Jack Curtis (actor)
Jack Curtis was an American actor of the silent era. He appeared in 157 films between 1915 and 1950, he was born in San Francisco and died in Hollywood, California. Jack Curtis on IMDb Jack Curtis contracts, 1937, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Myrna Loy was an American film and stage actress. Trained as a dancer, Loy devoted herself to an acting career following a few minor roles in silent films, she was typecast in exotic roles as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, but her career prospects improved following her portrayal of Nora Charles in The Thin Man. Born in Helena, Loy was raised in rural Radersburg throughout her early childhood, before relocating to Los Angeles with her mother in her early adolescence. There, she began studying dance, trained extensively throughout her high school education, she was discovered by production designer Natacha Rambova, who helped facilitate film auditions for her, she began obtaining small roles in the late 1920s portraying vamps. Her role in The Thin Man helped elevate her reputation as a versatile actress, she reprised the role of Nora Charles five more times. Loy's career began to slow in the 1940s, she appeared in only a few films in the 1950s, including a lead role in the comedy Cheaper by the Dozen, as well as supporting parts in The Ambassador's Daughter and the drama Lonelyhearts.
She would go on to appear in only eight films between 1960 and 1981, after which she formally retired from acting. Although Loy was never nominated for a competitive Academy Award, in March 1991 she was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her life's work both onscreen and off, including serving as assistant to the director of military and naval welfare for the Red Cross during World War II, a member-at-large of the U. S. Commission to UNESCO. Loy died in December 1993 in New York City, aged 88. Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905, in Helena, the daughter of Adelle Mae and rancher David Franklin Williams, her parents had married in Helena in 1904, one year before Loy was born. She had David Frederick Williams. Loy's paternal grandfather, David Thomas Williams, was Welsh, immigrated from Liverpool, England to the United States in 1856, arriving in Philadelphia. Unable to read or write in English, he settled in the Montana Territory where he began a career as a rancher.
Loy's maternal grandparents were Swedish immigrants. During her childhood, her father worked as a banker, real estate developer, farmland appraiser in Helena, was the youngest man elected to the Montana state legislature, her mother had studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, at one time considered a career as a concert performer, but instead devoted her time to raising Loy and her brother. Loy's mother was a lifelong Democrat, she was raised in the Methodist faith. Loy spent her early life in Radersburg, Montana, a rural mining community 50 miles southeast of Helena. During the winter of 1912, Loy's mother nearly died from pneumonia, her father sent his wife and daughter to La Jolla, California. Loy's mother saw great potential in Southern California, during one of her husband's visits, she encouraged him to purchase real estate there. 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 returned to Montana. Soon afterward, Loy's mother needed a hysterectomy and insisted Los Angeles was a safer place to have it done, so she and Loy's brother David moved to Ocean Park, where Loy began to take dancing lessons. After the family returned to Montana, Loy continued her dancing lessons, at the age of 12, Myrna Williams made her stage debut performing a dance she had choreographed based on "The Blue Bird" from the Rose Dream operetta at Helena's Marlow Theater. After the November 1918 death of Loy's father from the 1918 flu pandemic, Loy's mother permanently relocated the family to California, where they settled in Culver City. Loy attended the exclusive Westlake School for Girls while continuing to study dance in downtown Los Angeles; when her teachers objected to her extracurricular participation in theatrical arts, her mother enrolled her in Venice High School, 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 allegorical sculpture group Fountain of Education. Completed in 1922, the sculpture group was installed in front of the campus outdoor pool in May 1923 where it stood for decades. Loy's slender figure with her uplifted face and one arm extending skyward presented a "vision of purity, youthful vigor, aspiration", singled out in a Los Angeles Times story that included a photo of the "Inspiration" figure along with the model's name—the first time her name appeared in a newspaper. A few months Loy's "Inspiration" figure was temporarily removed from the sculpture group and transported aboard the battleship Nevada for a Memorial Day pageant in which "Miss Myrna Williams" participated. Fountain of Education can be seen in the opening scenes of the 1978 film Grease. After decades of exposure to the elements and vandalism, the original concrete statue was removed from display in 2002, replaced in 2010 by a bronze duplicate paid for through an alumni-led fundraising campaign.
Loy left school at the age of 18 to help with the family's finances. She obtained work at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, where she performed in elaborate musical sequences that were related to and served as prologues for the feature film. During this period, she saw Eleonora Duse in the
Tully Marshall was an American character actor. He had nearly a quarter century of theatrical experience before his debut film appearance in 1914. Marshall was born in California, he attended private schools and Santa Clara College, from which he graduated with an engineering degree. Marshall began acting on the stage at 19, appearing in Saratoga at the Winter Garden in San Francisco on March 8, 1883, he played a wide variety of roles on Broadway from 1887. His Broadway credits include The Clever Ones. For several years, Marshall played with a variety of stock theater troupes, including both acting and being stage manager for E. H. Sothern's company. In 1909, appearing in Clyde Fitch's drama The City, he was the first actor to say "Goddamn" on Broadway. In 1914, Marshall arrived in Hollywood, his screen debut was in Paid in Full. By the time D. W. Griffith cast him as the High Priest of Bel in Intolerance, he had appeared in a number of silent films, his career continued to thrive during the sound era and he remained busy for the remaining three decades of his life.
He played a vast array of drunken trail scouts, lovable grandpas, unforgiving fathers, sinister attorneys and lecherous aristocrats. In one of his last films, This Gun for Hire, he plays a sinister treacherous nitrogen industrialist. Marshall was married to playwright Marion Fairfax. Marshall died on age 78, after a heart attack at his home in Encino, California, his grave is located in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Tully Marshall at the Internet Broadway Database Tully Marshall on IMDb Literature on Tully Marshall
Armida, born Armida Vendrell, was a Mexican actress, singer and vaudevillian born in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Armida came from a theatrical family, she had two sisters that were performers as well, Lydia Vendrell and Lola Vendrell. By the time she reached the age of nineteen she had a long-term screen contract, she purchased a beautiful home. She aspired to send her younger sisters to college. Vendrell was just two inches less without them. Armida had a tiny face with two dark eyes of radiant beauty, she spoke without pausing. As a small child she spoke Spanish only. Armida started performing at a young age, when her family moved from Mexico to the United States, her father opened the first movie theater in Douglas, Arizona, she and her sisters would sing and dance during intermission and her father would perform an illusionist act. Armida was discovered in the old Hidalgo theater in the Plaza in Los Angeles; the Plaza was the oldest section of the city. Armida was appearing in a home-manufactured vaudeville skit, along with her sister Delores.
A spotter for a coast vaudeville circuit was in the audience and offered her a chance at a four-a-day. Armida progressed from the drama marts of the Plaza to various Broadway productions after being discovered by Gus Edwards and screen actor and dance instructor, she participated in as many as twenty-four vaudeville numbers a day while in New York. Edwards began to feature her in colortone novelties. Gus once said of Armida, that she possessed "the emotional temperament of an actress capable of surmounting the most difficult of histrionic roles"; the young Mexican actress was a success and soon progressed into short subjects in the films and was under contract to United Artists. Her first film of note featured her in a role opposite actor John Barrymore. By the time she was eighteen, Warner Brothers offered her a five year-contract. In On the Border Vendrell played Pepita, a Spanish girl, she is protected from the leader of a band of her pet dog, Rin-Tin-Tin. The story was an exciting one about Orientals being smuggled over the Mexican border into the United States.
Armida appeared in films like Border Romance, The Show of Shows, General Crack, Under a Texas Moon, The Marines Are Coming, Under the Pampas Moon, Patio Serenade, Machine Gun Mama, Bad Men of the Border, Congo Bill and The Gay Amigo. Her final role was in Rhythm Inn, she appeared with Gene Autry in the western Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm. One of her few leading roles was in The Girl from Monterrey, she made a notable appearance on Broadway with Nina Rosa. Rhythm Inn.....specialty dancer The Gay Amigo..... Rosita Congo Bill..... Zalea Jungle Goddess..... Wanama Cuban Madness..... Armida Bad Men of the Border..... Dolores Mendoza South of the Rio Grande..... Pepita Machine Gun Mama..... Nita Here Comes Kelly Melody Parade..... Armida The Girl from Monterrey..... Lita Valdez Always in My Heart..... Lolita Fiesta..... Cuca South of Tahiti..... Putara Out Where the Stars Begin.... Herself La Conga Nights Patio Serenade Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm Under the Pampas Moon The Marines Are Coming General Crack Under a Texas Moon The Show of Shows Border Romance Armida Vendrell died in Victorville, California on October 23, 1989 of a heart attack.
Bedford, Pennsylvania Gazette, Theatre Activities, May 23, 1930, Page 10. Charleston, West Virginia Gazette, Cinderella Story, September 22, 1929, Page 7. Los Angeles Times, Armida Is Gay, Young Discovery, October 21, 1928, Page B13. Los Angeles Times, Wave Of Popularity Sweeping Mexican Stars To Top Goes Marching On, January 27, 1929, Page C11 Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. 1988, p. 7. Armida on IMDb
Michael Curtiz was a Hungarian-born American film director, recognized as one of the most prolific directors in history. He directed classic films from the silent era and numerous others during Hollywood's Golden Age, when the studio system was prevalent. Curtiz was a well-known director in Europe when Warner Bros. invited him to Hollywood in 1926, when he was 39 years of age. He had directed 64 films in Europe, soon helped Warner Bros. become the fastest-growing movie studio. He directed 102 films during his Hollywood career at Warners, where he directed ten actors to Oscar nominations. James Cagney and Joan Crawford won their only Academy Awards under Curtiz's direction, he put Doris Day and John Garfield on screen for the first time, he made stars of Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Bette Davis. He himself was nominated five times and won twice, once for Best Short Subject for Sons of Liberty and once as Best Director for Casablanca. Curtiz introduced to Hollywood a unique visual style using artistic lighting and fluid camera movement, high crane shots, unusual camera angles.
He was versatile and could handle any kind of picture: melodrama, love story, film noir, war story, Western, or historical epic. He always paid attention to the human-interest aspect of every story, stating that the "human and fundamental problems of real people" were the basis of all good drama. Curtiz helped popularize the classic swashbuckler with films such as Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood, he directed many dramas which today are considered classics, Angels with Dirty Faces, The Sea Wolf and Mildred Pierce. He directed leading musicals, including Yankee Doodle Dandy, This Is the Army, White Christmas, he made comedies with Life With Father and We're No Angels. Curtiz was born Manó Kaminer to a Jewish family in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, in 1886, where his father was a carpenter and his mother an opera singer. In 1905, he Hungaricised his name to Mihály Kertész. Curtiz had a lower to middle-class upbringing, he recalled during an interview that his family's home was a cramped apartment, where he had to share a small room with his two brothers and a sister.
"Many times we are hungry", he added. After graduating from high school, he studied at Markoszy University, followed by the Royal Academy of Theater and Art, in Budapest, before beginning his career. Curtiz became attracted to the theater, he built a little theater in the cellar of his house when he was 8 years old, where he and five of his friends re-enacted plays. They set up the stage, with scenery and props, Curtiz directed them. After he graduated from college at age 19, he took a job as an actor with a traveling theater company, where he began working as one their traveling players. From that job, he became a pantomimist with a circus for a while, but returned to join another group of traveling players for a few more years, they played Ibsen and Shakespeare depending on in what country they were. They performed throughout Europe, including France, Hungary and Germany, he learned five languages, he had various responsibilities: We had to do everything—make bill posters, print programs, set scenery, mend wardrobe, sometimes arrange chairs in the auditoriums.
Sometimes we traveled in trains, sometimes in stage coaches, sometimes on horseback. Sometimes we played in town halls, sometimes in little restaurants with no scenery at all. Sometimes we gave shows out of doors; those strolling actors were the kindest-hearted people I have known. They would do anything for each other, he worked as Mihály Kertész at the National Hungarian Theater in 1912. That same year, he directed Hungary's first feature film, Ma és holnap, in which he had a leading role, he followed. He was on the Hungarian fencing team at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. In 1913, Curtiz began living in various cities in Europe to work on silent films, he first went to study at Nordisk studio in Denmark, which led to work as an actor and assistant director to August Blom on Denmark's first multireel feature film, Atlantis. After World War I began in 1914, he returned to Hungary, where he served in the army for a year, before he was wounded fighting on the Russian front. Curtiz wrote of that period: The intoxicating joy of life was interrupted, the world had gone mad...
We were taught to kill. I was drafted into the Emperor's Army... After that, many things happened: destruction, thousands forever silenced, crippled or sent to anonymous graves. Came the collapse. Fate had spared me, he was assigned to make fund-raising documentaries for the Red Cross in Hungary. In 1917, he was made director of production at Phoenix Films, the leading studio in Budapest, where he remained until he left Hungary. However, none of the films he directed there survived intact, most are lost. By 1918, he had become one of Hungary's most important directors, having by directed about 45 films. However, following the end of the war, in 1919, the new communist government nationalized the film industry, so he decided to return to Vienna to direct films there. Curtiz worked at UFA GmbH, a German film company, where he learned to direct large groups of costumed extras, along with using complicated plots, rapid pacing, romantic themes, his career started due to his work for Count Alexander Kolowrat, with whom he made at least 21 films for the count's film studio, Sascha Films.
Curtiz wrote that at Sas
George E. Stone
George E. Stone was Polish-born American character actor in movies and television, he was born George Stein in Congress Poland into a Jewish family. He sailed from the Port of Hamburg, Germany, as a steerage passenger on board the S/S President Grant, which arrived at the Port of New York on May 29, 1913; as an actor, Stone's slight build and expressive face first attracted attention in the 1927 silent-film 7th Heaven, where he played the local street thug The Sewer Rat. Billed as Georgie Stone, he made a successful transition to talking pictures in Warner Bros.' Tenderloin, speaking in a pleasant nasal tenor. Stone was typecast in streetwise roles playing a Runyonesque mobster or a gangland boss's assistant, he was best known as Rico Bandello's right-hand man Otero in the gangster classic Little Caesar. He adopted a dapper pencil moustache for these screen roles. One of his most famous appearances was in the classic musical 42nd Street, in which wiseguy Stone assesses a promiscuous chorus girl: "She only said no once, she didn't hear the question!"
His one starring film was the Universal Pictures gangster comedy The Big Brain. In 1939, comedy producer Hal Roach hired Stone for his film The Housekeeper's Daughter, it was a difficult role: Stone had to play a mentally retarded murderer in a sweet, sympathetic manner. Stone went clean-shaven, emphasizing a boyish, innocent look, played the part so sensitively that Roach cast him in other films. In 1942, Stone burlesqued Hirohito in Roach's wartime comedy The Devil with Hitler. Stone's most familiar role was "The Runt", loyal sidekick to adventurous ex-criminal Boston Blackie in Columbia Pictures' action-comedies. Stone was supposed to perform with Chester Morris in the first film of the series, Meet Boston Blackie, but was sidelined by a virus. Actor Charles Wagenheim filled in for him, Stone joined the series in the second entry, Confessions of Boston Blackie. Stone's performances in the Blackies were well received, he enthusiastically played scenes for laughs. Both Chester Morris and George E. Stone reprised their screen roles for one year in the Boston Blackie radio series.
In the 1942 film Little Tokyo, U. S. A. he played Kingoro. In his smallest roles, Stone made an impression. In the 1945 newspaper-themed feature Midnight Manhunt, he plays a murder victim who doesn't say a word but expires eloquently. Another tiny role has Stone contributing to the perennial holiday favorite Miracle on 34th Street – but not in the film, he appears in the coming-attractions trailer, as an cynical screenwriter confronted by a bossy movie producer. Stone made guest appearances in movies and television through the 1950s, in situation comedies and action-adventure shows; when it came to playing tough guys, Stone could be just as convincing as brawniest men. In the feature film The Man with the Golden Arm, Stone is the vindictive mobster, cheated at cards, attacks dealer Frank Sinatra's friend Arnold Stang in a brutal fistfight. Stone's vision deteriorated in the late 1950s, limiting him to walk-on roles or undemanding character parts, he plays nervous stool pigeon "Toothpick Charlie" in Billy Wilder's comedy hit Some Like It Hot, became a TV regular in the popular Perry Mason series, in the minor role of court clerk.
One of Stone's closest friends was reporter-humorist Damon Runyon. Stone appeared in movie adaptations of Runyon's work. For his contributions to motion pictures, Stone received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his resting place is at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery. George E. Stone on IMDb George E. Stone at the Internet Broadway Database George E. Stone at Find a Grave George E. Stone at Virtual History
Mona Maris was an Argentine film actress. Mona Maris was born Mona Maria Emita Capdeville; some sources spell her last name as Cap de Vielle, while others give her birth name as Maria Rose Amita Capdevielle, Rosa Emma Mona María Marta Capdevielle, or Maria Rosa Cap de Vielle. Her mother was Spanish Basque and her father was French Catalan. Orphaned when she was four years old, Maris lived with her grandmother in France and was educated in a convent there, as well as in England and Germany. By the age of 19 she spoke four languages — French, German and Spanish. In the April 1930 issue of Picture Play magazine, William H. McKegg wrote that Maris "has assimilated much from each country —cynical frankness of the French, the simplicity of the Germans—the romanticism of the Italians, the independence of the English." Maris' ambition to become an actress originated during World War I, when she was a student in Luders, France. She and her classmates wrote and presented short plays to entertain soldiers billeted near the school.
After graduation Maris begged to go to England and her mother relented. In England she found a woman was given much more freedom than in either South America, she traveled to England under the indirect chaperonage of an Argentine family. Her stay was extended another two years; the Argentine ambassador in Berlin received a letter which led to Maris being introduced to the President of the United Film Association. Soon she journeyed to Germany, she was given a screen test. A prominent director offered her a five-year contract, she counseled with her grandmother. Maris' screen debut was in the German film Los Esclavos del Volga, directed by Richard Eichberg. Jorge Finkielman wrote about her performance in his book, The Film Industry in Argentina: An Illustrated Cultural History: "Her portrayal of the character Tatiana showed that she was an actress who could be expected to turn out noteworthy performances."Joseph Schenck, president of United Artists, granted her the prospect of a Hollywood career.
At the time she had completed just four films in Germany. Her Hollywood film career began with the 1925 movie The Apache. Spanish and German came for her, but in the early years of talkies, her English was unintelligible. From 1931-41, she starred in 19 Spanish-language versions of successful American pictures, which were produced by the Fox Film Company. Maris appeared in seven English dialogue motion pictures for three studios. In 1985, Maris described her image as an actress. "They used to hiss whenever I was on screen," she said. "I was always playing the heavy. Here when they need a heavy, they get an English girl. There, when they needed a heavy, it was the Spanish girl."Maris remained active at age 81, in the role of "a disturbed, broken-hearted grandmother" in the film Camila, described as "the most successful Argentine film in decades." She was married twice. Her first marriage took place while she was working in Europe and dissolved before she traveled to the United States, she began an affair with Clarence Brown in 1931, he proposed to her.
Despite multiple sources listing them as being married, they were not, the affair ended shortly after the proposal, with Maris saying she ended the relationship because she had her "own ideas of marriage then."She married Herman Rick in 1960. They divorced in 1969. Maris had no children. Mona Maris died in her native Buenos Aires on March 23, 1991, aged 87, she is buried at La Chacarita Cemetery. Frederick Post, Tuesday Morning, August 26, 1941,p. 4 Los Angeles Times, "Argentine Film Actress Given Welcome Here", January 1, 1929, p. A1 Los Angeles Times, "Mona Maris Gives Recipe for Foreign Actress to Get By Successfully in Hollywood", December 29, 1929, p. B11 Mona Maris on IMDb Mona Maris at Find a Grave Mona Maris at Cinenacional.com Photographs of Mona Maris