Day 16 of Noirvember: Trivia from the Shadows
Today’s celebration of Noirvember offers up a mélange of trivia about some of our favorite noir performers. So sit back, grab a handful of popcorn, and enjoy!
Cathy O’Donnell (They Live By Night, Side Street) was discovered by a talent agent while sitting at the counter of L.A.’s Schwab’s Drug Store.
A year after the 1944 release of Laura, Dana Andrews (Where the Sidewalk Ends, Fallen Angel) was arrested, along with a friend, for throwing stones at a police officer’s window.
During her career, Adele Jergens (Armored Car Robbery, Try and Get Me) was labeled alternately as “The Champagne Blonde,” “The Eyeful,” and “The Girl with the Million Dollar Legs.”
The first job held by Joseph Cotten (Shadow of a Doubt, The Third Man) was working for his postmaster father, delivering special delivery mail by bicycle
Ida Lupino (Road House, The Big Knife) was a student of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
For several years during his Hollywood career, Richard Conte (The Big Combo, New York Confidential) worked under contract for the Hallmark company, supplying paintings for greeting cards.
Ed Begley (Dark City, Odds Against Tomorrow) died after choking on a piece of steak during a dinner party at the home of publicist Jay Bernstein.
Evelyn Keyes (Johnny O’Clock, The Killer That Stalked New York) was the third of director John Huston’s five wives.
Wallace Ford (T-Men, The Breaking Point) lived the life of a hobo as a teenager and adopted his stage name from a fellow tramp.
While on a tour of RKO Studios during her sophomore year in high school, Jeanne Crain (Leave Her to Heaven, Vicki) was spotted by famed “boy wonder” Orson Welles, who had his secretary arrange a screen test for the 15-year-old Crain for a leading role in his new film, The Magnificent Ambersons. Welles would later decree that Crain “had something in person that didn’t come through on the screen,” and the part was ultimately given to Anne Baxter.
William Bendix (The Glass Key, Detective Story) married his childhood sweetheart, Therese Stefanotti – the two remained together until Bendix’s death nearly 40 years later.
The starring role in the radio play “Sorry, Wrong Number” was written for Agnes Moorehead (Journey Into Fear, Dark Passage). For the film version, however, the part was given to Barbara Stanwyck.
Neville Brand (Kansas City Confidential, D.O.A.) was awarded the Silver Star for bravery during an encounter with German soliders during WWII. (“I must have flipped my lid,” he later said.)
Peggy Cummins (Gun Crazy) was the initial pick for the starring role in Forever Amber, but two months after filming started, she was dismissed and replaced by Linda Darnell.
Bruce Bennett (Mildred Pierce, Shakedown) was a silver medalist in the shot-put at the 9th Olympic games in Amsterdam in 1928.
Nearly two decades after the release of Strangers on a Train (1951), two members of the cast – Marion Lorne (Mrs. Anthony) and Laura Elliott (Miriam Haines) would be featured players on the popular sitcom, Bewitched. On the series, Elliott played Larry Tate’s wife and Lorne played Aunt Clara.
Steve Brodie (Desperate, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye) took his screen name from the real-life New York saloon keeper who claimed to have survived an 1886 leap into the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge.
Join me tomorrow for Day 17 of Noirvember!