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Picked for a screen test

Here’s a photo from the October 6 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a young woman who was working as a waitress and was possibly about to have a film career.

Searches for Adele Bailey mostly turned up references to a sex worker of the same name who went missing in 1978 and whose body was found 17 years later. The only other reference to this Adele Bailey that I could find appeared in a New York Daily News gossip column later that year; in this clipping, Ms. Bailey was 18, not 19, and it was hinted that she was involved with Mr. Cantor.

Eddie Cantor (1892-1964) was a performer who starred in the Ziegfeld Follies from 1917 to 1927. He was later famous for his radio shows that described life with his wife Ida and their five daughters. Among other things, he invented the phrase “March of Dimes” for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis charity and co-wrote the theme song for the Warner Brothers “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Occasional alleged dalliances with former waitresses notwithstanding, he and his wife remained married from 1914 until her death in 1962. He was posthumously inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.

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