Bloody Mary (South Pacific)

Bloody Mary is a character in the book Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener (written in 1946), which was made into the musical South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and later into a film in 1958.

The Bloody Mary character is Tonkinese. Tonkin is the northern most province of what is now Vietnam. She was brought to the island by a French planter. She is often cast as black (most famously by Juanita Hall, who originated the character on the stage, and later portrayed her in the 1958 film), Asian or Pacific Islander. She trades with the US sailors who are stationed on nearby islands during the Second World War. She is learning English, and is proud that she will eventually "speak English as good as any crummy Marine". When the American spurns her daughter's hand out of prejudice, her most famous line is "Stingy bastard!" Juanita Hall won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for originating this role on stage.

A song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about her makes U.S. Navy sailors sing, Bloody Mary is the girl I love, her skin is tender as DiMaggio's glove (changed to "her skin is tender as a baseball glove" in the 1958 movie), and that she chews betel nuts, and doesn't use Pepsodent, with the refrain Now ain't that too damn bad!

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