Archive for July, 2012
“Unfortunately, or perhaps it is fortunate that I have always been forced to stand on my acting ability. I haven’t a personality such as Jack Gilbert’s, for instance, that attracts women and makes them like me for myself. When I am on the screen I must make them forget me entirely and think only of my acting.” ~ William Powell in 1929
“There is more money in being liked by an audience than in being disliked by it. The biggest thing about movie audiences is the sympathy they give characters on the screen. But the art of acting and the talent of selecting what one will act are divorced qualities.” ~ William Powell
“I do not hold that because the author did a bad job of writing the player need trump it with the same kind of acting. When I go into a picture I have only one character to look after. If the author didn’t do him justice, I try to add whatever the creator of the part overlooked.” ~ William Powell
“I have never gone into a picture without first studying my characterization from all angles. I make a study of the fellow’s life and try to learn everything about him, including the conditions under which he came into this world, his parentage, his environment, his social status, and the things in which he is interested. Then I attempt to get his mental attitude as much as possible.” ~ William Powell
“My friends have stood by me marvelously in the ups and downs of my career. I don’t believe there is anything more worthwhile in life than friendship. Friendship is a far better thing than love, as it is commonly accepted.” ~ William Powell
“I highly recommend worrying. It’s much more effective than dieting.” ~ William Powell when asked how he kept so slim.
Gloria Mildred DeHaven, born July 23, 1925 in Los Angeles, California, is an American actress and a former contract star for MGM. DeHaven began her career as a child actor with a bit part in Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” (1936) and moved on to become a Hollywood leading lady. During her long and varied career she would also perform as nightclub singer, as stage actress in Broadway and London theatre and as TV actress and hostess.
Florence Vidor was born Florence Arto on July 23, 1895 in Houston, Texas to John F. Arto, a realtor, and his wife Ida. Educated in both public and finishing school systems, she was also a student at the Convent of the Sacred Heart. After a chance meeting with two local aspiring filmmakers, Edward Sedgwick and King Vidor, she became romantically involved with Vidor and the two married in 1915. (They had one child together, Suzanne Vidor Parry). The couple moved to California and settled in Santa Monica, both finding employment at the Vitagraph studio. Florence knew actress Corinne Griffith from her days in Houston and was introduced around the sets. Vitagraph Studios was quite taken by Florence’s exquisite beauty and quickly signed her to a contract in 1916. She started with some minor roles in such comedy shorts as “The Yellow Girl” (1916) and “Curfew at Simpton Center” (1916).
Florence first turned heads portraying the tragic seamstress “Mimi” in “A Tale of Two Cities” (1917). Audiences took notice and the attractive brunette was immediately promoted to leading lady status opposite such established stars as Sessue Hayakawa and Julian Eltinge. Florence and Hayakawa appeared together in “Hashimura Togo” (1917), “The Secret Game” (1917) and “The White Man’s Law” (1918), among others. She co-starred with the popular Eltinge, who often outdressed his leading ladies, in the comedies “The Countess Charming” (1917) and “The Widow’s Might” (1918).
Within a short time, Florence was starring in quality pictures for both William C. de Mille and his brother, Cecil B. DeMille, but still preferred to work for her husband, King, who had by this time established himself as a formidable director after opening his own studio in 1919. Florence became a huge star under her husband’s guidance operating under the banners of King Vidor Productions and Florence Vidor Productions, starring in such silent classics as “The Other Half” (1919), “Poor Relations” (1919), “The Family Honor” (1920), “The Jack-Knife Man” (1920), “Real Adventure” (1922), “Dusk to Dawn” (1922) and “Conquering the Woman” (1922). Her best-regarded film of that period, was King’s comedy-drama “Alice Adams” (1923).
The following year in 1924, Florence and King divorced. She went on to appear for other well-known directors, notably Ernst Lubitsch, in such popular pictures as “The Marriage Circle” (1924) and “The Patriot” (1928). Florence also portrayed the famous female Revolutionary War figure in “Barbara Frietchie” (1924). But she earned most of her acclaim specializing in sophisticated comedy in films such as “Marry Me” (1925), “Are Parents People?” (1925), “The Grand Duchess and the Waiter” (1926), and “The Magnificent Flirt” (1928).
Florence retired from movies at the height of her popularity after making her first major talking film “Chinatown Nights” in 1929. Filming of “Chinatown Nights” began as a silent movie and then finished as an all-talking sound one via dubbing. Florence did not dub her own voice and the unhappy experience was enough for her to quit the movie business immediately afterward, preferring not to work in sound films. Florence had just married a second time to the famed violinist Jascha Heifetz in 1928, and chose instead, to raise a family. The couple went on to have two children, Josepha and Robert. Florence and Heifetz divorced in 1946 and she continued to live her life completely out of the limelight. She later resided in Pacific Palisades, California, where she died at the age of 81 from heart failure on November 3, 1977.
“I’m a tough old broad from Brooklyn. I intend to go on acting until I’m ninety and they won’t need to paste my face with make-up.” ~ Barbara Stanwyck
“Eyes are the greatest tool in film. Mr. Capra taught me that. Sure, it’s nice to say very good dialogue, if you can get it. But great movie acting, watch the eyes!” ~ Barbara Stanwyck
“Put me in the last fifteen minutes of a picture and I don’t care what happened before. I don’t even care if I was IN the rest of the damned thing. I’ll take it in those fifteen minutes.” ~ Barbara Stanwyck
“My only problem is finding a way to play my fortieth fallen female in a different way from my thirty-ninth.” ~ Barbara Stanwyck
“It’s perhaps not the future I would choose. I still think it’s possible to make a success of both marriage and career, even though I didn’t. But it’s not a bad future and I’m not afraid of it.” ~ Barbara Stanwyck
“Career is too pompous a word. It was a job and I have always felt privileged to be paid for doing what I love doing.” ~ Barbara Stanwyck
“I want to go on until they have to shoot me.” ~ Barbara Stanwyck
Leslie Brooks was born Virginia Leslie Gettman on July 13, 1922 in Lincoln, Nebraska. After a small uncredited part in “Ziegfeld Girl” (1941), Brooks first credited role was in the movie “Navy Blues” as Loraine Gettman. She was one of of six starlets billed as “The Navy Blues Sextet” in Navy Blues. The six beauties, including Marguerite Chapman, Claire James, Peggy Diggins, Kay Aldridge, and Georgia Carroll, went to Honolulu for the world premiere, then returned to the mainland to make a cross-country junket, starting in Dallas, Texas, and ending in New York City. She again appeared as Loraine Gettman as one of “The Navy Blues Sextet” in “You’re In The Army Now” (1941). After a couple more uncredited bit roles, she signs with Columbia Pictures in 1942, changes from a brunette to a blonde, and becomes Leslie Brooks. She started recieving more sizeable parts in movies such as “Cover Girl” (1944) and “Nine Girls” (1944), but could only land supporting roles as she was never able to get that major starring role. Brooks retired from movies in 1948 with over 25 movies to her credit. She currently lives in Hawaii with her family.
During WWII, Leslie Brooks was a very popular pin-up girl with the GI’s worldwide. Heralded as having ‘the most beautiful legs in America’ by Hosiery Designers of America, Brooks appears on the April 7, 1944 cover of Yank, The Army Weekly. She also donated her time to entertain the troops and help out at The Hollywood Canteen during the war. (As did many of the Hollywood stars of that time).