Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’
Rochelle Hudson, born March 6, 1916 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was a film and television actress whose career spanned four decades from the 1930s through the 1960s. She was named a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931 along with future Hollywood stars Joan Blondell, Constance Cummings, Frances Dee, and Anita Louise. Hudson may be best remembered today for costarring in “Wild Boys of the Road” (1933), playing Cosette in “Les Miserables” (1935), as the older sister of Shirley Temple’s character in “Curly Top” (1935), and for playing Natalie Wood’s mother in “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955). Other notable roles for Hudson include; Sally Glynn the fallen ingenue in “She Done Him Wrong” (1933) starring Cary Grant and Mae West; Richard Cromwell’s love interest in the Will Rogers showcase “Life Begins at Forty” (1935); “Way Down East” (1935) with Henry Fonda; the daughter of carnival barker W.C. Fields in “Poppy” (1936); and Claudette Colbert’s adult daughter in “Imitation of Life” (1934).
In the 1954–1955 television season, Hudson co-starred with Gil Stratton and Eddie Mayehoff in the CBS situation comedy “That’s My Boy”, based on the 1951 Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin film of the same name. Other television credits include appearing on Racket Squad in 1951, Schlitz Playhouse in 1952, Shower of Stars in 1954, Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre in 1955, and Branded in 1965.
Hudson was married four times. Her first husband was Charles Brust. Little is known of the marriage other than it ended in divorce. She remarried in 1939 to Harold Thompson, who was the head of the Storyline Department at Disney Studios. She assisted Thompson, who was doing espionage work in Mexico as a civilian during World War II. They posed as a vacationing couple to various parts of Mexico, to detect if there was any German activity in these areas. One of their more successful vacations uncovered a supply of high test aviation gas hidden by German agents in Baja California. After their divorce in 1947, Hudson married a third time the following year to Los Angeles Times sportswriter, Dick Irving Hyland. The marriage lasted two years before the couple divorced. Her final marriage was to Robert Mindell, a hotel executive. The couple remained together for eight years before they divorced in 1971.
On January 17, 1972, Hudson was found dead in her home at the Palm Desert Country Club. A business associate with whom she had been working in real estate discovered her body on her bathroom floor. Hudson had died of a heart attack brought on by a liver ailment. Her only close survivor was her mother.
Elisha Cook, Jr. was an American character actor whose acting career spanned more than 60 years with roles in films such as “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), “The Big Sleep” (1946) and “Shane” (1953).
Elisha Cook was born December 26, 1903 in San Francisco, California. He grew up in Chicago and started out in vaudeville by the age of fourteen. Cook made his first big screen role at the age of seventeen in “The Unborn Child” in 1930. Cook spent his next few years as a traveling actor in the East Coast and the Midwest before arriving in New York City where Eugene O’Neill cast him in his play “Ah, Wilderness!”, which ran on Broadway for two years (1933-35). After his Broadway run Cook settled in Hollywood where he began a movie career of playing weaklings, sadistic losers, and small time gangsters, quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s most notable fall guys. Although short and slight of frame his ability to play these type of roles, many times with such passion and ferocity, he was often referred to as the movie industry’s lightest ‘heavy’.
Elisha Cook’s most memorable Hollywood film role was as the “gunsel” Wilmer Cook who tries to intimidate Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941). It was to Cook whom Bogart spat, “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter”. Cook is also remembered for the sexual innuendo in his scene as the mysterious drummer Cliff March after encountering Ella Raines in “Phantom Lady” (1944). Other notable roles included the doomed informant Harry Jones in “The Big Sleep” (1946), a henchman of the murderous title character in “Born to Kill” (1947), the pugnacious ex-Confederate soldier ‘Stonewall’ Torrey in “Shane” (1953), and George Peatty, the shady, cuckolded husband in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing” (1956).
Cook also had roles in movies such as “Ball of Fire’ (1941), “Dark Waters” (1944), “House on Haunted Hill” (1959) and “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968). He also made a couple rare appearances in slapstick comedy as the cameo role of The Screenwriter in “Hellzapoppin'” (1941) and in “A-Haunting We Will Go” (1942) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
During his career Cook appeared in many television series including “Adventures of Superman”, “The Real McCoys”, “The Wild Wild West”, “The Fugitive”, “Perry Mason”, “Star Trek”, “Batman” and had a long-term recurring role as Honolulu crime lord ‘Ice Pick’ on CBS’s hit series “Magnum, P.I.”.
Cook lived most of his adult life California, typically summering on Lake Sabrina in the Sierra Nevada. According to the legendary director John Huston, who directed him in The Maltese Falcon: “[Cook] lived alone up in the High Sierra, tied flies and caught golden trout between films. When he was wanted in Hollywood, they sent word up to his mountain cabin by courier. He would come down, do a picture, and then withdraw again to his retreat.”
Cook was married twice, to Mary Lou Cook in 1929 (divorced in 1942) and Peggy McKenna Cook in 1943, a union which lasted until his death. He had no children.
Elisha Cook Jr. died of a stroke on May 18, 1995 in Big Pine, California, aged 91. At the time of his death Cook was the last surviving member of the main cast of “The Maltese Falcon”.
Claudette Colbert (September 13, 1903 – July 30, 1996) was a French-born American actress, and a Hollywood leading lady for two decades. Colbert began her career in Broadway productions during the 1920s, progressing to film with the advent of talking pictures. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in “It Happened One Night” (1934), the first woman born outside of North America to do so, and also received Academy Award nominations for “Private Worlds” (1935) and “Since You Went Away” (1944). During her career, Colbert starred in more than sixty movies and was the industry’s biggest box-office star in 1938 and 1942. By the mid 1950s, Colbert had largely retired from the screen in favor of television and stage work, earning a Tony Award nomination for “The Marriage-Go-Round” in 1959. Her career tapered off during the early 1960s, but in the late 1970s she experienced a career resurgence in theater, earning a Sarah Siddons Award for her Chicago theater work in 1980. For her television work in “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles” (1987) she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy Award nomination. In 1999, the American Film Institute voted Claudette Colbert the “12th Greatest Female American Screen Legend” in cinema. Claudette Colbert has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6812 Hollywood Blvd.
Ann Blyth (born August 16, 1928 in Mount Kisco, New York) is an American actress and singer, often cast in Hollywood musicals, but was also successful in dramatic roles. Most of her early roles were in musicals such as “Chip Off the Old Block” (1944), “The Merry Monahans” (1944) and “Babes on Swing Street” (1944) before appearing in the classic, Oscar-winning drama “Mildred Pierce” in 1945. Blyth’s performance as Veda Pierce, the scheming, ungrateful daughter of Joan Crawford in “Mildred Pierce” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Blyth’s other films of note include: “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid” (1948), “Our Very Own” (1950), “The Great Caruso” (1951), “One Minute to Zero” (1952), “The World in His Arms” (1952), “Rose Marie” (1954), “The Student Prince” (1954), “Kismet” (1955), “The Buster Keaton Story” (1957), and “The Helen Morgan Story” (1957). Ann Blyth has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6733 Hollywood Boulevard for her contribution to motion pictures.
Sterling Hayden (March 26, 1916 – May 23, 1986) was an American actor, author, sailor, and WWII marine and commando. During his career as a Hollywood leading man Hayden specialized in westerns and film noir.
Sterling Hayden was born Sterling Relyea Walter on March 26, 1916 in Montclair, New Jersey, to George and Frances Walter. After his parents died, he was adopted at age nine by James Hayden and renamed Sterling Walter Hayden. He grew up in coastal towns of New England, and as a child lived in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Maine. Hayden dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen and took a job as mate on a schooner. He worked as a fisherman, seaman, and fireman on numerous vessels before earning his first command at age twenty-two, skippering the square rigger Florence C. Robinson. He sailed around the world a number of times, becoming a well-known and highly respected ship’s captain. Hayden had become a print model when at the urging of friends he met with producer Edward H. Griffith who signed him to a Paramount contract in 1940. After signing Paramount dubbed Hayden “The Most Beautiful Man in the Movies” and “The Beautiful Blond Viking God.” His first film with the studio was “Virginia” in 1941 which also starred Madeleine Carroll and Fred MacMurray.
After two film roles Hayden left Hollywood and joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a private, under the name John Hamilton. While at Parris Island, he was recommended for Officer Candidate School and after graduation was commissioned a second lieutenant. He was transferred to service as an undercover agent in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His World War II service included running guns and supplies to Yugoslav partisans through the German blockade of the Adriatic, as well as parachuting into Croatia for guerrilla activities, and establishing air crew rescue teams in enemy-occupied territory. He received the Silver Star for gallantry in action in the Balkans and Mediterranean, a Bronze Arrowhead device for parachuting behind enemy lines, and a commendation from Yugoslavia’s Marshal Tito. Hayden left active duty on December 24, 1945.
After the war, Hayden returned to Hollywood and for most of his career as a leading man he specialized in westerns and film noir such as “El Paso” (1949), “Manhandled” (1949), “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950), “Denver & Rio Grande” (1952), “Flaming Feather” (1952), “Johnny Guitar” (1954), “Naked Alibi” (1954), and “The Killing” (1956). Late in his career Hayden became noted as a character actor for such roles as Gen. Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964); the Irish American policeman, Captain McCluskey, in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972); and the novelist Roger Wade in “The Long Goodbye” (1973).
Hayden never lost his love of the sea and spent much of his time sailing the world between making movies. He often professed a distaste for film acting, claiming he did it mainly to pay for his ships and voyages. In 1969 Hayden bought a canal barge in the Netherlands, moving it to the heart of Paris and living on it part of the time. He also shared a home in Wilton, Connecticut with his family and had an apartment in Sausalito, California. After his appearance in “The Godfather”, Hayden appeared several times on NBC’s Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder, where he talked about his career resurgence and how it had funded his travels and adventures around the world. Sterling Hayden also wrote two highly acclaimed books, an autobiography, Wanderer in 1962, and a novel Voyage in 1976.
Hayden was married five times. His first marriage was to actress Madeleine Carroll after the couple met and fell in love while filming “Virginia” in 1941. They were married on February 14, 1942 and divorced May 8, 1946. His next three marriages were to the same woman, Betty Ann de Noon. From 1947 to 1958 the couple were married and divorced three times. They had four children together. His last marriage was to Catherine Devine McConnell on March 9, 1960. Hayden and McConnell had two children together and remained married until his death in 1986.
Sterling Hayden died of prostate cancer in Sausalito, California in 1986, age 70.