Tina Thayer

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Tina Thayer had excellent newspaper coverage. She had several high profile roles and was praised constantly by the critics. So, what happened? While the answer is impossible to formulate, the fact is that she left Hollywood in 1944 and ended up as obscure as actresses who never made a credited role.

EARLY LIFE:

Thelma Thayer Gibson was born on November 2, 1923 in Boston, Massachusets, to Manual Flanders Gibson and Florence Emsralda Fogg. Her parents divorced in the late 1920s, and Tina and Florence went on to live with Florence’s mother (also called Florence) in Worchester, Massachusests.

Tina’s mother, who was college educated, ran a singing school in Worchester, and Tina, naturally, took up singing from an early age. The mother-daughter duo moved to Boston when Tina was 8, and later to New York when she was 14 years old.

She got into acting by a random act of fate: while on vacation in Provincetown, Massachusetts, she was spotted by a theater director, and given a chance to act. Always a fan of acting, and more interested in it than in singing, Tina was ecstatic at the given opportunity. Her role had only 2 lines of dialogue, but she poured her heart and soul into it, and the critics took notice of her.

Tina returned to New York after her experience, and enrolled into dramatic school under the guidance of her aunt, Draja Dryden, a concert pianist and screen actress working in France. She was a great believer in Tina’s talent and her biggest champion. Soon, she was appearing in Broadway opposite stars like Ruth Chatteron, and this pushed her into Hollywood.

CAREER:

Unlike many other actress of this site, Tina was truly a contender for stardom, not just the recipient of empty promises and meaningless publicity. While she was never cast in leading role in big budget movies, she was given leads in solid B movies and could have achieved much more. It’s hard to say exactly what went wrong with her career, but that’s Hollywood for you – like magic, it’s impossible to understand and analyse (talented actors never get anywhere, and those less talented end up big stars, and many other simply wierd examples).

She made her debut in Girls Under 21 , a movie about juvenile delinquency (Tina played one of the delinquents). Despite it being a low budget programmer (running at 64 minutes) it moves at a brisk pace, has many snappy, funny, irreverent lines, and its ending is surprisingly socially sensitive. Rochelle Hudson is very good as the leading lady (now, Rochelle is a real example of a very talented lady who never got past these kind of movies).

TinaThayer4Meet John Doe is the best known movie on Tina’s filmography, and one of the classic of 1940s world cinema.
It a finely crafted meditation about manipulation by the media, democracy, organised religion and simply, life choices. Like all Capra movies, despite it’s blatant criticism, it’s an inheretly optimistic one, giving the viewer the feeling that it can be better if one tries. The actors make this movie a stand-out classic. Barbara Stanwyck is the true American epitome of a sharp, smart woman. She’s no lady, but her gutsy ways make her a very vibrant, assertive character, a reporter trying desperately to climb up the newspaper ladder. Gary Cooper, “Coop”, was at his best playing normal, everyday guys who show surprising courage when the going gets rough, and find that resilience and inner strength they had all the time, but never had the chance to manifest.

Next came an expected letdown in A Yank at Eton , a Mickey Rooney vehicle and a spiritual successor of A Yank at Oxford. Rooney is the typical plucky, althetic and funny self, with a fine supporting cast. The movie is a thingly veiled remaking of Boyswtown, another Rooney classic, and while it’s nowehre the quality of that film, (or indeed many other similar movies) it’s a fine treat for old movie fans.

Secrets of a Co-Ed was the leading role Tina was waiting for. And it’s not the worst one by any strench of an imagination. But, is it a really good one? No to that account too. The plot actually has some potential: A free-spirited college girl insists on carrying on her romance with a young mobster, scandalizing the town and going against the wishes of her father, the town’s most prominent attorney. While cast in a role that doesn’t ask for any acting bravura turns, we still see the type Tina could have played with much gusto in the future had she remained in Hollywood: outwardly sweet, nice, on the inside, complete brats. Tina’s father, played by Otto Krueger, has the best role in movie and plays it very well (sadly, another actor who never got to first base despite a bevy of talent).

TinaThayer2The Pay Off is the typical crime movie quckie of the period. The script is full of snappy dialog, some of it having to do with the plot, some just clever filler. Worth a look for those of us who like rapid-fire dialog and don’t mind a few clinkers or clichés. Most of Tin’a thunder got stolen by Evelyn Brent, once a great silent star, and a low tier actress in the 1940s.

Jive Junction is another wartime quickie made purely as escapist fare. It’s a no-name cast with forgettable musical numbers and a non existent plot. With nothing much to reccomend it, it slid into total obscurity over the years. Tina’s career was by now going nowhere, and unless something big hapened anytime soon, she was doomed to either quit Hollywood or to remain in the B tier for a long time.
Henry Aldrich’s Little Secret was not a bad movie, in fact it’s one of the best in the long running Henry Aldrich series. Tina played a supporting role that got her nowhere.

Ready to give up her Hollywood career to start a family, she broke her contract after this and never acted in a movie again.

PRIVATE LIFE:

In a smart publicity move, Tina was introduced as the next love interest of Mickey Rooney, only to reveal it the end that she is not a real love interest, but rather a movie love interest. It was noted how she was a perfect leading lady for Rooney, since she was lower than him by two inches (when several of his other leading ladies were taller than him).

Thayer married Lester Koenig on August 27, 1942. She was just 18 years old when it happened.

Koenig was born on December 3, 1918, New York City, New York. The marriage was a short lived one, and the two divorced in 1944. I quote IMDB on what happened to Koenig after that:

Although never a card-carrying communist himself, Koenig was blacklisted because he refused to name names. The result was that he unable to work in the film business. He began producing jazz records on Commodore Records with some of the best West Coast musicians of that time, among them Art Pepper and Ornette Coleman, whom he was the first to record. K

Koening married two more times, and died on November 20, 1977.

TinaThayer3Tina ended her movie career in 1944, moved to Neew York, gave up acting, and took up newspaper work. She joined the Milton Rubin press agent staff, and bought an apartment on the Madison Avenue (Mad Men anybody?). She suffered from bad tonsillitis several times and was living an high class, “urbane” lifestyle many women of the period went after. She most certantly deserved it.

Tina married Eric Wyndham-White on November 1, 1947. They honeymooned in Havana later in the month.

I will quote Wikipedia on Eric:

Born on the 26 January 1913, White was educated at the Westminster City School and the London School of Economics. He graduated as a LLB with first class honours and in 1938 was called to the bar by the Middle Temple.[1] He was an assistant lecturer at the LSE until the Second World War started when he moved to the Ministry of Economic Warfare.[1] In 1942 he became the First Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington.[1]

In 1945 he became Special Assistant to the European Director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.[1] He became involved in the forming of a secretariat for a new international trade organisation, theGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1948 and became the first Director-General.[1]

Tina and Eric had two daughters, one of whom is named Carolyn (I could not find the name of the other daughter). Carolyn was educated in Geneva, Switzerland, leading to the conclusion that the family moved a lot in the 1950s and 1960s.

Tina divorced Eric sometimes in the late 1960s. She never remarried, and moved to New York City.

Wyndham White died from a heart attack while swimming on January 27, 1980, in Spain.

Tina Wyndham White died on December 27, 2003, in New York City.

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Maxine Fife

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Maxine Fife was a beautiful blonde who was touted as a future star and ended up nothing but a footnote in Hollywood history. A common enough story in Tinsel Town, sadly.

EARLY LIFE:

Maxine Elinor Fife was born on to Raleigh Oscar Fife and Maxine Elinor Anderson on September 19, 1925, in Los Angeles, California. Her father was  native of Kansas, a college educated engineer, already 45 years old when she was born. Her mother (whose name she bore) was from Missouri and 38 years old. She was their only child.

Maxine had the peculiar fortune to be a class mate of her two future movie co stars, Diana Lynn and Gail Russell. She went to kindergarten with Diana, and Diana used to accompany Maxine on the piano. She and Gail Russell met at the Faifax High School. The two were star struck teens, and often discussed movies during their lunch break. Imagine that 😛

Maxine attended Hawthorne Elementary School and graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1943. That same years she enrolled into University of Southern California. To earn extra money, she was working as an usher at a movie theater in Beverly Hills, California when Zeppo Marx noticed her. Zeppo became her agent and negotiated a contract with 20th Century Fox Studios. So, when Hollywood knocked on her door, she canceled her enrollment and embraced her new found movie work with both hands. Thus, her career started.

CAREER:

Maxine was uncredited for the most of her career, but she appeared in some fine movies! Her very firts one, The Story of Dr. Wassell, can certainly be a feather in her cap. No, it’s not masterpiece nor is it the best movie mae by the legendary Gary Cooper, who played the eponymous Dr. Wassell, but it’s imposible to say anything truly bad about this one. It’s poignant, powerful, beautifully made by Cecil B. DeMille (and as viewer wrote on IMDB, it’s not  a typical DeMielle movie, and many who dislike DeMille and his over the top epics could like this movie). Laraine Day is touching as Wassell’s love interest.

MaxineFife2Henry Aldrich’s Little Secret, from the Henry Aldrich series of comedy movies, is one of the better entries and features some fine comedic moments by Jimmy Lyndon. Hail the Conquering Hero is a true shining comedy classic, a Preston Sturges vintage with a great cast, simple but effective story and, like every good comedy, a message. A special plus for the movie is Ella Raines, one of the most intriguing, unusual actresses to grace Hollywood in the 1940s.

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay paired Maxine with her two childhood chums, Gail Russell and Diana Lynn. It’s a breezy, nice, cute movie, one that leaves you with a simple on your face after watching. Russell and Lynn play real life women (Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough) who both have their first taste of romance on board a ship bound for Europe.

One Body Too Many is an unusual comedy/horror movie, and mostly a showcase for the comedy of Jack Haley. Watch out for Bela Lugosi in a small role! Nothing to rave about, but certainly pleasant. Here Come the Waves is a Betty Hutton/Bing Crosby pairing, a good enough movie worth watching but not much more.

Maxine’s next few movies were not her bets moments. Practically Yours is a tedious screwball comedy, saved only by the sheer star power of the leads, Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray. Bring on the Girls is a paper thin plot comedy with only a few good moments thrown in. Watch only if you are a fan or Eddie Bracken or Veronica Lake.

A Medal for Benny is a movie largely forgotten today, and while it’s mostly lackluster fare, it features an Oscar nominated performance by the character actor legend J. Carroll Naish and a fine turn for it’s leading lady, Dorothy Lamour. In a strange twist of fate, the movie resembles Hail the Conquering Hero very much, and Maxine is the only actress to appear in both movies (albeit uncredited!).

Incendiary Blonde is a biography of the legendary Texas Guinan (what a woman that was!). It’s, basically, a typical biopic of the 1940s – take a real person, turn it into a saint, polish up their life story, cut away all the unpleasant things, add a song or two and whoa, we’ve got a winner! Well, not quite, but the movie gives Betty Hutton a chance to really act, and remains one of her most powerful performances.

After this, the quality of the movies Maxine appeared in turned upwards. Road to Utopia is one of the best Bing Crosby/Bob Hope pairings,   The Late George Apley is a wonderful vehicle for Ronald Colman. I’ll say it openly, I’m a sucker for all thing Colman, and this si such a stunning movie! No, it’s not a classic, but it’s a fine outing for Colman in his twillight years.

Copacabana is a weak Grouch Marx/Carmen Miranda movie. Maxine’s last foray into movies was A Song Is Born, a mid tier Danny Kaye vehicle.

That was all from Maxine as far as Hollywood was concerned.

PRIVATE LIFE:

In August 1943, Maxine was dating the handsome George Montgomery, who was also involved with Dinah Shore. Guess which girl he married? Well, let me tell you, it ain’t Maxine. Still, the relationship was not a very brief one, and it lasted for at least six months, so Dinah obviously got some hard competition from Maxine.

In 1944, Maxine was very active in the war effort, touring army bases with fellow actresses. Maxine also got married on September 20, 1944, in Beverly Hills. Her groom was Forrest Fitzpatrick Cory. She was not yet 20 years old.

Forrest was born in 1920 in California, to Mr. and Mrs. Martin Cory, of the prominent Fresno Cory family. He attended Menlo Junior College and Stanford University. He served as a pilot in the US army in WW2, and flew over 50 missions by the time he married Maxine.

Their only child, daughter Maxine Elinor Cory, was born on July 14, 1945.

In an interesting twist of events, Maxine divorced Cory in 1946. Shortly after the war ended, she started working as the secretary of Paul Laszlo. The two fell in love.

Paul was born as László Pál in Debrecen, Hungary, on February 6, 1900, to László Ignác and László Regina (née Soros). His family later moved to Szombathely, Hungary. He had three sisters and two brothers; two of his sisters and both of his parents died in the Holocaust. László completed his education in Vienna, Austria before moving to Stuttgart, Germany, where he rapidly established himself as a prominent designer. Sadly, the rising tide of anti-semitism and Nazism made László’s position dangerous. In 1936 he fled Europe for the United States to escape the Nazis. He settled in Southern California, and established an office in affluent Beverly Hills, California. Despite having no money, he immidiately bought a fancy car and became a member of every prominent clubs. This, combined with his prior reputation, made him an instant hit with the wealthy political and acting elite. He married Anni M. Jurmann in 1938.

Maxine and Laszlo were to be married in July 1948, but she chickened out and remarried her former husband, Forrest Cory. Well, guess what, second chance marriage should not happen just months after the first divorce – usually it takes some time for people to understand what went wrong. Her son, Garth Martin Cory, was born on March 15, 1949. Maxine and Forrest separated just months after Garth’s birth, and she got involved with Laszlo again. Maxine was soon left pregnant by Laszlo, but could not gain her divorce soon enough – their son, Paul Peter Laszlo, was born on June 7, 1950, before they were able to get married. On June 15, 1950, she finally married Laszlo.

The family lived in Brentwood, California, and mingled with the higher ups. Laszlo was a man notoriously devoted to his own style, declining to work with such stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Streisand when he felt his vision could be compromised.

Laszlo retired in 1975, and they sold their beloved Brentwood home and moving into the Park Plaza luxury condos he designed on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.

Laszlo died at age 93 on March 27, 1993. Maxine did not remarry. She suffered from dementia in her later years.

Maxine Fife Laszlo died on December 8, 2008,  in Solana Beach, California. Her former husband, Cory, died in 2012.

Adele Jergens

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Adele Jergens is undoubtedly one of the better known actresses featured on this site. There is plenty of info about her on the internet, and her career is well covered. So why choose her? First, she is obscure to the general audience of today. Second, Adele was such a likable, interesting actress, a gal who could have gone much further had some opportunities knocked on her door. Actresses who suffered similar fates were a dime a dozen in Hollywood – and I hope to profile more of these as time goes by. Adele is first on the list.

EARLY LIFE:

Adele Louisa Jurgens was born on November 26, 1917, in Ridgewood, Brooklyn, New York City, New York to August and Marie Adele Jurgens. She was the only daughter among four sons.

Adele grew up as a tomboy, playing baseball with her brothers. However, her home life was anything but easy – her father was a difficult man and could barely afford to support the family. Adele attended Southside High School in Brooklyn, and graduated from Grover Cleveland High School.

Adele took ballet classes, but deemed her temperament ill suited for the art, so took to dancing in burlesque. At 14 she won a scholarship to Manhattan’s Albertina Rasch Dance School. Naturally gifted and very ambitious, she was barely 15 years old when she got the nickname “the girl with the million-dollar legs”.

Soon, her hard work paid off and she was steadily working as a chorine in Brooklyn Fox Theatre and the Ziegfeld Follies. To supplement her income, she signed with the John Robert Powers modeling agency. She also worked briefly as a Rockette, and was named the city’s leading showgirl. She was an understudy of the legendary dancer, Gypsy Rose Lee.

Adele hit it big when she was named “Miss World’s Fairest” at the 1939 World Fair. Not long after, she was to become a famous war time pin up. This catapulted her into Hollywood.

CAREER:

There are several well written accounts of Adele’s career, much better than any I could write about, so I decided to put a link to this fabulous pdf on Alan K. Rode’s site. Check it out by all means! Adele was one of the legendary femme fatales during the golden age of film noir and she acted opposite quite a number of hefty actors! She even played Marilyn Monroe’s mother in a movie! Another great article about Adele is on the Films of the golden age site. Go and read it now 🙂

PRIVATE LIFE:

In an interesting twist of fate, Adele was often compared to Virginia Mayo in terms of looks – both were round faced, soft looking blondes – and in real life, the two were good friend, dating from their shared New York chorus girls days. Despite being physically similar, they were diametrically opposite when personality was concerned – Adele was a boisterous, simple, gregarious girl who liked to have fun and dated guys by the bucket load from her earliest years – Virginia was a quiet, unassuming girl who rarely went out, was very devoted to her family and did not have any serious beaus.

Adele first hit the papers in March 1937, when she was dating George Hale. Hale had a fine eye for ladies, and specialized in finding diamonds in the rough. He allegedly took Adele from a Brooklyn high school play and launched her into a full fledged chorus girl. Adele was liked by the boys and dated constantly during the late 1930s.

In 1939, while making a picture for Columbia, she was allegedly infatuated with a Brazilian businessman. In 1940, she added Franchot Tone and Burgess Meredith to her line of erstwhile admirers. On an ironic note, George Hale, who had been dating Adele for two years by then, but was too busy to commit, introduced her to Tone, claiming he was a perfect gentleman, just the kind of a man to make a woman feel nice and to take her out. Then Franchot and Adele hit it off and dated every night! George was left dangling…
AdeleJergens8By August 1940, Adele was fed up with Franchot, and was one of many girls that Victor Mature dated (along with Betty Grable and Phyllis Brooks). Drop in a few dates with lothario Bruce Cabot in the mix.

In 1941, Adele first dated Al Jolson (funny, considering that her former boyfriend Hale was suing him!), and then Orrin Lehmann fell for her like a ton of bricks. No luck for Orrin – Adele liked Al better and dated him for several months. Jolson lived the prestige California-Florida-New York relation, and this gave Adele the perfect opportunity to date other swains while he was in another town – and often a different man every night! Plus, she also went on tour with him, just to keep close. Oh Al!

They had a brief tiff in May, got together again, and Jolson asked Adele to marry him in June. Yes, it was that serious for Al. But was it for Adele? While she said yes to his proposal, no wedding date was set, and Adele enjoyed a sojourn in South America in August. On board with her were other pretty showgirls, like Nancy Hill and Peggy Healy, and the famous Brazilian money bags, Joege Guinle. Imagine the fun! She came back to Al, naturally, but it did not yell. They broke up in September.

In October, Adele caught Tony Martin’s fancy. They were a charming couple, dancing together in Los Angeles nightclubs. In Early 1942, she was seen with Horacee Schmidlapp, a decidedly non handsome, but rich and charming fellow, future husband of Carole Landis. He gave her a fur coat (how can any woman resist a fur coat!). But, her real heartthrob remained a mystery – a columnist even teased that his real identity would cause quite a splash. This man gifted her with a mink coat and a bracelet (she obviously had several mink coats).

In April 1942, Dorothy Killgallen wrote a long piece on Adele, the proof of her then popularity. We learned that she is the most dated chorus girl, and that many of her admirers were rich and famous (duh!), and that many of them want to marry her after the first few dates. Obviously Adele was not swayed by money that easily, and turned them down quite a few (something I admire her infinitely for… GO ADELE!). Once an admirer asked her to pinch him so he could he sure he was not dreaming, and she pinched him so hard, it proved to be their last date 🙂 She was a big eater, enjoyed fine food, and her mother served her breakfast in bed every day at 11:30. She lived in Upper Manhattan, her father worked in a real estate office. Her nick name was Addie.

AdeleJergens2She preferred men in their thirties, and they have to be good conversationalists. She does not care if they are good dancers or not. She impressed Franchot Tone by her eating habits – he called her “Beauty and the feast”. Adele is a fine singer, does not like cocktail parties and prefers golf, horseback riding and loved to travel. She goes to work in IRS, but goes back mostly in her admirer’s limousines. She drinks tow bottles of beer a day, never drinks more than two cocktails, can drink a lot of champagne and smokes in moderation. Her favorite drink is a Black and White and Soda.

Her favorite people are Roosevelt, Buddy De Silva and Eddie Cantor. Her favorite movie is Gone with The Wind, and she loves to read, especially Marcel Proust, but never has time to read any more (was this really true remains to be seen). One day she wants to be married, and her future husband has to first and foremost be a nice guy, his wealth comes way second.

During that time, Adele was madly in love with a saxophone player from the Freddy Martin band. Feted by playboys and millionaires, and she loved a hard working boy, so cute! The relationship lasted until the end of summer.

Now, we come into a very sketchy and muddled part of Adele’s life, and understandably so. Somehow, she met a Washington DC bigwig. A married bigwig. The two started an affair in early autumn 1942. While they were low key, word was soon to spread that somebody high up in Washington was dating Adele. The news broke in January 1943, but he could not be named. By April 1943, Adele told friends that he would divorced his wife and marry her. No such luck, the unknown man chickened out and they broke up. Adele was heartbroken, but marched on.

By June, she was involved with an East Coast meat packing millionaire. In January 1944, Adele cut short her Hollywood career to go back to New York, to be close to a certain bandleader. By September he was ancient history, and RAF ace Willy Bidell took his place. By October, Adele was back in Hollywood, and in a weird twist of fate, the bandleader she originally pursued now pursued her and moved to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the housing in Los Angeles was so scarce that Adele and her mom, who was chaperoning her, had to sleep in a wardrobe room on the lot!

Ray Sinatra, Frankie’s cousin, was the next stop in Adele’s amorous adventures. The press claimed the two would get married in January 1945, but she debunked them by saying that Ray was already married to his wife. What a bummer! She continued with Jerry Marks, but left him after a few short dates – sadly, Marks carried a torch for Adele for some time afterwards!

AdeleJergens3Adele liked her new life in Hollywood. She noted that, while living on New York, she never got up before noon, even if there was  matinee performance that day. In direct contrast, now she had to get up at 6 so she could be at the studio at 7, and work until 6 pm. She had to go through make up, hairdressing and costume fitting, and the filming was pretty strenuous. After work, she would only have time for dinner and maybe an early show, but she was firmly in bed before midnight. Her studio wanted to build her to become a rival to Maria Montez – considered the most mesmerizing, seductive girl in Hollywood of that time. Predictably, the papers also build a rivalry between her and Yvonne de Carlo. Petty, but it’s a story we’ve seen a hundred time in Hollywood and will probably see  hundred times more. She was also revealed to be a serious ice cream lover.

In April 1945, Adele was seen with producer Ross Hunter, the former date of Jane Withers.  Yet, Ray Sinatra was always dangling in the background. He had been separated for many years from his wife, but could not get a divorce. The papers were abuzz with the news tat he wanted to marry Adele, but had to wait for his divorce to come through.

In 1946, Adele dated Jack Dennison, Bill White, producer Raymond Hakim and Ray Rossbach (related to baseball great Hank Greenburg by marriage). She was also visited by her old flame, Orrin Lehmann, in August. She went back briefly to New York after this. October was reserved for Morton Downey. On a funny note, Adele had to dash before midnight to catch a tram that would take her to her brother’s Long Island home. She left to Chicago first, for four days of fun, before returning to Los Angeles.

In March 1947, she was going steady with Tom Cassara. The affair lasted until July 1947, and it was from the looks of it, a serious one. Phillip Reed was her escort in August. Ross Hunter briefly came back to her life about that time. Some hand holding in the public, but not much more. Soon, she was at hand to console Milton Pickman – Pickman was sacked by his fiancee, Nan Wynn. In November she resumed her romance with director Jackson Halliday, whom she sort of started to date in June.

AdeleJergens7In early 1948, she dated actor Robert “Bob” Scott, and then took up with actor Ron Randell. Soon, Don McGuire was added to the roster. Scott ended up the most serious of her beaus, and friends were pretty sure the two would end up betrothed. Just when you thought, that’s it, Adele is finally going to get married, puff, another man enters the scene – Judd Downey, the legal eagle of Los Angeles. He took over the marriage sweepstakes from poor Bob, and now he was allegedly to become Adele’s husband. In April, the papers were pretty sure the two would wed. Yet, by June she was dating architect George Hyam and there was no additional mention of Downey. As they say, easy come, easy go. Also worth noting is that Hyam designed several dresses for Adele. Not long after, Adele changed her hair color from blonde to brunette.

Milton Berle briefly took over from Hyam in late July, but by August she was already seen another man, Clinton Bagwell. Scott Brady also entered the scene about that time. Adele was sent everywhere in Hollywood by her studio for publicity – for instance, she was there for a drug store opening, and won a specially made lotion!

In 1949, Adele continued her man enchanting ways. She and Johnny Gibbs were often seen at the nightclubs, and especially loved to hear Liberace playing the piano. She was still seeing George Hyam on the sly. Adele was also a tennis fan and often attended tennis events at the Wiltshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. In 1949, something nasty happened to Adele – she wanted to enter an eleator, and stopped herself at the last moment – the elevator shaft was empty! Despite the shock, she attended a charity function at Ciros later and modeled clothes to raise money. Ron Randell then entered her life again. Like her, he was a former Columbia contractee who went on to free lace. In August, Adele developed a crush on a Brazilian businessman, but nothing came out of it. In September, she was robbed and the thieves made way with several of her mink coats and jewelry. Later that month Adele ended a short romance with a wealthy San Francisco man and returned his diamonds (in a bucket :-P)

Also in 1949, Adele was involved with Ronald Reagan – and the same old stories happened again – Ronald was crazy for Adele and wanted to marry her, but she was not to keen on the idea. It seems that the right man, her prince on the white horse, had not yet come.

AdeleJergens51950 started on a working note. Adele worked so hard she fainted on the set of one of her movies. The doctor ordered rest and relaxation afterwards.  She was even in “negotiations” with the handsome, wealthy Robert Goelet Jr. about appearing in one of his movies filmed in Rome. She also volunteer in a cancer clinic without much fanfare and danced with the Fashionettes, a troupe that donated all it’s earnign to charitable cuases.

By mid 1950, her romance with her one time co star, Glenn Langan, was out. The girl who was a constant bachelorette for years and whom no man could tame had finally found her match. Langan, who was neither rich nor especially popular, caught her heart. In this regard, Adele was truly one of the few actresses who claimed they were not after wealthy man, and they really were not  – and this proves it.

The romances blossomed nicely for the second part of 1950 and early 1951. One reported even wrote that Adele has two shadows now – her own and Glen’s. After a small tiff in May (the papers were cryptic about their separation, like even the gossip columnists did not believe the two were over for good). In July, Adele was even seen with another man, Mickey Stokey, a TV personality. My own guess was that she tried the oldest trick – making Glen jealous, as they were not over with each other.

Adele attended the marriage of actress Sally Forrest and Milo Frank and cached the bride`s bouquet. It was a dead give away. She married Langan on October 6, 1951.

AdeleJergens6Their only son, Tracy T. Langan, was born on September 11, 1952. Adele took it slowly after this, semi retiring with her family in Encino.

She and Langan had a happy marriage that lasted until his death on January 19, 1991. She never remarried.

Her son Tracy was an active, much beloved member of the Hollywood community along with his wife Cynthia. As a Mr. Roy Wagner posted on Tracy’s imdb page:

One of the greatest and most legendary figures in the history of camera support. Tracy was instrumental in the success of so many directors of photography, including myself. No matter what the cost he would make sure that your project had what was necessary to do a good job. I would not have the success that I have had without his extraordinary assistance. He was the backbone of Panavision.
Roy H. Wagner ASC
director of photography

Adele’s health started to fail in the late 1990s. In 2001, Tracy died. It was a huge blow for her, one from which she never recovered.

Adele Langan died on November 22, 2002, just weeks before her 85th birthday.