant titleholder who held the Miss USA title in 1968. She is also an ex-wife of Bill Russell, a former basketballer commonly referred to as one of the greatest basketballers ever.
On June 28, 1947, Anstett was born to parents Francis Duance and Agnes in Roslyn Heights, Long Island. She comes from a big Caucasian family and is the second of nine children.
Her family of 11 consists of Dorothy, her four brothers and sisters, and her parents. Her father, Francis, was an aircraft plant worker, while her mother, Agnes, was a talented singer. She lived with her family in a six-bedroom lakeside house in Kirkland, Washington, as they needed ample space to accommodate all eleven of them.
In an interview with Argus-Courier newspaper in June 1968, Anstett revealed that her family had a funny sign on the front of her parents’ house that read “Population: 11.”
Dorothy Anstett’s Educational Background
The beauty queen had a highly educated background and was still a student when she ventured into beauty pageantry. Her early education has not been discovered, but her subsequent study places have been reported in past years.
For her high school education, Anstett attended Convent of the Sacred Heart in Forest Ridge on scholarship, the first fully-funded scholarship from her school then. The school was one of the most prestigious all-girls schools in Seattle.
Anstett majored in English and minored in Drama at the University of Washington for her college education. She participated in several pageants to put herself through college and get funds to support herself. She is often referred to as a queen with beauty and brains due to her impressive educational background.
After college, the beauty queen furthered her education by obtaining a master’s in Educational Psychology.
Dorothy Anstett’s Age
Anstett was born on June 28, 1947. As of 2023, she is 76 years old. After she retired from the beauty world, she has not been seen regularly in public. She has lived her later years privately and away from the media and its buzz.
Dorothy Anstett’s Beauty Career
While in college, Anstett ventured into the world of beauty pageantry. She was a stunning beauty, and her natural gifts came through for her in her time of need. She needed the extra funds to fund her college expenses as she was from a large family who could not afford to put all their eleven children through college.
Anstett attributed her success as Miss USA and other pageants to the circumstances of being part of such a sizable family. Her upbringing and the drive that her family instilled in her played a significant role in her resilience and motivation to win the pageants she competed in.
Some of her most notable competitions and positions include:
- The Miss Washington pageant in July 1967 — she placed first runner-up.
- The Miss Washington USA pageant in April 1968 — she won the crown title.
- The Miss USA 1968 pageant — she also won the crown title. This title brought Anstett worldwide fame and made her the renowned beauty queen we know now.
- The Miss Universe beauty pageant in July 1968 — she represented the United States and placed fourth runner-up.
Did Dorothy Anstett Marry Bill Russell?
Yes, the beauty queen married the legendary basketballer Bill Russell. Russell is commonly called one of the greatest basketballers ever, inspiring many generations of basketballers, including Kobe Bryant.
He was her first and only husband. The couple tied the knot on June 8, 1977, four years after he divorced his first wife. Their private ceremony was held on Mercer Island, King County, Washington.
Anstett was 30 years old when she got married to Russell, who was 43 years old. Hence, the couple had a 13-year gap, a common discussion topic among fans. Their marriage was also an interracial one, causing a lot of controversy.
The public’s lack of complete acceptance of her marriage with the NBA star is said to have significantly strained their relationship. After just three years of being a couple, Anstett and Russell divorced in 1980.
They went their separate ways without any children from the marriage. Some years later, Russell remarried and died at an old age in 2022. Currently, Anstett enjoys her retirement and spends her days privately away from the public.