Audrey Korn

AudreyKorn

Pretty college girl who went to Hollywood hoping for a big break, Audrey Korn was a dime a dozen in Tinsel Town. Not surprisingly, after a brief and unsatisfying career, she gave it all up for marriage

EARLY LIFE

Audrey Myrtle Korn was born on September 14, 1920, in Chicago, Illinois, to Samuel Korn and Pearl Mack. Her older brother Harold B. was born in 1918. She also had a younger sister, but I could not find any information about when she was born nor what is her name.

Her paternal grandparents were immigrants from Romania. In 1930, the family lived with a German family in Chicago. After graduating from high school in Chicago, Audrey attended university (I don’t know which one) and that she gave up her studies to make her Hollywood dream come true.

CAREER

Audrey appeared in only five movies during her whole career, and she was uncredited in all of them.

Up in Arms (again this movie!!). Yes, again. Seems all of the starlets in 1944 appeared in it. No comments necessary. Like Danny Kaye an and his brand of humor? Watch it by all means, otherwise keep away.

In 1945, she appeared in Duffy’s Tavern, an all star extravaganza. You may ask what “Duffy’s Tavern” is? Taken from IMDB:

“Hello – Duffy’s Tavern where the elite meet to eat, Archie the manager speakin’, Duffy ain’t here. – Oh, hello Duffy.” This greeting, preceded by “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” played on a tinny piano, announced to millions of radio listeners that it was time for DUFFY’S TAVERN. Fans of this popular program knew they were in store for laughs, big-name guest stars, sometimes a little music and always their favorite characters holding forth at the New York dive headed by Archie himself. Ed Gardner, a former piano player, salesman, talent agent and radio director (in that order) created the program and cast himself in the lead when he couldn’t find an actor that spoke “New York bartender” as well as he did. The series ran from 1941-1952, premiering on the CBS Radio Network and later moving to NBC. Each episode opened with the proprietor Duffy, who never appeared, phoning his manager and setting up the action that would follow in the next half hour. Archie was known for insulting his guest stars and his Damon Runyanesque speech. (In fact Abe Burrows, co-writer with Runyon of GUYS AND DOLLS, got his start on DUFFY’S TAVERN.) Regulars included Eddie Green as the wise-cracking Eddie the waiter and Charles Cantor as the intellectually-challenged Finnegan. Gardner’s wife Shirley Booth originated the role of Miss Duffy, the ditzy, man-hungry daughter of the owner. At least a dozen other actresses played the role during the series 11 year run. Though DUFFY’S TAVERN made the transition to television in 1954, it only lasted for one season.

AudreyKorn2Al of the major studios made this kind of all star movies for the war effort. Paramount thus gave us a movie where you can see Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Paulette Goddard, Alan Ladd, Dorothy Lamour, Veronica Lake, Eddie Bracken and so on.

The Stork Club is a lightweight, fluffy Betty Hutton movie. The plot (taken from IMDB): A hat-check girl at the Stork Club (Hutton) saves the life of a drowning man (Fitzgerald). A rich man, he decides to repay her by anonymously giving her a bank account, a luxury apartment and a charge account at a department store. Yes, the plot is pretty much completely unbelievable, but hey, after reading the plot of most of the other musicals, who can complain? Hutton was a dynamom one of the most charming stars of the 1940s. She could successfully carry a movie, and it’s a plus if she has good support. Here she had Barry Fitzgerald – what more could you ask? You also get to see how Stork club looked like – and the Stork club was THE place to be in the 1940s. Nice bit of the golden age nostalgia for sure.

The Blue Dahlia is one of the better known film noirs of the 1940s, and perhaps the most famous pairing of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. It’s not the best film noir, not by along shot, lacking the grittiness and sheer power some stellar examples of the genre had, but it’s well plotted (despite some minor holes), moves swiftly towards the ending and the cast is good enough. While antagonistic in real life, Ladd and Lake are a wonder together and truly have that “magical chemistry” that all great screen teams had. Lake was never a first class actress (she was more of a type who got on beauty than acting skill), but she makes it work.

Blue Skies is a a musical pairing two giants of the genre: Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Of course, they are locked in a love-triangle struggle for the love of a girl, played rather uninspiredly by Joan Caulfield. Though the plot is thin who cares when you can see Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire at their very best. A running gag: guess who gets the girl in the end? Har har har…

Audrey gave up Hollywood for marriage and never made another movie.

PRIVATE LIFE

Audrey dated musical-western star Dick Foran for a time in 1940. He was freshly divorced from Ruth Hollingsworth and obviously not yet ready for a serious relationship. In 1941, she was showered by candy and flowers by entertainment lawyer Paul Ralli.

In January 1945, Audrey was named a Stork Club Orchid and appeared in the movies about the famous club. Sadly, of all the girls who were stock club orchid, none achieved any level of cinematic success (not even remotely!).

Audrey started dating Nelson Nathanson, Hollywood dress designer, sometime in 1944, while he was on a furlough. He had to depart for war not long after and they kept up the correspondence for 17 months. Finally, in mid 1945, he was discharged and they could merge.

Audrey married Nelson S. Nathanson in June 1945. Nathanson was born on January 9, 1920, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Morris P Nathanson and Helen E Nathanson. Audrey gave up her career to raise a family with Nelson.

Their daughter Shelley Arnette was born on April 9, 1949. Their son Albert Scott was born on January 10, 1952. The Nathansons were active members of the local Van Nuys community, with Audrey teaching children how to dance and choreographing dances for celebrations. Nelson worked for M. Michaelson and Company and was a popular designer, especially of coats. He often traveled around the world with his wife to find inspiration for next years fashion lines.

Nelson Nathanson died on April 27, 1967 in California.

Audrey remarried to Max Garth after Nelson’s death. Garth was born in 1910. They lived in Sherman Oaks together.

Max Garth died on October 20, 2001.

Audrey K. Garth died on March 6, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.

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