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.


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.


Publicly announced wedding date

Here’s a photo from the May 16 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Happily, the marriage between Bebe Daniels (1901-1971) and Ben Lyon (1901-1979) was a Hollywood marriage that lasted – they were together until she passed away. After her death, Lyon married former actress Marian Nixon.


Leni and Adolf

The May 11 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contains a discussion with Leni Riefenstahl, the German film director and confidante of Adolf Hitler. The article was in two parts (I’ve broken the second part into two sections).




There was also a photograph of Ms. Riefenstahl:


Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003) is now widely considered one of the greatest technical filmmakers of the 20th century, though her reputation is tarnished by her association with Hitler. After the war, she maintained that she knew nothing about the Holocaust, and she was never prosecuted for war crimes. But she was certainly an admirer of Hitler at the time of this article.

Hitler, of course, did not marry until near the end of his life, when he wed his mistress, Eva Braun.


Two Mary Pickfords

Here’s a photo from the May 11 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featuring two women named Mary Pickford.


Mary Pickford the movie star (1892-1979) was born Gladys Louise Smith in Toronto. Her Wikipedia entry states that she was given the stage name of Mary Pickford in 1907 at the request of the producer of the Broadway play in which she had just been cast; I have no idea whether there was anybody named Pickford in her family tree.

The 1934 Toronto city directory lists the other Mary Pickford as working as a clerk at Simpson’s and living at 46 Radford Avenue. By 1938, she had switched to Eaton’s, and was living at 439 Sherbourne; in 1939, she was back at Simpson’s. The last directory she appears in is 1940.


Films die with her

Here’s a brief article from the April 27 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Mary Pickford (1892-1979) eventually changed her mind about destroying her films after her death. In 1970, she donated 50 of her early films to the American Film Institute. She revised her will in 1971 to donate most of her estate to the Mary Pickford Foundation.


Tough to be famous

Here’s a publicity photo from the April 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Sally Blane (1910-1997) appeared in over 100 movies, almost all of which were before 1939. She was part of a family of actors: her sisters, Loretta Young and Polly Ann Young, and her half-sister Georgiana Young all had careers in the movies (though Georgiana’s was brief).

It’s Tough To Be Famous (1932) was a comedy starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. YouTube has the original trailer for it.


Engaged to marry

The front page of the April 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photo and notice of an upcoming wedding:


I don’t know what happened, but Sally O’Neil (1908-1968) and Arthur Loew did not get married. Ms. O’ Neil married Stewart S. Battles in 1953; they divorced, but then married again. Loew eventually married Mildred Zukor, daughter of Adolph Zukor, co-founder of Paramount Pictures; he later became president of MGM.


Leaving England

Here’s another photo from the April 1 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Mary Carlisle (1914-2018) appeared in three movies with Bing Crosby between 1933 and 1938. She retired from movies shortly after marrying actor/producer James Edward Blakeley in 1942; the two were married for nearly 65 years. She never officially confirmed her birth date, but was believed to be 104 when she passed away.


Four panther women

Here’s one last photo from the March 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring four young actresses:


The reference to “panther women” is from a talent contest that Paramount Pictures held to cast the role of Lota, The Panther Woman, in the 1932 movie Island of Lost Souls. (This photo is undoubtedly a few months old.) According to this article, approximately 60,000 women entered the contest.

The winner of the contest was Kathleen Burke (1913-1980) (second from right in the photo above). She went on to appear in about 20 more films in the 1930s before ending her film career in 1938.

Verna Hillie (1914-1997) was entered in the Panther Woman contest against her wishes, as her mother had submitted her application. She didn’t win, but Paramount gave her a movie contract anyway. She was given rough treatment by the studios: first, Paramount dropped her after she contracted Bell’s palsy. After recovering, Universal dropped her when she refused Carl Laemmle Jr.’s advances. She retired from acting in the 1940s to raise her family.

Lona Andre (1915-1992) also received a contract from Paramount for her strong finish in the contest. She worked steadily in movies between 1933 and 1943, appearing in more than 50 pictures. In 1935, she eloped with actor Edward Norris; the marriage lasted four days. In 1938, she set a record for a woman golfer, playing 156 hours of golf in 11 hours and 56 minutes. After her acting career, she became a successful real estate broker.

Gail Patrick (1911-1980) was also offered a standard Paramount contract (though she negotiated better terms for herself). She appeared in more than 60 films between 1932 and 1948. After her acting career, she became a television producer, serving as the executive producer of the Perry Mason television series between 1957 and 1966.

Wikipedia has another photo of Hillie, Andre, and Patrick.