Wednesday, May 20, 2009

March 26, 1932


San Francisco, March 24 (UP)
Demands of Mrs. Joseph von Sternberg, wife of the film director, that Marlene Dietrich, screen star, publish certain letters before Mrs. Von Sternberg would consent to withdraw two suits she filed against the star, was complied with, in effect, here to-day, when legal advertising columns of the San Francisco News carried the letters.

Mrs. Von Sternberg sued Miss Dietrich last fall, charging alienation of her husband’s affections, and libel. The actions were the outgrowth of a purported interview allegedly quoting Miss Dietrich, in the Neues Wiener Journal, at Budapest.

The news printed three letters under the title “Legal Notices.” The first, bearing Miss Dietrich’s signature, said in part:

“Dear Mrs. Von Sternberg:”

“I am sure the enclosed copy of a letter which I have received from Dr. Sandor Incze, editor of the Szinhazi Elet and author of the syndicated article which appeared in the Neues Wiener Journal will convince you that we both have been imposed upon and subjected to a publicity which was as cruel and needless as it was deplorable to both of us.


“This letter, you will note, specifically admits and confesses the element of fabrication with regard to all misstatements incorporated in the alleged interview, which forms the basis of one of your suits against me. These misstatements, I beg you to recall, I emphatically denied and charged as gross fabrication because:
“No movement was ever launched to boycott me or my pictures by you with whom my relations were entirely friendly up to the time of your instituting these two legal actions against me.

“No report was circulated by you that I was divorcing my husband, Herr Sieber.

“No statement was made by me that Mr. Von Sternberg was divorcing you because of me, or that he would have divorced you if he had ever met me.

“No statement was made by me that there were serious differences between you and Mr. Von Sternberg, nor did I say that he related the story of his divorce to me or that I was in possession of information not generally known regarding your marital affairs.


“I reiterate my complete denial. I can only again assert that these fabrications and misstatements deliberately incorporated in the alleged interview to injure your reputation and mine, could not possibly have any foundation in fact.

“I trust you will accept this communication as final evidence of my good faith in this matter and realize that the fabrications and misstatements contained in the alleged interview were beyond my control.

“Very truly yours,
Marlene Dietrich”

The second letter was from Incze to Miss Dietrich admitting falsity of the interview which appeared in the Neues Wiener Journal.

The third letter, signed by Mrs. Von Sternberg and addressed to Miss Dietrich said:

“Dear Mrs. Marlene Dietrich:

“I hereby acknowledge receipt of your communication of February 3, 1932, enclosing a copy of a letter from Dr. Sando Incze, editor of the Szinhazi Etet, wherein the element of fabrication is admitted and confessed with regard to the syndicated article published in the Neues Wiener Journal of December 9, 1930.


“I have noted your specific denials of all the misstatements in the interview with you, misstatements which formed the basis for my legal actions for libel instituted against you.

“I wish you to know that Dr. Incze’s letter is acceptable to me. It demonstrates to my satisfaction his desire to vindicate me as well as yourself and is most welcome proof of your charge of deliberate and calculated misquotations.

“I beg to advise you that I have accordingly this day directed my attorney to dismiss all litigation against you.

“It is my earnest desire that this letter will convince you of my reciprocal good faith and that its publication simultaneously with yours to me will end at once and for always the unfortunate publicity to which both of us have been subjected.

“Yours very truly,


Lawyer Declares Mutual Agreement Will Block Court Action in Reno

Los Angeles, March 26 (UP)
Legal difficulties may complicate the divorce plans of Ann Harding, film star, and Harry Bannister, her husband, in the opinion of S. S. Hahn, prominent attorney and divorce authority.

Hahn, in a signed newspaper article, said it was contrary to public policy, as interpreted by the statutes, for persons to agree mutually to obtain a divorce.
The “friendly plan” of Miss Harding and Bannister would not be sanctioned by law, he asserted.

The couple agreed to obtain a divorce, they said in statements, because Bannister lost his identity in the fame of his wife.

Reno, Nev., March 26 (UP)
Harry Bannister, husband of Ann Harding, actress, who is here admittedly to obtain a divorce, was not concerned today over the statement of S. S. Hahn, Los Angeles attorney, that on the basis of their statements neither Bannister nor Miss Harding is entitled to a decree.

“Since I have not retained Mr. Hahn or anyone else for my counsel, and am not an attorney myself, I hardly feel I can comment on his remarks,” he said.
The “real story” of their separation has been told, Bannister asserted. He said he had not determined on what grounds to seek a decree. In Reno he planned to devote himself to outdoor life.

Hahn’s statement questioning the divorce was based on the fact that the law does not recognize mutual consent.


Walter Huston Accepts Challenge Of Pastor To Discuss Prohibition

Los Angeles, March 25 (UP)
Aimee Semple McPherson-Hutton, evangelist who supports the cause of prohibition, will face Walter Huston, motion picture actor, in a debate at Angelus Temple Monday night.

“Resolved: That Prohibition Is A Success” will be the topic, with Mrs. Hutton arguing the affirmative and Huston attempting to prove that prohibition “Is a complete failure.”

The debate will be a result of the furor which followed the appearance of the motion picture, “The Wet Parade,” based upon Upton Sinclair’s novel. Mrs. Hutton, figuring that something should be done about the matter, issued a general challenge, offering to debate anybody on the subject of prohibition.

Huston accepted the challenge to-day.

Sinclair will act as chairman during the arguments, with Isador Dockweiller, prominent Democrat, Anita Loos, writer, and Hedda Hopper, film actress, as judges. Mayor Porter, a confirmed dry, will be time keeper.


Los Angeles, Mar. 26 (UP)
Duncan Renaldo, screen actor, was sought to-day by Merced County officers for assertedly failing to pay a traffic fine after being granted time to do so.

Renaldo, arrested at Atwater in the middle of January for reckless driving and cited to appear before Justice of the Peace W. H. Osborne, failed to appear but telephoned Osborne that he was financially unable to go to Atwater and asked the judge to set his fine by telephone.
Osborne fined him $30 and Renaldo demurred, declaring that he had only $15 and begged that he be permitted to pay the fine on the installment plan, $15 then and $15 more in a month’s time.

The second installment of the fine was due toward the end of February, and when Renaldo failed to pay it, Osborne asked the sheriff’s office in Merced to take such action as would oblige the actor to keep his agreement.


Los Angeles, March 26 (AP)
Mack Sennett, who started many a motion picture star of today on the road to fame as a bathing girl in his pie-heaving comedies, has become a citizen of the United States. The comedy producer took the oath of citizenship in federal court yesterday. He was born Michael Sinnott in Canada in 1880, but had his name legally changed to Mack Sennett after coming to Hollywood.


Orchestra Leader and Indian Film Actress Back in Chicago After Honeymoon

Chicago, March 26
Wayne King, orchestra leader well known to radio fans, and his bride, the former Dorothy Janis, screen actress, are home from their honeymoon in Wisconsin.

They were married here recently following a romance which began in Hollywood three years ago when Miss Janis, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, arrived at the movie capital from Texas to assume her first screen role. During recent months the romance kept telegraph and telephone wires between Chicago and Hollywood busy – until Miss Janis came here for the wedding.

Friends say King’s arrangement of the song “Indian Love Call” had something to do with the success of his suit.

From Luella O. Parsons:

There is a new girl in Hollywood. Her name is Jeanne Woolins but you must call her Jeanne Sorel, that’s her new name. I don’t suppose anyone gave Cecile Sorel, the great French actress, a thought when she was renamed? Miss Wollins is a Russian beauty, born in Alexandria, Egypt, and she has already gotten herself a job.

She was discovered by Samuel Goldwyn when she appeared at the Capitol Theater in New York and signed on a contract. She hadn’t been here a day before she was borrowed by Columbia for a part in “Faith,” the Giannini bank epic, now being made at the studio.

I haven’t seen Miss Woolins, but she is said to have plenty of allure. She must have something to get a job without ever having played a part in a Hollywood picture.

Some way when we think of the girls who have worked for years and learned their art, it seems all wrong to bring a stranger in and try to make a star of her overnight.

Aimee Semple McPherson has challenged Walter Huston to a debate on temperance. Mrs. McPherson to take the side of prohibition and Huston to talk for the good old days before bootleggers became the Mussolinis of our country. Huston, you see, is the leading figure in “The Wet Parade.”

Furthermore, he is a man of intelligence. What he would have to say would be intensely interesting. As for Aimee, well, she is always colorful, always interesting and she has a following that nothing changes.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is all keen and set to have Aimee debate with Walter. First there was talk of having the discussion in the Shrine Auditorium, but Aimee favors the Four Square Temple, and it will sure be a sell-out.

Chatter in Hollywood:

No commuting for Janet Gaynor while she is making “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.” She has moved in from the beach, and has taken an apartment in town.

Ruth Chatterton is the only one I know who lives on the lot while she is working.

Roscoe Arbuckle is taking himself to St. Louis to open at the Fox theater there, where he will be master of ceremonies. If he is anywhere near as funny as he was at the opening of the Bohemian club, he ought to go over big.

Leo Diegel is back in town. He has been talking golf to the four Marx brothers. Maybe he can tell them about golf, but they can tell him about bridge and how.

Leo Carrillo has arranged to tour the public houses. Amazing how many vaudeville acts with star personalities are being added to get folks into the theaters. In some cases it works, in some it doesn’t.

Snapshots of Hollywood:

Marilyn Miller is off to Palm Springs for Easter.

Lila Lee and George Hill were dining together tete a tete.

Greta Garbo’s reported determination to return to Sweden in June is still the most discussed subject in Hollywood.

The Irving Thalbergs are entertaining a party of twenty at the Mayfair. Duke Ellington’s band is promised to be an added attraction there.

Ronald Colman, who wields a mean tennis racket, is getting plenty of practice with Clive Brook, another tennis champion. Both of them are at Arrowhead Springs.


Dorothy Mackaill goes to England for three pictures. Roland Young will go there for one. The British producers are trying to be serious about giving Hollywood some competition this time, but we’ve heard that before and it just never worked out.


Four-year-old Cora Sue Collins can’t exactly be called a “cry-baby,” but she can shed tears at will. And largely because it’s no trick for her to cry, Cora Sue has made an auspicious start on a film career that promises to bring her prominent parts in movies made in the next few years, they say down in Hollywood.
Cora Sue is a naïve little miss with brown eyes and curls. She was one of the principals in “The Unexpected Father,” and now, because of her ability to cry when she wants to, she has a part in “The Strange Case of Clara Deane.”

But the road to a movie career hasn’t been smooth for Cora Sue and her mother, Mrs. Clyde Collins. They were residents of Clarksburg, W. Va., until a few months ago. The neighbors all said Cora Sue should be in the movies. The Collins family had had financial reverses, however, and getting to Hollywood was a problem. But Mrs. Collins was undaunted, and she managed to get enough money together for railroad fare, with a little left over. The mother, Cora Sue and Cora’s ten year old sister, Madge, set out for Hollywood.

But more trouble awaited. The girls became ill and were in bed for a month. Mrs. Collins sold hosiery and her husband sent what money he could spare to tide them over.

Then came good luck. A woman who admired Cora Sue on the street the first day after she recovered from her illness proved to be a friend of an agent who arranged for the test which got Cora Sue her first job.

Mrs. Collins has faith in Cora’s ability and thinks some day she will be a “great big star.” As she says: “I may be wrong, but I think Cora Sue is different.”


Quitting momentarily Hollywood life, Mary Pickford stepped into a new atmosphere the other day when she unexpectedly dropped into New York and took up temporary residence in a suite at the Sherry Netherlands hotel. There she will round out the details for her next picture, such as completion of the story, selection of a leading man and other incidentals.


Peggy Shannon, the Arkansas girl who was introduced to pictures as Clara Bow’s successor – and always chafed under the designation – is making a new start at Fox, playing opposite James Dunn in “Society Girl.” They have no Clara there to hold up to Peggy.

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