Tuesday, April 21, 2009
She Tells 600 in Workhouse That She Never Saw a Party in Hollywood
Answers Their Questions
New York Times, March 22, 1932
Mary Pickford told 600 inmates of the Welfare Island Workhouse the inside story of Hollywood yesterday and surprised them with early-to-bed, early-to-rise tales of the stars. But featuring the program were questions with which the prisoners besieged her as for once they found themselves in a familiar field. Some nearly had her guessing.
Miss Pickford went far back into the history of the motion-picture industry, as far back as “those cheap-smelling nickelodeons.” She was then the “Biograph Blonde” or “Goldilocks,” The Biograph Company would not let her use her name because they thought the publicity might spoil her, she explained.
“Any questions?” she asked, and, pointing at a woman in the front rows, added, “I know all about Clark Gable.” Her audience, however, had no question about him.
“I can tell you about Joan Crawford,” she continued. “She’s a member of the family. She deserves credit for going out there without any friends or influence. She leaves parties at 9. She has to be up at 6:30.”
NEVER SAW A HOLLYWOOD PARTY
“You hear all this talk about Hollywood parties. I’ve been there fifteen years and I’ve never seen one.
Aren’t there any questions?”
But when the prisoners did begin to respond their concern was mainly for the starts who had passed off the screen. “Where’s Pearl White?” finally came a deep voice from down the aisle.
“She lives near Cairo,” Miss Pickford answered. “And I hear that she is engaged to a very rich man. She is still as beautiful as she was the ‘Perils of Pauline.’”
“Is Dolores Costello coming back to pictures again?” a concerned voice enquired.
“No, I don’t think so. John Barrymore adores her.”
“Is it true, Mary, that Richard Talmadge took ‘acrobatical’ lessons from Doug?”
“I don’t know. He certainly had a chance if he wanted to.
“Who is the next Lon Chaney of the screen?”
“I don’t think that there will ever be another.”
“Why did that heartbreaker, Theda Bara, leave the stage?”
“She had lived her cycle. We depend on you people, the public, you know.”
“Is Pola Negri still sick?”
“Oh no, she’s right here in New York – in person. She’s a peach.”
“Are those dogs in dog pictures trained?”
“Yes, it takes infinite pains. And it’s done with love and not whipping.”
“Is Norma Talmadge coming back?”
I’ve heard rumors but I doubt it.”
NEVER SAW CLARA BOW
“What do you think of Clara Bow?”
“Well, to tell you the truth, I have never seen her. But I may do a picture with her.”
Applause greeted that announcement.
She told them that one can get along without food in Hollywood, but not without a car, for there is too much distance to travel. She said she wished that she could produce some statistics on the hardship undergone by the “extras,” but added that “it might be too depressing for you boys and girls.”
“I can remember when I looked first at the price of food,” she said. “’Fifteen cents, that’s me,’ I would say. Then, ‘What is it? Can I eat it?’ I can still see the dents I made in Seventh Avenue walking up and down it.”
She told them that setbacks such as theirs would bring out the best in them. “You’re getting spiritual exercise for your muscles,” she said. When this brought forth a laugh, she added: “I know it sounds funny to thank God for such a thing, but use it as a stepping stone for something finer.”
Miss Pickford blew two kisses past the microphone into the audience. Richard C. Patterson, Jr., Commissioner of Correction, stepped up and said “There’s only on America’s Sweetheart.”
Monday, April 20, 2009
Buddy Rogers, Jimmy Walker Cited as Examples of What Men Shouldn’t Wear
By H. Allen Smith – United Press Staff Correspondent
New York, March 22
The Merchant Tailor’s National Association’s hope that men would start wearing flashy colors and fancier styles was roundly denounced today by four Ziegfeld show girls.
The girls interviewed backstage during a rehearsal were unanimous in the opinion that men should dress conservatively. They picked Ronald Colman as “one of the few movie stars who knows how to dress,” and made a few sly digs at the sartorial splendor of Buddy Rogers, one of the stars of “Hot Cha,” the show in which they themselves are appearing.
Since one of Ziegfeld’s press agents was present, the girls knew better than to condemn their Buddy outright.
“Now, listen, girls,” said the press agent, “suppose you just tell the gentleman that Buddy Rogers is the best-dressed man in the world.”
“Well,” said Mary Coyle, who originated in Lincoln, Neb., “I would say he is well dressed, on the stage. Be sure and put that ‘on the stage’ in.”
“Yes,” added Louise Allen, from Boston, “and also say from the knees up. He’s well dressed, you might say, on the stage, from the knees up.”
“Girls,” said the press agent, “I ask you, is that a nice thing to say about a guy right here in our own show? Is it nice?”
“Buddy is too much Hollywood off the stage,” put in Marian Dixon, who comes from Wichita.
“I like Englishmen, the way they dress,” said Mary Alice Rice of Dallas. “I think it would be all right to have something like those red businesses they wear when they are hunting to hounds, or whatever you call it. Maybe we could have red outfits for certain hours of the day – say for tea. Only I turn thumbs down on pink tuxedos, coats with belts, coat that are split in the back, turtle-neck sweaters and all the rest of Hollywood’s horrible haberdashery.”
Miss Rice was given due credit for having turned a pretty phrase.
Then Miss Coyle wearing pajamas at the moment, took the floor. “If those tailors ever put this idea over – this idea of having the men dress like Easter eggs on wheels – I’m for having the girls go around in overalls, or barrels, or adhesive tape.
“No self-respecting girl would keep a date with a man who dressed like a clown. Personally, when any of my boy friends break out in a gaudy shirt or a gray derby or a tie that can be heard half-way across town, I simply tell them to go back and change their clothes if they want to be seen in public with me.”
“And as for Jimmy Walker,” finished Miss Allen, “I think he’s got a nerve ever to leave his house. To my way of thinking, he represents what the well-dressed man should not wear.”
Friday, April 17, 2009
Newlyweds Face Big Suit
Los Angeles, March 22 (UP)
Breach of promise and betrayal was alleged in a $250,000 damage suit on file today against Leslie Carter Fenton, actor who several days ago married Ann Dvorak, motion picture star.
Gladys Freeman, 19, known on the stage as Julie Carter, was the complainant. The complaint said Fenton and Miss Carter became engaged last October, that he betrayed her under premise of marriage, and “created an impression” that they were married.
On Feb. 8th, Miss Carter said, he told her he loved another girl and would see her no more. She declared he had promised her a honeymoon in Europe this summer.
The complaint recited that Fenton, by repeated promises of marriage, induced her to live with him for several months in a Hollywood apartment house, that he bought her clothes and an automobile, established a bank account for her last Oct. 8, and Nov. 26 gave her an engagement ring.
Miss Freeman was represented in today’s action by her father, Carl Freeman, as guardian.
Fenton and Miss Dvorak, also 19, were married at Yuma, Ariz. last Thursday, several weeks after they met at a Hollywood motion picture studio.
MISS RAMBEAU LOSES IN LOVE BALM CASE
New York, Mar. 22 (AP)
A verdict of $40,000 was returned against Marjorie Rambeau, actress, to-day in the $100,000 alienation of affections suit brought by Mrs. Mabel Manton, widow of the late Kevitt Manton, the actor.
Mrs. Manton had testified her husband began to transfer his affections to Miss Rambeau while they were playing together in 1924-25. The first trial of the suit two years ago resulted in a disagreement.
ESTELLE TAYLOR ASKS $150,000 IN SUIT
Los Angeles, Mar. 22 (AP)
Estelle Taylor, Hollywood screen star and former wife of Jack Dempsey, to-day filed a $150,000 suit against Frank Joyce, theatrical agent, for injuries she suffered while riding in Joyce’s automobile last Christmas Day.
Miss Taylor’s suit also named as defendant Noel L. Scott, Joyce’s chauffeur.
She alleged that Scott was intoxicated and “in a drowsy condition and actually fell asleep while operating the automobile.” He drove so negligently that the large and expensive car collided with a palm tree at a Hollywood intersection, the complaint alleged.
DOROTHY JANIS IS A BRIDE
Film Actress Wed to Wayne King, Radio Orchestra Leader
Special to the New York Times –
Chicago, March 21
Wayne King, of this city, who leads his orchestra in regular broadcasts over WGN, married Dorothy Janis of the films in Lake County today.
The couple obtained a license from County Clerk L. A. Hendee at Waukegan, to whom they gave their names as Harold Wayne King, 31 years old, and Dorothy Jones, 21. The bride was born in Texas.
The marriage ceremony was performed by the Rev. Louis W. Sherwin, pastor of the Highland Park Presbyterian Church.
Mr. King’s personal representative, W. H. Stein, vice president of the Music Corporation of America, was best man. He collected $2000 from the bridegroom, a forfeit for violation of an agreement made two years ago that neither would take a bride until he was 40.
ACTRESS DOOMED TO STAY IN PLASTER CAST
Hollywood, March 22 (US)
Although she is “out of danger,” Eve Southern, screen actress, who underwent a delicate spinal operation, must remain in a plaster cast for several months until the fractured vertebrae in her spine heals, hospital attendants said today. The operation involving the re-fracturing of the vertebrae was necessitated by injuries she received in a toboggan accident.
ARBUCKLE’S FORMER WIFE TO REMARRY
Los Angeles, Mar. 22 (AP)
A notice of intention to wed Easter Sunday was filed to-day by Doris Deane Arbuckle, 29, former wife of Roscoe C. (Fatty) Arbuckle, motion picture comedian, and Elmer S. Hartz, 37, Beverly Hills banker.
They will be married Sunday at the Hollywood home of Ernest Westmore, a friend of the couple.
It will be Miss Deane’s third marriage and Hartz’ second. She divorced Arbuckle two years ago. Miss Deane was accompanied to the marriage license bureau by her friend, Priscilla Dean, motion picture actress.
ACTRESS TAKES POISON AFTER ROW; TO LIVE
Los Angeles, March 22 (UP)
Hazel Wilson, 20, motion picture actress, is recovering today from what her husband told police was an attempt at suicide. J. Wilson said his wife emerged from the bathroom after a quarrel with stains on her lips, having swallowed a small quantity of poison. She was given hospital treatment. Wilson said the quarrel resulted because he refused to move to a more expensive apartment.
MARTIN SPREITZER, MOVIE PIONEER, DEAD
Established First Motion Picture Theater in White Plains
White Plains, N. Y., March 21
Martin Speitzer, who established the first motion picture theater in White Plains when the community was a village, died yesterday at his home, 121 South Broadway, this city. He was 67 years old and had been ill for a week.
When the motion picture was developed shortly after the opening of the present century, Mr. Speitzer, who then operated the Newport Butcher Shop in the old village of White Plains, cleared away the counters and by simple procedure of placing a few seats in his shop, established the Electric Theater, first movie house here.
He leaves a brother and two sisters, all of Paterson, N. J., his birthplace.
From Luella O. Parsons:
Los Angeles, Mar. 22
Warner Brothers will have to speed up to get their Georgia chain gang story out first. Universal bought Laughter in Hell, by Jim Tully, dealing also with the life of a prisoner in a chain gang. Tully, in his own inimitable way, has written a novel that, we are told, is as thrilling as the galley slave scenes in Les Miserables. Universal says it’s so good that negotiations have now been opened with Victor McLaglen to get him to play the lead.
Douglas Fairbanks pages us to tell us that he isn’t making another travelogue. One picture showing Doug tea-ing with a maharajah or supping with a foreign prince is enough. His next picture is a drama with love interest and plenty of typical Fairbanks adventure. “For that reason,” said Doug, “I am changing the title from ‘A Tropical Knight’ to ‘Robinson Crusoe of the South Seas.’” Doug plays a modern Robinson Crusoe cast ashore in the tropical island near Tahiti where he is making his picture.
Mary Pickford is going to stay in New York at least another six weeks. She writes to say that Frances Marion is joining her April 1 and that means those two will roll up their sleeves and work on the story which Frances has prepared. So far it’s only a synopsis but from bits told me it sounds as if it were more than a mere building idea.
At any rate, Mary likes it better than anything she has seen in New York and she has had a look at all the plays. I promised I wouldn’t tell the idea except to say that it’s not one of the old-time Pickford vehicles. Mary feels these belong to yesterday and perhaps she is right.
The newest find on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot, Robert Young, isn’t being farmed out to other studios. After his appearance as the son in “The Sin of Madelon Claudet,” there were two or three offers for him. Last week after his appearance in “The Wet Parade” the number of companies that had parts for him increased.
But Irving Thalberg decided if the boy is that good he’d better stay right on the home lot. His next picture is the part of the son in “Strange Interlude” and here is an interesting one. He plays Clark Gable’s son. The cast given Norma Shearer is only second to that of the Grand Hotel personnel. There is Clark Gable, Alexander Kirkland and Robert Young.
Greta Garbo will emerge as a platinum blonde in the role of Zara the exotic dancer-heroine in “As You Desire Me,” her new M-G-M starring vehicle which George Fitzmaurice is taking from the Pirandello play. Eric von Stroheim heads the cast that includes Owen Moore, Albert Conti and several others.
Robert Young and Margaret Perry will be the two new “names” in M-G-M’s “After All,” an adaptation of the John Van Druten play. Young got the assignment as the result of his work in “The Wet Parade,” and “The Sin of Madelon Claudet.” Miss Perry was in the stage version of “Strictly Dishonoable.”
Ruth Chatterton is disappointed because Elder Will Hays would not let her do “Shanghai Gesture.”
Frank Craven’s “The First Year” will be made into a talkie by the Fox company with James Dunn and Sally Eilers co-starred as usual.
Berthold Viertel will direct Clive Brook and Claudette Colbert in “Bride of the Enemy.”
Spencer Tracy joins the cast of “Society Girl.”
Marie Dressler is reported quite ill on the Coast.
Robert Coogan, now six, has started school.
The D. A. R. previewing committee has given an “A” rating to Will Rogers’ “Business and Pleasure.”
In order that her expected addition to the family may enter life a full-fledged American, Virginia Lee Corbin (Mrs. Ted Krohl), former child actress, is returning to California shortly from the British studios in which she has been spending most of her career for the past several years. The baby is expected in August.
For the first time in his stage or screen career, Charlie Ruggles has altered the style of his mustache. Cast as the comedian with Maurice Chevalier in the Paramount-bound “One Hour With You,” Ruggles shaved his mustache in the accepted French style which he describes as simulating the artist’s conception of a bird in flight.
Adrienne Allen, star of the current Broadway success “Cynara,” who recently was placed under long-term contract by Paramount, will make her screen debut with Sylvia Sidney and Fredric March in “Merrily We Go to Hell.”
Miss Allen will entrain for the West Coast tomorrow and four days later will start on the film version of Cleo Lucas’ novel, “I Jerry, Take Thee Joan.”
George Raft, native of New York’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and possessor of a cigarette lighter presented by the Prince of Wales for teaching him new dance steps, today was given a long-term acting contract by Paramount as a result of his performance s in “Scarface” and “Dancers in the Dark,” the latter film current at the Paramount.
TWO-SOMES IN HOLLYWOOD:
Milton Golden takes Mary Philbin places nowadays…
Gwen McCormack, daughter of the famous tenor, is seen with Hardie Albright…
Lowell Sherman showered Ethlynd Terry with posies when she opened in “Sons o’ Guns” at a local theater…
Madge Evans and Tom Gallery threaten matrimony after his wife, Zasu Pitts, gets the final decree…
Lina Basquette and Alan Roscoe are chummy…
Russell Gleason and Frances Dee are going places.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
DOLLY SISTER TAKES ALONG 12 TRUNKS ON HONEYMOON
New York, March 21
Counting only the bride’s luggage, Irving Netcher, wealthy Chicago business merchant and Roszika Dolly, of the “Dolly Sisters” have 12 trunks to worry about on their honeymoon.
The trunks contain 40 hats, 50 pairs of shoes, 15 evening gowns, 13 pocketbooks and 20 dresses.
“So my husband will have no chance to complain that his bride is poorly dressed” Roszika laughingly explained after the wedding ceremony, performed here March 16 by Mayor Jimmy Walker.
Roszika and Netcher made a special trip from Paris to New York for the wedding, thus avoiding the 300-day wait imposed in France on divorced persons.
Roszika was divorced in Mineola, N. Y., last November from Mortimer Davis, Jr., son of the late Sir Mortimer, Canadian tobacco magnate, whom she married in 1927. Her divorce decree from Davis became final last month. Her first husband was John Schwartz, actor. Netcher has been married once before. He is a brother of Townsend Netcher, husband of Constance Talmadge, former motion picture star.
SON OF HUMORIST IS CITED FOR SPEEDING
Gilroy, Calif., Mar. 21 (AP)
For the second time in three days Will Rogers, Jr., son of the humorist, encountered the restrictions of traffic regulations when he was arrested here Saturday charged with speeding.
Reports from Redwood City stated he was arrested there Thursday on a similar charge. He was cited to appear here next Friday. He is a freshman at Stanford University.
From Wood Soanes:
Those who have seen “Ladies of the Jury” playing at the RKO Orpheum theater, have acclaimed it one of the funniest films to be shown here during the current season.
Starring Edna May Oliver, Ken Murray and Roscoe Ates, the picture depicts the trials and tribulations of a jury deliberating the fate of a young widow, Jill Esmond.
RKO vaudeville this week is also good for many laughs. As an added attraction, the Orpheum offers a sensational picture of the ring, “Can Jack Dempsey Come Back?” that will provide many thrills.
YOUR HOLLYWOOD CORRESPONDENT REPORTS:
Ralph Forbes and Melvyn Douglas have shaved their mustaches for their roles in “Thunder Below” and “The Broken Wing” and Paul Lukas grew a beard for the former film.
The Four Marx Brothers used to be “The Three Nightingales,” “The Six Mascots,” and “Funsters in Hi Skule.”
Chester Morris wears a yellow stiff-bosomed shirt, a pink wing collar and a blue bow tie before the cameras… all of which photograph white.
Wynne Gibson wants to be a costume designer when she quits the screen.
Three dealers from an underground gambling house are acting as technical advisors on certain scenes in Paramount’s “Sinners in the Sun.”
Irving Pichel is the screen’s leading two-timer. While he is making love to Ann Harding in “Westward Passage” he is thinking of a heavy date he has with Helen Twelvetrees in “State’s Attorney,” both pictures are being filmed simultaneously.
Nobody can wear pajamas like Joan Crawford… the reason is only too obvious.
Marion Davies always rolls her handkerchiefs into fluffy balls... and forgets them.
Karen Morley's ankle is all healed up again.
Leila Hyams opened the beaching season at Malibu with a soiree.
Nils Asther likes spaghetti with anchovies.
Luis Alberni and Adrienne D’Ambicourt, two of the screen’s able portrayers of foreign roles, are prominently cast in the current Palace attraction, “Men in Her Life,” with Lois Moran, Charles Bickford and Donald Dilloway.
Roland West, United Artists producer, never bothers with screen tests in signing players for his pictures. For “Corsair,” the Chester Morris vehicle at the Riviera, he signed his entire company on hunches. On the same program is “Good Sport" with John Boles, Linda Watkins and Greta Nissen.
James Dunn and Sally Eilers, stars of “Bad Girl” and “Over the Hill,” are making their third screen appearance together in “Dance Team,” at the Regent. Edwin Burke, who wrote the lines for their first picture, adapted “Dance Team” from the popular novel by Sarah Addington. Another “Bad Girl” veteran who plays in the new film, which Sidney Lanfield directed, is Minna Gombel.
FOREIGN FILM HELD OVER AT THE ROXIE
“Two Hearts in Waltz Time” announced for one week only at the Roxie theater, began its second week Saturday as a result of popular demand.
This is the first of the foreign films to be shown at the Roxie under the new policy. It is ranked as the outstanding German musical picture of the talkies, but while the dialogue is in German, the story is understandable to non-German audiences.
Titles in English explain the action of the piece and the skill of the comedians coupled with the music of the score combine in making “Two Hearts" attractive to theatergoers of all nationalities.
The picture will remain for the balance of this week and be followed on next Saturday by “The Five Year Plan,” a Russian film.
From Luella O. Parsons:
Los Angeles, Mar. 21 –
Evelyn Brent is returning to Columbia. I thought as much when I heard she was in conference with the Columbia bosses. Columbia is sort of her alma mater for she made a number of good pictures for them. She makes one “drammer” and then I understand there will be others to follow. The first is “Criminal Court,” starring Edmund Lowe.
I have wondered why Betty Brent didn’t do more on the screen. She is one of the most finished actresses we have, yet so far as I know she hasn’t had a job in months.
Why is it these producers look right over the heads of good talent and bring in strangers?
The new club in New York which opened at Pierre’s and which was organized in opposition to the Mayfair is getting an interesting play from film people. I am told that Ricardo Cortez walked in there the other night and was at once the center of attraction. He is due back here in a few days to begin work on “Is My Face Red?” Jill Esmond has been put into the cast opposite him.
I happened to be in Mrs. Brock Pemberton’s office the other day when Jill came in to talk costumes. When she went out some one remarked: “That is the nicest girl on the lot; nothing temperamental about her. All she wants is to make a good picture.” Robert Armstrong is also in the cast and Lowell Sherman directs.
Snapshots of Hollywood: Vivienne Osborne in snappy red outfit at the Brown Derby for luncheon. Tallulah Bankhead and Joseph Schenck talking over “Rain.” Ken Maynard is moving into a swank new home in Hancock Park. Eileen Percy is off to the desert for a few days to recuperate. William Haines off for the north on a holiday. Elissa Landi at Caliente Sunday.
TELLING ON THE STARS
By Robert Grandon
Over at Club De Soto the other night, the conversation at our table veered to legs… flesh, not mahogany… with Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford and Jean Harlow receiving the controlling votes… until someone mentioned Loretta Young… Then there was a landslide.
A wonderful example of what physical training will do is the possessor of this pair of American glorifieds. Just past nineteen, though divorced from Grant Withers, she came to Hollywood a scrawny, sickly schoolgirl. Childhood illness had weakened her until she was obliged to wear leg braces… and she was only excess baggage when her mother tried to launch her two sisters, Polly Ann Young and Sally Blane.
Loretta’s first opportunity came when Lon Chaney picked her as his leading lady in “Laugh, Clown, Laugh.” As the girl of the circus she had to wear flounced skirts, with a generous display of bust and legs… but poor Loretta possessed neither worth mentioning.
Chaney remedied that. With his skill at makeup he built contour and limbs with plaster-of-paris preparation, and Loretta scored her first hit.
Now she’s the member of the family in demand and sisters Polly and Sally are satisfied with quickies or any other old film to do.