Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dolores del Río

With the surname of her husband, Dolores would make her debut in the movie "Joanna", directed by Carewe in 1925. Hollywood first noticed her appeal as a sex siren, but she struggled against the "Mexicali Rose" image initially pitched to her by Hollywood executives. Despite her brief appearance, Carewe performed an exhaustive publicity for the actress. In her second film High Steppers, Dolores took the second female credit after Mary Astor. His films were not blockbusters, but helped increase the popularity of Dolores. The real intention of Carewe was transforming Dolores into a female version of Rudolph Valentino. In late 1926, director Raoul Walsh called Dolores to give her a role of the movie What Price Glory. With the character of Charmaine, Dolores achieved her desired success. Later, she was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1926 (along with fellow newcomers Joan Crawford, Fay Wray, Janet Gaynor, and Mary Astor). She came to be admired as one of the most beautiful women on screen. After she gained fame, Carewe produced Resurrection, which was a box office hit.

In 1927, Raoul Walsh called Dolores to star in its second version of Carmen (the first was with Theda Bara). The Dolores's career flourished until the end of the silent era, with successful films such as Ramona (1928), and Evangeline (1929). But while Dolores's career was flourishing, her marriage declined. Jaime had little success in Hollywood. Jealous of his wife and frustrated, Jaime left, after fleeing to Germany, where he committed suicide in 1929. The arrival of the talkies, forced a painful leaving of the custody of Carewe, who made several charges against her. With the support of United Artists, Dolores manages to escape the harassment of Carewe and debuted in the talkies with The Bad One in 1930.

In 1930, she married Cedric Gibbons, one of MGM's leading art directors and production designers, whom she met at a party organized by the businessman William Randolph Hearst and his lover, the actress Marion Davies in the fortress of Saint-Simeon. With the advent of talkies, she was usually relegated to exotic and unimportant roles. Carewe tried revenge on her in 1931 with a new version of Resurrection with her rival, Lupe Velez, without success. Dolores scored successes with Bird of Paradise (1932, directed by King Vidor) (the film scandalized audiences when she turned out swimming stark naked with Joel McCrea), Flying Down to Rio (the film that launched the careers of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) (1933) and Madame DuBarry (1934), Wonder Bar (1934) and the Busby Berkeley comedies In Caliente (1935) and I live for love (1935).
In the late thirties, Dolores's career began to experience a decline. With the support of Warner Bros., she made a series of police films (such as Lancer Spy in 1937) without success. For awhile she was marked as "box office poison", along with some comrades like Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn and others.

In 1940, Dolores met Orson Welles, who at that time was up & coming in Hollywood. Feeling a mutual attraction, the pair began a torrid romance. Welles fell madly in love with her, although he was 10 years younger. The affair was reported to have been the cause of her divorce from Gibbons in 1941. Dolores was with Welles for two years, during he which left his career. She was at his side during the filming of Citizen Kane, and stood with him during the attacks of Randolph Hearst against him. She collaborated with Welles in the film Journey into Fear in 1943. After the breaking of Welles with RKO, Dolores sympathized with him, though her character (a sexy leopard-woman) in the film, was reduced.

Thelma Todd - 30s legend

During the silent era, she appeared in numerous supporting roles that made full use of her beauty but gave her little chance to act. With the advent of the talkies, Todd was given opportunity to expand her roles when producer Hal Roach signed her to appear with such comedy stars as Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, and Laurel & Hardy. In 1931 she was given her own series, teaming with ZaSu Pitts for slapstick comedies. This was Roach's attempt to create a female version of Laurel & Hardy. When Pitts left Roach in 1933, she was replaced by Patsy Kelly. The Todd shorts often cast her as a working girl having all sorts of problems, and trying her best to remain poised and charming despite the embarrassing antics of her sidekick.

Thelma Todd became highly regarded as a capable film comedienne, and Roach loaned her out to other studios to play opposite Wheeler & Woolsey, Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown, and the Marx Brothers. She also appeared successfully in such dramas as the original 1931 film version of The Maltese Falcon, in which she played Miles Archer's treacherous widow. During her career she appeared in more than 130 films and was sometimes publicized as "The Ice Cream Blonde."
In the early 1930s, she opened a successful cafe at Pacific Palisades, called Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe, attracting a diverse clientele of Hollywood celebrities as well as many tourists.

Professor Timoleon Post (Buster Keaton) and Eleanor Espere (Thelma Todd) get drunk at Eleanor's flat in Speak Easily (1932).

Todd continued her short-subject series through 1935, and was featured in the full-length Laurel & Hardy comedy The Bohemian Girl. This was her last film; she died before completing all of her scenes. Producer Roach salvaged the unfinished performance by deleting all of Todd's dialogue and limiting her appearance to one musical number.

Toby Wing

Toby Wing was an American actress and showgirl.

Toby Wing played a few leading roles in B features and short subjects. In 1936 and 1937 she worked opposite singer-songwriter Pinky Tomlin in two of his low budget musical features, With Love and Kisses and Sing While You're Able. The two stars were engaged briefly during late 1937.
Her last leading role was in The Marines Come Thru (filmed in Florida in 1938, but not seeing general release until 1942 as Fight On, Marines!). She retired from movies after marrying the pilot Dick Merrill, more than twenty years her senior, in 1938. Wing completed her acting career on Broadway in the unsuccessful Cole Porter, "You Never Know" that starred Lupe Velez, Clifton Webb, Libby Holman and Harold Murray. The couple retired to DiLido, Florida, where Merrill was assigned Eastern Airlnes' New York- Miami route for the remainder of his career. Wing became successful in real estate in California and Florida.

Toby Wing Filmography:

* A Boy of Flanders (1924)
* A Woman Who Sinned (1924)
* Circe, the Enchantress (1924)
* The Pony Express (1925)
* American Pluck (1925)
* Double Daring (1926)
* Palmy Days (1931)
* The Kid from Spain (1932)
* The King's Vacation (1933)
* 42nd Street (1933)
* The Little Giant (1933)
* Central Airport (1933) (scenes deleted)
* Private Detective 62 (1933)
* Baby Face (1933)
* College Humor (1933)
* She Had to Say Yes (1933)
* This Day and Age (1933)
* Torch Singer (1933)
* Search for Beauty (1934)
* School for Girls (1934)
* Come on Marines (1934)
* Murder at the Vanities (1934)
* Kiss and Make Up (1934)
* One Hour Late (1934)
* Thoroughbred (1935)
* Two for Tonight (1935)
* Forced Landing (1935)
* Mister Cinderella (1936)
* With Love and Kisses (1936)
* Silks and Saddles (1936)
* Sing While You're Able (1937)
* The Women Men Marry (1937)
* True Confession (1937)
* Mr. Boggs Steps Out (1938)
* The Marines Come Thru (1938)
* Sweethearts (1938)

Short Subjects:

* Jimmy's New Yacht (1932)
* The Loud Mouth (1932)
* The Candid Camera (1932)
* Alaska Love (1932)
* Ma's Pride and Joy (1932)
* Blue of the Night (1933)
* Rhythm on the Roof (1934)
* Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove (1934)
* Hollywood Extra Girl (1935)
* La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (1935)
* Hill-Tillies (1936)
* Rhythmitis (1936)
* Sunday Night at the Trocadero (1937)