Monday, December 29, 2008

March 5, 1932


Asheville, N.C., Mar. 5 (AP)
Friends here today confirmed a report from Hollywood that Betty Bronson, film star, had become engaged to Ludwig Lauerhaus of Asheville, who went to Hollywood recently to become connected with the motion picture industry.
W. J. Cocke, Jr., attorney for the large Lauerhaus interests here, said the report was correct, adding that the Asheville man had met Miss Bronson three years ago on a transatlantic liner.
Lauerhaus, who is about twenty-eight years old, went to Hollywood last summer.


Star of “The Show Off” Had Been Appearing in Movies at Hollywood Studios

Los Angeles, March 4 (Special to the New York Times)
Louis John Bartels, 36 years old, popular stage and screen actor, was found dead in his Hollywood home late today.
He came to Hollywood about a year ago from New York to assume a role in “The Canary Murder Case.” He later appeared in “The Florodora Girl” and several other pictures. He was also featured in a series of comedy shorts.
Before coming West he had appeared in several Broadway successes in New York, among the most important being “The Show-off.” He had been on the stage for about ten years. He lived here with his father, Charles Bartels.
The exact cause of the death of Mr. Bartels will remain undetermined until after an autopsy, but police surgeons said they had treated him several times recently for acute alcoholism.
Rosalie Stewart, who produced “The Show-off,” said last night that Mr. Bartels was born in Chicago. His last New York stage engagement was in “The Five o’Clock Girl,” a musical comedy.


Los Angeles, Mar. 5 (AP)
Rudy Vallee, radio crooner, who left his bride in tears when he departed for New York Thursday night to resume fulfilling his radio contract, is planning a Los Angeles home, it was reported today when negotiations were opened for purchase of an acre and a half estate on Beverly Boulevard. Vallee will occupy the home when he returns with a New York show which is to fulfill an engagement at a local theater.
Mrs. Vallee, the former Fay Webb, daughter of Chief of Police C. E. Webb of Santa Monica, probably will remain on the coast until her husband returns. Vallee recently paid her a ten-day visit.


After reviewing Paul Lukas’ recent success on the silver screen, it seems more or less in order to look back a few years to the time that Lukas had all but bought his ticket back to Hungary – a “flop” as far as pictures were concerned.
It sort of helps one’s morale in these depressive days to hear about others who have had an uphill battle – and come out on top.
Lukas came over from Hungary during the silent picture days. Having never had an occasion to speak English before, he spoke it very poorly. Then the talkies descended on Hollywood, spelling the doom of a great many players. Some just dropped out of sight. Others, Emil Jannings and Pola Negri among them, went back to Europe.
But Lukas didn’t want to return to his native land. That, however, didn’t make any difference to the studio executives. They told him he was through and tried to buy his contract. However, they wanted to pay only a certain price. The actor wanted more. Finally he was told, “Come back tomorrow.”
The following day he was told that the studio would meet his price.
“I am sorry, gentlemen, but I have decided I do not desire to stop,” he replied. “I can learn to talk English very well. Why not give me the chance? You must pay me anyway – let me try what I can do.”
That argument went on for hours. Lukas had made up his mind that he wouldn’t be licked. His arguments won out and today he is doing better than he ever did before.

From Luella O. Parsons:
Los Angeles, Mar. 5

I think Mata Hari did it. The glamorous Great Garbo created particularly by George Fitzmaurice has made him one of the most sought after directors for women stars in Hollywood. Constance Bennett has wanted Fitzmaurice as her director for a long time and when has there been a time when Connie hasn’t gotten just what she wanted? You really have to hand it to her for sticking to her convictions.
At any rate, when George Fitzmaurice finishes As You Desire Me, he will move over to Radio Pictures to direct Constance Bennett in her next picture, Free Lady, for them.
Greta’s next will undoubtedly be Sun of St. Moritz, based on a German novel by P.O. Rockett, and George Fitzmaurice will probably direct it, that is, if Garbo decides to remain in America. I am betting ten to one she will sign that waiting contract.

Eileen Percy, newspaper writer, becomes an actress again in State’s Attorney, John Barrymore’s current picture at Radio. She plays the second lead opposite Barrymore and Helen Twelvetrees. I have often wondered why Eileen has not had more good motion picture jobs offered her. She has beauty and she has talent. Yet the companies engage girls without her experience and who haven’t half her personality. While Eileen has been doing newspaper work and doing it very well, the screen is her real love.


“Arrowsmith,” Sidney Howard’s adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel, with Ronald Colman and Helen Hayes in its leading roles, is currently in its eighth week at the Gaiety theater, New York.


Hollywood, Mar. 5 (NEA)
Nothing is a more pleasant shock to a character actress than to be told that she is too good looking for a particular role.
Take the word of Minna Gombell for that . Minna hasn’t been put in the wheel chair class yet by any means. And she is very attractive in her own natural blond way. But character actresses aren’t given to dwelling a great deal upon whatever beauty they may or may not have. And Miss Gombell has been playing character roles since she signed her first film contract with Fox about a year ago.
Hence it was quite a shock to her when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer asked to borrow her for a role in Joan Crawford’s next film and then decided that she was too good looking.
“Imagine me too pretty,” Minna exclaimed as she told me of the incident. “I guess this old body isn’t ready for burial after all.”
When Miss Gombell first went to work on the Fox lot her contract read “actress and diction instructor.” For four months she actually taught diction to the younger players around the studio – at the same time proving her teachings by walking in and nearly stealing every film in which she appeared.
She is spending her full time acting now but that contract naming her as an instructor has been placed among her most treasured possessions.
Out of a make-up this actress is more fun than a tubful of apples on Hallowe’en night. She has a highly developed sense of humor and loves to play practical jokes of the variety which couldn’t possibly result disastrously.

Also she is a perfect hostess, unique in Hollywood in that she introduces all guests to all others whom they don’t already know. That custom became obsolete around the movie village years ago when parties began assuming gigantic proportions.
“I guess it is just my old-fashioned Eastern training,” she explains – Minna was born and educated in Baltimore.
Miss Gombell always has had a secret ambition to write, but never could quite muster up sufficient courage, being afraid that somebody might tell her that she had better stick to acting.


“Pagan Lady,” a Columbia picture featuring Evelyn Brent, is to be the main attraction at the Lyric Theater Sunday and Monday.
Miss Brent “falls” for a missionary and is willing to marry him to save him from the avenging guns of her rum-running sweetheart, but is it fair of her to marry this young idealist?
That is the question settled in “Pagan Lady.”
Conrad Nagel plays the missionary and Charles Bickford the rum-running sweetheart. Others in the cast are Ronald Young, William Farnum and Lucille Gleason.

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