Pose for first scene

Here’s a publicity photograph from the May 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Unlike many of her family, Dolores Ethel Barrymore did not become an actor. The Barrymore family Wikipedia page indicates that she is still alive.

John Barrymore (1882-1942), nicknamed The Great Profile, was a second-generation member of the Barrymore family of actors (whose family name was originally Blythe).

Dolores Costello (1903-1979) was Barrymore’s third wife. She had an extensive career in silent film, first as a child actor from 1909 to 1915, and then from 1925 to 1931.

The couple’s other child, John Drew Barrymore Jr., was the father of actor Drew Barrymore.

Admiral’s daughter

Here’s a photograph of a dancer from the May 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


The wire service that supplied the Star’s photographs appears to have gotten it wrong: Clothilde von Derp (1892-1974), the wife and performing partner of dancer Alexander Sakharoff, was actually the daughter of Major Hans Edler von der Planitz.

Ms. von Derp and Mr. Sakharoff enjoyed a long-standing marriage and professional relationship. They danced together until retiring in 1956, and remained married until he passed away in 1963.

Veteran novelist celebrates

The May 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured this photograph of a famous British novelist celebrating his 77th birthday:


Hall Caine (1853-1931) was wildly successful in his time, selling over ten million copies of his books and writing plays that were performed in London’s West End and on Broadway. He was so popular that crowds would gather outside of his house.

Critics have claimed that his works are deadly serious and melodramatic, and he is virtually unknown today. Many of his books are now in the public domain, so you can see for yourself.

Britannia rules the links

Here’s a photograph from the May 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


The 1930 British Ladies Amateur tournament (as it was then known) was played at the Formby Golf Club in Formby, Merseyside. (It still exists.)

Diana Fishwick married Air Commodore Alfred Critchley in 1938; she became his third wife. Their son, Bruce Critchley, became a British golf commentator.

The loser of the final match, Glenna Collett, has appeared in this blog before.

Be Lux lovely

Here’s an ad for Lux soap from the May 23 1951 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring a young Elizabeth Taylor:


Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) was 19 at the time of this ad.

Father’s Little Dividend (1951) was the sequel to Father Of The Bride, a successful and critically acclaimed film released in 1950. The sequel was almost equally successful.

Father’s Little Dividend is now in the public domain, as MGM did not renew the copyright on it in 1979. There are several copies of the movie on YouTube; here’s one.

Crawled last five miles

Here’s part of an article from the May 23 1951 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, outlining what was to appear in that weekend’s Star Weekly issue. Unfortunately, parts of the article are garbled.


Katalin Karády (1910-1990) lived in interesting times (to paraphrase the old Scottish curse). Crawling five miles to escape Communism was by no means the toughest ordeal that she had to endure:

  • When the Germans invaded Hungary in 1944, she was accused of spying for the Allied Forces, and spent three months in prison. She was tortured and nearly beaten to death.
  • In 1949, all of her films were banned, and she was beaten and abused by the Communists.

After escaping Hungary in 1951, Ms. Karády lived briefly in Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium before relocating to São Paulo, Brazil, in 1953, where she opened a fashion shop. In 1968, she moved to New York City. When invited to return to Hungary in 1980 to commemorate her 70th birthday, she sent a hat in her place.

Olivér Lantos (1917-1981) appeared in two movies in Hungary.

St. Marys residents amazed

Here’s a strange little article from the May 21 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Well, I guess they survived the test.

Nitpicky note: the headline has the town name wrong (the dateline has it correct): it’s “St. Marys”, not “St. Mary’s”.

I did a Google search for Bill McCulloch and St. Marys, and didn’t turn up anything.

Filler from 1934

Old-time newspaper editors often went to great length to ensure that there was no blank space left in any newspaper column, but few went further than whoever edited the front page of the May 21 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. Here’s two bits of filler used to tidy up the bottom of neighbouring page columns.

The first one was marginally interesting:


The second one, in the column to the left, is really grasping at straws.


One short sentence, and it contained a typo! Oh well – I guess 39 pickerel is a pretty good haul.

Restaurant options in 1929

The May 18 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two ads for restaurants that caught my attention. Here’s the first one:


Did they serve all of that in one meal? Oh wow. Maybe it was the 1929 equivalent of the modern tasting menu.

This name vaguely rang a bell, and it turned out that the Savarin Restaurant existed until the building was demolished in 1980. Here’s a blog that mentions the Savarin, and here’s a postcard of it.

Here’s the second ad:


I traced the Old Spain restaurant, and its history is a little confusing:

  • In 1929, Lazar’s Restaurant is listed at 180 Queen West; the proprietor is a man named Lazar Levenson.
  • In 1930, the restaurant was called the Old Spain, with no listed proprietor. Mr. Levenson is not listed in the city directory.
  • In 1934, the Old Spain is still listed at 180 Queen West, but now Louis Levenson is listed as the proprietor. Perhaps Mr. Levenson changed his name, or there were two separate Levensons, which seems unlikely.
  • In 1937, the Old Spain is gone, but Lazar Levenson had returned: he was now running Lazar Lunch at 326 Adelaide West. The same directory also listed a Lazar’s Lunch at 127 Spadina, run by John Levinson and Samuel Pinnick. I have no idea whether there is any connection between them.


Air celebrities gather

Here’s one more photo from the May 18 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Impressively enough, none of these air celebrities of 1929 died young in a plane crash:

  • Elinor Smith (1911-2010) was just 18 when this photograph was taken. Known as the “Flying Flapper of Freeport”, she earned her pilot’s licence when she was 16. Since she was given to stunts such as flying under bridges, the New York Times had prepared an obituary for her in 1931; it wasn’t needed for nearly 80 years.
  • James Fitzmaurice (1898-1965) was part of the crew that made the first trans-Atlantic flight from east to west in 1928. Presumably, Fitzmaurice Field was named after him to honour this accomplishment.
  • Thea Rasche (1899-1971) was Germany’s first female stunt pilot. She had to give up flying in 1933 for financial reasons, becoming a journalist and then training as a nurse.