Archive for September, 2012
Deborah Kerr (September 30, 1921 – October 16, 2007) was one of the most honored and awarded actresses in the history of film.
Kerr was nominated six times for the Academy Award for Best Actress: “Edward, My Son” (1949), “From Here to Eternity” (1953), “The King and I” (1956), “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” (1957), “Separate Tables” (1958) and “The Sundowners” (1960). Although she never won, in 1994, Kerr was awarded the Academy Honorary Award, cited by the Academy as “an artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance”.
Kerr was also nominated four times for the BAFTA Award for Best British Actress: “The End of the Affair” (1955), “Tea and Sympathy” (1956), “The Sundowners” (1961) and “The Chalk Garden” (1964).
She won a Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy” for The King and I in 1957 and a Henrietta Award for “World Film Favorite – Female”. Kerr was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for “Edward, My Son” (1949), “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” (1957) and “Separate Tables” (1958).
Kerr was the first performer to win the New York Film Critics Circle Award for “Best Actress” three times (1947, 1957 and 1960).
In 1985 Kerr received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special for “A Woman of Substance”.
Deborah Kerr was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1998, but was unable to accept the honor in person because of ill health.
She was also honored in Hollywood where for her contributions to the motion picture industry she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1709 Vine Street.
“If only those who dream about Hollywood knew how difficult it all is.” ~ Greta Garbo
“My talents fall within definite limitations. I am not as versatile an actress as some think.” ~ Greta Garbo
“Being a movie star, and this applies to all of them, means being looked at from every possible direction. You are never left at peace, you’re just fair game.” ~ Greta Garbo
“The story of my life is about back entrances, side doors, secrets elevators and other ways of getting in and out of places so that people won’t bother me.” ~ Greta Garbo
“I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be left alone.’ There is a whole world of difference.” ~ Greta Garbo
“Your joys and sorrows. You can never tell them. You cheapen the inside of yourself if you do.” ~ Greta Garbo
“There are some who want to get married and others who don’t. I have never had an impulse to go to the altar. I am a difficult person to lead.” ~ Greta Garbo
“I ‘WAS’ Greta Garbo.” ~ Greta Garbo when asked in her later years by a fan if she is Greta Garbo.
“Life would be so wonderful if we only knew what to do with it.” ~ Greta Garbo
Esther Ralston (September 17, 1902 – January 14, 1994) was an American movie actress whose greatest popularity came during the silent era.
Ralston was born September 17, 1902 in Bar Harbor, Maine. She started as a child actress in a family vaudeville act which was billed as “The Ralston Family with Baby Esther, America’s Youngest Juliet.” In 1920, Ralston appeared in her first movie in “Huckleberry Finn”. She appeared in a few more small silent film roles before gaining attention as Mrs. Darling in the 1924 version of “Peter Pan”. During the mid to late 1920s she appeared in many films for Paramount such as; “A Kiss for Cinderella” (1926), “Old Ironsides” (1926) with Wallace Beery and Charles Farrell, “The American Venus” (1926), “Children of Divorce” (1927) with Clara Bow and Gary Cooper, “The Case of Lena Smith” (1929), and “Betrayal” (1929) with Gary Cooper. At one point Ralston was one of the highest paid stars of her time earning as much as $8000 a week, garnering much popularity, especially in Britain. Despite making a successful transition to sound, she was reduced to appearing in B-movies by the mid-1930s, leading to her retirement. Some of note are; “To the Last Man” (1933) opposite Randolph Scott, “Sadie McKee” (1934) with Joan Crawford, Gene Raymond, Franchot Tone and Edward Arnold, and “Ladies Crave Excitement” (1935). Her last movie role was in “San Francisco Docks” (1940). By the time she retired in 1941 , Ralston had made over 100 movies.
Ralston made four appearances on television series during the 1950’s and early 60’s; on “Kraft Theatre” in 1952, “Tales of Tomorrow” in 1952, “Broadway Television Theatre” in 1953, and nine years later on “Our Five Daughters” in 1962.
Ralston was married and divorced three times. George Webb from 1925 to 1933, Will Morgan from 1934 to 1938, and Ted Lloyd from 1939 to 1954. She had two daughters and one son from her marriages.
Esther Ralston died in Ventura, California on January 14, 1994 of a heart attack.
She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (6664 Hollywood Boulevard) for her popular work in motion pictures.
Janis Paige, born Donna Mae Tjaden on September 16, 1922, in Tacoma, Washington, began singing in public at age five in local amateur shows. She moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school and was hired as a singer at the Hollywood Canteen during World War II. A Warner Brothers agent saw her potential and signed her to a contract. One of her first film roles was co-starring in the Warner Brothers film, “Hollywood Canteen” (1944), where she plays a Warner Brothers messenger girl working at the canteen. She went on to co-star in low budget musicals, often paired with Dennis Morgan or Jack Carson. She later co-starred in adventures and dramas, in which she felt out of place. Following her role in “Two Gals and a Guy” (1951), she decided to leave Hollywood. She appeared on Broadway and was a huge hit in a 1951 comedy-mystery play, “Remains to Be Seen”, co-starring Jackie Cooper. Paige also toured successfully as a cabaret singer. Stardom came in 1954 with her role as ‘Babe’ in the Broadway musical “The Pajama Game”. After a six years, Paige returned to Hollywood to appear in “Silk Stockings” (1957) with starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, the Doris Day comedy “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” in 1960, and in “Bachelor in Paradise” (1961) with Bob Hope. She also had a rare dramatic role as ‘Marion’, an institutionalized prostitute, in “The Caretakers” in 1963. Paige returned to Broadway in 1963 in the short-lived “Here’s Love”, and as one of a succession of actresses playing the title role in the musical “Mame”. Paige also appeared in touring productions of musicals such as “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Applause”, “Ballroom”, “Gypsy: A Musical Fable”, and “Guys and Dolls”.
Janis Paige starred in her own CBS situation comedy, “It’s Always Jan”, co-starring Merry Anders during the 1955-1956 television season. The 26-week program was set in New York City, centering around Paige as Jan Stewart, a widowed mother, and her two female roommates played by Anders and Patricia Bright. She also appeared as troubadour ‘Hallie Martin’ in the 1964 “Fugitive” episode “Ballad For a Ghost”. Paige had a recurring role as “Auntie V”, Tom Bradford’s erstwhile sister, in “Eight Is Enough”.
Paige also appeared on “The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom”, “Trapper John, M.D.”, “All in the Family”, “Columbo ” and “Caroline in the City”. During the 1980s and 1990s she had roles on soap operas such as “General Hospital”, “Capitol”, and “Santa Barbara”. In 1982 she appeared on “St. Elsewhere” as a female flasher who stalked the hallways of the hospital to ‘cheer up” the male patients’. Although her character said she was “celebrating her 50th birthday,” Ms. Paige was actually 60 at the time of filming.
Janis Paige has been married three times. The first time to Frank Louis Martinelli Jr, restaurateur. They were married in 1947 and divorced in 1950. In 1956 she married Arthur Stander, a television writer and creator of “It’s Always Jan”. They divorced 1957. Her third marriage was in 1962 to Ray Gilbert, a composer and music publisher. They remained married until his death in 1976. Paige has no children.
“I loved making movies…” ~ Jane Greer
Jane Greer was born Bettejane Greer on Setember 9, 1924 in Washington D.C. to Bettie and Charles Dean McLean Greer, Jr. At age 15, an attack of palsy left her face partially paralyzed. She claimed that it was through facial exercises to overcome the paralysis that she learned the efficacy of facial expression in conveying human emotion, a skill she was renowned for using in her acting. A beauty-contest winner and professional model from her teens, Greer began her show business career as a big band singer, most notably with Enric Madriguera’s orchestra in Latin Club Del Rio in Washington, D.C.. Howard Hughes spotted the five-foot five beauty modeling in the June 8, 1942, issue of Life magazine and brought her to Hollywood to become an actress. Hughes was personally obsessed with Greer and kept her virtually a prisoner during her first few months she was under contract. 1n 1943, Greer escaped from Hughes’ control and quickly married Rudy Vallee who was 22 years her senior. The marriage only lasted a few months and Greer returned to Hughes and her contract. There, she went on to star in “Dick Tracy” (1945), “Out of the Past” (1947) with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas, “They Won’t Believe Me” (1947) with Robert Young and Susan Hayward , and the comedy/suspense film “The Big Steal” (1949) alongside “Out of the Past” co-star Robert Mitchum. Hughes again refused to let her work for a time and when she finally began film acting again, it was in “You’re in the Navy Now” (1951) starring Gary Cooper. Greer went on to star in “The Prisoner of Zenda” (1952), “Run for the Sun” (1956), and “The Man of a Thousand Faces” (1957). In 1984, she was cast in “Against All Odds”, a remake of Out of the Past, as the mother of the character she had played in 1947.
“Howard Hughes was obsessed with me. But at first it seemed as if he were offering me a superb career opportunity.” ~ Jane Greer
Jane Greer was also had noteworthy roles in television included guest appearances on episodes of numerous shows over the decades, such as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, “Bonanza”, “Quincy, M.E.”, “Murder, She Wrote”, and a 1975 role with Peter Falk and Robert Vaughn in an episode of “Columbo” titled “Troubled Waters”. In 1987 Greer got to make fun of “Out of the Past” in a parody with Robert Mitchum on TV’s “Saturday Night Live”. Greer joined the casts of “Falcon Crest” in 1984, and “Twin Peaks” in 1990, with recurring roles in both shows.
Jane Greer was married twice. The first marriage was to Rudy Vallee in 1943, but they divorced the following year. She remarried in 1947, to Edward Lasker (1912–1997), a Los Angeles lawyer and businessman, with whom she had three children. Her son Lawrence Lasker is a movie producer who has co-produced several films, including “WarGames” (1983) and “Sneakers” (1992). The couple divorced in 1963. Edward Lasker had been an owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses since 1929, and Greer also became an owner of race horses under her own name. Among her graded stakes race wins were the 1966 Withers and Jim Dandy Stakes and the 1967 Fall Highweight Handicap with the colt “Indulto”.
Greer never married again but stayed with ‘partner’ Frank London from 1963 until his death in 2001.
Jane Greer died of cancer at the age of 76 on August 24, 2001 in Los Angeles, California. She was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.