Hollywood: The Third Week, June 30 to July 6

Carl Schaefer, 1909 to 2003, had a prolific Hollywood career as an advertising executive at Warner Bros., a freelance writer and a journalist on the Hollywood Reporter.

Virginia Mayo (born Virginia Clara Jones), 1920 to 2005, was an American actress and dancer. She married Michael O’Shea in 1947.

Michael O’Shea, 1906 to 1973, was known as an American character actor who appeared in feature films and later in television and whose career spanned the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

James Francis Cagney Jr., 1899 to 1986, was an American stage and screen actor and dancer. The American Film Institute ranked him eighth on its list of greatest male stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Orson Welles called him “maybe the greatest actor who ever appeared in front of a camera.” He walked out on Warner Bros. several times during his career, always returning on much improved personal and artistic terms.

Albert Gordon MacRae, 1921 to 1986, was an American actor, singer and radio/television host, who appeared in the film versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956).

Gene Nelson (born Leander Eugene Berg), 1920 to 1996, was an American dancer, actor, screenwriter and director, inspired to become a dancer by watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films as a child.

Alan Hale Jr. (born Alan Hale MacKahan), 1921 to 1990, was an American actor and restaurateur. The son of movie character actor Alan Hale Sr., he appeared in over 200 film and television roles.

Roy Del Ruth, 1893 to 1961, was an American film director, who directed Warner Bros.’ first-ever color film, the musical The Desert Song (1929). He was the second highest paid director in Hollywood, 1932 to 1941.

Disney chose 10-year-old Kathryn Beaumont to be the voice of Alice in his “Alice in Wonderland” (and, later, that of Wendy in “Peter Pan”). He was so impressed by her appearance that he also had her model for the animators. She grew up to be an elementary teacher.
L-R: Louis, Janet Munro, Sean O’Connery (three years before he became 007 in “Dr. No”), Walt Disney and Bertie Elliman, taken at the premiere of “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” in 1959 — which Louis persuaded Disney to hold in Dublin. A Walt Disney Productions feature starring Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery and Jimmy O’Dea, it is about a wily Irishman and his battle of wits with leprechauns. Disney visited Ireland in 1956, and shortly afterward announced he would be making a leprechaun-themed movie. He chose Jimmy O’Dea for the role of King Brian of the Little People, after seeing him in one of Louis’s Gaiety Theatre pantomimes. “The Monthly Film Bulletin” applauded O’Dea as the most likable and beguiling leprechaun yet to appear on the screen.” Filming was mainly on the Disney lot in Burbank, with Michael O’Herlihy as dialogue director and technical adviser. “The New York Times” thought the film was an “overpoweringly charming concoction of standard Gaelic tall stories, fantasy and romance;” “Variety” called it a “rollicking Gaelic fantasy;” and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin judged it not only one of Disney’s best films, but…certainly one of the best fantasies ever put on film.”

Robert H. Cobb, 1899 to 1970, was president of the famous Brown Derby Restaurant chain, originator of the Cobb Salad, and co-owner of the Hollywood Stars baseball team, together with Bing Crosby, William Frawley, Cecil D. Mille and Barbara Stanwyck.

Sally Cobb, 1915 to 1998, was a top fashion model in the 1930s, known as “The Figure.” In 1945, she moved to Los Angeles, where she married Robert Cobb.

The Brown Derby restaurants were the center of social and business activities of motion pictures, radio and television during the 1940s to the 1960s.

The Hollywood Stars were a Pacific League baseball team which played at Gilmore Field from 1938 to 1958.  When the 13,000- to 18,000-seat stadium was sold to build CBS, they moved to Salt Lake City in 1958 and became the Salt Lake City Bees.

Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson), 1886 to 1950, was an American singer, comedian and actor. At the peak of his career, he was known as “The World’s Greatest Entertainer,” and in the 1920s was America’s most famous and highest-paid entertainer. In 1927, he starred in the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, and he was the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II.

Ruth Elizabeth Warrick, 1916 to 2005, was an American singer, actress and political activist, best known for her role as Phoebe Tyler Wallingford in All My Children. She made her film debut in Citizen Kane, and years later celebrated her 80th birthday by attending a special screening of the film to a packed, standing-room-only audience.

Patricia Noonan McQueeney, 1927 to 2005, was an American actress, television personality and talent agent, best known as Harrison Ford’s manager. At 17, she married actor Robert McQueeney, a marriage annulled in the mid-1950s. She launched her own agency in 1973 and represented many rising Hollywood stars, as well as serving on a California State Commission tasked with recommending changes in the laws governing talent representation.

Hillcrest Country Club, located at 10000 Pico Boulevard across the street from Fox Studios, opened in 1920. It was the first Los Angeles country club for the city’s Jewish community, who were non grata at other clubs. Through the 1940s, it remained exclusively Jewish, attracting many of Hollywood’s biggest stars — among them, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, Danny Kaye, the Marx Brothers, George Burns, George Jessel, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor and the Ritz Brothers.

Mae Murray (born Marie Adrienne Koenig), 1885 to 1965, was an American actress, dancer, film producer and screenwriter. She rose to fame during the silent film era and was known as “The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips” and “The Gardenia of the Screen.” Critics were sometimes less than thrilled with her over-the-top costumes and exaggerated emoting, but her films were popular with movie-going audiences and financially successful.

Frankie (Frances) Spitz, 1901 to 1974, was married to American film executive Leo Spitz, who ran International Pictures together with William Goetz.

Arthur Hornblow Jr., 1893 to 1976, was an American film producer. His wife was Leonora.

Claudette Colbert (born Émilie Claudette Chauchoin), 1903 to 1996, was an American stage and film actress, known for a versatility that made her one of the industry’s best-paid stars of the 1930s and 1940s. She starred in more than 60 movies, and was later voted by the American Film Institute the 12th greatest female star of classical Hollywood cinema. She was married to Joel Pressman.

Prof. Joel J. Pressman, 1901 to 1968, was a highly respected otolaryngologist. A Harvard graduate, he worked to upgrade medical services and the teaching methods throughout his specialty. He served as a commander in the US Air Force Medical Corps during World War II, and later organized a civilian Medical Air Rescue team. Head of the Division of Head & Neck Surgery in UCLA’s Department of Surgery, he published over 100 academic papers.

Harry F. Gerguson (born Hershel Geguzin), 1890 to 1971, known as Prince Michael Romanoff, was a Lithuanian-born Hollywood restaurateur, conman and actor. He is perhaps best known as the owner of Romanoff’s, a Beverly Hills restaurant popular with the stars in the 1940s and 1950s. While pretending to be Russian royalty, he was actually a former Brooklyn pants presser, who immigrated to New York City at age 10. At different times, he passed himself off as William Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Count Gladstone (son of William Gladstone) and Prince Michael Dimitri Alexandrovich Obolensky-Romanoff, nephew of Tsar Nicholas II. He generally snubbed his restaurant clientele, preferring to lunch with his dogs.

Romanoff’s restaurant was located first at 326 North Rodeo Drive, and later on South Rodeo Drive. It featured a typical country club-style menu, and was especially known for its chocolate soufflé. It displayed a large monogram consisting of a crown sitting over two capital Rs back to back, and its décor was “masculine and clubby, with comfortable booths, the dance floor well waxed, the cigarette girls lovely, and the waiters well-trained and Jeeves-like.”

Gloria Lister was married to Michael Romanoff from 1948 to 1971.

William Clark Gable, 1901 to 1960, was an American film actor. Often referred to as “The King of Hollywood,” he appeared in more than 60 motion pictures during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Born in Ohio, he moved to Hollywood in 1924, beginning his film career as an extra in silent films. He went on to star opposite some of the most popular actresses of his time — Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Lana Turner, Norma Shearer, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and, famously, Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind (1939). During World War II, he served as a bomber gunner in Europe. One of the most consistent box-office performers in history, he appeared on Quigley Publishing’s annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll 16 times, and was named the seventh-greatest male star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.

Sylvia, Lady Ashley (born Edith Louisa Sylvia Hawkes), 1904 to 1977, was an English model, actress and socialite, best known for her marriages to British aristocrats and American movie stars. She began as a lingerie model, became a Cochran Dancer, and appeared in a number of West End plays. She was married to Clark Gable, the fourth of her five husbands, between 1949 and 1952.

Herbert Brough Falcon Marshall, 1890 to 1966, was an English stage, screen and radio actor who, despite losing a leg during the World War I, starred in many popular and well-regarded Hollywood films in the 1930s and 1940s. After a successful theatrical career in Britain and North America, he became an in-demand Hollywood leading man. His leading ladies included Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis. He was married to Boots Mallory, the fourth of his five wives, from 1947 until her death in 1958.

Patricia “Boots” Mallory, 1913 to 1958, was an American film actress, dancer and model. She was working as an usherette in the Lyric Theatre in Mobile, Alabama, when the Ziegfield Follies came to town and Flo Ziegfeld offered her a spot in his show. Moving to Hollywood, she signed on with Fox Films. She first married at age 16, and went on to marry twice more — to James Cagney’s brother William, and to Herbert Marshall.

Paul Douglas Fleischer, 1907 to 1959, was an American actor, who began his career in Yale’s dramatic society. He went on to work as an announcer for CBS radio, hosted CBS’s popular Saturday Night Swing Club and its broadcast of the World Series. His movie career began 1949, and he is best remembered for two baseball movies, It Happens Every Spring (1949) and Angels in the Outfield (1951). He married five times. Jan Sterling was his fifth wife.

Jan Sterling (born Jane Sterling Adriance), 1921 to 2004, was an American film, television and stage actress. She was often cast as hard and determined characters.

Walter Wanger (born Walter Feuchtwanger), 1894 to 1968, was an American film producer whose career stretched from the 1910s to the turbulent production of Cleopatra, his last film, in 1963. He began at Paramount Pictures and eventually worked at virtually every major studio as either a contract producer or an independent. He had a reputation as an intellectual and socially conscious movie executive, who produced provocative message-movies and glittering romantic melodramas. He achieved notoriety in 1951, when he shot and wounded the agent of his then-wife, Joan Bennett, because he suspected them of having an affair. He was convicted and served a four-month sentence, then returned to making movies. Actress Joan Bennett was the second of his two wives. They were married from 1940 to 1965.

Bruce Cabot (born Étienne de Pelissier Bujac Jr.), 1904 to 1972, was an American film actor, best remembered as Jack Driscoll in King Kong (1933) and for his roles in The Last of the Mohicans (1936), Fritz Lang’s Fury (1936) and the western, Dodge City (1939). He appeared in nearly 100 feature films, with his final screen appearance in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Anita Louise (born Anita Louise Fremault), 1915 to 1970, was an American film and television actress best known for her performances in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935), The Story of Louis Pasteur (1935), Marie Antoinette (1938) and The Little Princess (1939). She was frequently described as one of cinema’s most fashionable and stylish women.

Therese Ann Rutherford, 1917 to 2012, was a Canadian-American film, radio and television actress. She played a sister of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Ann Miller (born Johnnie Lucille Collier), 1923 to 2004, was an American dancer, singer and actress, best remembered for her work in 1940s and 1950s Hollywood musicals. Born in Texas, her maternal grandmother was Cherokee. Her father insisted on the name Johnnie because he wanted a boy. She began taking dance classes at age five to strengthen her legs after suffering rickets, and was considered a child dance prodigy. In later life, Miller claimed to have invented pantyhose in the 1940s as a solution to the continual problem of tearing stockings during the filming of dance production numbers.

Kathleen Gretchen (Kay) Williams, 1916 to 1983, was an American actress. She married four times. When Louis met her, she was with her fourth husband, Adolph Bernard Spreckels II (1911 to 1961), heir to his family’s Californian and Hawaiian sugar fortune. She divorced him two years later, and three years after than married actor Clark Gable.

Belita (born Gladys Olive Jepson-Turner), 1923 to 2005, was a British-born Olympic skater turned Hollywood actress. Her father served as an officer in the Boer and Great Wars, and her mother was daughter to a physician attached to the court of King Edward VII. Known to her fans as “Belita, the Ice Maiden,” she began her career at age 14 and skated for Britain in the 1936 Olympics. During the next 20 years, she starred in skating extravaganzas and appeared as a dancer and actress. By the 1940s, she was one of Hollywood’s top box office stars, and mobbed by fans wherever she went.

Marjorie Hoshelle, 1918 to 1989, was an American actress, who was married to actor Jeff Chandler from 1946 to 1954.

Curt Siodmak, 1902 to 2000, was a German-American novelist and screenwriter, known for his work in horror and science fiction film genres. He was the younger brother of director Robert Siodmak. A-Men appears not to have been made as a film, at least not under that name.

July 4 fireworks

Pagan Love Song was a 1950 American romantic musical, released by MGM and starring Esther Williams and Howard Keel. Set in Tahiti, it was based on the novel Tahiti Landfall by William S. Stone.

Destination Moon was an independently produced 1950 American Technicolor science fiction film. It was the first major US sci-fi film to deal with the practical scientific and engineering challenges of space travel, and to speculate on what a manned expedition to the moon would look like. Famed science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein contributed to the script.

Three Little Words was a 1950 American musical film biography of the Tin Pan Alley song-writing partnership of Kalmar and Ruby, starring Fred Astaire as lyricist Bert Kalmar, Red Skelton as composer Harry Ruby, Vera-Ellen and Arlene Dahl as their wives, with Debbie Reynolds in a small role as singer Helen Kane. It was the third in a series of MGM biopics about Broadway composers.

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