Allen Jenkins was an American character actor and singer who worked on stage and television. Jenkins was born Alfred McGonegal on Staten Island, New York on April 9, 1900, he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In his first stage appearance, he danced next to James Cagney in a chorus line for an off-Broadway musical called Pitter-Patter, earning five dollars a week, he appeared in Broadway plays between 1923 and 1962, including The Front Page. His big break came when he replaced Spencer Tracy for three weeks in the Broadway play The Last Mile. Jenkins was called to Hollywood by Darryl F. Zanuck and signed first to Paramount Pictures and shortly afterward to Warner Bros, his first role in films came in 1931, when he appeared as an ex-convict in the short Straight and Narrow. He had originated the character of Frankie Wells in the Broadway production of Blessed Event and reprised the role in its film adaptation, both in 1932. With the advent of talking pictures, he made a career out of playing comic henchmen, policemen, taxi drivers, other'tough guys' in numerous films of the 1930s and 1940s for Warner Bros. Allen Jenkins was labeled the "greatest scene-stealer of the 1930s" by The New York Times.
In 1959, Jenkins played the role of elevator operator Harry in the comedy Pillow Talk. Jenkins voiced the character of Officer Charlie Dibble on the Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon, Top Cat, he was a regular on the television sitcom Hey, Jeannie!, starring Jeannie Carson and portrayed Muggsy on the 1950s-1970s CBS series The Red Skelton Show. He was a guest star on many other television programs, such as The Man from U. N. C. L. E. Mr. & Mrs. North, I Love Lucy, Playhouse 90, The Ernie Kovacs Show, Zane Grey Theater, Your Show of Shows, he had a cameo appearance in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World. Eleven days before his death, he made his final appearance, at the end of Billy Wilder's remake of The Front Page. Jenkins publicized his own alcoholism and was the first actor to speak in the U. S. House of Representatives and the Senate about it, he was involved in beginning the first Alcoholics Anonymous programs in California prisons for women. Jenkins is interred at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D. C. Section 10, Lot 31.
Jenkins died of lung cancer on July 20, 1974, at age 74. The Abbott and Costello Show - episode "The Actors' Home" as Retired Actors Home Man on Street Wagon Train - episode "The Horace Best Story" as Mr. Gillespie Top Cat - 30 episodes as Officer Charlie Dibble The Real McCoys - episode "Army Reunion" as Skinny Howard The Man from U. N. C. L. E. - episodes "The Concrete Overcoat Affair: Parts 1 & 2" as Enzo "Pretty" Stilletto Batman - episode "Scat! Darn Catwoman" as Little Al Bewitched - four episodes as various characters Allen Jenkins on IMDb Allen Jenkins at the Internet Broadway Database Allen Jenkins at AllMovie
Ann E. Todd
Ann E. Todd is an American former child actress. Todd was born in 1931 in Colorado to Burrill L. and Alberta C. Phillips, she had Stephen. She is a distant relative of Mary Todd Lincoln. Due to the privations of the Great Depression and her younger brother were raised by her maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ulysses Mayfield, her adoptive name was Ann Todd Mayfield. In 1942, Todd was hospitalized in critical condition when blood poisoning developed after she cut her foot playing a game in her backyard. In 1939, Todd made her acting debut in Zaza directed by George Cukor. In a career spanning over 14 years, she appeared in 40 movies alongside notable stars such as Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Temple, James Stewart, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and Marlene Dietrich. Due to the similarities between her name and the already established British actress Ann Todd, she added the initial "E." to her name. Todd was a regular in The Stu Erwin Show between 1950–53 before quitting show business for good.
She became a teacher and librarian in her life before retiring in California. Ann E. Todd on IMDb
Charles J. Winninger was an American stage and film actor, most cast in comedies or musicals. Winninger began as a vaudeville actor, his most famous stage role was as Cap'n Andy Hawks in the original production of Show Boat, the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II musical classic, in 1927. He played the 1936 film version of the show, he became so identified with the role and with his "persona" as a riverboat captain that he played several variations of the role, notably on the radio program Maxwell House Show Boat, inspired by the Broadway musical. After the film of Show Boat in 1936, Winninger appeared in 1936's Three Smart Girls, 1937's Nothing Sacred, 1939's Destry Rides Again, 1941's Ziegfeld Girl, 1945's State Fair, he returned to Broadway only once more – for the 1951 revival of Kern and Hammerstein's Music in the Air. Winninger had the lead role in only one film, 1953's The Sun Shines Bright, John Ford's companion piece to Judge Priest. Winninger played the role that Will Rogers played in 1934.
Winninger made a notable television appearance in 1954 in I Love Lucy as Barney Kurtz, the former vaudevillian partner of Fred Mertz in an episode titled "Mertz and Kurtz". He made his last film in 1960. On November 12, 1912, Winninger married actress Blanche Ring, they were divorced on June 12, 1951. He married Gertrude Walker in 1951. Winninger is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. In 1960, Winninger received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his radio contributions. Charles Winninger on IMDb Charles Winninger at the Internet Broadway Database
Una Merkel was an American stage, film and television actress. Merkel was acted on stage in New York in the 1920s, she became a popular film actress. Two of her best-known performances are in the films 42nd Destry Rides Again, she won a Tony Award in 1956 and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1961. Una Merkel was born in Covington, Kentucky, to Arno Merkel and Bessie Phares, but in her early childhood, she lived in many of the Southern United States due to her father's job as a traveling salesman. At the age of 15, she and her parents moved to Philadelphia, they stayed there a year or so before settling in New York City, where she began attending the Alviene School of Dramatic Art. Because of her strong resemblance to actress Lillian Gish, Merkel was offered a part as Gish's youngest sister in a silent film called World Shadows; the public never saw the film because funding for it dried up, it was never completed. Merkel went on to appear in several of them for the Lee Bradford Corporation, she appeared in the two-reel Love's Old Sweet Song, made by Lee DeForest in his Phonofilm sound-on-film process and starred Louis Wolheim and Helen Weir.
Not making much of a mark in films, Merkel turned her attention to the theater and found work in several important plays on Broadway. Her biggest triumph was in Coquette, which starred Helen Hayes. Invited to Hollywood by famous director D. W. Griffith to play Ann Rutledge in his film Abraham Lincoln, Merkel became a big success in the "talkies". During the 1930s, she became a popular second lead in a number of films playing the wisecracking best friend of the heroine, supporting actresses such as Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, Loretta Young, Eleanor Powell. With her Kewpie-doll looks, strong Southern accent, wry line delivery, Merkel left her mark on scores of films in the 1930s, she played Sam Spade's secretary in the original 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon. Merkel was a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player from 1932 to 1938, appearing in as many as 12 films in a year on loan-out to other studios, she was often cast as leading lady opposite Jack Benny, Harold Lloyd, Franchot Tone, Charles Butterworth, among others.
In 42nd Street, Merkel played a streetwise show girl, Ginger Rogers' character's buddy. In the famous "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" number and Rogers sang the verse: "Matrimony is baloney. She'll be wanting alimony in a year or so./Still they go and shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo." Merkel appeared in both the 1934 and the 1952 film versions of The Merry Widow, playing different roles. One of her most famous roles was in the Western comedy Destry Rides Again, in which her character, Lily Belle, gets into a famous "cat-fight" with Frenchie over the possession of her husband's trousers, won by Frenchie in a crooked card game, she played the elder daughter to the W. C. Fields character, Egbert Sousé, in the 1940 film The Bank Dick, her film career went into decline during the 1940s, although she continued working in smaller productions. In 1950, she starred with William Bendix in the baseball comedy Kill the Umpire, a surprise hit, she made a comeback as a middle-aged woman playing mothers and maiden aunts, in 1956 won a Tony Award for her role on Broadway in The Ponder Heart, adapted from the novella of the same name.
She had a major part in the MGM 1959 film The Mating Game as Paul Douglas's character's wife and Debbie Reynolds' character's mother, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Summer and Smoke. She was featured as Brian Keith's character's housekeeper, Verbena, in the Walt Disney comedy The Parent Trap in 1961, her final film role was opposite Elvis Presley in Spinout. On March 5, 1945, Merkel was nearly killed when her mother Bessie, with whom she shared an apartment in New York City, committed suicide by gassing herself. Merkel was overcome by the five gas jets her mother had turned on in their kitchen and was found unconscious in her bedroom. On March 4, 1952, seven years to the day after her mother committed suicide, Merkel overdosed on sleeping pills, she was found unconscious by a nurse, caring for her at the time and remained in a coma for a day before recovering. Merkel was a lifelong Methodist. Merkel had no children, she married North American Aviation executive Ronald L. Burla in 1932.
They separated in April 1944. Merkel filed for divorce on December 19, 1946 in Miami, it was granted in March 1947. On January 2, 1986, Merkel died in Los Angeles at the age of 82, she is buried near her parents and Bessie Merkel, in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Una Merkel has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1991, a historical marker was dedicated to her in her hometown of Covington. For TV movies, see the Television credits section. Kinder, Larry Sean. Una Merkel: The Actress With Sassy Wit and Southern Charm. Albany, GA: BearManor Media, 2016. Una Merkel at the Internet Broadway Database Una Merkel on IMDb Photographs of Covington, Kentucky's Una Merkel Photographs of Una Merkel Una Merkel at Find a Grave
Destry Rides Again (novel)
Destry Rides Again is a 1930 western novel by Max Brand. One of Brand's most famous works, it remained in print 70 years after its first publication, it is the story of Harrison Destry's quest for revenge against the 12 jurors whose personal malice leads them to wrongfully convict him of robbery. Harrison Destry, a man who thinks he is better than anyone else and is "proving" it by his skill with a gun, his ability to win fistfights he provokes, has just lost his horse and his saddle in a card game, he has many enemies in his home town of Wham, Texas. But the teenage Charlotte Dangerfield, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, adores him. Only one of the men Destry has beaten in a fight, Chester Bent, seems to bear him no ill-will, but Bent has just robbed the Express, slips cash from the robbery into Destry's pocket. Knowing Destry's character, Bent expects he will waste the money on liquor and gambling, rather than replacing his horse and saddle; this is indeed what happens, Destry becomes the prime suspect, the planted cash being all but proof of his guilt.
Failing to comprehend how much trouble he is in, Destry neglects his defense and is stunned when convicted by a jury stacked with his enemies, who ignore the fact that the robber's description bears no relation whatever to Destry. He swears to wreak vengeance on the jurors. Only Charlotte believes. Released six years for good behavior, Destry sets about systematically ruining the jurors' lives, he does not murder any of them. Destry explains, his chief concern is to show. Destry remains ignorant of Bent's role in framing him, but Bent is helping the remaining jurors organize to murder their nemesis. Anticipating a possible showdown with Destry, Bent has improved his shooting and fighting skills to the point where he is better than Destry. While on the run, Destry meets Willie Thornton, a boy who has adopted Destry as his hero, based on the tall tales he has been told. Thornton secretly observes Bent murdering a creditor. Bent uses Destry's knife to kill his victim. Bent spots Willie and chases him.
Though running a fever, Willie steals a horse and makes a long, hard ride back to Wham to warn Destry of Bent's treachery. So warned, Destry fights his way out of a trap; the story's emotional climax occurs when Destry realizes Willie risked his life to save him and might well die:...he felt a sudden scorn for the baser parts that were in him, the idler, the scoffer at others, the disdainful mocker at the labors of life. He wished to be simple, quiet, able to command the affection of his peers....for the first time he could realize the meaning of the word “peer”. Equal. For all men are equal. Not equal in strength of hand, in talent, in craft, in speed of foot or in leap of mind, but equal in mystery, in the identity of the race that breathes through all men, out of the soil, out of the heavens. So it was. Wham's sheriff, Ding Slater, deputizes Destry, Destry tries to arrest Bent, but Bent shoots Destry's Colt out of his hand. Bent flees, with Destry in pursuit. Overtaking Bent, Destry unmounts his enemy, but Bent overpowers Destry and leaps onto Destry's horse, making a last mad dash for freedom.
In a most uncharacteristic climax for a Western, Destry shoots Bent in the back as the unarmed man flees. But Destry realizes the shot proves nothing about his skill with a gun. Returning to the devoted Charlotte Dangerfield, Destry announces he will lay down his guns forever, acknowledging that he found his peer in Bent. Harrison "Harry" Destry - The hero of the novel, a self-described "waster", supremely talented with his fists and his gun. Chester "Chet" Bent - Destry's secret antagonist, a treacherous businessman and investor, but Destry's eventual equal as a marksman and pugilist. Like many of Wham's citizens, he had once been bested by Destry in a fistfight and has long wanted revenge. Willie Thornton - A poor boy, he's disenchanted when he discovers that his father's claims to friendship with Destry are lies, he determines to become a real friend of Destry. Charlotte "Charlie" Dangerfield - The daughter of a rich rancher, Charlotte is fond of and loyal to Destry, despite his irresponsible ways.
Fiddle - Destry's mare, a mount of unusual speed and eagerness for the run. Ding Slater - The sheriff of Wham, he arrests Destry for robbing the Express, but realizes Destry is innocent and helps him. Judd Ogden - One of the jurors who convicts Destry, he tries to murder Destry and is shot dead by his quarry. Martin Ogden - Brother of Judd, he tries to murder Destry and is crippled for life by Destry's bullet. Jerry Wendell - The third juror to encounter Destry, he is shown up for a coward by fleeing him. Clyde Orrin - Another juror and a rising politician, he is ruined when Destry exposes the bribes he has been taking from the T & O Railroad. Sam Warren - Another juror, he leads a gang of nine men to try to shoot Destry down, but Destry kills him in a shootout in a darkened barn. Lefty Turnbull - Another juror
Western is a genre of various arts which tell stories set in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West centering on the life of a nomadic cowboy or gunfighter armed with a revolver and a rifle who rides a horse. Cowboys and gunslingers wear Stetson hats, neckerchief bandannas, spurs, cowboy boots and buckskins. Recurring characters include the aforementioned cowboys, Native Americans, lawmen, bounty hunters, gamblers and settlers; the ambience is punctuated with a Western music score, including American and Mexican folk music such as country, Native American music, New Mexico music, rancheras. Westerns stress the harshness of the wilderness and set the action in an arid, desolate landscape of deserts and mountains; the vast landscape plays an important role, presenting a "...mythic vision of the plains and deserts of the American West". Specific settings include ranches, small frontier towns, saloons and isolated military forts of the Wild West. Common plots include: The construction of a telegraph line on the wild frontier.
Ranchers protecting their family ranch from rustlers or large landowners or who build a ranch empire. Revenge stories, which hinge on the chase and pursuit by someone, wronged. Stories about cavalry fighting Native Americans. Outlaw gang plots. Stories about a lawman or bounty hunter tracking down his quarry. Many Westerns use a stock plot of depicting a crime showing the pursuit of the wrongdoer, ending in revenge and retribution, dispensed through a shootout or quick-draw duel; the Western was the most popular Hollywood genre from the early 20th century to the 1960s. Western films first became well-attended in the 1930s. John Ford's landmark Western adventure Stagecoach became one of the biggest hits in 1939 and it made John Wayne a mainstream screen star; the popularity of Westerns continued with the release of classics such as Red River. Westerns were popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Many of the most acclaimed Westerns were released during this time, including High Noon, The Searchers, Cat Ballou, The Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Classic Westerns such as these have been the inspiration for various films about Western-type characters in contemporary settings, such as Junior Bonner, set in the 1970s, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, set in the 21st century. The Western genre sometimes portrays the conquest of the wilderness and the subordination of nature in the name of civilization or the confiscation of the territorial rights of the original, Native American, inhabitants of the frontier; the Western depicts a society organized around codes of honor and personal, direct or private justice–"frontier justice"–dispensed by gunfights. These honor codes are played out through depictions of feuds or individuals seeking personal revenge or retribution against someone who has wronged them; this Western depiction of personal justice contrasts with justice systems organized around rationalistic, abstract law that exist in cities, in which social order is maintained predominately through impersonal institutions such as courtrooms.
The popular perception of the Western is a story that centers on the life of a semi-nomadic wanderer a cowboy or a gunfighter. A showdown or duel at high noon featuring two or more gunfighters is a stereotypical scene in the popular conception of Westerns. In some ways, such protagonists may be considered the literary descendants of the knight errant which stood at the center of earlier extensive genres such as the Arthurian Romances. Like the cowboy or gunfighter of the Western, the knight errant of the earlier European tales and poetry was wandering from place to place on his horse, fighting villains of various kinds and bound to no fixed social structures but only to their own innate code of honor, and like knights errant, the heroes of Westerns rescue damsels in distress. The wandering protagonists of Westerns share many characteristics with the ronin in modern Japanese culture; the Western takes these elements and uses them to tell simple morality tales, although some notable examples are more morally ambiguous.
Westerns stress the harshness and isolation of the wilderness and set the action in an arid, desolate landscape. Western films have specific settings such as isolated ranches, Native American villages, or small frontier towns with a saloon. Oftentimes, these settings appear deserted and without much structure. Apart from the wilderness, it is the saloon that emphasizes that this is the Wild West: it is the place to go for music, gambling, drinking and shooting. In some Westerns, where civilization has arrived, the town has a church, a general store, a bank and a school; the American Film Institute defines Western films as those "set in the American West that the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier." The term Western, used to describe a narrative film genre, appears to have originated with a July 1912 article in Motion Picture World magazine. Most of the characteristics of Western films were part of 19th-century popular Western
Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich was a German-American actress. Throughout her long career, which spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s, she continually reinvented herself. In 1920s Berlin, Dietrich acted in silent films, her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel brought her an international profile and a contract with Paramount Pictures. Dietrich starred in Hollywood films such as Morocco, Shanghai Express, Desire, she traded on her glamorous persona and "exotic" looks, became one of the highest-paid actresses of the era. Throughout World War II, she was a high-profile entertainer in the United States. Although she still made occasional films after the war, Dietrich spent most of the 1950s to the 1970s touring the world as a marquee live-show performer. Dietrich was known for her humanitarian efforts during the war, housing German and French exiles, providing financial support and advocating their U. S. citizenship. For her work on improving morale on the front lines during the war, she received several honors from the United States, France and Israel.
In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema. Dietrich was born on 27 December 1901 at Leberstraße 65 in the neighborhood of Rote Insel in Schöneberg, now a district of Berlin, her mother, Wilhelmina Elisabeth Josephine, was from an affluent Berlin family who owned a jewelry and clock-making firm. Her father, Louis Erich Otto Dietrich, was a police lieutenant. Dietrich had one sibling, one year older. Dietrich's father died in 1907, his best friend, Eduard von Losch, an aristocratic first lieutenant in the Grenadiers, courted Wilhelmina and married her in 1914, but he died soon afterwards, in July 1916, from injuries sustained during the First World War. Von Losch never adopted the Dietrich sisters, so Dietrich's surname was never von Losch, as has sometimes been claimed. Dietrich's family nicknamed her "Lena" and "Lene". Aged about 11, she combined her first two names to form the name "Marlene". Dietrich attended the Auguste-Viktoria Girls' School from 1907 to 1917 and graduated from the Victoria-Luise-Schule in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, in 1918.
She became interested in theater and poetry as a teenager. A wrist injury curtailed her dreams of becoming a concert violinist, but by 1922 she had her first job, playing violin in a pit orchestra for silent films at a Berlin cinema, she was fired after only four weeks. The earliest professional stage appearances by Dietrich were as a chorus girl on tour with Guido Thielscher's Girl-Kabarett vaudeville-style entertainments, in Rudolf Nelson revues in Berlin. In 1922, Dietrich auditioned unsuccessfully for theatrical director and impresario Max Reinhardt's drama academy, she did not attract any special attention at first. Dietrich's film debut was a small part in the film The Little Napoleon, she met her future husband, Rudolf Sieber, on the set of Tragedy of Love in 1923. Dietrich and Sieber were married in a civil ceremony in Berlin on 17 May 1923, her only child, daughter Maria Elisabeth Sieber, was born on 13 December 1924. Dietrich continued to work in film both in Berlin and Vienna throughout the 1920s.
On stage, she had roles of varying importance in Frank Wedekind's Pandora's Box, William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah and Misalliance. It was in musicals and revues such as Broadway, Es Liegt in der Luft, Zwei Krawatten, that she attracted the most attention. By the late 1920s, Dietrich was playing sizable parts on screen, including roles in Café Elektric, I Kiss Your Hand and The Ship of Lost Souls. In 1929, Dietrich landed her breakthrough role of Lola Lola, a cabaret singer who caused the downfall of a hitherto respectable schoolmaster, in the UFA production of The Blue Angel, shot at Babelsberg film studios. Josef von Sternberg thereafter took credit for having "discovered" Dietrich; the film introduced Dietrich's signature song "Falling in Love Again", which she recorded for Electrola and made further recordings in the 1930s for Polydor and Decca Records. In 1930, on the strength of The Blue Angel's international success, with encouragement and promotion from Josef von Sternberg, established in Hollywood, Dietrich moved to the United States under contract to Paramount Pictures, the U.
S. film distributor of The Blue Angel. The studio sought to market Dietrich as a German answer to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Swedish sensation, Greta Garbo. Sternberg welcomed her with gifts, including a green Rolls-Royce Phantom II; the car appeared in their first U. S. film Morocco. Dietrich starred in six films directed by von Sternberg at Paramount between 1930 and 1935. Sternberg worked with Dietrich to create the image of a glamorous and mysterious femme fatale, he coached her intensively as an actress. She willingly followed his sometimes imperious direction in a way that a number of other performers resisted. In Morocco, Dietrich was again cast as a cabaret singer; the film is best remembered for the sequence in which she performs a song dressed in a man's white tie and kisses another woman, both provocative for the era. The film earned Dietrich her only Academy Award nomination. Morocco was followed by Dishonored, a major success with Dietrich cast as a Mata Hari-like spy. Shanghai