Here are 10 things you should know about Janet Gaynor, born 115 years ago today. She rose rapidly to stardom in the late 1920s but by the late ’30s had all but retired.
Here are 10 things you should know about Charles Farrell, born 121 years ago today. Tall, dark and handsome, he was the cinematic ideal to millions of starry-eyed movie fans in the 1920s and ’30s.
Here are 10 things you should know about George E. Stone, born 117 years ago today. This diminutive character actor is a familiar face thanks to (usually) small roles in many classic (and not so classic) films.
Janet Gaynor, born Laura Gainor 109 years today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is not as well remembered today as she should be. (Yes, we old movie buffs know her and love her, but the general public has largely forgotten her.)
There were few bigger stars in 1920s and early ’30s, and her screen partnership with Charles Farrell had fans dreaming that he’d leave his wife for her.
Janet Gaynor made any number of terrific films, but our two favorites are F. W. Murnau‘s silent masterpiece, Sunrise (1927), and the first A Star Is Born (1937), directed by the great William Wellman (A Star Is Born can be viewed for free by Amazon Prime members).
A few TV appearances aside, Janet Gaynor retired in 1938, but she left an indelible mark on the motion picture industry (she won the very first Best Actress Oscar on May 16, 1929, about which she said, “Naturally, I was thrilled, but being the first year, the Academy Awards had no background or tradition, and it naturally didn’t mean what it does now. Had I known then what it would come to mean in the next few years, I’m sure I’d have been overwhelmed. At the time, I think I was more thrilled over meeting Douglas Fairbanks.”
Here’s wishing you a happy birthday, Ms. Gaynor, wherever you may be.