Posts Tagged ‘1950’s’
Gloria Talbott was a popular actress during the 1950’s and 60’s with over a hundred film and television credits during her career.
Gloria Talbott was born February 7, 1931 in Glendale in Los Angeles County, California, a city co-founded by one of her grandfathers. Her sister, Lori Talbott, also became an actress. Talbott began her career as a child actress in such films as “Maytime” (1937) , “Sweet and Low-down” (1944) and “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” (1945). After leaving school, Talbott formed a dramatic group and played “arena”-style shows at various clubs. After a three-year hiatus from acting (1948-50) due to marriage, motherhood and a divorce, she resumed her career, working regularly in both television and films. Talbott appeared films such as “Desert Pursuit” (1952), “Crashout” (1955), the Humphrey Bogart comedy “We’re No Angels” (1955), “Lucy Gallant” (1955), and “All That Heaven Allows” (1955). Some of her other movies include “The Oklahoman” (1957) with Joel McCrae and Barbara Hale, “Cattle Empire” (1958), and “The Oregon Trail” (1959) with Fred MacMurray. Talbott also became known as a ‘scream queen’ in the late 1950’s after appearing in a number of horror films including “The Daughter of Dr. Jekyll” (1957), “The Cyclops” (1957), “I Married a Monster from Outer Space” (1958) and “The Leech Woman” (1960). Her final film role was as Bri Quince in the 1966 Western film “An Eye for an Eye”.
During the 1950’s and 60’s Talbott also worked extensively in television. Some of her many television credits include appearances in shows and television movies such as “Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok” (1951), “Hopalong Cassidy” (1953), “TV Reader’s Digest” episode ‘America’s First Great Lady’ as Pocahontas (1955), “Fireside Theatre” (four episodes in 1953 and 54), “Adventures of Superman” (1956), “Zane Grey Theater” (1956), three episodes in “The Restless Gun” (1958), “Zorro” (four episodes in 1959), “Wanted: Dead or Alive” (three episodes 1958-1960), “Rawhide” (three episodes 1959-1961), “The Untouchables” (1962), “Laramie” (four episodes 1960-1963), “Gunsmoke” (three episodes 1955-1963), “Lassie” (1965), and Perry Mason (four episodes 1961-1966).
Gloria Talbott was married four times. Her first marriage was to KUSC broadcaster Gene Stanley Parrish on February 19, 1949. They divorced in 1953. Her second marriage was to Sandy Sanders in June 1956. They divorced nine years later in 1965. Her third marriage was to Dr. Steven J. Capabianco in January 1967. They divorced in 1969 after only two years of marriage. Talbott’s fourth and last marriage was to Patrick Mullally on April 27, 1970. The couple remained married until her death in September of 2000.
Talbott had a son, Mark, by her first husband Gene Parrish and a daughter, Mea, with Dr. Steven J. Capabianco, her third husband. Her daughter Mea won three gold medals in local ice skating competitions while she grew up is now an aspiring actress. Mae would rename herself Mea M. Mullally, taking the last name of man who raised her, Talbott’s fourth husband Patrick Mullally.
Gloria Talbott died from kidney failure September 19, 2000 (aged 69) in Glendale, California. She is interred in the Mausoleum at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California.
Barbara Britton was an American film and television actress best known for her western film roles opposite Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Gene Autry and for her two-year tenure as inquisitive amateur sleuth Pam North on the television series “Mr. and Mrs. North”.
Barbara Britton was born Barbara Maurine Brantingham on September 26, 1919, in Long Beach, California. Britton attended Polytechnic High School and Long Beach City College, majoring in speech with the intention of working as a speech and drama teacher. While in school she started to show an interest in acting and began working on local stage productions. In 1941, while appearing in a Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, a photo of Britton was used on the front page of a local newspaper. A talent scout took notice and she was soon signed to a Paramount Pictures contract. Paramount thought that the name Brantingham would be “too long to fit on a marquee”, so Barbara chose as her stage name ‘Britton’, a cherished family surname. Shortly after signing with Paramount Britton appeared in her first two films, a William Boyd western “Secrets of the Wasteland” (1941) and “Louisiana Purchase” (1941) starring Bob Hope. Her first major film appearance was in a small role in the John Wayne film “Reap the Wild Wind” (1942).
Britton would go on to appear in twenty seven movies and shorts during the 1940s including roles in popular films such as “So Proudly We Hail!” (1943), “Till We Meet Again” (1944), “The Virginian” (1946) opposite Joel McCrea , “The Return of Monte Cristo” (1946), “Gunfighters” (1947) with Randolph Scott, and “Albuquerque” (1948) also with Randolph Scott. With her growing popularity during the 40s, Britton’s picture would appear on more than one hundred magazine covers over a two year span, including those of Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s Home Companion, and McCall’s. In 1949, a newspaper article reported, “Today, Barbara Britton’s picture has appeared on more national magazine covers than any other motion picture actress in the world.”
During the 1950s, Britton would turn to television, starring in the 1950s television show “Mr. and Mrs. North”, a Thin Man-like mystery show, with Richard Denning and Francis De Sales. Britton became well known for being the spokesperson for Revlon products in the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in ads and commercials that included live spots on “The $64,000 Question”. She also portrayed Laura Petrie in Carl Reiner’s “Head of the Family”, the 1959 pilot for the later Dick Van Dyke Show. In between her television roles Britton co-starred intermittently in such “B” films as “Bandit Queen” (1950), “The Raiders” (1952), “Bwana Devil” (1952), “Dragonfly Squadron” (1954), “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (1955), “Night Freight” (1955) and with her final movie role in “The Spoilers” (1955) opposite Jeff Chandler and Rory Calhoun.
During the late 50’s and 60’s Britton had roles in various Broadway Shows and appeared in a some of the more popular television roles of that period. Her last role was as a regular on the daytime soap “One Life to Live” in 1979. Her time on this show was short-lived though as the actress was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer not long after.
In 1944, Britton suffered from nervous exhaustion due to overwork and was advised to seek the help of physician and psychoanalyst Dr. Eugene J. Czukor. The two fell in love and Britton and Czukor, who was 22 years her senior, were married on April 2, 1945. They raised two children together, a son Theodore who appeared on the Canadian Shakespearean stage and later became a yoga instructor, and daughter Christina who grew up to become a model, actress, opera singer, music therapist and romance novelist. Both used the surname Britton during their careers. The couple remained married until her death.
Barbara Britton died of pancreatic cancer in New York City on January 17, 1980, at the age of 60.
On February 8, 1960 Britton received a star for television on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1719 Vine Street.
Marla English was a motion picture actress from San Diego, California who appeared in several movies during the 1950s.
Marla English was born Marleine Gaile English on January 4, 1935 in San Diego, California to Bertha Lenore and Arthur H. English. Marla was a nickname given to her by friends of the family who took care of her when her mother fell ill in 1939. English started modeling bathing attire for leading advertising agencies at the age of twelve. During her teen years English enters several bathing beauty contests and each time emerges a winner. During her sophmore year in high school she became a member of San Diego’s Globe Theatre and played roles in their productions of “Mad Woman of Chaillot” and “Cricket on the Hearth” while continuing her modeling career. Upon graduating high school in 1952 English was signed to a contract by Paramount Pictures after winning a San Diego beauty pageant. Paramount brought English along slowly, putting her in bit parts in such films as “Red Garters” (1954) with Rosemary Clooney, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” (1954) with James Stewart and Grace Kelly, and “Yankee Pasha” (1954) with Jeff Chandler and Rhonda Fleming. In 1955 English starred opposite John Ireland in “Hell’s Horizon” and with Ralph Meeker in “Desert Sands”.
English received a major break in 1955 when she was cast opposite Spencer Tracy in “The Mountain” (1956), a film which was to be made in France. English was given a smallpox vaccine before leaving to go on location and quickly developed a raging fever and decided to pull out of the movie. As a result Paramount suspends English and replaces her with Barbara Darrow. Parade Magazine was purportedly told that English had fallen in love with Paramount actor Larry Pennell and had became enraged when the studio would not give Pennell a role in the film so they could travel to France together and that was why she had pulled out of the movie. In a September 1955 interview with Parade, English admits pulling out of the film was a very dumb move and she was unsure why she decided against making “The Mountain”.
After Paramount dropped her contact English starred in mostly B-movie films throughout the rest of her Hollywood movie career. Some of these include “Three Bad Sisters” (1956), “Runaway Daughters” (1956), “The She Creature” (1956), and “Flesh and the Spur” (1956). English gave up her acting career in 1956 when she became engaged to San Diego businessman A. Paul Sutherland. English was just twenty-one at the time. Her final film role came in American International’s horror flick “Voodoo Woman” which was released in 1957. The couple married in 1956 and remained together until her death in 2012. English and Sutherland had four sons together and a daughter, Ann, from his previous marriage.
Marla English died December 10, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona after a four-year battle with cancer. English is survived by her husband of fifty-six years, her five children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Marjorie Weaver was an American film actress of the 1930s through the early 1950s. Weaver was born on March 2, 1913 in Crossville, Tennessee. She attended the University of Kentucky, and later the University of Indiana, with interests in music. Showing early signs of a musical talent, Weaver began to make use of her beauty and singing capabilities as she tried to find a place for herself in the entertainment business. Weaver found work as a model, band singer, and stage actress in the early 1930s, before appearring in her first film “Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round” (1934) in an uncredited role. Over the next couple years she would receive steady acting roles and began receiving credited roles in larger productions. She starred opposite Ricardo Cortez in the 1937 film “The Californian” and that same year she would appear opposite Tyrone Power in “Second Honeymoon”.
Weaver would go on to star in over twenty five films the next few years with her most notable role in “Young Mr. Lincoln” (1939), which also starred Henry Fonda and Alice Brady. Other films of note during that time include; “I’ll Give a Million” (1938) with Warner Baxter, “Hold That Co-ed” (1938) opposite John Barrymore, “The Cisco Kid and the Lady” (1939) opposite Cesar Romero, the comedy “Sally, Irene and Mary” (1938) with Alice Faye and Joan Davis in which they played a trio of starry-eyed hopefuls, in a couple of The Ritz Brothers vehicles “Life Begins in College” (1937) and “Kentucky Moonshine” (1938), “Murder Among Friends” (1941) and “Man at Large” (1941).
In the early 1940s Weaver’s roles began to be less consequential with many of them in “B’ movies. She would co-star in two “Charlie Chan” and three “Michael Shayne” mysteries and in 1944 had a favorable role the serial “The Great Alaskan Mystery”. In 1945, she starred opposite Robert Lowery in “Fashion Model”, which would be her last role of any consequence. After a few minor roles in 1952, Weaver retired from acting.
Marjorie Weaver married businessman Don Briggs in 1943, with whom she would have a son and a daughter, Joel and Leigh. Weaver and her husband opened a business in Los Angeles, which they operated until retirement, at which time they moved to Austin, Texas. The couple remained married until her death in 1994.
Marjorie Weaver died of a heart attack on October 1, 1994, in Austin, Texas.
“I couldn’t dance, and, Lord knows, I couldn’t sing, but I got by somehow. Richard Rodgers was always keeping them from firing me.” ~ June Allyson from a 1951 Interview.
June Allyson was an American film and television actress who was popular in the 1940s and 1950s. A major MGM contract star, Allyson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Too Young to Kiss” (1951). From 1959–1961, she hosted and occasionally starred in her own CBS anthology series, “The DuPont Show with June Allyson”.
June Allyson was born Eleanor Geisman, nicknamed “Ella”, on October 7, 1917 in The Bronx, New York City. In April 1918, when Allyson was only six months old, her alcoholic father, who had worked as a janitor, abandoned the family. Allyson was brought up in near poverty, living with her maternal grandparents. To make ends meet, her mother worked as a telephone operator and restaurant cashier, and when she had enough funds, she would occasionally reunite with her daughter, but more often than not Allyson lived with her grandparents or other relatives. In 1925, when Allyson was eight, a dead tree branch fell on her while she was riding on her tricycle with her pet terrier in tow. The heavy branch killed her dog outright and Allyson suffered a fractured skull and broken back. Her doctors thought she would never walk again and confined her to a heavy steel brace from neck to hips for four years. She ultimately regained her health, gradually progressing from a wheelchair to crutches to braces. Allyson’s true “escape” from her impoverished life was to go to the movies where she was enraptured by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movies. As a teen, Allyson memorized the trademark Ginger Rogers dance routines and learned to copy the singing style of all the big movie stars of the time. When her mother remarried and the family became more financially stable, Allyson was enrolled in the Ned Wayburn Dancing Academy and began to enter dance competitions with the stage name of “Elaine Peters”. When her stepfather died in 1963 and facing a bleak future, she left high school after only completing two and half years, to seek jobs as a dancer. Her first job was at $60 dollars a week as a tap dancer at the Lido Club in Montreal. Returning to New York, she found work as an actress in movie short subjects filmed by Educational Pictures at its Astoria, Long Island studio. Her first career “break” came when Educational cast her as an ingenue opposite singer Lee Sullivan, comic dancers Herman Timberg, Jr. and Pat Rooney, Jr. and future comedy star Danny Kaye. When Educational ceased operations, Allyson moved over to Vitaphone in Brooklyn, and starred or co-starred (with dancer Hal Le Roy) in musical shorts. Taking the name ‘June Allyson’, she returned to the New York stage to take on more chorus roles in Rodgers and Hart’s “Higher and Higher” (1940) and Cole Porter’s “Panama Hattie” (1940). Her dancing and musical talent led to a stint as an understudy for the lead, Betty Hutton, and when Hutton contracted measles, Allyson appeared in five performances of “Panama Hattie”. Broadway director George Abbott caught one of the nights she filled in for Hutton and offered Allyson one of the lead roles in his production of “Best Foot Forward” (1941).
In 1943, Allyson was offered the role in the 1943 film version of “Best Foot Forward” and went to Hollywood . She also landed small roles in “Girl Crazy” (1943) and “Thousands Cheer” (1943). Her breakout role came in 1944 when she starred opposite Van Johnson and Gloria DeHaven in “Two Girls and a Sailor”. The studio promoted Allyson with as “girl next door” and Van Johnson as the quintessential “boy next door.” Allyson and Johnson became known as “sweetheart team,” and went on to appear together in four later films. Allyson’s early success as a musical star led to several other postwar musicals, including “Two Sisters from Boston” (1946) and “Good News” (1947). Allyson also played straight roles such as Constance in “The Three Musketeers” (1948) opposite Gene Kelly, the tomboy Jo March in “Little Women” (1949), and a nurse in “Battle Circus” (1953). She was very adept at being able to cry on cue, and many of her films incorporated a crying scene. Fellow MGM player Margaret O’Brien recalled that she and Allyson were known as “the town criers”. Besides Van Johnson, James Stewart was also a frequent costar, teaming up with Allyson in films such as “The Glenn Miller Story” (1953), “The Stratton Story” (1949) and “Strategic Air Command” (1955). In 1956 she starred opposite a young rising star named Jack Lemmon in the hit comedy, “You Can’t Run Away From It”.
After her film career ended, Allyson appeared on radio and made a handful of nightclub singing engagements. In later years, she appeared on television in her own series “The DuPont Show with June Allyson” which ran from 1959 – 1961. She also appeared in such popular programs as “The Love Boat” and “Murder, She Wrote”. Allyson made a special appearance in 1994 in “That’s Entertainment III”, as one of the film’s narrators. She spoke about MGM’s golden era, and introduced vintage film clips. In 1996, Allyson became the first recipient of the Harvey Award, presented by the James M. Stewart Museum Foundation, in recognition of her positive contributions to the world of entertainment. As a personal friend of President and Mrs. Reagan she was invited to many White House Dinners, and in 1988, President Reagan appointed her to “The Federal Council of Aging”. Allyson and her husband, Dr. Ashrow, actively supported fund-raising efforts for both the James Stewart and Judy Garland museums, both Stewart and Garland having been close friends of hers. Up until 2003 Allyson remained as busy as ever touring the country making personal appearances, headlining celebrity cruises, and speaking on behalf of Kimberly-Clark, a long-time commercial interest.
When Allyson first started to become a star in Hollywood, studio heads attempted to enhance the pairing of Van Johnson and Allyson as “America’s Sweethearts” by sending the two of them on a series of “official dates” which were highly publicized and led to a public perception that a romance had been kindled. But privately Allyson was actually being courted by movie heartthrob and powerful Hollywood “player” Dick Powell, who was 13 years her senior and had been previously married to Mildred Maund and Joan Blondell. On August 19, 1945, Allyson and Powell married against MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer’s objections. The story is that after defying Mayer twice by refusing to stop seeing Powell, in a “tactical master stroke”, she asked Mayer to give her away at the wedding. He was so disarmed that he agreed but put Allyson on suspension anyway. The Powells had two children, Pamela Allyson Powell, adopted in 1948 through the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in an adoption arranged by Georgia Tann, and Richard Powell, Jr. (born December 24, 1950). The couple briefly separated in 1961, but reconciled and remained married until his death on January 2, 1963.
Allyson became romantically involved with writer/director Dirk Summers in an ill-fated affair that lasted from 1963 to 1975. Their relationship often became the lead item in Walter Winchell’s then influential column . They became members of the nascent jet-set and were frequently seen together in Cap d’Antibes, Madrid, Rome, and London. However, Summers continuously refused her marriage proposals and the relationship ended. During the time she was reportedly involved with Summers, Allyson was twice married and divorced to businessman Alfred Glenn Maxwell. The first time from 1963 to 1965 and again from 1966 to 1970. During this time, Allyson struggled with alcoholism, which she overcame in the mid-1970s. In 1976, Allyson married David Ashrow, a dentist turned actor. The couple occasionally performed together in regional theater, and in the late 1970s and early 1980s, toured the United States with the stage play “My Daughter, Your Son”. They also appeared on celebrity cruise ship tours on the Royal Viking Sky, in a program that highlighted Allyson’s movie career. They remained married for thirty years until her death in 2006.
Following hip-replacement surgery in 2003, Allyson’s health began to deteriorate. With her husband at her side, she died July 8, 2006, aged 88 at her home in Ojai, California of pulmonary respiratory failure and acute bronchitis.