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Monday, 6 March 2017

This Week in History - Mar 5 to 11

Everything you need to know about the goings-ons and gossip from this week in Precode Hollywood.

1929:

The Codys still ill - Word received as to Lew Cody’s condition at the Warwick Hotel, New York states he is still ill with no visitors allowed. Mrs Cody (Mabel Normand) was stricken with pneumonia five weeks ago and has not yet fully recovered.
Healthy, Lew Cody and Mabel Normand
Not a “film story” but I couldn’t pass up including this news article about a femme mayoral candidate:
Advocates Passports For Married Couples at Night: Florence Gravdahl, candidate for mayor at Minneapolis has announced as part of a new platform a modified curfew law for married people by which husbands and wives will be required to carry matrimonial passports when away from home at night. She said traffic police will be directed to investigate automobiles containing men and women and to arrest on disorderly charges the occupants of such machines who do not produce marriage certificates, showing they are man and wife, or, in lieu provide a satisfactory explanation of their presence together. The same procedure would be carried out in night clubs and hotels. A recent newspaper editorial suggests couples discovered out after sundown could be sent to Mrs Gravdahl for “a good talking to-or something”.  

Navarro on Discs - Ramon Novarro can really sing, disclosing this new talent in The Pagan with the star warbling The Pagan Love Song, theme number. His singing so impressed Victor it has signed Navarro for recording purposes.  
Ramon Novarro and Dorothy Janis in The Pagan

1930:

Alice White’s Wedding - Alice White left Hollywood Saturday for Chicago with it reported that upon her arrival there she will marry Sid Bartlett. The latter has been acting as her personal representative for the past six months. 
Sid Bartlett and Alce White
Meanwhile, another loved-up couple announced their engagement in this week 1930. Louis B. Mayer’s daughter Irene Mayer announced she would be marrying David Selznick.

Barrymore Baby - Little Mr or Miss Stork due in the home of the John Barrymores around March 15. (the couple would go on to have Dolores Ethel Mae "DeeDee" Barrymore who FYI is the aunty of Drew Barrymore).   
The Barrymores and DeeDee
1931:
An early model of a television, circa 1920s
Television 3 Years Away - Show business needs not to be concerned about television for at least another three years. If it comes out in practical fashion then it will be a scientific miracle. This comes from Radio officials who say until television can be simplified, costs can be reduced and equipment reduced in bulk, there is little chance of air or wire pictures ever reaching the home of the average public institution. 

Mary Nolan in Mae’s Show - Mary Nolan, who has come to New York to play at the Palace is going into Mae West’s new show Diamond Lil’s Daughter after the vaudeville date. She will be co-stared with West.

West-East Tests - While Helen Hayes was in Hollywood for two or three months, she had several screen tests. No good was the result. Back to New York again for Helen. (Hayes would win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Sin of Madelon Claudet released in October that year. Go Helen!)
Stage and screen star, Helen Hayes
1932:

Mae Clarke’s Breakdown - Mae Clarke is in a Hollywood hospital trying to defeat a breakdown. Recalled from Palm Springs where she was resting to make retakes for Night Club, Clarke was immediately rushed to hospital after finishing before the camera. March 6 her malady developed so rapidly she was removed to a sanatarium and will remain there indefinitely.
Mae Clarke
William Holden Dies - Don’t be alarmed, it is not the William Holden of Sunset Boulevard fame but a character actor who appeared in around 20 films including Dance, Fools, Dance and Holiday. He died on March 2, aged 57, following a heart attack. He had been in bad health for the past year due to an automobile accident. He was survived by his widow, Louise Holden, and daughter, Thelma Maclachlan.   
William Holden on the left with Gloria Swanson from The Trespasser (1929)
1933:

Poison Tragedy Points Censors to Pix - Stricter film censorship is on the cards in Massachusetts following the strange death of a fire captain. William Costello was found dead last week from cyanide poisoning. It appeared to be suicide but the possibility of murder is being considered. The film Payment Deferred, recently exhibited in the area, showed how cyanide can be purchased and administered without chances of outward detection. Costello’s wife admits to purchasing cyanide which she used for cleaning.   
Charles Laughton in Payment Deferred
And So to Bed - The day after Ruth Chatterton broke two fingers when she jammed her hand in an auto door, she appeared at Warners for a scene in Lily Turner calling her to do a cootch dance. Execs figured that she couldn’t do justice to the wriggling due to the pain from her injuries so she was put to bed for the hospital sequence in which she is supposed to have a child.

Gaynor Divorce Suit - From authentic reports, Janet Gaynor, will file suit for divorce on March 7 against Lydel Peck, Fox producer.
Janet and Lydel during happier times
1934:

Princess Sues - Metro lost the decision in the libel suit filed here against the company by Princess Irina on Rasputin and the Empress. Princess was awarded 25,000 pounds or a bit over $125,000. She is the daughter of Grand Duke Alexander and the wife of Prince Youssopoff, who self-admittedly - among others - killed Rasputin. She sued because she claims the film, in one sequence, libeled her.
Princess Irina
Stanwyck Talent - One of the dramatic scenes in Gambling Lady which was written in by Barbara Stanwyck, featured in the picture. The actress’s contribution is the scene where she separates from Joel McCrea toward the end of the story.


Tarzan Not So Hot with Weissmuller - You have Johnny Weissmuller’s word for it - he doesn’t like being that super-man, Tarzan. In fact, he’s pretty tired of picture-making. ‘Gee,’ confided Johnny, ‘when I signed up for pictures I figured I was going to get rich - make money in a bigger way than a professional champion swimmer could. But now I know how wrong I was. Sure, I make more but I spend more too. I’m a swimmer not an actor.”
Johnny Weissmuller aka Tarzan

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