Jennifer Jones, known as Jennifer Jones Simon, was an American actress during the Hollywood golden years. Jones, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Song of Bernadette, was Academy Award-nominated for her performances in four other films and she was married three times, most notably to film producer David O. Selznick. Jones starred in more than 20 films over a 30-year career, in 1980, she founded the Jennifer Jones Simon Foundation For Mental Health and Education after her daughters suicide. In life, Jones withdrew from life to live in quiet retirement with her son and his family in Malibu. Jones was born Phylis Lee Isley in Tulsa, the daughter of Flora Mae, an only child, she was raised Roman Catholic. Her parents toured the Midwest in a tent show that they owned and operated. It was there that she met and fell in love with fellow acting student Robert Walker, the couple married on January 2,1939. Isley and Walker returned to Tulsa for a 13-week radio program, arranged by her father, Isley landed two small roles, first in a 1939 John Wayne western titled New Frontier, followed by a serial entitled Dick Tracys G-Men.
She failed a screen test for Paramount Pictures and decided to return to New York City, while Walker found steady work in radio programs, Isley worked part-time modeling hats for the Powers Agency while looking for possible acting jobs. Selznick, had overheard her audition and was impressed enough to have his secretary call her back, following an interview, she was signed to a seven-year contract. She was carefully groomed for stardom and given a new name, director Henry King was impressed by her screen test as Bernadette Soubirous for The Song of Bernadette and she won the coveted role over hundreds of applicants. Jones apologized to Bergman, who replied, No, Jones presented the Best Actress Oscar the following year to Bergman for Gaslight. Over the next two decades, Jones appeared in a range of roles selected by Selznick. Her dark beauty and sensitive nature appealed to audiences and she projected a variable range, the portrait of Jones for the film Portrait of Jennie was painted by Robert Brackman.
Her last big-screen appearance came in the disaster film The Towering Inferno. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress, early scenes in the film showed paintings lent to the production by the art gallery of Jones husband, Norton Simon. Jones had two sons from her first marriage, Robert Walker, Jr. and Michael Walker, Robert was the only child of Jones three children who would not predecease her. Jones had an affair with film producer David O. Selznick and she separated from Walker in November 1943, co-starred with him in Since You Went Away, and divorced him in June 1945
Joan Crawford was an American film and television actress who began her career as a dancer and stage showgirl. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Crawford tenth on its list of the greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema. Beginning her career as a dancer in traveling theatrical companies, before debuting as a girl on Broadway. In the 1930s, Crawfords fame rivaled, and outlasted, MGM colleagues Norma Shearer, Crawford often played hard-working young women who find romance and success. These stories were received by Depression-era audiences and were popular with women. But her career gradually improved in the early 1940s, and she made a comeback in 1945 by starring in Mildred Pierce. She would go on to receive Best Actress nominations for Possessed, in 1955, Crawford became involved with the Pepsi-Cola Company through her marriage to company Chairman Alfred Steele. After his death in 1959, Crawford was elected to fill his vacancy on the board of directors, following a public appearance in 1974, after which unflattering photographs were published, Crawford withdrew from public life and became increasingly reclusive until her death in 1977.
Her first three ended in divorce, the last ended with the death of husband Alfred Steele. She adopted five children, one of whom was reclaimed by his birth mother, Crawfords relationships with her two older children and Christopher, were acrimonious. Crawford disinherited the two, after Crawfords death, Christina wrote a well-known tell-all memoir titled Mommie Dearest, Crawfords remains are interred at the Ferncliff Cemetery, in Hartsdale, New York. Born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas, on March 23, Crawfords birth year is disputed, with 1904,1905 and she was the youngest and third child of father Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer, and mother Anna Bell Johnson. Johnson was of English, French Huguenot and Irish ancestry, Crawfords elder siblings were sister Daisy LeSueur, who died before Lucilles birth, and brother Hal LeSueur. Crawfords father abandoned the family a few months before her birth, reappearing in 1930 in Abilene, following LeSueurs departure from the family home, Crawfords mother married Henry J.
Cassin. The marriage is listed in the census as Crawfords mothers first marriage, Crawford lived with her mother and siblings in Lawton, Oklahoma. There, Cassin, an impresario, ran the Ramsey Opera House and managed to book diverse. At that time, Crawford was reportedly unaware that Cassin, whom she called daddy, was not her father until her brother Hal told her the truth. Crawford preferred the nickname Billie as a child and enjoyed watching vaudeville acts perform on the stage of her stepfathers theatre, because the familys instability negatively affected Crawfords childhood, her schooling never formally progressed beyond elementary school
Edith Norma Shearer was a Canadian-American actress and Hollywood star from 1925 through 1942. Her early films cast her as an ingenue, but in the pre-Code film era. She excelled in drama and period roles and she gave well-received performances in adaptations of Noël Coward, Eugene ONeill, and William Shakespeare. She was the first person to be nominated five times for an Academy Award for acting, winning Best Actress for her performance in the 1930 film The Divorcee, Shearers fame declined after her early retirement in 1942. She was rediscovered in the late 1950s, when her films were sold to television, and in the 1970s, by the time of her death in 1983, she was best known for her noble roles in Marie Antoinette and The Women. A Shearer revival began in 1988, when Turner Network Television began broadcasting the entire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film library, in 1994, Turner Classic Movies began showcasing her films, most of which had not been seen since the reconstitution of the Production Code in 1934.
Shearers work was seen anew, and the focus shifted from her noble roles to her pre-Code roles. Shearers work was formally reappraised in the 1990s through a number of high-profile books, the first was a major biography by Gavin Lambert. Next came the groundbreaking study Complicated Women, by Mick LaSalle, came three books by photographer Mark A. Vieira, a revisionist biography of Shearers husband, producer Irving Thalberg, and two biographies of Hollywood glamour photographer George Hurrell. Reviewing Shearers work, historians called her the exemplar of sophisticated 1930s womanhood, exploring love and sex with an honesty that would be considered frank by modern standards. While there had been instances of performers who were given a belated celebrity by historians, as a result, Shearer is celebrated as a feminist pioneer, the first American film actress to make it chic and acceptable to be single and not a virgin on screen. Her films continue to be exhibited and studied, Shearer was of Scottish and Irish descent.
Her childhood was spent in Montreal and was one of privilege due to the success of her fathers construction business, the marriage between her parents was unhappy. Andrew Shearer was prone to depression and moved like a shadow or a ghost around the house, while her mother Edith Fisher Shearer was attractive, flamboyant. Young Norma was interested in music, as well, but after seeing a show for her ninth birthday. Edith offered support, but as Shearer entered adolescence, became fearful that her daughters physical flaws would jeopardize her chances. Shearer herself had no illusions about the image I saw in the mirror. She acknowledged her dumpy figure, with shoulders too broad, legs too sturdy, hands too blunt, by her own admission, she was ferociously ambitious, even as a young girl and planned to overcome her deficiencies through careful camouflage, sheer determination, and charm
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County, although the county government was disbanded on July 1,1999. The city proper covers 48 square miles with a population of 667,137 in 2015, making it the largest city in New England. Alternately, as a Combined Statistical Area, this wider commuting region is home to some 8.1 million people, One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston was founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England. It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. Upon U. S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education, through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the original peninsula. Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing over 20 million visitors per year, Bostons many firsts include the United States first public school, Boston Latin School, first subway system, the Tremont Street Subway, and first public park, Boston Common.
Bostons economic base includes finance and business services, information technology, the city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification, though it remains high on world livability rankings. Bostons early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine but renamed it Boston after Boston, England, the renaming on September 7,1630 was by Puritan colonists from England who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest of fresh water. Their settlement was limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River. The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC, in 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colonys first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city. Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history, over the next 130 years, the city participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their Indian allies in North America.
Boston was the largest town in British America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th century, Bostons harbor activity was significantly curtailed by the Embargo Act of 1807 and the War of 1812. Foreign trade returned after these hostilities, but Bostons merchants had found alternatives for their investments in the interim. Manufacturing became an important component of the economy, and the citys industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance by the mid-19th century. Boston remained one of the nations largest manufacturing centers until the early 20th century, a network of small rivers bordering the city and connecting it to the surrounding region facilitated shipment of goods and led to a proliferation of mills and factories. Later, a network of railroads furthered the regions industry. Boston was a port of the Atlantic triangular slave trade in the New England colonies
Manhattan is the most densely populated borough of New York City, its economic and administrative center, and the citys historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, founded on November 1,1683, Manhattan is often described as the cultural and financial capital of the world and hosts the United Nations Headquarters. Many multinational media conglomerates are based in the borough and it is historically documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders which equals US$1062 today. New York County is the United States second-smallest county by land area, on business days, the influx of commuters increases that number to over 3.9 million, or more than 170,000 people per square mile. Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York Citys five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, the City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the citys government.
The name Manhattan derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, a 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River. The word Manhattan has been translated as island of hills from the Lenape language. The United States Postal Service prefers that mail addressed to Manhattan use New York, NY rather than Manhattan, the area that is now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France – was the first European to visit the area that would become New York City. It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, a permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624 with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on the citadel of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, called New Amsterdam, the 1625 establishment of Fort Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan Island is recognized as the birth of New York City.
In 1846, New York historian John Romeyn Brodhead converted the figure of Fl 60 to US$23, variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars, as Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York. Sixty guilders in 1626 was valued at approximately $1,000 in 2006, based on the price of silver, Straight Dope author Cecil Adams calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992. In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director General of the colony, New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on February 2,1653. In 1664, the English conquered New Netherland and renamed it New York after the English Duke of York and Albany, the Dutch Republic regained it in August 1673 with a fleet of 21 ships, renaming the city New Orange. Manhattan was at the heart of the New York Campaign, a series of battles in the early American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army was forced to abandon Manhattan after the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16,1776.
The city, greatly damaged by the Great Fire of New York during the campaign, became the British political, British occupation lasted until November 25,1783, when George Washington returned to Manhattan, as the last British forces left the city
Myrna Loy was an American film and stage actress. Trained as a dancer, Loy devoted herself fully to a career following a few minor roles in silent films. She was originally typecast in roles, often as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent. During World War II, Loy served as assistant to the director of military and she was appointed a member-at-large of the U. S. While the height of her popularity was during the 1930s and 40s, she continued to pursue stage, television. Loy was born in Helena, the daughter of Adelle Mae and rancher David Franklin Williams and she had a younger brother, David Williams. Loys paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her grandparents were Scottish and Swedish. Her first name was derived from a stop near Broken Bow, Nebraska. Her father was a banker and real estate developer and the youngest man elected to the Montana state legislature. Her mother studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, during the winter of 1912, Loys mother nearly died from pneumonia, and her father sent his wife and daughter to La Jolla, California.
Loys mother saw great potential in Southern California, and during one of her husbands visits, among the properties he bought was land he sold at a considerable profit to Charlie Chaplin so the filmmaker could construct his studio there. Although her mother tried to persuade her husband to move to California permanently, he preferred ranch life and the three eventually returned to Montana. Loys father died on November 7,1918, of Spanish influenza, and Loys mother was able to realize her dream to permanently relocate her family to California. Loy attended the exclusive Westlake School for Girls in Los Angeles, when her teachers objected to her participating in theatrical arts, her mother enrolled her in Venice High School, and at 15, she began appearing in local stage productions. In 1921, Loy posed for Venice High School sculpture teacher Harry Fielding Winebrenner for the central figure Inspiration in his sculpture group Fountain of Education. Completed in 1922, the group was erected in front of the campus outdoor pool in May 1923 where it stood for decades.
Fountain of Education can be seen in the scenes of the 1978 film Grease. Loy left school at the age of 18 to help with the familys finances and she obtained work at Graumans Egyptian Theatre, where she performed in elaborate musical sequences that were related to and served as prologues for the feature film
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was an American actor, noted for his natural style and versatility. One of the stars of Hollywoods Golden Age, Tracy was nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Actor. Tracy first discovered his talent for acting while attending Ripon College and he spent seven years in the theatre, working in a succession of stock companies and intermittently on Broadway. Tracys breakthrough came in 1930, when his performance in The Last Mile caught the attention of Hollywood. After a successful debut in Up the River, Tracy was signed to a contract with Fox Film Corporation. His five years with Fox were unremarkable, and he remained unknown to audiences after 25 films. In 1935 Tracy joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, at the time Hollywoods most prestigious studio and his career flourished with a series of hit films, and in 1937 and 1938 he won consecutive Oscars for Captains Courageous and Boys Town. By the 1940s, Tracy was one of the top stars. In 1942 he appeared with Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year, Tracy left MGM in 1955 and continued to work regularly as a freelance star, despite an increasing weariness as he aged.
His personal life was troubled, with a struggle against alcoholism. Tracy became estranged from his wife in the 1930s, but never divorced, towards the end of his life, Tracy worked almost exclusively for director Stanley Kramer. It was for Kramer that he made his last film, Guess Whos Coming to Dinner in 1967, during his career, Tracy appeared in 75 films and developed a reputation among his peers as one of the screens greatest actors. In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked Tracy as the 9th greatest male star of Classic Hollywood Cinema, Tracy was born on April 5,1900, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of Caroline and John Edward Tracy. His mother was a Presbyterian from a wealthy Midwestern family, and his one brother, was four years older. Spencer was a difficult and hyperactive child with poor school attendance, raised as a Catholic, at nine years old he was placed in the care of Dominican nuns in the hope of transforming his behavior. Later in life he remarked, I never would have back to school if there had been any other way of learning to read the subtitles in the movies.
He became fascinated with motion pictures, watching the same ones repeatedly and re-enacting scenes to his friends, Tracy attended several Jesuit academies in his teenage years, which he claimed took the badness out of him and helped him improve his grades
A B movie is a low-budget commercial movie, but one that is not an arthouse film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, although the U. S. production of movies intended as second features largely ceased by the end of the 1950s, the term B movie continues to be used in the broader sense it maintains today. In either usage, most B movies represent a particular genre—the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science-fiction, early B movies were often part of series in which the star repeatedly played the same character. Almost always shorter than the films they were paired with. The term connoted a general perception that B movies were inferior to the more handsomely budgeted headliners, latter-day B movies still sometimes inspire multiple sequels, but series are less common. As the average running time of top-of-the-line films increased, so did that of B pictures, the term is now used loosely to refer to some higher-budgeted, mainstream films with exploitation-style content, usually in genres traditionally associated with the B movie.
From their beginnings to the present day, B movies have provided both for those coming up in the profession and others whose careers are waning. Celebrated filmmakers such as Anthony Mann and Jonathan Demme learned their craft in B movies and they are where actors such as John Wayne and Jack Nicholson first became established, and they have provided work for former A movie actors, such as Vincent Price and Karen Black. Some actors, such as Bela Lugosi, Eddie Constantine and Pam Grier, the term B actor is sometimes used to refer to a performer who finds work primarily or exclusively in B pictures. In 1927–28, at the end of the silent era, the production cost of a feature from a major Hollywood studio ranged from $190,000 at Fox to $275,000 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. That average reflected both specials that might cost as much as $1 million and films made quickly for around $50,000. These cheaper films allowed the studios to derive value from facilities. Studios in the leagues of the industry, such as Columbia Pictures and Film Booking Offices of America.
Their movies, with short running times, targeted theaters that had to economize on rental and operating costs, particularly small-town and urban neighborhood venues. A new programming scheme developed that would become standard practice, a newsreel, a short and/or serial. The second feature, which screened before the main event. The majors clearance rules favoring their affiliated theaters prevented the independents timely access to top-quality films, the low-budget picture of the 1920s thus evolved into the second feature, the B movie, of Hollywoods Golden Age. The major studios, at first resistant to the double feature, all established B units to provide films for the expanding second-feature market
Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is best remembered for her roles as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca and as Alicia Huberman in Notorious, before becoming a star in American films, Bergman had been a leading actress in Swedish films. Her introduction to American audiences came with her role in the English-language remake of Intermezzo. Selznicks financial problems meant that Bergman was often loaned to other studios, apart from Casablanca, her performances from this period include Victor Flemings remake of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Bells of St. Marys. Her last films for Selznick were Alfred Hitchcocks Spellbound and Notorious and her final film for Hitchcock was Under Capricorn. After a decade in American films, she starred in Roberto Rossellinis Stromboli, many of her personal and film documents can be seen in the Wesleyan University Cinema Archives.
According to the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Bergman quickly became the ideal of American womanhood, in 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Bergman as the fourth-greatest female screen legend of classic American cinema. Bergman, named after Princess Ingrid of Sweden, was born on 29 August 1915 in Stockholm, to a Swedish father, Justus Bergman, when she was two years old, her mother died. Her father, who was an artist and photographer, died when she was 13, in the years before he died, he wanted her to become an opera star, and had her take voice lessons for three years. But she always knew from the beginning that she wanted to be an actress, sometimes wearing her mothers clothes and her father documented all her birthdays with a borrowed camera. After his death, she was sent to live with an aunt and she moved in with her Aunt Hulda and Uncle Otto, who had five children. Another aunt she visited, Elsa Adler, first told Ingrid, when she was 11, that her mother may have had some Jewish blood, but her aunt cautioned her about telling others about her possible ancestry as there might be some difficult times coming.
Biographer Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm, notes that the claim of Jewish blood was likely an embellishment, after being forced to do an in-depth genealogical investigation, Bergmans maternal cousin found there to be no Jewish ancestry on Bergmans mothers side. Later, she received a scholarship to the state-sponsored Royal Dramatic Theatre School, after several months she was given a part in a new play, Ett Brott, written by Sigfrid Siwertz. Chandler notes that this was totally against procedure at the school, during her first summer break, she was hired by a Swedish film studio, which led to her leaving the Royal Dramatic Theatre after just one year, to work in films full-time. Her first film role after leaving the Royal Dramatic Theatre was a part in 1935s Munkbrogreven. She went on to act in a films in Sweden, including En kvinnas ansikte, which was remade as A Womans Face with Joan Crawford
John Hodiak was an American actor who worked in radio and film. Hodiak was born in Pittsburgh, the son of Walter Hodiak and he was of Ukrainian and Polish descent. Hodiak grew up in Hamtramck, Hodiak had his first theatrical experience at age 11, acting in Ukrainian and Russian plays at the Ukrainian Catholic Church. From the moment he first appeared on the stage, he resolved to become an actor, Hodiak was not even swayed when as a third baseman on his local high school baseball team, he was offered a contract with a St. Louis Cardinals farm club. When Hodiak first tried out for an acting job, he was turned down because of his accent. He became a caddy at a Detroit golf course, worked at a Chevrolet automobile factory –, when he conquered the diction hurdle, he became a radio actor and moved to Chicago. There Hodiak created the role of the comic strip character Lil Abner on radio, Hodiak had the role of McCullough in the radio soap opera Girl Alone. Hodiak arrived in Hollywood in 1942 and signed a motion picture contract with MGM and he refused to change his name, saying, I like my name.
Hodiak was cast in a few parts at MGM. He caught the eye of director Alfred Hitchcock and, on loan-out to 20th Century Fox, more big roles followed, notably that of Maj. Joppolo in A Bell For Adano opposite Gene Tierney. Despite his success, in 1949, a string of bad choices in film led to Hodiak being voted box office poison by exhibitors, in 1953, he played the Apache chief Cochise in the film Conquest of Cochise, with Robert Stack, Rico Alaniz, and Carol Thurston. In 1953, Hodiak went to New York and made his Broadway debut in The Chase, the play was a failure, but its star received fantastic critical notices. He originated the role of Lieutenant Maryk in Paul Gregorys production of the play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial by Herman Wouk adapted from his novel The Caine Mutiny, the play ran for two years and Hodiaks portrayal brought him nationwide acclaim. When the show closed after its U. S. tour, Hodiak began work on Trial at MGM, when it wrapped, he played Major Ward Thomas in On the Threshold of Space at 20th Century Fox.
Hodiak and actress Anne Baxter married on July 7,1946 and they had one daughter, Katrina Hodiak, who became an actress. Hodiak was a frequent visitor to the famous King Ranch in Kingsville and he and others were guests of Zachary Scott, whose sister had married into the ranch owners family. At the age of 41, Hodiak suffered a heart attack in the bathroom of the Tarzana. He was shaving and getting ready to go to the studio to complete his scenes in On the Threshold of Space and it was decided his performance was far enough along to release the movie
RKO Pictures Inc. known as RKO Radio Pictures and in its years RKO Teleradio Pictures, was an American film production and distribution company. It was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywoods Golden Age, RCA chief David Sarnoff engineered the merger to create a market for the companys sound-on-film technology, RCA Photophone. By the mid-1940s, the studio was under the control of investor Floyd Odlum, RKO has long been celebrated for its series of musicals starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the mid-to-late 1930s. Actors Katharine Hepburn and, Robert Mitchum had their first major successes at the studio, cary Grant was a mainstay for years. The work of producer Val Lewtons low-budget horror unit and RKOs many ventures into the now known as film noir have been acclaimed, largely after the fact, by film critics. The studio produced two of the most famous films in motion picture history, King Kong and Citizen Kane, RKO Pictures is a member of Motion Picture Association of America. Maverick industrialist Howard Hughes took over RKO in 1948, after years of turmoil and decline under his control, Hughes sold the troubled studio to General Tire and Rubber Company in 1955.
The original RKO Pictures ceased production in 1957 and was dissolved two years later. In 1981, broadcaster RKO General, the heir, revived it as a production subsidiary. In October 1927, Warner Bros. released The Jazz Singer and its success prompted Hollywood to convert from silent to sound film production en masse. The Radio Corporation of America controlled an advanced optical sound-on-film system, RCA Photophone, the industrys two largest major studios and Loews/MGM, with two other studios Universal and First National, were poised to contract with ERPI for sound conversion as well. Next on the agenda was securing a string of exhibition venues like those the leading Hollywood production companies owned, Kennedy began investigating the possibility of such a purchase. Around that time, the large Keith-Albee-Orpheum circuit of theaters, built around the medium of live vaudeville, was attempting a transition to the movie business. In mid-1927, the operations of Pathé Exchange and Cecil B. De Milles Producers Distributing Corporation had united under KAOs control, early in 1928, KAO general manager John J.
Murdock, who had assumed the presidency of Pathé, turned to Kennedy as an adviser in consolidating the studio with De Milles company, PDC. This was the relationship Sarnoff and Kennedy sought, on October 23,1928, RCA announced the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum holding company, with Sarnoff as chairman of the board. Kennedy, who withdrew from his positions in the merged companies, kept Pathé separate from RKO. RCA owned the governing stock interest in RKO,22 percent, in the early 1930s, the companys production and distribution arm, presided over by former FBO vice-president Joseph I
Mary Jane Mae West was an American actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. For her contributions to American cinema, the American Film Institute named West 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema, one of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems, especially censorship. She bucked the system, making out of prudish conventional mores. When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books and plays, and continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, and on radio and television, asked about the various efforts to impede her career, West replied, I believe in censorship. I made an out of it. While true, she suffered greatly because of it, even going to jail for her right to freedom of speech. West was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn on August 17,1893 and she was the eldest surviving child of John Patrick West and Matilda Tillie Delker. Delker and her five siblings emigrated with their parents and Christiana, Wests parents married on January 18,1889, in Brooklyn and reared their children as Protestants, although John West was of mixed Catholic-Protestant descent.
Her father was a known as Battlin Jack West who worked as a special policeman. Her mother was a corset and fashion model. Her paternal grandmother, Mary Jane, for whom she was named, was of Irish Catholic descent, and Wests paternal grandfather, John Edwin West, was of English-Scots descent and her eldest sibling, died in infancy. Her other siblings were Mildred Katherine West, known as Beverly, during her childhood, Wests family moved to various parts of Woodhaven, as well as the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn. In Woodhaven, at Neirs Social Hall, West supposedly first performed professionally, West was five when she first entertained a crowd at a church social, and she started appearing in amateur shows at the age of seven. She often won prizes at local talent contests and she began performing professionally in vaudeville in the Hal Clarendon Stock Company in 1907 at the age of 14. West first performed under the stage name Baby Mae, and tried various personas, including a male impersonator and her trademark walk was said to have been inspired or influenced by female impersonators Bert Savoy and Julian Eltinge, who were famous during the Pansy Craze.
Her first appearance in a Broadway show was in a 1911 revue A La Broadway put on by her former dancing teacher, the show folded after eight performances, but at age 18, West was singled out and discovered by the New York Times. The Times reviewer wrote that a girl named Mae West, hitherto unknown, pleased by her grotesquerie, West next appeared in a show called Vera Violetta, whose cast featured Al Jolson. In 1912, she appeared in the performance of A Winsome Widow as a baby vamp named La Petite Daffy