Here are 10 things you should know about Helen Vinson, born 113 years ago today. Her Hollywood career was relatively brief—she appeared in just over three dozen movies—but memorable.
Here are 10 things you should know about Dickie Moore, born 95 years ago today. Some years ago, we were lucky enough to attend a special event at NYC’s Film Forum: a Q&A with Moore and his wife, actress Jane Powell.
It was a delight to see these two Hollywood veterans in tandem that night. They couldn’t have been more charming, and their mutual affection and respect was readily apparent—in short, they were darned cute together—as they delighted those assembled with insider tales of Hollywood’s glory days.
Moore was darned cute in the movies back in the day, too. He’s one of our favorite child actors of the 1930s.
Here are 10 things you should know about Ann Harding, born 118 years ago today. Her time in the spotlight was relatively brief, though she worked steadily for 35 years on the stage, in motion pictures and on television. As with Kay Francis, TCM has gone a long way in renewing interest in—and appreciation of—Harding’s movie career.
Here are 10 things you should know about Constance Bennett, born 115 years ago today. She was a glamorous star who downplayed her own talents, but her career spanned a full half-century.
We’ve sung the praises of actress Kay Francis in this space many times, but if you’ve never taken the hint and checked out her work, now’s the time. Beginning at 6 a.m. ET tomorrow, TCM is airing 10 of her pictures in a row. (Look for the the full line-up at the end of this post.)
Francis was the queen of women’s pictures—romances and melodramas, with the occasional comedy thrown in for good measure—and a more fashionable star the world has rarely, if ever, seen. She wore glam garb as well as any actress in Hollywood and far better than most.
Francis is also remembered for a charming vocal quirk: She pwonounced R’s like W’s, Elmer Fudd-style. Her struggle with R’s was more understated than was Mr. Fudd’s but you get the idea. So we find it utterly charming that in 1935’s Living on Velvet (not airing tomorrow, but worth watching out for), she and George Brent had some fun at the expense of that vocal quirk. Nice to note that our Ms. Francis didn’t take herself too seriously.
Here, as promised, is the line-up for tomorrow’s Francis Fest; set those DVR’s now! All times are Eastern.
6:00 a.m. | I LOVED A WOMAN (1933)
A Chicago meat-packer tries to keep a rein on his social-climbing wife. Dir: Alfred E. Green; cast: Edward G. Robinson, Kay Francis, Genevieve Tobin
8:00 a.m. | I FOUND STELLA PARISH (1935)
An actress stops at nothing to protect her daughter from her shady past. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy; cast: Kay Francis, Ian Hunter, Paul Lukas
9:30 a.m. | SECRETS OF AN ACTRESS (1938)
A leading lady falls for a married architect who’s invested in her play. Dir: William Keighley; cast: Kay Francis, George Brent, Ian Hunter
11:00 a.m. | DIVORCE (1945)
A frequently divorced woman sets her sights on a happily married man. Dir: William Nigh; cast: Kay Francis, Bruce Cabot, Helen Mack
12:15 p.m. | GUILTY HANDS (1931)
A district attorney tries to frame an innocent girl for the murder he committed. Dir: W. S. Van Dyke; cast: Lionel Barrymore, Kay Francis, Madge Evans
1:30 p.m. | MANDALAY (1934)
A woman with a past tries to get rid of a former lover. Dir: Michael Curtiz; cast: Kay Francis, Ricardo Cortez, Warner Oland .
2:45 p.m. | THE HOUSE ON 56TH STREET (1933)
A woman loses her family after being falsely convicted of a crime. Dir: Robert Florey; cast: Kay Francis, Ricardo Cortez, Gene Raymond
4:00 p.m. | CONFESSION (1937)
A glamorous singer commits murder to protect her daughter’s virtue. Dir: Joe May; cast: Kay Francis, Ian Hunter, Basil Rathbone
5:30 p.m. | JEWEL ROBBERY (1932)
A jewel thief falls for a tycoon’s wife in Vienna. Dir: William Dieterle; cast: William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson
6:45 p.m. | ONE WAY PASSAGE (1932)
An ocean voyage leads to romance for a dying heiress and a condemned criminal. Dir: Tay Garnett; cast: William Powell, Kay Francis, Aline MacMahon