Luigi Luraschi, 1906 to 2002, was a lifelong executive for Paramount Pictures, first as head of its Domestic and Foreign Censorship Department, then supervising European releases of its American films and foreign-based productions. Born in London, UK, he went to the US seeking work, arriving during the Wall Street crash of 1929. He began at Paramount working in subtitles. In the buildup and entry into World War II, he warned against content in films that could have repercussions on Jews overseas. Under the pseudonym Owen, he became a frequent correspondent with the CIA, informing them of political activities of studio talent, and taking advice from them about placing positive American imagery in Paramount’s films.
Henry Ginsberg, 1897 to 1979, joined Paramount in 1940 and became head of production in 1944. After leading the studio through six particularly successful years, he resigned…. two weeks after this meeting with Louis.
(Young) Frank Freeman, 1890 to 1969, was an American film company executive for Paramount Pictures. As well as his job with Paramount, he worked in banking, higher education and athletics.
Eric (Allen) Johnston, 1896 to 1963, was, among other things, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. It was he who convened the closed-door meeting of motion picture company executives at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that led to Waldorf Statement in 1947 and the infamous Hollywood blacklist.
Michael Wilson, 1914 to 1978, was an American screenwriter, blacklisted by the Hollywood film studios during the McCarthyism era for suspected communism. This may have been the “impasse” to which Louis refers.
Ray Milland (born Alfred Reginald Jones), 1907 to 1986, was a Welsh-US actor and film director, whose screen career ran from 1929 to 1985. At one time Paramount’s highest-paid actor, he co-starred alongside many of the most popular actresses of the time, including Gene Tierney, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Jane Wyman, Loretta Young and Veronica Lake.
Ellen Drew (born Esther Loretta Ray), 1915 to 2003, was an American film actress.
Anne Revere, 1903 to 1990, was an American actress best known for her performances on Broadway and her film portrayals of motherly characters. She won an Academy Award for her supporting role in the film National Velvet (1945).
Harold (Hal) Brent Wallis (born Aaron Blum Wolowicz), 1898 to 1986, was an American film producer, best remembered for producing Casablanca (1942), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), and True Grit (1969).
Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper), 1901 to 1961, was an American actor known for his natural, authentic, understated acting style. He was a major movie star from the end of the silent film era through the golden age of Hollywood, playing leading roles in 84 feature films, and sustaining a screen persona of the ideal American hero. He was among the top 10 film personalities for 23 consecutive years, and one of the top money-making stars for 18 years. The American Film Institute ranked him 11th on its list of the 25 greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema.
Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby Jr. , 1903 to 1977, was an American singer, actor and the first multimedia star. He led in record sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954, and his intimate singing style influenced Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, among others. Yank magazine named him “the person who had done the most for the morale of overseas servicemen” during World War II, and in 1948, American polls declared him the “most admired man alive.” Music Digest estimated his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
Cecil Blount DeMille, 1881 to 1959, was a prolific American filmmaker, making 70 silent and sound movies between 1914 and 1958. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and cinematic showmanship. He is acknowledged as a founding father of American cinema and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. He began his career as a stage actor in 1900, moved to writing and directing stage productions, and made his first film (The Squaw Man) in 1914. The success of his productions led to the founding of Paramount Pictures.
Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, 1917 to 2013, known professionally as Joan Fontaine, was a British-American actress, best known for her starring roles in cinema during the Classical Hollywood era. Younger sister of actress Olivia de Havilland, she appeared in more than 45 feature films in a five-decade career. She and her sister are the only siblings to have won major acting Academy Awards, although they were estranged for many decades.
Mr. & Mrs. Anonymous was released as Something To Live For.
(Muriel) Teresa Wright, 1918 to 2005, was an American actress who won many Academy Award and Emmy nominations. Director William Wyler called her the most promising actress he ever directed, and Alfred Hitchcock openly admired her thorough preparation and quiet professionalism.
George (Cooper) Stevens, 1904 to 1975, was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. Among his acclaimed films are A Place in the Sun (1951), which won six Academy Awards including Best Director); Shane (1953), Giant (1956), and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959).
George S. Barnes, ASC, 1892 to 1953, was an American cinematographer who worked from the era of silent films to the early 1950s on some 142 movies. He received eight Academy Award nominations
The Tail o’ the Cock at 44 S. La Cienega Boulevard, aka Restaurant Row, was a dinner joint, famous for its American food (steak, prime rib) and bar scene. It claimed to be the first in Los Angeles to serve margaritas, and was a popular place to meet for drinks, especially late in the afternoon. Many Hollywood deals were consummated there over martinis.
The Next Voice You Hear is a 1950 drama in which a voice, claiming to be that of God, preempts all radio programmes for days all over the world. It stars James Whitmore and Nancy Davis, who later became Nancy Reagan.
Isadore Dore Schary, 1905 to 1980, who produced The Next Voice You Hear, was an American motion picture director, writer, producer and playwright He became MGM’s head of production and then its president.
As the biggest and busiest movie studio of Hollywood’s Golden Age, making over 40 movies a year, MGM had the most productive studio wardrobe department in movie history. At its most complete in the 1960s, it had some 300,000 costumes.
Leo Spitz, 1888 to 1956, was a major figure in the production and exhibition of motion pictures for nearly three decades. He ran International Pictures with Bill Goetz, and then Universal-International after it merged with Universal Studios in 1946. A native of Chicago, his association with the entertainment field began as a lawyer, when he represented the theatre chain of Balaban & Katz. He was instrumental in negotiating the merger of Warner Bros and First National studios in 1928.
Frankie Spitz, 1901 to 1974, co- ran the West Coast office of The American League for a Free Palestine (free from British rule). Active from 1939 to 1947, it drew support in the US from Jews and Gentiles alike, and contributed to the establishment of the State of Israel.
Max Seligman was a British lawyer, who represented, among others, the captain of the Altalena, the Irgun ship sunk by Israel’s new government in 1948, and Knesset Member Menachem Begin prior to his premiership, whom Britain designated a terrorist. Asking British Ambassador Francis Evans about a visa for Begin to lecture at Herut and meet officials and public figures, including Prime Minister Churchill in the UK, Seligman raised a procedural controversy between the British Home Office (responsible for visas, aliens, counter-terrorism and the police) and the diplomatic Foreign & Colonial Office.
Danny Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky), 1911 to 1987, was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, musician and philanthropist. He starred in 17 movies and countless live performances, featuring physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomime and rapid-fire novelty songs. He was UNICEF’s first ambassador-at-large,for which he later received the French Legion of Honour.
Two years later, In 1952, Louis brought Danny Kaye to Dublin where he appeared to great acclaim at the Theatre Royal. His performances were particularly popular with Dublin’s taxi-drivers — the many encores he always received ensuring that his shows ended long after the last buses had departed for the suburbs. The warmth of his relationship with Louis extended to Louis’s large family.
Sylvia Fine, 1913 to 1991, was an American lyricist, composer and producer, and wife of the comedian Danny Kaye. They grew up within blocks of one another in Brooklyn, but met only in 1939.
Sy Bartlett, 1900 to 1978, was an American author and screenwriter/producer of Hollywood films. Born Sacha Baraniev in the Ukraine, he emigrated to the United States at age four, taking the name Sidney Bartlett.
Finnish-born Greta Kukkonen, 1911 to 2008, was Gregory Peck’s first wife. They married in 1942, had three sons and divorced in 1955.
(Eldred) Gregory Peck, 1916 to 2003, was one of the most popular American film actors from the 1940s to the 1960s, receiving five Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, and winning one for his performance as Atticus Finch in the 1962 drama To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck among the Greatest Male Stars of Classic Hollywood cinema. In 1969, US President Lyndon B. Johnson honoured him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for lifetime humanitarian efforts
The Dublin debacle. Perhaps Louis is referring to Gregory Peck’s recent visit to Dublin, when extremists declared him unfit to perform for Catholic theatre patrons because of his links with communist-front organizations. (They would do the same again in 1952, when Danny Kaye came to Dublin.) Ireland’s extremist anti-communists construed the ‘red threat’ in terms of a global Judeo-Masonic conspiracy to unleash modernity and its base morals on god-fearing Irish Catholics — and targeted US cinema which they perceived as spreading godless modernism. Small in both numbers and influence, Ireland’s ‘red scare’ was transient and attracted scant support.
Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch in 1916-2020) was an American actor, filmmaker and author, and one of the last surviving stars of the film industry’s Golden Age. Appearing in more than 90 movies, he became a leading box-office star in the 1950s, known for serious dramas, including westerns and war movies. He has been praised for helping break the Hollywood blacklist, and, as an actor and philanthropist, has received three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dorothy Hackett McGuire, 1916 to 2001, was an American actress.
Frank Alton Armstrong Jr., 1902 to 1969, was an officer in the United States Air Force. As a brigadier general during World War II, he was the inspiration for the main character in the novel and subsequent film, Twelve O’Clock High. He served as deputy commanding general of the Alaskan Air Command at Fort Richardson, Alaska in 1948, and its commanding general from 1949 to 1950. He was promoted to major general in 1950, and lieutenant general in 1956.
Joseph (Joe) Schenck, 1892 to 1961, came to New York City from Russia, aged 10. With his brother Nicholas, he went into the entertainment business — operating concessions at New York’s Fort George Amusement Park, purchasing the Palisades Amusement Park, and then partnering Marcus Loew in a chain of movie theaters. In the early 1930s, he moved to California and soon afterward was president of United Artists. In 1933, he and Darryl F. Zanuck created Twentieth Century Pictures, which merged with Fox Film Corporation two years later to become 20th Century Fox. A founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in 1952 he was recognized for contribution to the development of the film industry.
Arthur (Artie) William Stebbins, 1891 to 1963, was Schenk’s nephew. An insurance agent, he handled many of Hollywood’s biggest policies — Jimmy Durante’s nose, Al Jolson’s voice and several films, including Cleopatra — thanks to his uncle’s influence.
Billy Wilder (born Samuel Wilder), 1906 to 2002, was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than five decades. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant filmmakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age of cinema. With The Apartment, he was the first person to win Academy Awards as producer, director and screenwriter for the same film.
Bertram (Bert) E. Friedlob, 1906 to 1956, started out as a newspaperman on the New York Morning Telegraph, becoming a film producer when he married actress Jeanette Loff and managing her career. In 1946, four years after Loff’s untimely death, he married Eleanor Parker, a union that lasted eight years and produced three children.
Eleanor Jean Parker, 1922 to 2013, was a versatile American actress who appeared in some 80 movies and television series.
Dan O’Herlihy, 1919 to 2005, was an Irish film actor.
Jules Buck, 1917 to 2001, was an American film producer. He began as a cameraman for John Huston’s war documentaries and moved into producing as assistant to Mark Hellinger.
Peggy Cummins, 1925 to 2017, was a Welsh-born Irish actress, best known for her performance in Joseph H. Lewis’s Gun Crazy (1950), in which she played a trigger-happy femme fatale.
Peggy’s mother, Margaret Cummins, 1889 to 1973, was also an actress. Among her stand-out film roles are Anna in Smart Woman and Emily in The Sign of the Ram (both 1948).
Peggy was married to (William Herbert) Derek Dunnett from 1950 until his death in 2000.
Fay Kanin (née Mitchell), 1917 to 2013, was an American screenwriter, playwright and producer. She was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1979 to 1983.
Michael Kanin, 1910 to 1993, was an American director, producer, playwright and screenwriter. He married RKO co-worker Fay Mitchell in 1940, and collaborated frequently with her . Together, they received an Academy Award nomination for Teacher’s Pet (1958).
Goodbye, My Fancy is a 1951 American romantic comedy starring Joan Crawford, Robert Young and Frank Lovejoy. Distributed by Warner Bros., the film was based on the 1948 play of same name by Fay Kanin.
Garson Kanin, 1912 to 1999, brother to Michael, was an American writer and revue and stage director.
Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler), 1914 to 2000, was an Austrian-born American film actress and inventor. After a brief early film career in Czechoslovakia, she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer. In London, she met studio head Louis B. Mayer, who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood, where she became a star. She married and divorced six times. Herbie Koetz was not among her husbands.
Helena Carter, 1923 to 2000, was an American film actress of the 1940s and 1950s, best known for playing Dr. Patricia Blake in Invaders from Mars. She was visiting friends at Universal Studios when she was spotted by producer Leonard Goldstein, and Universal signed her to a seven-year contract.
Four generations of the Westmore Family were prominent Hollywood make-up artistes. George Westmore established Hollywood’s first make-up department in 1917. He was followed by three of his five sons — Perc (Percival), 1904 to 1970, Wally (Walter), 1906 to 1973, and Bud, 1918 to 1973.
Shirley Temple Black, 1928 to 2014, was an American actress, singer, dancer, businesswoman and diplomat, who was Hollywood’s number one box-office draw as a child actress from 1935 to 1938. She began her film career at age three, achieving international fame two years later in Bright Eyes. She retired from film, aged 22, in 1950. As an adult, she was named US ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, and served as US Chief of Protocol.
Humphrey (DeForest) Bogart, 1899 to 1957, an American film and theatre actor, and a cultural icon. In 1999, he was named the greatest male star of classic American cinema the American Film Institute. Bogart and 19-year-old Lauren Bacall met and fell in love, filming To Have and Have Not (1944), and Bogart filed for divorce to marry her.
Lauren Bacall (born Betty Joan Perske), 1924 to 2014, was an American actress known for her distinctive voice and sultry looks. She was named the 20th greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema by the American Film Institute and received an Academy Honorary Award in 2009 “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”
Buddy Rogers (born Herman Gustav Rohde Jr.), 1921 to 1992, was a two-time world wrestling champion. He was one of the biggest professional wrestling stars of the beginning of the television era, and his performances inspired many future professional wrestlers.
Mary Pickford (born Gladys Louise Smith), 1892 to 1979, was a Canadian-born American film actress and producer. Known in her prime as “America’s Sweetheart” and the “girl with the curls,” she was a Canadian pioneer in early Hollywood and a significant figure in the development of film acting, credited with having defined the ingénue archetype in cinema. She was co-founder of the Pickford–Fairbanks and United Artists film studios, and one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Louis (Burt) Mayer ( born Lazar Meir), 1884 to 1957, was an American film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios (MGM), the film industry’s most prestigious movie studio with Hollywood’s largest concentration of leading writers, directors and stars. Born in the Russian Empire, he grew up poor in Saint John, New Brunswick, quitting school at 12 to support his family. His career in entertainment began with the purchase of a small vaudeville theater in Haverhill, Massachusetts, called the ‘Garlic Box’ as it catered to poor Italian immigrants. He renovated and expanded it and several more Boston area theatres, then moved to Los Angeles, where he teamed with film producer Irving Thalbergs.
Lorena Layson Mayer, 1907 to 1985, was Louis B. Mayer’s second wife, close in age to his daughters. She had come to Los Angeles 14 years before, signed a contract with Warner Brothers and married Daniel J. Danker Jr., head of the J. Walter Thompson Hollywood Office. After Danker’s sudden death in 1944, she worked for the Thompson Co., and met Mayer through her job.
Irene (Gladys) Selznick (née Mayer), 1907 to 1990, was an American socialite and theatrical producer. The younger of two daughters born to film producer Louis B. Mayer and his first wife, Margaret Shenberg, she married producer David O. Selznick in 1930. A celebrity couple, they socialized with Hollywood stars, such as Ingrid Bergman, Janet Gaynor and Katharine Hepburn.
Jack Leonard Warner (born Jacob Warner), 1892 to 1978, was a Canadian-American film executive, and president and driving force behind the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. As co-head of production at Warner, he worked with his brother, Sam, to acquire technology for the film industry’s first talking picture. He recruited many top stars, and promoted the hard-edged social dramas.
Jerome (Jerry) Irving Wald, 1911 to 1962, was an American screenwriter and producer. Son of a dry goods salesman, he was the go-getting Hollywood writer-producer of popular imagination: charismatic, ambitious, shrewd, frequently brilliant and filled with a nervous energy that drove him from project to project. He began in 1929 as a radio columnist with The New York Evening Graphic, while still studying journalism at New York University. He worked for Warner for until 1950, when he formed a short-lived independent production company with Norman Krasna.
Norman Krasna, 1909 to 1984, was an American screenwriter, playwright, producer and film director. He is best known for writing screwball comedies which centred on mistaken identity. He also directed three films during his 40-year Hollywood career.
Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McMath), 1911 to 1995, was an American actress, dancer and singer. She made 73 films, and is best remembered for performing in RKO’s musicals, partnered with Fred Astaire.
Maureen (Paula) O’Sullivan, 1911 to 1998, was an Irish-American actress best known for playing Jane in the Tarzan films . Born in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland, one of her classmates was Vivian Mary Hartley, the future Vivien Leigh. In 1929, she sailed to the US with her mother to work for the Fox Film Corporation. Nine movies later, she moved to MGM. Among her seven children was actress Mia Farrow.
John (Villiers) Farrow, 1904 to 1963, was an Australian-born American film director, producer and screenwriter. He won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Writing/ Best Screenplay for Around the World in Eighty Days. He was married to Maureen O’Sullivan from 1939 until his death.
Constance (Alice) Talmadge, 1898 to 1973, was an American silent film star, sister to actresses Norma and Natalie Talmadge. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she and her sisters became models in Nickelodeon title slides after being abandoned by an alcoholic father— leading them all to successful acting careers. With the advent of talkies in 1929, she left Hollywood. Like her father and sister Norma, she later succumbed to substance abuse and alcoholism. Walter Giblen was one of four men she wed. They were married from 1939 to 1964.
James (Jimmy) Maitland Stewart, 1908 to 1997, was an American actor and military officer, who is among the most honoured and popular stars in film history. Known for his distinctive drawl, down-to-earth persona, and authentic, everyman acting style, Stewart’s film career spanned over 55 years and 80 films. With the strong morals he portrayed both on and off the screen, Stewart epitomized the American ideal in the 20th-century United States. He served during World War II and the Vietnam War as a pilot, rising to brigadier general, the highest-ranking actor in military history. In 1985, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He received an Academy Honorary Award that same year, and in 1999 the American Film Institute named him the third-greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood, after Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant.
Gloria Hatrick McLean Stewart, 1918 to 1964, was born in Larchmont, New York. A year after ending a five-year marriage to Edward Beale McLean Jr., the former model married Jimmy Stewart, a partnership which a 1985 fan magazine called “the dream factory’s outstanding marriage.” She was active on the boards of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, Natural History Museum, African Wildlife Foundation and St. John’s Medical Center, and was a regular at events supporting those groups.
Walter (Elia) Disney, 1901 to 1966, was an American entrepreneur, voice actor, film producer and pioneer of the American animation industry. With 22 Academy Awards, he holds the record for most ever earned by an individual. Born in Chicago, he took art classes and at age 18 became a commercial illustrator. He moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. Over time, he introduced synchronized sound, full-colour three-strip Technicolor and feature-length cartoons. A shy, self-deprecating and insecure man in private, his public persona was warm and outgoing.
Lillian Marie Disney (née Bounds), 1899 to 1997, was an American ink artist at the Disney Studios. Born in Idaho, she was the youngest of 10 children, and lost her father, a blacksmith and federal marshal, when she was 17. In 1923, after a year in business college, she moved to southern California to live with her sister’s family, and worked at the Disney Studio in “ink and paint,” where she met Walt. They were married from 1925 until his death 41 years later. She is credited with naming Mickey Mouse: during a 1928 train trip, Walt showed a drawing of a cartoon mouse called Mortimer . Lillian suggested ‘Mickey’ instead as Mortimer sounded depressing.
Robert (Bob) Bernard Considine, 1906 to 1975, was an American journalist, author and commentator. He is best known as the co-author of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and The Babe Ruth Story. He launched his career in 1930, by complaining to The Washington Herald that they had misspelled his name — and they hired him. His speed, accuracy and concentration as a writer and his seemingly inexhaustible energy were legendary in the newspaper profession. He was known to work at two typewriters at a time, writing a news story on one and a column or book on the other. He was married to Millie Anderson.
Mildred Considine (nee Anderson), 1904 or 1908 to 1983, was an American columnist and author. She focused on society and travel, had a radio show on the Mutual Broadcasting system for five years, and wrote about her life in Just a Minute, Mrs. Gulliver: Being the Account of the Travels and Travails of Mrs. Bob Considine (1967).
Reginald (Hanson) Sharland, 1886 to 1944, was an actor, known for Girl of the Port (1930), Woman to Woman (1929) and Inside the Lines (1930).
Jules C. Stein, 1896 to 1981, was an American physician, businessman and co-founder of the Music Corporation of America (MCA). Born in South Bend, Indiana, he supported himself through Chicago University and Rush Medical College by playing violin and saxophone at weddings and bar mitzvahs. Realizing he was not a very good musician, he organized dance bands instead. After specializing as an ophthalmologist and appointed chief resident at Cook County Hospital, he continued booking bands and eventually gave up medicine for the entertainment industry. In 1924, he and two others each contributed $5,000 to found the MCA. In 1937, the MCA opened shop in Hollywood and became agent for stars who included Bette Davis, Betty Grable, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Eddie Cantor, Ingrid Bergman, Frank Sinatra and Jack Benny. By the mid-1940s, half of the movie industry’s stars were represented by MCA. In the 1960s, with his wife Doris, he founded the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA.
Doris Babette Oppenheimer Stein (née Jones), 1902 to 1984, married Jules Stein in 1928. She brought with her two sons from an earlier marriage, and had two daughters with Stein. She was a cousin of actor George Jessel.
Cobina Wright, Sr. (born Esther Ellen Cobb), 1887 to 1970, was an American opera singer and actress, who gained later fame as a hostess and syndicated gossip columnist. Born in Lakeview, Oregon, she first married American novelist Owen Johnson and subsequently stockbroker William May Wright.
Betty Hutton (born Elizabeth June Thornburg, 1921 to 2007, was an American stage, film and television actress, comedian, dancer and singer. Born in Battle Creek, Michigan, her father abandoned the family when Betty was an infant, and she and her older sister, Marion, were raised by their alcoholic mother. (Marion became the actress Sissy Jones.) From singing in the family speakeasy at age three, Betty was scouted as a teen by band leader Vincent Lopez, and entered the entertainment business. She worked with Warner Bros. in the 1930s, and Paramount in the 1940s. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944) made her a major star.
May Company California was a chain of department stores in Southern California and Nevada. Established in 1923, its flagships were on 8th Street and Broadway, and on Wilshire Boulevard, the latter featuring in several films. Many May department stores later became units of Macy’s, Inc.
Morton D. May, 1914 to 1983, known as Buster, was an American philanthropist, art collector and, at different times, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the May Company. He was the grandson of David May, who started the family business in a makeshift canvas-roofed shop, in Leadville, Colorado, during a gold strike in 1877. At the time that Ettie met Buster, he was married to Margie Wolcott.
David A. Lipton, 1907 to 1993, was head of advertising and publicity for Universal Pictures and its parent company, MCA Inc. He is credited with being the first publicity director to authorize use of modern 35mm still cameras for on-set photography, replacing the cumbersome 8 x 10 single-shot equipment then in use.
Ted Richmond, 1910 to 2013, was an American film producer credited with making 66 films between 1940 and 1979.
Peggy Dow, born 1928, is an American philanthropist and retired actress. After brief modelling and radio experience, she was spotted by a talent agent, cast in a television show and offered a seven-year contract by Universal.
Donald O’Connor, 1925 to 2003, was born in Chicago to two vaudeville entertainers. He was 13 months old when he began dancing. He made the first of his many films in 1937. The best known of them is Singin’ in the Rain.
Charles Van Dell Johnson, 1916 to 2008, was an American film, television, theatre and radio actor, singer and dancer, and a major MGM star during and after World War II.
Zelma Kathryn Elisabeth Hedrick Grayson, 1922 to 2010, was an American actress and coloratura soprano. From age 12, she trained as an opera singer. By the early 1940s, she was under contract to MGM.
Robert Zigler Leonard, 1889 to 1968, was an American film director, actor, producer and screenwriter.
Harry Clifford Keel, 1919 to 2004, known professionally as Howard Keel, was an American actor and singer with a rich bass-baritone. He starred in MGM musicals in the 1950s and in the CBS television series Dallas from 1981 to 1991.
Teresa Celli (born Teresa Levis in 1924) is an actress, known for her work in films such as The Asphalt Jungle and Black Hand (both 1950). One of 10 children born to an Italian family, both her grandmother and great-grandmother sang opera.
John “Jack” Cummings, 1905 to 1989, was an American director and leading film producer at MGM. He spent most of his career at his uncle Louis B. Mayer’s studio, MGM, where he began work in the 1920s as an office boy. In 1936, he produced the extravagant Cole Porter musical Born to Dance, which established his reputation as a producer. He produced some of the era’s best-known musicals, including Kiss Me Kate (1953) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). He eventually left MGM to become an independent producer affiliated with Twentieth Century Fox.
Howard Strickling, 1896 to 1982, was head of publicity for MGM from the late 1920s to the late 1960s. He was well known as one of MGM’s fixers, handling potential scandals and maintaining the carefully curated images MGM had built for each of its stars.
George Sidney, 1916 to 2002, was an American film director and film producer, who worked primarily at MGM.
Jack Dougherty, 1895 to 1938, was an actor, known for The Runaway Express (1926), The Radio Detective (1926) and Haunted Island (1928).
George E. Stone (born Gerschon Lichtenstein), 1903 to 1967, was a Polish-born American character actor in movies, radio and television.
June Allyson (born Eleanor Geisman), 1917 to 2006, was an American stage, film and television actress, dancer and singer.
Peter Lawson (born Peter Sydney Ernest Aylen), 1923 to 1984, was an English actor, film producer and socialite, whose family was connected to the English aristocracy. He lived in the United States throughout his adult life, was a member of the ‘Rat Pack’ and the brother-in-law of President John F. Kennedy and senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy.
George Lloyd Murphy, 1902 to 1992, was an American dancer, actor and politician. From 1930 to 1952, he was song-and-dance leading man in many big-budget Hollywood musicals;. From 1965 to 1971 he served as US Senator from California, the only US Senator represented by a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Richard Bernard Eheart, 1913 to 1997, professionally known as Red Skelton, was an American comedy entertainer. He believed that his life’s work was to make people laugh, and wanted to be known as a clown because he defined it as being able to do everything. During his 70-year career, he entertained three generations of Americans.
Edna Stillwell Skelton, 1915 to 1982, was a screenwriter, and was married to Red Skelton from 1931 to 1943. Two years after their divorce, she wed film director and actor, Frank Borzage.
Georgia Davis Skelton, 1921 to 1976, was an actress, who was married to Red Skelton from 1945 to 1973. She died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Benay Venuta, 1910 to 1995, was an American actress, singer and dancer. She began in show business as a teenage dancer in 1925. Ten years later, still unknown, she burst onto Broadway, replacing Ethel Merman in Cole Porter’s hit, Anything Goes. American film producer Armand Deutsch was the second of her three husbands.
Ciro’s was a nightclub in West Hollywood, California, at 8433 Sunset Boulevard. Combining a de luxe baroque interior and an unadorned exterior, it was a famous hangout for movie people in the 1940s and 1950s, and one of ‘the’ places to be seen and written up in the gossip columns.
Hernando Courtright, 1904 to 1986, was an American businessman best known as a hotelier. He was proprietor of the Beverly Hills and the Beverly Wilshire Hotels.
Frederick Leonard Clark, 1914 to 1968, was an American film and television character actor. He began his film career in 1947, making almost 70 movies during the next 20 years.
Edward G. Robinson (born Emanuel Goldenberg), 1893 to 1973, was a Romanian American stage and screen actor. He appeared in 40 Broadway plays and more than 100 films during a 50-year career, and is best remembered for his tough-guy roles as gangsters in such films as Little Caesar and Key Largo. During the 1930s and 1940s, he was an outspoken public critic of fascism and Nazism, and contributed over $250,000 to some 850 war relief organizations, and cultural, educational and religious groups. His first wife was Gladys Lloyd.
Gladys Lloyd Cassell, 1895 to 1971, was an actress, known for Two Seconds (1932) and Smart Money (1931). Her first marriage was to Edward G. Robinson.
Billy Rose (born William Samuel Rosenberg), 1899 to 1966, was a Broadway impresario. Known as The Little Napoleon of Showmanship, the diminutive Rose made his name as a producer, writer, lyricist, composer, director and theatre owner/operator, as well as the husband of Funny Girl Fanny Brice.
Richard Marius Joseph Greene, 1918 to 1985, was a noted English film and television actor. A matinée idol who appeared in more than 40 films, he was perhaps best known for the lead role in the long-running British TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood, whose 143 episodes ran from 1955 to 1959.
Nancy Oates, 1924 to 2005, was the daughter of First Baronet Sir Harry Oakes.
Patricia Paz Maria Medina, 1919 to 2012, was an English-American actress. She was married to Richard Greene from 1941 to 1951.
The movies that Louis saw being shot at 20th Century Fox. Chance of a Lifetime was released as The Jackpot.
Elizabeth (Betty) Ruth Grable, 1916 to 1973, was an American actress, pin-up girl, dancer, model and singer. She made 42 films during the 1930s and 1940s, which grossed more than $100 million, and she set a record of 12 consecutive years in the top 10 box office stars. The highest-salaried American woman in 1946 and 1947, she earned more than $3 million during her career.
Daniel James Dailey Jr., 1915 to 1978, was an American dancer and actor.
Lloyd Francis Bacon, 1889 to 1955, was an American screen, stage and vaudeville actor and film director.
Edmund Gwenn (born Edmund John Kellaway), 1877 to 1959, was an English stage and film actor. This is likely whom Louis means when he writes Edward Givern…
Loretta Young (born Gretchen Young), 1913 to 2000, was an American actress.
Joseph Cheshire Cotten Jr., 1905 to 1994, was an American film, stage, radio and television actor, who came to fame in Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), and Journey into Fear (1943).
Julius (Jules) Dassin, 1911 to 2008, was an American film director, producer, writer and actor.
Clifton Webb (born Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck), 1889 to 1966, was an American actor, dancer and singer, remembered both for his film roles and Broadway appearances.
George Seaton, 1911 to 1979, was an American screenwriter, playwright, film director, film producer and theatre director.
Joan Geraldine Bennett, 1910 to 1990, was an American stage, film and television actress. She appeared in more than 70 films, from the era of silent movies well into the sound era, and is best-remembered for her film noir femme fatale roles. Her New York Times obituary declared her “one of the most underrated actresses of her time.”
Richard Weedt Widmark, 1914 to 2008, was an American film, stage and television actor and producer. He was initially typecast as a villain in films noir, but later branched into more heroic roles.
Lewis Milestone (born Leib Milstein), 1895 to 1980, was a Russian-born American motion picture director. He is known for directing All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The Front Page (1931), Of Mice and Men (1939), Ocean’s 11 (1960) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).
James Austin Gleason, 1882 to 1959, was an American actor, playwright and screenwriter. He often portrayed tough-talking, world-weary guys with a secret heart of gold.
William Perlberg (born Wolf Perelberg), 1900 to 1968, was a Polish-born American film producer. Before turning to film production in 1935, he worked as fur trader for his father.
Sol C. Siegel, 1903 to 1982, was an American reporter and film producer. From 1958 to 1961, he headed operations at MGM. Among the movies he made were Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) and High Society (1956).
Fred Kohlmar, 1905 to 1969, was a New York City-born film producer.
Darryl Francis Zanuck, 1902 to 1979, was an American film producer and studio executive. He started out in the silent movie era, contributing stories for films, and went on to play a major part in the Hollywood studio system. He was one of its longest survivors, He earned three Academy Awards as producer for Best Picture during his tenure, but was responsible for many more.
George Albert Jessel, 1898 to 1981, was an American actor, singer, songwriter and film producer. A multi-talented comedic entertainer, he achieved a level of recognition that transcended his limited movie roles.
Thomas Leo McCarey, 1898 to 1969, was an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He was involved in almost 200 movies, and was among the most popular and established comedy directors of the pre-World War II era.
William Augustus Wellman, 1896 to 1975, was an American film director noted for his crime, adventure and action genre films. Beginning his movie career as an actor, he went on to direct over 80 films.
The Missionary’s Downfall
1 oz white rum
1 oz honey mix
1.5 oz peach brandy
1.5 oz lime juice
1.25 cup diced fresh pineapple
1.25 cup mint leaves
1.75 cup crushed ice
Combine and blend at high-speed for 20 seconds. Pour into a goblet. Garnish with mint .
Hollywood’s Don the Beachcomber was the prototypical tiki bar in what became a chain of dozens through the US. It was opened in the 1930s by Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, 1907 to 1989,.(who later changed his name to Donn Beach), an American adventurer, businessman, World War II veteran and founding father of America’s tiki culture. The Missionary’s Downfall first appeared in Don the Beachcomber’s in the 1940s, and is hailed as one of Don’s greatest cocktails.
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