Helen O’Hara

Helen O'Hara

Back when most actresses were petite and barely reached the shoulders of the leading man, Helen O’Hara was the archetype of a wild and untamed amazon, being over 6 feet tall but still possessing a lean, compact figure. Sadly, all that is out of the norm gets squashed quickly in Hollywood (kudos to the people who were different and managed to maintain both that difference and their careers to the end), and there was no place for a girl of her caliber in the Hollywood hierarchy, leading her to an early career demise.

EARLY LIFE:

Helen Mae Clive O’Hara was born on November 8, 1922 in Los Angeles, California. Her father was the famous illustrator Henry Clive, who was born in Australia, acted as a magician and at the time worked for the movie industry. Her mother, Helen Cunningham, was the former Ziegfeld follies dancer. Her parents divorced prior to 1930s, and she grew up in Los Angeles.

Helene went to the East Coast in about 1940 to become a chorus girl. She became quite successful at it too, having stints at the Earl Carroll showroom and at the Florentine gardens. She ended up an movie actress after dance director Leroy Printz spotted her in a restaurant while she was visiting Warner Brothers lot in Hollywood and arranged a specialty role for her in a musical. She won a contract with MGM along with six other tall girls in March 1943.

CAREER:

Helen’s bout of uncredited features is quite predictable and repetitive. If an actress appears in movies in minor roles and thus has no huge impact on the industry in general, at least it would be better if she were to appear in a diverse palette of features cutting though several genres and acting with different brand of actors. That is what I consider to be an impressive extras careers (Bess Flowers, for instance, had a great career for an minor support actress, she acted in all kinds of movies with a huge number of stars). Helen, sadly, did not have one.

glamaHelen started out fine is you like musicals, by appearing in Bathing Beauty , Two Girls and a SailorThank Your Lucky Stars , Thousands Cheer.  She was typecast early in this genre because of her height, as she could only get by as a chorus girl or a dancer.

Helen could have passed the rest of her career playing showgirls in musicals. Then, luckily for her, the direction of the movies she appeared in took a sharp turn. She appeared in two serious, if offbeat dramas, Nob Hill (for which she was lended to 20th century Fox), The Picture of Dorian Gray. Just as she was to gradate to some more diverse movies, she was again huddled into musicals, and by the end of her career, she made The Jolson StoryNight and Day , Slightly ScandalousZiegfeld Follies

When we sum it up in the end, Helen does have the honor of appearing in a impressive number of MGM golden age musicals, but it proved to be her undoing, and she left the movies in 1946 after her marriage, obviously not takes seriously by the industry. While her height is to blame partially, Dorothy Ford (another very tall gal) proved that you could be an 6 foot amazon and still have an impressive list of uncredited performances.

PRIVATE LIFE:

Helen’s height was the constant publicity gimmick used in promoting her. Standing about 6 foot 5, Helen was truly an Amazon, and this was always the focal point of whatever article she appeared in, or the fact that her father is the famous illustrator Henry Clive. Her name was over connected to several other Amazon actresses, like Dorothy Ford, Bunny Walters, and so on. There are literary dozens of articles with Helen posing next to a measuring pole to prove she was that tall. She was been called the highest woman under contract in Hollywood at one time in 1943.

$(KGrHqRHJDoFITKLOMCsBSKROUFGpQ~~60_57Helen’s first serious beau was the dancer Paul Pierce, when they were both in the Earl Carroll show, in 1941. The relationship probably ended when she went to Hollywood. She had a short fling with Jimmy Stewart while he was on an army furlong.

In September 1943, she was engaged to Maurice Hill, then an army private and former Broadway dancer. He flew in from New York, proposed to her, and she accepted. For undisclosed reasons, the wedding never took place.

In 1945, Helen went to the opening of Copacabana in Rio de Janero, Brazil, and stayed there for several months, having a very good time.

Helen’s first husband was Willis Goldbeck, screenwriter and former journalist whose claims to fame was the Dr. Kildare series of movies for MGM. He also dabbled as a director and sometime producer. Willis’ former flame was the stunning but ultimately tragic Garbo wannabe, Gwili Andre, whom he dated for years in 1930s.

Her own father married another starlet, Burnu Acquanetta, in 1951. It was his sixth and last marriage. He died in 1960 at age 79.

Helen retired from he movies after the wedding, and was active in the civic culture around Los Angeles, giving speeches and lectures. She and Goldbeck divorced in July 1955, with Helen getting 12,000$ dollars in settlement and their car.

Helen’s second husband was Henry Thompson, whom she married secretly on April 14, 1956. I could not find any records of the union nor who Thompson was, but the marriage either ended or Thompson died before 1975. While I am not 100% sure, but Helen and Henry could be the parents of two children, Sharon  K. Thompson, born on June 18, 1958, and Eric S. Thompson, born on February 19, 1961, in Santa Barbara.

Helen married Frank L. Patty, born in 1907, on March 17, 1975, in Los Angeles. Patty was born on February 1, 1908 in South Carolina, but has been a Los Angeles resident from the 1930s. He was married before to Joy Patty, who died in November 1973. The couple lived in Santa Monica.

Frank Patty died on November 1, 1994.

Helen O’Hara Patty died on October 26, 1999, days prior to her 77th birthday, in Santa Monica.

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Lorraine Chanel

Lorraine Chanel

 

Lorraine Chanel gets her only moment of fame for being the mistress of a well known actor. While this is something of importance, it’s sad her own merits and achievements are all overshadowed by her association with a man. There are only 3 photos of her on the net, enough of an indicator to tell us how ungrateful that role is.

EARLY LIFE:

It was quite hard separating fact from fiction in Lorraine’s life. She was lauded as an exotic, Mexican senorita, but in fact she was born to American parents in San Antonio, Texas, on December 6, 1924 to Herbert and Adeline Channel. And no, even her mother was neither Mexican nor French (there were various false reports about this in order to maximize her appeal to the general public), but American born in Texas in 1901, but possibly of French ancestry or with familial connections to Mexico . She was the middle of three sisters, her older sister being Norma and her younger sister Jeannett.

She was educated in San Antonio, attending Jefferson High School. Some time after 1940, the family moved to Veracruz, Mexico.

CAREER:

Lorraine career is sporadic and not at all notable. She had her first credit quite late, more than 30 years old. She acted in only four features o the height of her fame, from 1955-1957. With the exception of the Magnificent Matador, a Budd Boetticher passion project about matadors, they were all Mexican productions, and one has to wonder what happened to her after she came to Hollywood in 1954, why did she not have any roles in US movies?

Lorraine1Her Mexican roles were not that accessible to audiences and are impossible to find easily today, without delving into various old archives. She did have a leading role in a segment of the movie Canasta de cuentos mexicanos , and was featured to some degree in The Magnificent Matador , but not enough to push her career into the higher spheres.

From 1957 to 1967 she was on a hiatus, and then she did two Mexican flicks in five years, Claudia y el deseo and SOS Conspiracion Bikini. In the later she was just one of the bevvy of bathing beauties without much to do but look pretty.

Lorraine returned to american film making in the mid 1970s, but only for television. She had minor supporting roles in four TV productions, comedy Club Med, adventure Falcon’s Gold, cheap horror Guyana: Cult of the Damned ,and western Nevada Smith. Club Med and Nevada Smith even made some ripples in the world of prime time TV, and some of the stars went on to make bigger and better things, (Linda HamiltonJack ScaliaSimon MacCorkindale) but not Lorraine. She retired for good after Club Med, making her a woman with a 30+ year long career. Quite impressive for Hollywood, if you turn a blind eye on the fact that she made only 11 movies in those 30 years.

PRIVATE LIFE:

Lorraine as indirect catapulted into movie history not as a actress, but rather as an consort – the woman behind the man. This man is no less than Gary Cooper, one of the foremost actors of the 20th century. Cooper met Lorraine in Acapulco in December 1952 – a exactly a year after he broke up with the woman who was arguably the love of his life – Patricia Neal. He was separated from his wife, actress-socialite Sandra Shaw (known to friends as Rocky Cooper), and dated a string of women in those 12 months. Lorraine brought some much needed stability into his hectic love life that knew of no true affection but only fun, mindless liaisons.

There has to be no illusions about Cooper in this regard. He was a slight hypocrite when family was concerned, reveling the home life Sandra gave him, but enjoying affairs on the sly, with no string attached. Sandra tolerated this, but Patricia Neal went beyond the “casual affair” territory and posed a genuine threat to the marriage. Cooper obviously considered leaving his wife to marry Neal – yet, when the moment came, he chickened out. It’s hard to say exactly what happened between the three of them, but my the time he met Lorraine, he was  a restless man on the cusp of the middle age, unhappy and hollow.

She was a local beauty, he was filming a movie. The affair started, symbolically, after watching the ritual dressing of the famous matador Carlos Arruza. One can only imagine the passionate moments on the hot sands of Acapulco, an old man suddenly feeling alive again, revitalized, and a young, beautiful girl blinded by the dazzling light of a movie star…

Lorraine and Gary dated in secret for about a year, and then their affair finally hit the papers in December 1953. Hailed as a stunningly beautiful Mexican gal who snarled Cooper, there were marriage notices and questions about his divorce were put forth.

To my great regret I have no information about what happened behind the scenes with Lorraine, Gary and Rocky. The situation culminated in February 1954, when Cooper publicly denied any intention of wedding her, calling Lorraine his good friend. A very low blow IMHO. Yet, it seems that Rocky tugged at the leash, and Gary came back running. Even after this public statement, Gary continued to see Lorraine. Rocky struck back by dating Carol Thompson. The drama continued to flow. In April, Cooper made the final severing in the papers.

Now, the sources differ. Several claims that Gary returned to his wife in 1954, yet a few say that he and Lorraine continued to see each other. My own guess is that Gary and Lorraine continued their affair in secret, much like in the beginning. After April 1954, she is not connected to Gary any more in the papers. She and Katy Jurado came to Hollywood and lived together in a duplex in Los Angeles.

Gary and Lorraine had a good cover to hide them. Namely, in July 1954, Lorraine started dating Cesar Romero, the perennial Hollywood bachelor. On the first glance, this was very much expected – Cesar was Italian/Cuban, she was Mexican, and they connected as two “latinos” in Hollywood over their shared background. Not to forget, Cesar was one of the best dancers in town and quite the lady charmer. Yet, today we know one small detail the columnists did not know back then (or if they did, it was kept hush hush) – Cesar was a closeted homosexual. He dated a long list of Hollywood stunners, and all was for show. He never married any of them – he probably served as a surrogate best friend/male escort. My theory is that Loraine dated Cesar for publicity, so she could spend her evenings with Gary.

To confirm that Cesar was only semi serious, she was also seen around with Bert Friedlob, the producer who was Eleanor Parker’s second husband. This looked like a very casual fling.

A relationship with a gay men can only go so far, and before the year was out, Lorraine switched to greener fields – from Cesar to Casey Robinson, the noted screenwriter, in cca. October 1954.

Casey would prove to be Lorraine’s longest relationship, lasting all the way until mid 1957. They went out on the town constantly and took romantic trips, including a one to Madrid  in 1955 (where the press expected them to elope… which they did not).

Now, if I want to be a incurable romantic with a flair for high drama, and I believe that Gary and Lorraine dated all the way to 1956, I would say that Lorraine overlapped Gary and Casey for the first several months of the relationship. Sooner of later, things escalated, she was perhaps made to choose, and wisely stuck with Robinson, who was at least unwed at that time after divorcing the stunning ballerina, Tamara Toumanova.

Several sources claim that Lorraine was the love of Cooper’s life – this can be discussed in great length, and no clear answer can be given, but it is clear that Cooper was deeply in love with her and if he had been a free man, would have probably married her. In 2001, long after his death, she even opened up her home to reporters to talk about Gary.

According to the papers, after her romance with Robinson ended, she married a Mexican admirer names Kleban in cca. August 1957. I have not found any records of the marriage, but let’s assume that it did happen. The marriage probably ended at some point. The last mention of Lorraine in the papers is in 1964, when she was supposed to act, along with three other Mexican actresses, in a movie.

Whos Dated Who claims that she had a three year long affair with George Sanders after the death of his wife, Benita Hume. This also means that they were together during his ill advised marriage to Magda Gabor (that would not surprise me in the least). According to the site, it ended only months before his suicide in april 1972. Lorraine returned to the US after years of living in Mexico in 1993.

Lorraine Chanel died on October 18, 2008, at the age of 83.

Kay Leslie

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Now, after some beautiful women, we get a truly cute one. Just looking at Kay Leslie, one has to break a smile. Like  ray of light, Kay brings a light, pure and happy feelings with her pretty face and winsome figure.

EARLY LIFE:

Kay Leslie was born as Melba Lucille De Closs on December 28, 1916, to Raymond De Closs, an automobile salesman, and his wife, Catherine Nolan De Closs, in Fresno, California. She had an older sister, Helen, and two younger brothers, Raymond and Irvine.

Kay attended Washington Junior High School. The family moved around, first to Chowville, and then to Salinas. Kay’s firs job was a supervisor at a telephone company in Salinas, where she worked until she decided to enter a Fox West Coast Theater Personality Contest – after wining, she went to Hollywood with her mother to try her hand at movies. She was renamed Kay Leslie and started her career for Universal Studios.

CAREER:

Kay LeslieKay actually had a very colorful filmography when you look at it. Her uncredited stint in 1940 and 1941 range from B movies with low tier stars to A class movies with huge stars even today. Really, just look at it: she was in Spring Parade with Deanna Durbin who was insanely popular then, Seven Sinners  with two legends, Marlene DIetrich and John Wayne, One Night in the Tropics and Buck Privates , both Abbott and Costello romps. On the other hand, she was also in The Invisible Woman, an ridiculous science fiction move with Virginia Bruce, and Where Did You Get That Girl?  an unknown Leon Errol musical/comedy. True, having uncredited roles meant nobody even saw her, but the list is very diverse. very impressive, and much better than most girls who were often stuck in repetitive circle (only comedies, only dramas and so on.) For a springboard to better things, this was as good as it gets!

Kay’s last two roles were credited. She had a meaty role in The Texas Marshal. a B western, and a smaller but still notable role in A class My Life with Caroline starring Ronald Colman. Just when one things things are looking up for Kay Leslie, she disappears from Hollywood and never has a credited performance again.

PRIVATE LIFE:

I am sorry to say that there is nothing notable to write here. Kay was in the papers with some frequency in 1940 and 1941, but never for any romantic reasons, mostly for the publicity stunts and photos. For publicity photos, she was paired with Anne Nagel, another starlet who went to achieve a more notable career.

Kay married Edward Howard Cooke III in 1942 or 1943, and they had four children: Catherine Earle Cooke (born on February 6, 1944), Adrienne Blackneil Cooke (born on June 9, 1946), Richard Donaldson Cooke (born on April 3, 1948) and Elisabeth Karen Cooke (born on March 2, 1951).

In her later years, Kay married again, and her name was Melba Allison. There was a Melba Allison, Mrs. Virgil Allison, who was active in amateur theatrics in the Ohio area, and this could possibly be our Kay.

Kay Leslie died on November 11, 1991 at the age of 74 in Los Angeles, California.

Lucia Carroll

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Here is another actress who actually did not have it all too bad. Obscure today, yes, but still she is a part of history at Warner Bros, as she did appear in some of their prestigious movies. Lucia had the right equipment for such a “rough and tough” studio that thrived on “manly” movies – with a strong, robust look, reminiscent of Joan Blondell, she was far from the winsome, petite girls like Martha Vickers who were better suited for the gentler and fairer MGM. Used better, she could have been a good femme fatale in film noir, as she certainty had the smoky looks and a throaty voice.

She also had some Broadway credit.

EARLY LIFE:

Lucia Carroll was born as Lucia Edith La Certe on November 16, 1916, in Wausau, Wisconsin, to Wilbert La Certe and Iva Roberts. Her younger brothers were Raoul, born in 1919 and Armand, born in 1922.

Her father was a successful commercial photographer, and the young Lucia posed for him almost from childhood, partially preparing her for her future vocation of modeling and acting. The two even toured Europe with the dad taking pictures and Lucia posing.

She graduated from Wausau High School (where she was an active sports girl, doing basketball, baseball and swimming) and later attended Mount Mary College in Milwaukee for one year before deciding that academics were not her forte, and moving to New York to become a John Powers model. While there, she got married and divorced to an unknown man. She was obviously well off, as she took two trips to Hawaii in 1939 alone. In 1940, she was summoned by talent scouts to Hollywood.

CAREER:

Lucia Carroll (PD)

Lucia was under contract with Warner Brothers, who changed her name to Lucia Carroll due to her ancestral ties to John Carroll, one of the original  signers of the Declaration of Independence. As most other starlets, she went through a grooming period and was shamelessly used as a publicity magnet. Typical gimmicks she had to “endure” were numerous and silly.

She was under contract from 1940s until 1942, and made most of her film career then, making appearances in about 23 movies. Only 7 of these were not uncredited, and all of theose (except one) are Warner’s B programmers that they filmed like clockwork and made a dime a dozen between the prestigious A class productions. She had more prominent roles in such B productions: Kisses for Breakfast The Nurse’s Secret , A Shot in the Dark , Here Comes Happiness. These movies actually often have a good, solid cast and even sometimes a decent plot, but mostly did nothing for the careers of those involved, except maybe for the leads, which Lucia never was.

Arguably, her moment of fame came in Manpower, a hard boiled film noir with the alluring Marlene Dietrich, where the plays Flo, one of the girls that work in the same joint as Marlene. An impressive movie to be in, the small role is not enough to thrive you career on. Then, in 1941, Lucia got married and things shifted a bit.

It was more by necessity than by choice that Lucia slowed her career down after her marriage. There were talks of her starring in some new movies (Saratoga Trunk and so on), but noting much happened. Obviously willing to work and seeing acting as something more than a fun hobby, she departed for the greener fields, Broadway, and appeared in “The Bride School” along with some other luscious ladies. While she was there, she acquired a crazy stalker who broke into her hotel room and only stole several items of sentimental value (I wonder how this ended, no info about that). Sadly, after about four months on the show, she had to return to Los Angeles as her husband was ailing.

Lucia returned to the theater later, in 1949, as Sylvia in a stage production of Claire Booth Luce‘s “The Women” opposite Eve McVeagh. The reviews were fair, but this seems to have bee her last foray into the stage.

She had another r career resurgence in the 1950s, when she worked steadily for a few years in television, then a budding medium. Sadly, all of the roles were guest ones, meaning she had no constant employment, and none of the TV series she appeared in are rerun o today’s cable networks, and her work is not accessible. After 1955, she has no further credits.

A real pity. As I already noted, Lucia actually seems like the type who cared more about acting than most women who just saw movies as a stepping stones to a good marriage and life of leisure. Hollywood did not give her enough chances, and perhaps she did not use them wisely enough.

PRIVATE LIFE:

Lucia Carroll

While still Lucia Lacerte, thus before she was signed by Warner Bros, she dated Count Rossi, a wealthy  Italian heir to a vermouth fortune. Sadly, he was ditched for an actor whom Lucia frequently visited on the East Coast.

The reason why she flew all the time from Los Angeles to New York and back was Broderick Crawford, then a hit on Broadway in “Of Mice and Men“. Crawford was a fine actor and (a future) Oscar winner, but also a chronic drunkard. The two did not marry, and both went on to have Hollywood careers, his more successful than hers at any rate. Lucia did marry to somebody prior to 1940, but I have no information about who that someone is.

After getting a new name and contract, Lucia was the obligatory newspaper fodder for Warner Bros, along with other starlets of the day (Peggy Diggins, Mildred Coles, Joan Leslie and so on), often appearing in publicity stunts. She was “Glamour girl of  1940”, “Star of Tomorrow” and similar things.

Her next beau was the actor Tom Neal, whom she dated for about four months in late 1940. He would later gain fame as Franchot Tone’s rival for the hand of the lovely Barbare Payton. Next came Johnny Meyer and Vic Orsatti, both womanizers who dated up tons of girls annually. Handsome Leif Ericson was also smitten with Lucia, and called often from New York. She then started dating Al Jolson, the famous actor/singer, in early 1941. They dated until cca. april 1941 when she hooked up with her future husband, Carl Schroeder. However, this did not stop her from dating on the side: writer John McClain and Roy Harris were the newest additions to her long list of admirers. Lucia gained a nasty three inch scar on her leg about this time when she fell off a scooter on the studio lot. It was also revealed she once earned a Red Cross for a life saving (no more info was given).

Schroeder was born as Carl Augustus Schroeder on October 31, 1908 in Minnesota, and had been living and working as a magazine editor at Triangle Publishing in Los Angeles for several years. After  a relatively brief courtship, the two were wed on October 7 1941, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Their son, Stephen Leslie Schroeder, was born on June 26, 1942 in Los Angeles.

The marriage lasted until 1948. As a total contract to the usual divorce stories, where husband meets another wife, divorces his own and marries her (or does not) , the principal culprit in Lucia’s case was Victor Mature, Victor was Carl’s good friend, and perhaps a “too good” of a friend. Lucia testified how he would depart from the family home any time that Victor would call, even for Christmas and other holidays. He complained about household bills but tough nothing of taking  a quick trip to New York whenever he felt like it with Vic.

Lucia won the divorce, custody over their son, 100$ a month for his support and 2500$ in a property settlement. By the time this was all over, her career was also kaput, and her appearances in newspapers were dramatically reduced. Schroeder married Lorraine Joan Wimmer in 1951.

In 1958, she was dating Brod Crawford again, after 20 years apart. And yet again, this did not lead to marriage, as Brod married another starlet, Joan Tabor, in 1962.

Lucia drops off the map after this, and I found no traces of her remarriage or death. It is possible that she is still alive at the age of 97 (I highly doubt it, but it is possible). If this is true, we can be satisfied we have another classic Hollywood survivor who lived the high life when it it really counted.

Orien Heyward

Orien Heyward

After years and years of gazing at classic actresses, I have have noticed that my standard of beauty has increased so dramatically it’s awfully hard to impress me anymore. Most of the modern actresses are simply blah in terms of looks, and I am very critical of anyone who calls women beautiful. There is a difference between a beautiful, a cute, and a pretty woman. Jean Porter was cute. Hedy Lamarr beautiful and I dislike when anybody mixes it up.

Yet, if anybody took my breath away, it was Orien Heyward. When I saw her I was like, “Whoa Nelly”! A regal, elegant face, perfect nose, long blonde hair make her a true Southern Belle, somebody who could have given Scarlett O’Hara some mean competition.

Yet, despite her exquisite looks, she totally obscure with a very slim filmography,

EARLY LIFE:

Orien Heyward was born as Alma Katherine Haywood on December 21, 1914, in to Roger Freeman Haywood and the former Orien Stampler. She was the oldest of seven children (Roger, Helen, Margaret, Milton, John, Emanuel). The family lived in Jefferson, Kentucky, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky at some point.

The press later tried to claim that Orien was from a wealthy, well to do family, and was named the most aristocratic woman in Kentucky while still in her teens. Her parents were prominent socialites in the area, and she probably attended private schools there. This was far fromt he truth – the family was not well off, and she went to work becouse she had to, not becouse she was looking how to shorted her long, boring socialite days.

CAREER:

She started modeling in 1935 under the name of Kitty Barrnett in New York and quickly became a top model. Just to illustrate her popularity, she was a model for a cigarette company, and the ad had more than 40 million copies, and she was once on the cover of three prestigious magazines in one month!

Orien hit Hollywood after producer Budd Schulberg noticed her in New York and offered her a movie contract. She decided to use he mother’a name, Orien Heyward, for the movies, and noted to the newspapers, “I’ll be needing a little luck.”

No luck cam her way. Orien has only two movie credits:  She Asked for It  and Her Husband Lies. The former movie is a unbilled one, thus of no use for her career advancement.

“She asked for it” was supposed to be her springboard to fame, and it ended a flop. After reading the plot, It was absolutely clear to me why – it’s one hot mess, with a rather complicated but silly story fit into a 64 minute feature. While I did not watch it, after reading some reviews, I can deduce that Orien was one of the few bright spots of the movie, her looks and general acting ability serving her well for somebody who has no prior experience in the area. But, nothing else was good. I already mentioned the stupid story, supporting actors were cardboard thin, the editing choppy.

That was the end of her Hollywood career.

PRIVATE LIFE:

Orien HeywardOrien married for the first time on March 18, 1932, to Charles E. Barrett in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She claimed she was 4 years older than she really was on the marriage certificate, born in 1910, making her 21 for the marriage instead of 17. The marriage ended some time later, not quite sure when (could not find any records – but my guess is in about 1934 or 1935), but probably before she went to New York, as Barrett was also from Kentucky and he probably did not encourage his wife to branch into modeling.

She was so popular as a model she was supposed to sail for Paris and write a column about fashion there, but the business with Hollywood halted her. One wonders what could have been if Orien went to the French capital – could she have become a chic model for Balenciaga, or perhaps a rival to Bettina? Aly Khan would certainly have tried to seduce her, and her movie career could have amounted to something…

Orien had a boyfriend when she went to Hollywood, who secretly visited her on the West Coats, but his name was never revealed (intentionally or just a publicity gimmick?).

The next time anything is mentioned about her private life, she is secretly married to a Los Angeles businessman, Harold Spurrier Anderson. They wed in Point Lobos, Carmel-by-the-Sea, in early may 1938.

After the marriage, Orien left movies and dedicated herself to family. She gave birth to a son, William Todd Anderson, on October 7, 1939. She, her new baby and husband lived in Bel Air in 1940.

Sadly, Harold Anderson died on December 27, 1941 in Los Angeles. Orien then married a Mr. Holst prior to 1950. They had another son, Lance Holst. Orien often traveled around the world, but little else is known about her life.

Her son William Anderson died on October 19, 1998 at the age of 59. Orien lived in Pebble Beach, California, and died there on June 28, 2004, at the age of 89.

Deannie Best

Deannie Best

Deannie Best is so obscure it’s hard to even find her photos on the net. A pleasant, clean looking brunette with a minor career, Deannie gave up movies too soon to make any real splashes in Hollywood.

EARLY LIFE:

Deannie Best was born as Willia Dean Doughty on September 25, 1926/1925, to Charles Dean Doughty and Willia Mae Peevey in Altus, Oklahoma. She was an only child. The family moved to Oklahoma City in the 1930s.

Nothing is known about her education, but Deannie left home early to become a chorus girl. She became a Goldwyn girl in 1944, and thus landed in Hollywood.

CAREER:

Deannie, who was signed by Warner Bros, appeared in four movies, Wonder ManThe Big Sleep , Three Little Girls in Blue , Shanghai Chest. Only her work in Shangai Chest is credited. Let’s be clear, to appear in the same movie as Humphrey Bogart or Danny Kaye is not a trivial thing and is something to be proud of, but sadly it does not make anyone a star nor warrants movie immortality. Deannie got lost among other pretty girls appearing by the dozen in all of these movies.

On a more optimistic note, she perhaps appeared in the best movies both Kaye and Bogart made (if you look up her up on Rotten Tomatoes, you’ll see that both movies she acted in are rated very, very, very highly).

Her only credited movie, Shanghai Chest, is by all accounts a mediocre-to-low quality Charlie Chan movie with Ronald Winters as the detective. Playing the female lead,  the judge’s secretary, Deannie has little screen time, but gave a spirited performance. She got some kudos for it in the newspapers and books, but the movie was quickly forgotten and so was she.

She left show biz after this.

PRIVATE LIFE:

As a Goldwyn girl, Deannie was constantly part of publicity gimmicks early in her career – she and six other Goldwyn girls bought a young actor and became his managers – each owned 10% of him (what???). She was allegedly seated next to the eminent author James Hilton in an formal dinner, and this minor occurrence made it to the papers.

On the other hand, they worked selling war bonds and performed at military camps, for instance, she accompanied famous band leader Kay Kysler on his war bond tours in September 1945.

But, Deannie had a secret. She ceased being  a Miss even before she even got her first publicity – she married George Fred Balzer on April 12, 1944, in Los Angeles. The marriage obviously did not last and ended cca. 1945. Balzer himself was a much wedded man, as he had six wives: Dennie (1944-1945), Shirley Marguerite Mertz (m. 1947), Antoinetta (1947-1962), Vincenza (1966-1977),  and Hazel (1981-1984), and an unknown woman in 1987.

One of the first men she dated after her divorce was Willis E. Hunt, who would become her husband only years later.

castdeanniebestShe then briefly dated Stephen Crane, the former husband of Lana Turner, in 1947, and David May, the future husband of Ann Rutherford. She was also connected to the famous director Howard Hawks in late 1947, and somebody named John Finch. There were rumors that actor John Carroll would divorce his wife, Lucille Ryman, to marry her in August 1948. None of these flings bore any fruit.

In September 1948, Deannie married attorney Albert Pearlson. Peralson was born on April 13, 1912 in California. Both of his parentzs were Russian immigrants, who divorced in the 1920s. he lived with his mother in Los Angeles afterwards. he finished law school, and lived with his mother, younger brother and a friend in Los Angeles.

Despite the initial few days of bliss, they separated shorty after – already in october 1948 she stated dating actor Brian Donlevy, who was himself recently separated. She ended up in the hospital in November 1948, but as soon as she was out, she resumed her bachelorette life, without any mentions of her spouse.

Deannie and Albert divorced  in February 1949,  only to be remarried on March 7, 1949 after she went home to Oklahoma and he followed her.

Deannie disappeared from Hollywood after this. She and Pearlson separated for a few weeks in late 1952, but then reconciled. It didn’t last long – they divorced on February 14, 1953.

She married soldier James Neil Kennedy 10 days later, on February 24, 1953. Kennedy was born in 1927, to Neil A. Kennedy and Mary Calahane.

They had a child who was born prematurely and died in June 1953. She then got a job as a secretary to a businessman in Orange, California.

She and Kennedy divorced in March 1956 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Deannie remarried to a Mr. Decosta . Their daughter Dru was born on June 5, 1957. The divorce was equally swift.

Next time Deannie is mentioned in the press, in 1958, she is dating two Hollywood actors, Michael Dante and Lang Jefferies.

Deannie married her old beau, Willis E. Hunt, in 1965 in California.

The adopted son of a wealthy family and former Newport Beach yacht broker, Willis Hunt was married five times before. His fourth wife was Carole Landis. After his divorce from carole, he eventually left the yacht brokerage business and began operating a marine service business in Costa Mesa. 

The marriage seemed happy enoguh, altough temepestous due to passionmate tempers of both Deannie and Willis. Then, in 1969, something horrible happened. Deannie killed her husband with a kitchen knife durign an argument.

What exactly happened? Quoted from a newspaper article written by  Brianna Bailey for the Daily Pilot (you can find it on this link!)

“Stop. I don’t want to fight you,” Willia Hunt’s 13-year-old daughter from a previous marriage testified her stepfather Willis Hunt had pleaded that night, before her mother stabbed him twice in the chest with a butcher knife.

Dru told the jury she saw her step-father “crinkle up and fall” after her mother stabbed him and quoted him as saying “Oh my God…Dru,” the L.A. Times reported in November 1970.

Willis and Willia Hunt had been arguing over disciplining Dru on the night of his death, according to historical accounts.

Before the stabbing, Willia Hunt slapped her daughter, tore the telephone out of the wall and shouted at Willis Hunt, “I want to kill you. I don’t care if you have to spend the rest of my life in the penitentiary,” Dru said.

Dru went on to testify that her mother had tried to retrieve a gun out of a camper parked outside the Hunts’ home. The camper was locked, so Willia Hunt grabbed a butcher knife, Dru told the jury.

“She thought about this crime, and she did this crime,” Assistant Dist. Atty. Mel Jensen said at the trial.

Willia Hunt stabbed her husband with “sufficient force to cut a rib in half,” the Los Angeles Times reported Nov. 10, 1970.

In contrast, the defense painted a picture of Willis Hunt as “drunk and unstable,” the Times reported.

Willia Hunt’s attorney, Sidney Irmas, told the jury that Willis Hunt picked up the knife and was killed as the couple struggled over the weapon.

The jury found Willia Hunt innocent in her husband’s death after deliberating for eight hours, the Los Angeles Times reported Nov. 11, 1970.

Willia Hunt hugged her friends and relatives after the verdict was read. She told the court that she had told the truth about her husband’s death.

“I just want to go home and rearrange my life,” she told reporters before leaving the courtroom.

I have no information about what happened to Deannie after this unhappy occurance. She was freed of al guilt, but what about her life afterwards? She probabyl remained in Costa Mesa.

Her former husband, Pearlson, died in September 1977.

Deannie died on May 16, 2000 at age 73 in Costa Mesa, California.

Linda Danson

Linda Danson

Of course, nobody ever heard about Linda Danson. The only inkling she has to fame was her private life that connected her closely to a man, who, while a star back his day, is also obscure now.

EARLY LIFE:

Linda Danson was born as Elizabeth V. Danson on September 13, 1926, in Jacksonville, Florida, to Harry and Gussie Danson. She was their third child, after Harry Jr. and Evelyn. Her younger sister Violet was born four years later, in 1930.

Again, little is known about her early life, expect that she lived in Florida until about 1945, and then went to California to find work. She trekked to New York at some time, and became a model, living in the Barbizon Hotel for women. She became a Copa (Copacabana) Girl in the late 1940s.

CAREER:

She acted in both movies and TV, and did not receive any credit for her Hollywood work. But, the movies she appeared in were all solid if not A class with big stars of the day. There was Drive a Crooked Road with Mickey Rooney, and The Prodigal with Lana Turner and The Glass Slipper with Leslie Caron. Even the less known movies like The Great Diamond Robbery, Combat Squad and The Adventures of Hajji Baba  featured actors not completely forgotten today: Red Skelton, John Derek, John Ireland. Too bad, if she had only netted credited parts, perhaps something could have been done for her…

She got credit for her TV work. None of the series are well remembered today, with the possible exception of Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok that lasted for seven seasons in the 1950s.

It, it is clear Linda had no chance of being a full time actress, as she did not go down the golden road for actresses (become  a star, or get solid work in character parts) early enough. She had no credits after 1955, making her a Hollywood retiree at age of 29.

PRIVATE LIFE:

Linda Danson Jon Hall

Linda made ehr name as a dancer, but mingled with the higher ups. A short notices in the papers:

Comedian Jimmy Durante seems somewhat startled at the result as dancer Linda Danson carves his likeness, in New York. Perhaps Jimmy’s doubtful about that big nose that Linda is working on so faithfully.

Linda knew how to date, and how to date well. No, she never had a star of Clark Gable’s caliber after her, but her beaus were constantly impressive show biz names. Her first newspaper acknowledged beau was disk jockey Bill Williams in 1949. She switched to the famous comedian Jimmy Durante next year, in 1950. It is unknown what happened in her dating life for the next three years. She ended up with another comedian, Joe Lewis, in 1953. That same year she was wooed by Linda Darnell’s former husband, Pev Marley.

Then, in 1954, she started to date Jon Hall, who was to be her paramount up until 1958. I find their relationship very intriguing. They were supposed to be wed after Hall got his divorce from Frances Langford. Eventually, Jon and Frances did divorce, nut no nuptials took place. Jon and Linda were seemingly very close to the altar in late 1955 – she was trousseau shopping, and the press went wild with guessing when and where will they wed.

After this period the relationship slowly changed and perhaps, decayed. Small signs gave them away. In 1956, Hall started dating other girls on the side, with her full knowledge. She danced all night with other men (Al Herd). They were in New York at the same time but did not see each other. He went filming a series in Hawaii, she anticipated him dating local girls and went to Mexico to date wealthy Fernando Parra (who was for a long time the boyfriend of Maureen O’Hara).

They allegedly broke up in late 1957, were on again in early 1958, but nothing was the same again. While she was sick, he took out other girls and rumors of an eminent breakup constantly dogged them. It seems to me that the relationship ran it’s course a long time ago, but both were so used to each other they tried to extend it any way they could, artificially or not. The person that finally snapped it was Raquel Torres, widow of Stephen Ames – there is a slight overlap between the end of Linda and Jon’s relationship, and the beginning of Jon and Raquel’s, but he obviously did that a lot earlier so no big surprises there. The final breakup came in late 1958. In 1959, Jon married Raquel.

Linda was stick for a long time, and the last we hear of her from the newspapers, is a report that she was dating Peter Monahan in 1960. in 1966, she was a constant duet with Harry Richman.

Linda Danson died young, on March 17, 1975, at age 48, in Los Angeles.

Marjorie Woodworth

Marjorie Woodworth

Marjorie Woodworth certainly fits into this blog when measured by her obscurity. The number of people who can name her are far and few between. Yet, unlike many other obscure actresses who were never properly billed, she was a leading lady to a few respected leading men. Heck, broadly speaking, her career wasn’t even that “bad”. So, how did she fall into this category? It’s hard to say exactly, but she did not do the magical “must” for every star – enchant the public so much they want more, more and more.

In a nutshell: She was given a very good chance (which only a few get in Tinsel Town), failed to make a lasting impression, her career was cut short and was quickly forgotten. A very frequent story in Hollywood.

EARLY LIFE:

Marjorie Flora Woodworth was born on June 5, 1919, in Inglewood, California, to a distinguished family: her father was Clyde Cyril Woodworth, city attorney of Inglewood, Manhattan Beach and other beach towns. Clyde attended Occidental College 1 year then the University of Southern California Night Law School. In 1913 he became the youngest Inglewood City Attorney. Her mother, Flora Marguerita Zier, was the daughter of German and Norwegian parents. She was their only child. In 1920, the family lived with her maternal grandparents,Joseph and Lena Ziers in Inglewood.

Marjorie attended University of Southern California. It was there when, during an amateur thespian assignment, she got noticed by a movie scout. Thrilled to find a girl who looks so such like the late and never forgotten Jean Harlow, she was signed right away by Hal Roach Studios, located in Culver City. Her path to Hollywood had just started…

CAREER:

To say that Marjorie Woodworth was a zero for Hollywood would still be a gross understatement. Despite her marginal worth to movie history, she was an actress who acted opposite screen heavy weights like Victor MacLagen and William Bendix .

Hal Roach obviously saw great promise in the girl, and conspired to make her a star right off the bat. While this strategy – a older, powerful and experienced producer pushes a young and inexperienced actress to stardom – had been repeated through Hollywood history (famous example, David Selznick and Jennifer Jones) with varying degree of success, often it ended on a sour note and broke up the union. One can only guess what Roach saw in Marjorie, but he obviously believed in her and wanted her to become the next big thing so much he became too forceful in trying to promote her. Typical mistake. She was constantly in the newspapers, often compared to Jean Harlow.

Marjorie Woodworth Jean Harlow

Jimmie Fidler, the brittle tongued columnist, wrote as early as april 1941 “that If ever I saw a new career launched in bad taste and with minimum good Judgment, 19 year-old Marjorie Woodworth, Hal Roach “find,” is getting such a sendoff.”

Marjorie, an unknown with only minimal experience, was put as the lead in a screwball comedy, Broadway Limited. Now, while total beginners can make splashes in Hollywood when given the right material, screwball comedy is quite wrong for that purpose. It’s a genre that asks for somebody who knows their comedic timing -and it’s more experience and some latent ability than looks and pure talent. After watching the movie, what I can say is: While Marjorie looked like a knockout, her skills were not on par.

She suffered from a predicament often pinned to classical actresses in comedies – they are simply too beautiful and regal  to be truly funny, and everybody and everything overshadows them. She has strong support from top notch character actors (Patsy Kelly, the fabulous Leonid Kinskey, the solid Dennis O’Keefe)  who completely chew the scenery, something she neither could nor had the chance to do. Only a few actresses actually realized this and managed to both play comedy and remain beautiful (Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck). The movie is by no means a bad one, but it tanked at the box office.

Contrary to the popular “one bomb and you’re dead”, she was still given leads in further Roach productions. Niagra Falls, Brooklyn Orchids, Dudes are Pretty people, Flying with music were all her vehicles, but neither movie made any real impact with the public. She stayed with Roach until 1943, but not by playing main but second lead roles. By that time her moment of fame was gone.

Marjorie continued to make movies all the way until 1947, but “post-Roach” (1944-1947)  she was only playing supports. While her filmography has several very good movies, (Alan Ladd movie, Salty O’Rourke, an obscure but very good film noir, Decoy, and a great Ronald Colman movie, A Double Life), her status as a second banana did not warrant her further movie offers. IMHO, if she wanted, she could have resumed her career and become a character actress, but she obviously decided against it and opted for retirement. Her last appearance in 1947 was uncredited.

PERSONAL LIFE:

Marjorie Wordworth Pin UpMarjorie was, surprisingly, very low key in this segment of her life. For a starlet who thrived on publicity, this was quite out of step. When she arrived in Hollywood in 1940, she was often featured in newspapers, but mostly as a model for cosmetics (she was a Maybelline gal of the 1940s). She was also quite the fashion plate, modeling newest trends in papers every so often.

She was a good friend of columnist Walter Winchell and even wrote several columns for him during WW2. She wrote about the US Navy. TO add to her war effort, she and Chill Wills entertained boys in the Camp Huachuca, Arizona, in 1943.

She was not really connected to anybody in Hollywood, and later I found out why – she had been dating her University of Southern California beau, Michael C Kosturick, since the freshman year. They married on Februrary 13, 1947, in Los Angeles. Michael was born two years prior to Marjorie, on July 20, 1917, and he was drafted in WW2 in 1941. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was an actor when they married.

Marjorie’s dad, Clyde, served as attorney for 43 years, retiring in 1956. Two years before Clyde retired The Clyde Woodworth Elementary School was dedicated in his name. The school still stands today. He also has a street named after him in Inglewood.

There are no records of a divorce, and when Marjorie died on August 23, 2000, she died under the name of Marjorie F. Kostrucik, thus I assume the two were still married. I could also not find any information about children.

Michael outlived Marjorie for only two years, and died in February 2002 at age of 85.

Iris Bynum

Iris

EARLY LIFE:

The brunette stunner was born as Iris Knolis Bynum on April 28, 1921, in either San Antonio, Texas, or Brownwood, Texas, to Clyde and Rose Bynum. Her siblings were Oren, Ozella, Patricia and Arnold. In 1930, the family lived in San Antonio.

Her parents divorced sometime prior to 1940, and she went to live with her mother, brothers Oren and Arnold and sister Patricia in Area A, San Antonio, Justice Precinct 1, Bexar, Texas.

It’s hard exactly to trace her path to Hollywood, but the story goes that she won a Miss Texas title in 1941, and her mother refused to let her go to Atlantic City to compete in Miss America show. Luckily for her, she was noticed on a golf course in Texas by two golf enthusiasts with high connection in Tinsel Town – Bing Crosby an Bob Hope – and they proved to be just what the girl needed to stand her ground, and leave Texas for a career and life in Hollywood.

CAREER

Iris landed in Hollywood in about mid 1942, and was put under contract with Howard Hughes not long after. Having a Howard Hughes contact was a kiss of death for most starlets. While some of them did manage to get sometime out of their careers (Jane Russell, Jane Greer) many of them (to be even more brutal, I mean most of them), did not (Mara Lane, Faith Domergue). Iris was such a girl. She made only two movies during her Hollywood time, as you can see on her imdb page. Hughes lauded her as the next Jane Russell, and allegedly had a big build up plan for her, but nothing belted. Who knows the real story behind that…Sadly, another possible talent wasted.

PERSONAL LIFE

It was not her career that pushed Iris Bynum into newspapers, it was the company she kept. Iris had a very long relationship with Bill Morrow, who, as a writer for Bing Crosby, was undoubtedly part of Hollywood royalty. He was often in the newspapers due to his hectic love life. Morrow was quite a bit older than Iris, born in 1907. He was active in Hollywood from cca. 1940.

Morrow was one of the best paid radio commentators in the US, and himself kept quite a colorful stable of friends: in his autobiography, Bing Crosby mentions John Myers, Joe DiMaggio, Aly Khan, John Donovan and so on. Obviously, Morrow had some power in Hollywood as he curried favor with quite high ranking individuals, and he was an interesting and highly virile man.

Morrow and Iris dated, with some interruptions, from 1942 all the way up to 1948, and remained good friends even after the break up.

In fact, the first beau I found associated with her in he press was Morrow, back in early 1942. There was already a marriage announcement in November 1942, but Iris was also linked with Felix Young and Alan Gordon about that time. In 1943, she was mostly stuck with Morrow, in 1944 she got some rush from Mickey Rooney (between wives on doubt) but then I lost all traces of her until 1947, 4 years later.

Now the true fun starts. That year, she dated Tony Martin, (in his biography he mentions it was nothing serious), and Keenan Wynn (simultaneously – this HAPPENED A LOT in old Hollywood, they all dated people in parallel and only stopped when things got really serious with a certain paramour). Then, in mid 1947, she hooked up with he big fish – Clark Gable. If Iris Bynum is going to be remembered in Hollywood for something, it is probably this – she was, for quite a long time, the contender to become Mrs. Clark Gable Number 4.

Not to be bound solely to a man who obviously was not ready to commit easily, she also dated George Raft for several months, and John Payne, but most probably amicably as he was still carrying a torch for his former wife, Gloria deHaven.

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To better illustrate her relationship with Clark Gable, I will put up some examples of the headlines they made together:

9 July 47 attends a show at Cirros with Clark Gable

Mar 7, 1948  .. last night wired that actor Clark Gable is going to elope today with Iris Bynum, Texas girl and “long-time“ Gable friend.

Apr 2, 1948 With Clark Gable away Iris Bynum has been playing around- places with George Raft .

Jul 5, 1948 Clark Gable lingering long and lingering with Iris Bynum.

Jul 9, 1948  Edith Gwyn attend s abash at Clifton Webb’s home.

We had fun exchanging lines with Eddie Goulding, the Ben Lyons, Sonja Henie there with Kjell Holm, Clark Gable with Iris Bynum, Connie

Moore, and so on…

Nov 17, 1948 Clark Gable with Iris Bynum sat half a mile away from Anita Colby.

Nov 19, 1948 Clark Gable and Iris Bynum have resumed.

Nov 29, 1948 Clark Gable perpared turkey at his valley home for Iris Bynum and her mother

Dec 3, 1948 The Clark gable-Iris Bynum annual romance retake is over. Clark is now beauing Ann Sothern. And Iris is back to the man who discovered her, Bill Morrow

Dec 12, 1948 Clark Gable’s recent Iris Bynum, now says “uh-uh when you ask her about Mr. Gable. Iris says she has given up her movie career (when did

she start?) and the is the hostess of a Ocean Beach Club

Dec 12, 1948 MISS IRIS BYNUM in conversation with Clark Gable, who recently was quoted as follows: “I’m not thinking of getting married again; I’m more interested in my career”

Dec 18, 1948 THE REPORT Those in the know are giggling over the “bill of goods” that Iris Bynum evidently sold some to columnists anent her supposed fight with Clark Gable. Clark dined with us (the article writer) next night. There’s been no fight. He merely left a party they were at rather early because he was tired, and Bynum was furious. That is all..

Dec 23, 1948 Clark Gable has dashed off to Arizona and Iris Bynum says she’ll never see him again. The row between the two was a dilly.

Dec 30, 1948 Iris Bynum, who last month was escorted everywhere by Clark Gable, is marrying Abner Rosenfeld. the steel cabinet king, in February.

Dec 30, 1948 Iris Bynum, who last month was escorted everywhere by lark Gable, was  with Bruce Cabot.

22 January 49 will not accompany Clack Gable on a four months junket in Europe – she has found herself another swain

Obviously, this was not a peaches and cream, sweet romance. Both saw it as fair game, had fun and dated other people.

I am not a big fan of Clark Gable, thus I could be biased, but I see him as a complex, introverted, taciturn, moody man who was also fair, masculine and devoted. While some women highly appreciate his wild, untamed, dirty charm onscreen,  he was no Rhett Butler off screen.

On the flip side, he did manage to catch several incredible women (his third wife, Carole Lombard, the beautiful Virginia Grey, Doris Lilly, Anita Colby… ), so there must have been something about him to set them all aflame.

Clark’s “perfect women” type is a strange mix. He preferred sophisticated, elegant,  high class women, all the while being an outdoors man who liked hunting and shooting and accordingly expected his lady to follow suit. His seemingly paradoxical needs were hard to accommodate.   Iris, who I assume was an independent Texan girl who knew what she wanted, actually seems a good choice for him. Alas, it was not meant to be.

I guess the lingered all the way up to early 1949. Interestingly, she was connected to two millionaire socialites – Abner Rosenfeld and Sterling Edwards. It even seems that she and Edwards were engaged and planned to marry in February 1949, but it did not happen. I could not find anything about her would-be bridegroom, as I only now he is a steel mill owner, but his name is too generic to come up with anything concrete.

Then, on her birthday, Iris married David Way Allerdice, who was a advertising executive and a soldier who formerly served in Korea. Skater Gretchen Merrill was he maid of honor. It was noted in the papers how she remained in cordial relations with Morrow even after the wedding – I was glad to hear about it, as it does show how passionate loves can turn into sincere friends.

Allerdice acted as a commander of the 179th training squadron during the marriage. They had three daughters, Anne Keasby (born on August 13, 1952), Simral and Cameron (born on October 9, 1955).

Sadly, David Allerdice died young, at age 44, in 1963.

Iris remarried for a second time to Arthur R. Morgan on June 5, 1965 in Westport, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Iris Bynum died in 2002 at age age of about 81.

Her daughter Annie has a Pinterest devoted to her mother. An interesting tidbit she wrote about her:

“Amazing woman from Texas, loved Yellow Roses, Martinis, playing Bridge. Killer at scrabble. Amazing cook. Elegant in design of her home, taste in clothes and cars she drove. Modeled for Don Loper in Beverly Hills when she was in her 20s and 30s. She was discovered on a golf course in Texas by Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.”

While her acting career left almost no ripples on the murky seas of Hollywood, Iris Bynum used her time, had fun, dated many an interesting men, broke into Hollywood society, then married a normal guy, and had a happy family life. We wish more Hollywood stories ended like this…

The first post…

Hello and welcome to my blog!

This blog is dedicated to the obscure actresses of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Now, you might ask the questions, why?

As I already said, most of these actresses are unknown, and they deserve to be. They are, sometimes, footnotes in Hollywood history, sometimes less than that. They were totally irrelevant to any movie the appeared in. Most of them never had a featured part. Some never had a credited part. Some never spoke lines.

But, they lived in Hollywood when it was actually FUN to live there – and they used it for all it’s worth. Rearly did they end tragically – in fact, most of them died in their middle to old age (60 + years). Unlike some better known actresses who were crushed by the fickle Tinsel Town, perhaps the little players were better equiped to face the town that is ready to sell your soul so cheaply.

Finding info about them on the internet is a maudlin, difficult and sometimes boring. After spending hours and hours gathering info, I decided to share some of it.

So, if you’re interested in obscure classic Hollywood, this is the place to be!

Until next time!