Sunday, May 2, 2010

April 23, 1932


Hollywood, Cal., April 23 (UP)
Greta Garbo, Hollywood’s most mysterious figure, who came from her native Sweden to reach the heights as a film star and then lead a hermit-like existence, found herself projected today into two events that held the interest of the movie colony.

First was a denial of reports from Stockholm that she was to marry Wilhelm Soerensen, reputedly wealthy society man of that city.

Through her manager, Harry Eddington, Miss Garbo let it be known that she consideres Soerensen anything but a friend, much less a husband-to-be.
Soerensen was a visitor in Hollywood 18 months ago. Following his departure, an unauthorized life story of Miss Garbo by a woman writer was published. Studio officials said the actress traced its origin to Soerensen, and has never forgiven him.

“It is not only false, but absurd,” Eddington said in commenting on the reported engagement.

Then there was the reported refusal of the actress to sign a renewal of her contract with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. Her current picture, it was reported, will be her last. Her present agreement with the studio expires in June.

Acquaintances recently quoted Miss Garbo as saying: “I think I go back to Sweden.”
Miss Garbo is perhaps the industry’s biggest box office attraction. Yet she has intimated she considers Swedish farm life preferable to life in Hollywood.
Although she has no close friends in Hollywood, acquaintances say she is worth more than a million dollars.


Stockholm, Sweden, April 23 (AP)
Whether Greta Garbo is to marry Wilhelm Soerensen, son of a wealthy Swedish financier, this summer remains a mystery, the Svenska Dagbladet said today.

The Stockholm correspondent of the London Daily Mail said yesterday the famous movie star would wed Soerensen, a close friend of Prince Sigvard, second son of the Swedish crown prince, later this month.

The Dagbladet said Miss Garbo was going to Berlin in May to be present at the wedding of a young man prominent in Stockholm society.

Captain Soerensen, father of Wilhelm, said the report of his son’s impending marriage to Miss Garbo was “without doubt completely unfounded.” He said he talked with his son by telephone at Berlin yesterday and the latter said nothing about marriage.


Hollywood, April 23
Reason why the actors endeavor to keep their addresses and telephone numbers a secret was manifest by Marlene Dietrich’s recent experiences.

As a sideline to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, a local paper ran a story on the precautions being taken by colony members against any similar abduction of their children. Picture was run showing Miss Dietrich’s home, with windows barred, and the address was given.

Since then an average of sixty telegrams a day have been received by the star from salesmen and racketeers trying to interest her in every conceivable bargain or opportunity to make money.

More than this number called at the home with similar propositions while hundreds of others, mostly hinterlanders, have paid visits to the home to get a look at the player in person. Several times Dietrich’s lawn was cluttered with picnickers who brought along their lunches realizing their vigil might be a long one.

She is now looking for another house.


Hollywood, April 23 (AP)
Once a star of the New York musical comedy stage under the name of Imogene Wilson, Mary Nolan, who of late has had many differences with the law, is returning to the stage. She was reported today as having signed with Joe Tenner to appear in several productions as the Duffy theater in Portland, Ore. Her first probably will be “Rain,” the vehicle which brought Jeanne Eagles international fame.

The appearance of Miss Nolan on the stage depends on the result of her appeal from a conviction of violating the state labor law. She had operated a gown shop which went “broke,” wage claims having been filed by former employees. She is under sentence of 30 days in jail.


George Raft, whose dramatic talents were born in New York’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” but who possesses a cigarette lighter presented to him by the Prince of Wales for teaching his Royal Highness the latest dance steps, has just been placed under long-term contract by Paramount. The contract came as a result of his unusual performance as the menace of “Scarface” and of “Dancers in the Dark.”

A former boxer, ball player with the Eastern league and dancer at Rector’s, Churchill’s and in Ziegfeld productions, Raft went to Hollywood a year ago to play his first dramatic role in a motion picture. He had been urged to try the screen some years before by his good friend Rudolph Valentino, whom some say he resembles, but he refused to do so at that time.

Raft was born on Forty-first street, between Ninth and Tenth avenues, at the time one of the toughest districts in New York. His German grandfather introduced the merry-go-round to this country and later prospected for gold in the early days in California.

After trying various professions Raft became a dancer, then acted in several stock companies in the East, returning to New York City to dance with Elsie Pilcer in “City Chap,” “Gay Paree,” “Manhatters,” and Ziegfeld’s “Palm Beach Nights.” An European tour followed, during which he met the Prince of Wales and taught him to Charleston.

Raft was one of the first entertainers signed when the Publix theaters circuit was formed. Rowland Brown, film director, brought him West for a role in “Quick Millions.” Later he played in “Hush Money” and several other underworld stories.


Metro paid Radio to lay off one day on “State’s Attorney” so it could have John Barrymore back for a day’s retakes on “Grand Hotel.”


By Dan Thomas

Hollywood, Cal., April 23
Make way for some new faces among the ranking stars of filmdom.
At least studio executives are beginning to give a little thought to other things than financial troubles. As the result, those financial troubles may diminish in importance.

What movie business has needed for some time and still needs is more constructive work in the actual preparation and production of pictures. And one of the most important factors in picture-making is the development of new talent, an element woefully neglected by studio heads during the last year or two.

The mahogany desk boys are beginning to realize that neglect now. And they are taking definitive steps toward the building of new stars. Leading in that movement is the Paramount studio, with Universal and several others following close behind.
Several years ago Paramount conducted a school for beginners at its Long Island studio. Out of that school came one real “find.” Buddy Rogers. He was “hot” while he lasted.

Today they are going about the development of new talent in a little different way. Stuart Walker, film and stage director, who is credited with having sent more stars to Broadway than any other stage director, has been given the official title of maker-of-stars. His job is to take the young Paramount players under his wing – coach them, fight for them, make them stars.

There are no real new-comers in this group. Each one has been before the cameras enough to feel at home. All are under long-term contracts and are rated as featured players. But all need an intensive course of training if they are to become stars. They are getting this training from Walker, not as a class but individually.

“I haven’t yet worked out a definite plan as to just how I will handle these youngsters,” Walker told me. “In fact, judging from past experience, there isn’t any definite plan that would prove suitable. Each individual requires training of a special nature. I intend to give each one coaching as I believe will be most beneficial.

“Of course, all will continue their work in pictures. Occasionally I may be able to help them develop their characterizations. And whenever any of them have sufficient time between pictures I will attempt to secure suitable roles for them in local stage plays.”

At present eight young players are working under Walker’s direction. They are Adrienne Ames, Frances Dee, Randolph Scott, Claire Dodd, Kent Taylor, Cary Grant, Florine McKinney and Sari Maritza.

Naturally all eight will not taste stardom. That would be too much to expect. If three or four of them attain that goal the studio will be repaid in its investment hundred times over. And the others probably will develop into more or less valuable supporting players.

Walker declares that all of the youngsters have excellent prospects and that three of them are decidedly of starring material. But he declines to name the three.

One of the biggest handicaps a real “find” in the picture business has to face has been too rapid advancement. One of Walker’s duties will be to prevent this. He knows how a good actor can be ruined by being pushed too fast. And he also knows how an apparently negative actor can be developed into a player of real value.

From Luella O. Parsons:

Los Angeles, April 23
What next to talk about once “The Red-Headed Woman” is put into production?
For months, who to play who not to play the vixen who wrecks a home and then tosses her victim lightly away, has been the chief topic of conversation in Hollywood. So much time has been spent in discussing the girl best suited to play the lead that we have entirely eliminated Bill, the man who is the center of the small town warfare.

Pretty important character, Bill.

Irving Thalberg, in looking ‘em over, has decided that Chester Morris best fits the description. Yesterday he was borrowed from Paramount to play the part.

Yes, I guess it’s decided that Jean Harlow removes her platinum tresses and dons a red wig for “The Red-Headed Woman.”

“A glorious entertaining novel,” said Carl Laemmle, Jr., in describing Number 55, Louis Bromfield’s coming Cosmopolitan serial which he purchased yesterday. “It has everything I have been looking for to star Paul Lukas and I was fortunate to be able to buy it with all the companies bidding for it.” The decided note of victory in young Laemmle’s voice is indicative of the struggle to get good screen material. He bought the Bromfield story from the galley proofs because as he said, he had been reading himself nearly blind to get the right screen play for Lukas.

Lupe Velez has so carried the old town of New York by storm that Florenz Ziegfeld seldom lets a week pass without sending a telegram to one of our movie girls offering her a job. Ziegfeld has learned that motion picture stars are much more popular than stage favorites can ever hope to be for the reason out in Podunk they know the movie girls while the name of the stage favorite is limited to Broadway and the big cities.

Irene Dunne has been carrying around a telegram from Ziegfeld asking her to play the lead in “Show Boat,” which will be revived. Her contract with Radio, of course, makes this impossible.

Chatter in Hollywood:

A hurried trip to Washington by Duncan Renaldo and his lawyer, a secretive one, causes much speculation. Renaldo, who seems to be one of the unlucky ones, is having troubles with his immigration permit and unless he gets it straightened out he will be forced to leave the country. He was recently sued by his wife, naming Edwina Booth as correspondent, and one thing or another seems to have followed his luckless trail since he played in “Trader Horn.”

The meeting of M. C. Levee and Harry Eddington has given rise to the rumor that Greta Garbo may make a picture for the Screen Guild. Mike denies that he has ever talked to Miss Garbo or that any negotiations are under way. He admits it would be nice for his company to have the Garbo, but he says so far there is nothing to report the that she is to return in the fall and make a picture for him.

The outcome of the Dietrich-Von Sternberg-Schulberg battle is being watched by everone in the film business. I learned yesterday that there is nothing in Marlene Dietrich’s contract which specifies that Joseph Von Sternberg must direct her. Up to this time Paramount has been willing to let Von Sternberg direct her, but since the trouble arose on her story Schulberg thought it better to put her into another story with another director. Von Sternberg has confided to some of his friends that he is leaving for New York and letting his difficulties with Paramount simmer in this absence. Both he and Marlene will be handed suspension notices today which means they are off salary until they return to work. Up to now no notices have been given them, merely the threat of such a notice.

Snapshots of Hollywood:

Paul Stein, back for England where he directed Corinne Griffith.

Lottie Pickford lunching at the Brown Derby and being given the glad hand by old friends in the picture business.

Harpo Marx whispering a few compliments in Billie Dove’s shell-like ear.

Sid Grauman unfolding one of his most unique ideas for the gala “Grand Hotel” premier.

Dorothy Jordan looking chic and, as an admirer expressed it, “kinda’ cute” in a blue and white sport outfit.

Barbara Bebe Daniels adopting a mongrel that walked in unannounced and uninvited.


Another big double feature program will begin a three-day engagement at the Fox-Senator theater tomorrow. Charles “Chic” Sale in “The Expert” will be screened for the last time today.

Tomorrow, Will Rogers in “Business and Pleasure” and Helen Twelvetrees in “Panama Flo” begin their three-day engagement.

Rogers is seen as the witty sheik of Oklahoma who goes hobnobbing in harems among the sultan’s favorite flappers in “Business and Pleasure.” He and his family take an ocean voyage presumably for pleasure, but really on very urgent business that constantly keeps Will in “hot water.”

There are many spots where Rogers was allowed to leave the script and supply his own brand of humor which accounts for much of the hilarity that predominates from beginning to end. Jetta Goudal is prominently cast.

A strong supporting cast is grouped with Helen Twelvetrees, the star of “Millie,” who is seen in the title role of “Panama Flo,” on the double feature program.


Lolita said...

This is just lovely to read! I adore this blog. I like Cary Grant being briefly mentioned as a promising talent!

GAH1965 said...

Hard to imagine Cary Grant ever needing schooling on how to be a movie star!