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Marilyn Miller in person

Here’s an ad from the May 3 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a radio presentation of a musical.

It’s interesting that they listed the start time in both Daylight Saving Time and Eastern Standard Time. In Ontario at that time, DST started on the last Sunday in April unless that Sunday was on April 25, in which case DST started on May 1. This is a bit confusing, which might explain the multiple start times.

Marilyn Miller (1898-1936) was a tap dancer, singer, and actress, and was a Broadway star in the 1920s and early 1930s. She started her career young, first appearing on the stage at the age of four as part of a family vaudeville act. She first achieved fame in the stage version of Sally, which ran for 570 performances starting in 1920.

Sadly, Ms. Miller did not have a long or happy life – she was plagued by alcoholism and sinus infections. She died from complications following surgery on her nasal passages.

Ms. Miller was married four times. Her second marriage was to Jack Pickford, brother of Mary, who was battling alcohol and drug addictions and was apparently abusive. Her fourth and final marriage was to Chester O’Brien, a chorus dancer eleven years her junior. O’Brien went on to become a stage manager; he was the production stage manager for Sesame Street for over ten years. He occasionally appeared on the show as Mr. Macintosh, a fruit and vegetable vendor, from 1975 to 1992.

A movie version of Sally was released in 1929, featuring Ms. Miller in the starring role. YouTube has several clips of her and of this movie, including this sequence that is partly in black and white and partly in colour.

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