Alyce McCormick, Actress Succumbs
Hollywood, Jan. 7
The promising stage and motion picture career of Alyce McCormick was interrupted today by death. The actress, who was in the chorus of the Ziegfeld Follies in New York, and who had appeared in numerous pictures, died yesterday of pneumonia.
Marriage May Stop Alimony
Esther Muir, screen actress whose engagement to Rex Lease, film cowboy, has just been announced may lose the $100 per month alimony which her former husband, Busby Berkley, director, is under orders to pay her.
She had Berkley cited to appear in court to show cause why he should not pay her alimony she alleges he owes her under the divorce decree she won last summer
Berkley appeared and told the court he had lost his automobile, was about to lose his home, and could not meet the demands for the payment.
The court suggested that they seek to reach a compromise, and it was indicated today that the alimony order might be modified.
Miss Muir and Lease plan to be married in April after his second divorce becomes final, they said.
From Wood Soanes' column "Curtain Calls":
On the screen 1931 brought several score new names, a majority of them owned by youngsters with previous training on the stage but it is generally conceded, in Hollywood in particular, that the greatest triumphs were made by two seasoned veterans, Marie Dressler and Lionel Barrymore.
The year's most rapid rise to prominence was made by Clark Gable. Others who achieved importance in a short time are Sally Eilers and James Dunn, introduced in "Bad Girl"; Marian Marsh who starred in "Svengali"; Irene Dunne who made her mark in "Cimarron"; and Miriam Hopkins who began her climb with the release of "The Smiling Lieutenant."
Barbara Stanwyck, after several film flops, attracted attention in "Night Nurse"; Marlene Dietrich proved after two pictures "Morocco" and "Dishonored" that she is not another Garbo, and Walter Huston managed to hold his lead despite the fact that he was put out by various studios in a variety of roles ranging from "Abraham Lincoln" to "The Criminal Code." "Abraham Lincoln," by the way, was one of the season's major box office disappointments.
The cases of Tallulah Bankhead and Elissa Landi proved much alike. Both have received glowing criticisms but both have had a succession of bad pictures that they are virtually in eclipse. On the other hand, "Little Caesar," a good gangster picture, put Edward G. Robinson back into favor.
Other outstanding personalities of 1931 are Joan Blondell, Madge Evans, Rose Hobart, Genevieve Tobin, Peggy Shannon, Sylvia Sidney, Minna Gombell, James Cagney, William Warren, who made a late season start but is on the high road; Phillips Holmes, Chester Morris, Charles "Chic" Sale.
As for pictures, there were few considering the vast number produced, that remain in memory. The consensus of opinion seems to mark as most meritorious of the 1931 output "Trader Horn," Chaplin's "City Lights," "Bad Girl," "A Free Soul," "Min and Bill," "Skippy," "The Public Enemy," "Frankenstein," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "Cimarron" and "The Millionaire," and "Around the World in 80 Minutes."
Reginald Denny has a new contract with MGM calling for directing with a requirement for acting only when a role suits him. He is to start with "What Happened to Jones" starring William Haines, Charlotte Greenwood, and Jimmy Schnozzle Durante, and then will do "That's My Daddy" one of his own stage successes.
And Sidney Franklin, who directed "Private Lives" has been assigned to the next Norma Shearer picture. At Present MGM is not decided whether it will do "Strange Interlude" with Miss Shearer or not.
Work will start next week on the Ann Harding picture "Westward Passage" which is being adopted from the current fiction hit by Margare Ayer Barnes.
The success of Helen Hayes in "The Sin of Madelon Claudet" has definitely set her in Hollywood. She is under contract to Paramount to make one picture and MGM has exercised its option on her services. The MGM contract permits her to continue with stage work.
Bebe Daniels, fearful of her stage debut, did so well that Sam Harris has offered her a role in a musical comedy by Moss Hart and Morris Ryskind with tunes by Irving Berlin.
Hobart Bosworth has been signed by Paramount to take the title role in "The Miracle Man" vacated when Tyrone Power died suddenly last week. Lloyd Hughes has also been added to the cast which inlcudes Sylvia Sidney, Chester Morris, Irving Pichel, John Wray and Robert Coogan.
WALLACE BEERY IN 'THE CHAMP' AT FOX
Jackie Cooper Co-Starred in Father-Son Drama;
Laurel-Hardy Comedy Too
"The Champ" with Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper will have its first local showing today at the Fox theater. In five days more than 50,000 persons witnessed this film at the Paramount theater in San Francisco. All previous attendence marks were smashed.