Wednesday, May 6, 2009

March 23, 1932


Adjustment Of Situation Said To Have Been Reached By Paramount Heads

Hollywood, Mar. 22 (UP)
Damage suits against Marlene Dietrich, screen star, charging her with libel and alienation of affections, soon will be dismissed, according to announcement by Paramount to-night.

The suits were filed in New York by Mrs. Riza von Sternberg, former wife of Josef von Sternberg, film director.

Adjustment of the situation was said to have been reached after Paramount officials had received a letter from Dr. Sandor Incze, editor of a Budapest newspaper, in which he declared that statements credited to Miss Dietrich in an article by him were “entirely a fabrication and without foundation.”

Mrs. Sternberg’s complaints regarding alleged libel and alienation of her husband’s affections were said to have been based upon the article by Incze.

Upon receipt of a copy of Incze’s letter, accompanied by a lengthy letter from Miss Dietrich, Mrs. Sternberg wrote the actress:

“I wish you to know that the letter is acceptable to me. I beg to advise you that I have accordingly directed my attorneys to dismiss all litigation against you.”

The suits were filed in New York City last year, and demanded $600,000. One asked $100,000 for libel and the other, for $500,000, charged Miss Dietrich with alienating the affections of von Sternberg.


Budapest, March 23
Lya de Putti, Hungarian film actress who attained world-wide fame, was “dead” to her husband and two daughters for nearly 12 years before she died in November in New York, it was revealed today.

For nearly 12 years there had been a grave in a cemetery here with a headstone bearing the inscription – “Lya de Putti – Died 1920.” But it was not until the grave was opened for the burial of their father that the actress’ two daughters, Ilona, 17, and Judith, 14, learned that the mother they had believed dead nearly all their lives really had been alive until a few months ago.

The grave was empty and the girls learned for the first time when their mother had actually died.

Former Judge Zoltan von Szepessy, first husband of the actress, committed suicide in a local hotel on March 8. Police said the motive was financial difficulties but friends insist it was grief over the death of the woman he had “buried” nearly 12 years ago.

It was learned today that when Lya de Putti left her home and children in 1920 to follow her career on stage and screen, Von Szepessy had the headstone placed in the cemetery. Thereafter he always referred to his wife in the past tense and brought up his children in the belief that their mother was deceased.


Los Angeles, March 22 (UP)
An alienation of affections suit against Dorothy Jones, 21, known on the screen as Dorothy Janis, has been settled, it was made known today while the actress was on a honeymoon trip in Wisconsin with Wayne (Waltz) King, orchestra leader of Chicago, to whom she was married in Highland Park, Ill., yesterday.

The suit asked $75,000 on the allegation that Miss Janis stole the love of Sidney E. Lund from Sada Evelyn Lund, dancer. Mrs. Lund charged Miss Janis took Lund’s affections in July, 1930 while on motion picture location in Borneo. Miss Janis made a general denial of the charges when the action was filed.

Russell F. Millham, attorney for Mrs. Lund, said the case had been settled for “a small sum of money and other considerations.”

The bride, born Dorothy Penelope Jones, is a full-blooded Cherokee and claims Fort Worth, Texas, as her home. She won her first picture role at the age of 18 when she was chosen by Fred Thomson, star of western films, from among 150 aspirants for a place in one of his pictures.


Washington, March 23 (AP)
Rudy Vallee, stage and radio crooner, and Mrs. Vallee today visited President Hoover.

Asked about his chat, Vallee said Hoover had suggested, smiling, that if he could make up and sing a song with a prosperity theme he might “rate a medal.”


New York, March 23 (UP)
Doris Rankin, actress and former wife of Lionel Barrymore, today underwent a thyroid gland operation at Booth Memorial hospital. Dr. John Rogers, who performed the operation, said Miss Rankin’s condition was good.

From Luella O. Parsons:

Los Angeles, Mar. 23
Yes, we are all very much interested in what picture Ernst Lubitsch will make first for Paramount on his new contract; the piece of paper that was signed after many heated battles. B. P. Schulberg has been in telephone conversation with Herr Lubitsch, who announces he has bought his ticket and is ready to leave New York for Hollywood on Thursday.

Now, about the first Lubitsch opus. The story is yet to be selected but it will star Miriam Hopkins (her first real starring role). It was Lubitsch who first brought her to the attention of the world in “Smiling Lieutenant.” Up to that time she had been merely a pretty little New York actress. After that, companies with good feminine roles tried to borrow her, but she’s remaining at Paramount.

Whoops, another chain-gang drammer. This one to be made by Radio with Joel McCrea as head man. Long before Georgia chain-gang stories joined the procession of popular numbers, Agnes Christine Johnstone wrote a story called Freedom. Several companies read it and almost bought it. Then David Selznick gave it the once over and immediately recognized the drama and the possibilities, but before he had even exercised his option Warner Brothers and Universal announced pictures dealing with the hardships of the Georgia chain-gang. The more the merrier, however, and Freedom is now being put into proper shape for production.

Hollywood hasn’t had a breach of contract suit in a long time. That’s why tongues are wagging about the suit filed against Leslie Fenton by Gladys Freeman. Pretty Ann Dvorak seen walking on the First National lot, apparently happy, despite the threatened lawsuit.

The William K. Howards were entertaining at the Frolics. Janet Gaynor, her mother, Charles Farrell, and Virginia Valli were in the party. Constance Bennett and the Marquis de la Falaise were dancing to the Ted Fiorito music at the Frolics, and enjoying it.

Joan Bennett and her bridegroom, Gene Markey, are honeymooning in San Francisco. They have been spending a few days in Del Monte also before returning to Hollywood.

From Wood Soanes:

With four productions now before the camera and eleven pictures ready to go into production, the Fox Film Corporation announces that the completion of these 15 pictures will wind up the current season’s production schedule of 48 films. The 15 will be released, one a week, until the middle of August when the new production season starts.

Pictures ready to go into production are:

“Man About Town” with Warner Baxter, a mystery drama of Washington society featuring the secret service. It is a screen play by Leon Gordon of “White Cargo” fame from Denison Clift’s novel and will be directed by Kenneth McKenna.

“Society Girl” with James Dunn and Peggy Shannon in which the former is a prize fighter who tames a society girl. The screen play is by Elmer Harris from a play by John Larkin, Jr. and Charles Beahan and Sidney Lanfield will direct.

“Week Ends Only” in which Joan Bennett rents her services to society matrons’ functions as the life of the party. It is from a novel by Walter Fabien and will be directed by John Francis Dillon, new to Fox.

“Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” with Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell under direction of Al Santell. The screen play is by S. N. Behrman and Sonya Levien from the stage play by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Charlotte Thompson.

In preparation are “The Killer” for George O’Brien, “My Dear” for Peggy Shannon, and two uncast plays, “Precious” and “Under Cover.”

Raoul Walsh, released by Fox after his contract was finished, has signed with M-G-M. He is the man who made “What Price Glory” and many other hits including “Sadie Thompson.” It is not unlikely that he will do the latter picture again as a talkie under its original title, “Rain,” granting that Will Hays approves.

The air service is now to be immortalized by Warner Brothers in a film called “The Romance of the U. S. Mail.” Houston Branch is to write it after he has made a tour of the principal mail centers and has talked with Will Hays, former postmaster-general. Branch wrote Dorothy Mackaill’s “Safe in Hell.” It is hoped that he’ll do a better job for Uncle Sam than he did for Blond Dot.


Lil Dagover, who was the original nun in Max Reinhardt’s “The Miracle,” and who was all but drowned in the North Sea in a movie stunt, is the star of “The Woman From Monte Carlo,” now showing at the Rialto Theater.

She plays the role of the butterfly wife of Captain Corlaix. War, love, intrigue and tragedy are involved in the plot.

Walter Huston and Warren William play respectively the roles of husband and lover.

Others who have roles are George E. Stone, John Wray, Robert Warwick, Oscar Apfel and Maude Eburne.


“Smart Woman,” a comedy featuring Mary Astor, Robert Ames and Edward Everett Horton, is the main picture at the Lyric Theater to-day.

Adapted from Myron C. Fagan’s stage play, “Nancy’s Private Affairs,” the plot revolves about the domestic troubles of an over-solicitous wife who returns from abroad to find her husband in the clutches of a gold-digging daughter, aided and abetted by an avaricious mother.

The wife invites the female love pirate and her own boy friend to spend a week end at her home.


Amanda said...

Fascinating day in Hollywood history. I love to see the blurb about Warren Williams (because he is one of my faves). What I found the most interesting was the story about LYA DE PUTTI. Imagine, all how her poor daughters felt. How sad!

GAH1965 said...

And the situation leading up to the mother running off and the father proclaiming her dead must have made for one unhappy household all around. Sad indeed.

jlp said...

Ms. Dorothy Janis is still alive and well at age 99!