Day Fifteen of Noirvember: Trivia Thursday

Lana Turner and Spangler Arlington Brugh.

A Thursday without trivia is like a day without sunshine. (Or something like that.) Join me in diving into a pool full of trivial tidbits about the stars of some of my favorite noirs . . .

Robert Taylor’s given name was Spangler Arlington Brugh.

Adele Jergens entered and won a contest at the 1939 World’s Fair, earning the title “Miss World’s Fairest.”

Lee J. Cobb was studying to be a concert violinist, but his plans for a musical career ended when he shattered his wrist in a fall at the age of 17, just before he was going to debut at Carnegie Hall.

While working as a showgirl in Earl Carroll’s extravaganza at the Aquarius Theatre in L.A., Yvonne DeCarlo violated her contract by accepting a bit part in the Ladd-Lake vehicle, This Gun for Hire. When Carroll discovered DeCarlo wearing motion picture makeup, he fired her on the spot.

Cathy O’Donnell on the set of Ben Hur with director William Wyler, her husband, Robert Wyler, and the film’s star, Charlton Heston.

Cathy O’Donnell was directed by William Wyler in her first film, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and her last, Ben Hur (1959). Incidentally, O’Donnell was married to Wyler’s brother, Robert.

After graduating from Lake Forest College in Illinois, Richard Widmark worked for two years as a college professor, teaching speech and drama.

Jean Peters was completing the requirements for a degree in education, when a friend submitted her picture to the Miss Ohio State Contest. She wound up the winner – her prize was $200 and a trip to Hollywood for a screen test at 20th Century-Fox. A short time later, she signed a contract with the studio.

It’s said that Orson Welles was a musical virtuoso by the age of three, an expert magician by four, sat up nightly reading Balzac at the age of eight, and played King Lear before he was 10.

George Raft made a living for several years as a dancer, entering and winning ballroom dance contests, working as a taxi dancer in New York cafes, touring with the Orpheum and B.F. Keith vaudeville circuits, and appearing as the featured dancer at Texas Guinan’s El Fey Club. (Below is a clip of Raft years after his taxi dancing days, proving that he still had the stuff — even in the pouring rain!)

Join me tomorrow for Day Sixteen of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 15, 2018.

11 Responses to “Day Fifteen of Noirvember: Trivia Thursday”

  1. Thanks for all the tidbits.Did not know about Lee J. Cobb being a violinist.Wonder how he felt playing the father of “violinist” Bill Holden in GOLDEN BOY. Cobb was only 28 at the time. He did remarkable job portraying a character many years older. An underrated actor.

  2. Just watched the Raft clip.Amazing find! He still had the moves at 48.And Louis Jordan band was HUGE. And Jordan also was an actor mostly in ‘soundies’ and black cinema.Again THANK YOU for the turn on.

  3. Love that Raft clip. What’s it from?

    • Thanks, Vienna! I don’t know much about it, just that it was in 1944 and the Louis Jordan Band was playing. They apparently were entertaining a segregated, all-black troop during World War II.

  4. I love watching George Raft dance.

    Did not know about Lee J. Cobb having music in his soul. It makes me more fond of him.

  5. I didn’t know George Raft toured the vaudeville circuits! Loved the clip you posted of him dancing in the rain. Go George!

  6. […] Day Fifteen: Trivia Thursday […]

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