In the attached PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE article, Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 – 2004), the Hollywood actor who would one day become the fortieth president of the United States (1981–1989), gives a tidy account as to who he was in 1942, and what was dear to him:
"My favorite menu is steaks smothered with onions and strawberry short cake. I play bridge adequately and collect guns, always carry a penny as a good luck charm...I'm interested in politics and governmental problems. My favorite books are Turnabout, by Thorne Smith, Babbitt, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the works of Pearl Buck, H.G. Wells, Damon Runyon and Erich Remarque."
A good read and a revealing article by a complicated man.
Read a 1951 profile of a future First Lady: the young Nancy Reagan.
Attached is an article from a 1948 PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE that illustrated quite clearly how much easier Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, had it with the Soviet Union, when compared to his failings with his first bride, Jane Wyman (1917 – 2007). The journalist, Gladys Hall, outlined nicely how busy the couple had been up to that time yet remarked that they had had a difficult time since the war ended, breaking-up and reconciling as many as three times. In 1948 Wyman, who had been married twice before, filed for divorce on charges of "mental cruelty"; the divorce was finalized in '49 and the future president went on to meet Nancy Davis in 1951 (marrying in '52); click here if you wish to read a 1951 article about that courtship.
Historically, Ronald Reagan was the first divorced man to ascend the office of the presidency. Shortly after his death, Wyman remarked:
"America has lost a great president and a great, kind, and gentle man."
Click here read an article about Hollywood's war on monogamy.
One of the first profiles of Hollywood beauty and former child star Natalie Wood (1938 – 1981).
The journalist went into some detail explaining how she was discovered at the age of six by the director Irving Pichel (1891 – 1954) and how it all steadily snowballed into eighteen years of semi-steady work that provided her with a invaluable Hollywood education (and subsequently creating a thoroughly out-of-control teenager).
"At sixteen, Natalie co-starred with the late James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause", and the resulting Dean hysteria swept her forward with him... She cannot bear to be alone. She is full of reasonless fears. Of airplanes. Of snakes. Of swimming in the ocean."
The article appeared on the newsstands while she was shooting "All The Fine Young Cannibals".
The attached magazine profile is from a short-lived but much admired American magazine containing many sweet words regarding the unstoppable Orson Welles (1915 - 1985) and his appearance in the Archibald McLeish (1892 – 1982) play, "Panic" (directed by John Houseman, 1902 — 1988).
1941 was another great year for the "boy genius" who seemed to effortlessly triumph with all his theatrical and film ventures. At the time this appeared in print, Welles was filming "The Magnificent Ambersons", having recently pocketed an Oscar for his collaborative writing efforts in "Citizen Cane". Highly accomplished and multi-married, no study of American entertainment is complete without mention of his name. The anonymous scribe who penned the attached article remarked:
"No pretentiously shy Saroyan courtship of an audience about Welles! He really loves his relation to the public. He doesn't flirt with it."
A 1942 article about Mexican film comedian Mario Moreno (1911 – 1993) who was widely known and loved throughout Latin America and parts of the West as "Cantinflas", the bumbling "cargador" character of his own creation. Born in the poorest circumstances Mexico could dish-out, Mario Moreno achieved glorious heights in the entertainment industry; by the time he assumed room temperature in the early Nineties he had appeared in well over fifty films. The attached article appeared when his popularity had gone viral:
"Hollywood big shots have pursued the rising star with tempting offers, confident that he can learn English...But until recently, Moreno had shown no disposition to leave his native heath. When "Neither Blood Nor Sand" was shown in Hollywood last Spring, Charlie Chaplin pronounced him the greatest comedian alive...Like Chaplin, thirty-one year-old Mario is a master pantomimist, using eyes, hands, and legs with same exquisite sense of timing."
Country Music legend Hank Williams (1923 - 1953)
died just four and a half months after being kicked out of the Grand Ol' Opry for drunken and erratic behavior. He was at the peak of his fame, earning over $200,000 a year and enjoying the enthusiasm of ten million fans in the U.S. and five million abroad. He was 29 years old and known only for 35 songs. The attached article will let you in on the short and painful life of country music's fair haired boy.
Like many artists, his creativity was nurtured by an empty stomach. Hank Williams was raised under dreadfully impoverished conditions in Depression era Alabama; suffering from spinal bifida, the illness that eventually overcame him, he sought relief from the pain with liquor and drugs and died in the back of the Caddy that was ferrying him to a gig in Canton Ohio.