Maureen Neliya Hingert (born January 9, 1937) is a Sri Lanka-trained dancer, model and actress. She is the only Sri Lankan representative to win an award at a Miss Universe pageant after finishing as the runner-up at the 1955 event.
She was heralded a favorite for the world beauty crown together with “Miss Sweden,” “Miss USA,” “Miss England,” and “Miss El Salvador.”
Due to her very high placement in the Miss Universe Pageant, she has long been revered as "putting Sri Lanka on the map" and being an ambassador to her country, Sri Lanka.
Hingert was born on January 9, 1937 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her father was the President of the Bank of Ceylon Sri Lanka and also an owner of real estate and tea plantations. The family lived in a well-known mansion on Lorensz Road, Bambalapitiya, Colombo.
Hingert was born in Ceylon, Sri Lanka and both Hingert and her parents are of Dutch Burgher ancestry.
Hingert attended school at the Holy Family Convent in Colombo until she was eighteen and continued her college education in Los Angeles, CA.
In 1955, Hingert was crowned Miss Ceylon in her country and subsequently selected as a contestant in the 1955 Miss Universe pageant.
Following the contest, Hingert was put under contract to Universal International Studios and 20th Century Fox.
Some of the movies she appeared in include: The King and I, Fort Bowie, Gun Fever, The Adventures of Hiram Holiday, Moroccan Halk Moth, Pillars of the Sky, Dangerous Search, Gunmen from Laredo, The Rawhide Trail and the British TV Series Captain David Grief. She was sometimes billed in films as Jana Davi.
She was also a dancer and gave solo performances at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and other major Los Angeles venues.
She married designer/artist Mario Armond Zamparelli in 1958. Mario Armond Zamparelli was an American artist and designer, best known for his connection with Howard Hughes. For 18 years, Zamparelli was Chief Executive Designer of Hughes’ empire,
They had three daughters, one of whom, Gina Zamparelli, achieved fame in the arts and entertainment and is active in the field of historic preservation.