The attached profile of actor William Holden (1918 1981) appeared in print when his stock was about to peak.
When the summer of 1956 rolled around, Holden was already a double nominee for a BAFTA ("Picnic"), an Oscar ("Sunset Boulevard") and was the grateful recipient of an Academy Award for Best Actor one year earlier ("Stalag 17"). In 1957 his performance in the "Bridge on the River Kwai" would bring even more pats on the back (although the Best Actor statue would go to Alec Guinness).
This five page interview tells the story of Holden's initial discovery in Hollywood, his devotion to both the Screen Actor's Guild and Paramount Pictures. His Hollywood peers held him in especially high-regard:
"In a poll of Hollywood reporters recently he was designated 'the best adjusted and happiest actor around'"; by contrast, the same poll identified Humphrey Bogart as a total pain in the keister - click here to read that article.
In this six page essay Harpo Marx tells the tale of Groucho (1890 1977) as only an older brother could see it. From the Marx family's earliest days in the slums of New York and Groucho's first entertainment job (he was 13), Harpo (1888 1964) briefly recounts his brother's wins and losses leading up to the team's first popular show on Broadway ("I'll Say She Is", 1923) and the man's travails on his T.V. game show, "You Bet Your Life".
"Groucho's infatuation with the language has been the backbone of his entire life and has, undoubtedly, played the largest single part in shaping him into one of the greatest wits of our time. Groucho doesn't regard words the way the rest of us do. He looks at a word in the usual fashion. Then he looks at it upside down, backwards, from the middle out to the ends, and from the ends back to the middle...Groucho doesn't look for double meanings. He looks for quadruple meanings. And usually finds them."
Click here to read about the manner in which the Marx Brothers would test their jokes.
Adorned with photos of the famous movie-monster-actor mowing his lawn and kissing his wife, this COLLIER'S MAGAZINE article tells the tale of how an English boy named William Henry Pratt became a famous Hollywood actor named Boris Karloff (1887 1969). This piece was originally conceived in order to promote the actor's appearance on Broadway in the roll of "Jonathan" in "Arsenic and Old Lace". The writer makes it quite clear to all that the show-biz career did not in any way come easily to Karloff and involved years of truck driving and traveling about performing in summer-stock theaters throughout the whole of North America before he was able to make a name for himself as a bit actor in the silent films of Hollywood.
Click here to read about the vulgar side of Erroll Flynn.
Back in the day, some wise old sage once remarked:
"It's Frank Sinatra's world; we only live in it."
-in 1951, Nancy Sinatra certainly thought these words were double-dipped in truth; married to "The Voice" since 1939, she tended to their three children devotedly, yet she was served with divorce papers nonetheless in order that "Ol' Blue Eyes" could go keep house with the twice-married starlet Ava Gardner (1922 1990). The attached article will tell you all about it; it's a juicy one - filled hearsay, innuendo and the knowing words of a Vegas odds maker as to whether the marriage will last:
"Will Frank turn out to be a better husband than Mickey Rooney or Artie Shaw? Will Ava have more luck with him than Nancy had?"
(they divorced in 1957)
The attached article is illustrated with three color photos from the set of the movie, this short article details why The Grapes of Wrath (Twentieth Century Fox, 1940) was such a different movie to come out of Hollywood and explains how thoroughly both the art and costume departments were in their research in depicting the migrant "Okies" in their Westward flight:
"Realism, keynote of the book, was the keynote of the picture. Henry Fonda, who plays Tom Joad, lived for weeks among the Okie farmers from Oklahoma to understand their problems..."
As a result of Steinbeck's literary efforts, medical aid was offered to California's migrants - Click here to read about it
Click here to read a 1935 article about the real Okies.
Perhaps Steinbeck saw this 1938 photo-essay while writing his novel?
John Steinbeck became a war correspondent in 1943.
In 1940 Mickey Rooney (né Joe Yule, Jr.; b. 1920 - 2014) had replaced Shirley Temple as the number one box-office draw, after having steadily performed before the cameras from the age of six onward. Rooney had been jockeying for first place since he began playing the title roll in the "Andy Hardy" films just two and a half years earlier.
With the onslaught of the Second World War the sands of Hollywood shifted beneath his feet, creating a plethora of new stars and the need for different sorts of films - from that point on he only appeared in supporting rolls. In 1982 Rooney remarked:
"When I was 19 years old, I was the number one star of the world for two years. When I was 40, nobody wanted me. I couldn't get a job."