And Now For Something Completely Different . . .

I’ve always been a collector.

I have collections of dolls, ashtrays, shot glasses, vintage radios, refrigerator magnets, souvenir bells, and books that were made into classic movies. But my favorite collection is my classic movie magazines. I’m fascinated by these publications – they offer such interesting snapshots of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Today at Shadows and Satin, I’m taking a look at the July 1931 issue of The New Movie Magazine. (New Movie, incidentally, is one of my favorites – the cover art is always exquisite!) Specifically, I’m diving into the section of the magazine titled “Gossip of the Studios” to provide, in hindsight, a follow-up to the predictions, innuendos, and miscellaneous reportage offered up by the anonymous columnist.

MacDonald and Raymond wed.

New Movie Magazine Gossip Item: Jeanette MacDonald (best known today for her tuneful teamings with Nelson Eddy in films like Naughty Marietta [1935] and Maytime [1937]) has set June 1932 as her wedding month to New York stockbroker Robert Ritchie. The two met in 1928 at the Mayfair Club in New York.

What Really Happened: There were no wedding bells between MacDonald and Ritchie. Instead, in 1937, MacDonald married actor Gene Raymond. They were together until MacDonald’s death in 1965 at the age of 61. (By the by, I’ve come across a lot of information about MacDonald, Raymond, and MacDonald’s relationship with co-star Nelson Eddy, including that MacDonald and Eddy were madly in love, that Raymond was either gay or bisexual, that Eddy was “blackmailed” into marrying Ann Franklin – ex-wife of director Sidney Franklin – and that MacDonald and Eddy continued seeing each other, despite their respective unions. I told you it was a lot. Whew!)

New Movie Magazine Gossip Item: Charles Farrell recently returned from his European honeymoon with bride Virginia Valli. While in Europe, they sent a postcard to a friend that read, “Having a grand time – glad you’re not here.”

Farrell and Valli.

What Really Happened: Farrell is best known today for the 12 movies he starred in with Janet Gaynor and as Gale Storm’s father in TV’s My Little Margie, and Valli was a popular actress during the silent era; her films included Alfred Hitchcock’s first feature, The Pleasure Garden. The two wed on Valentine’s Day in 1931 and, afterward, Valli quit the movies.

Farrell and Valli moved to Palm Springs; Farrell was instrumental in the town’s growth and served as its mayor for three terms. The couple remained married until Valli’s death in 1968 and Farrell never remarried. He died of a heart attack in 1990 at the age of 89 – in 1999, a statue of Farrell was dedicated in front of the Palm Springs airport.

New Movie Magazine Gossip Item: Fifi D’Orsay has filed an application to become a United States citizen. The actress stated that, by the time she received her citizenship, she hoped to find a man who would make her a good husband. According to the columnist, D’Orsay says “there’s no use having a nice house with a gate if there is no one at the gate to meet you when you come home.”

Fifi, the “Ooh-la-la” girl.

What Really Happened: D’Orsay was a Canadian native who usually played a French coquette and was credited with popularizing the phrase, “Ooh la-la,” She can be seen in such films as Wonder Bar (1934) and The Merry Widow (1935).

D’Orsay received her U.S. citizenship in 1936. She apparently couldn’t wait to be a citizen before getting married – in 1933, she married Earl Hill, the son of a Chicago manufacturer, but she divorced him in 1939. In 1947, she tried again, this time with restauranteur Peter LaRicos, but this union ended five years later.

New Movie Magazine Gossip Item: Director King Vidor has selected Ernest Torrence for “one of the more important roles” in Greta Garbo’s newest picture, Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise).

Ernest Torrence: Gone too soon.

What Really Happened: Torrence, whose biggest films were silent features The King of Kings (1927) and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928), was not in the cast of Susan Lenox, released in October 1931. He only appeared in seven more features; in 1933 at the age of 54, he died of complications following surgery. Shortly before his death, he’d completed filming what would be his last movie, I Cover the Waterfront, starring Claudette Colbert.

And that’s all she wrote. How was YOUR day?

~ by shadowsandsatin on February 17, 2022.

4 Responses to “And Now For Something Completely Different . . .”

  1. While I love learning inside details about the actors, there is the TMI dread each time I learn of some actors’ lifestyles. I know they cannot be judged by their movie roles, but stories of hedonism, hygienic practices and parsimony still are disheartening. I need heroes and heroines; do not. therefore, spill the tea on their human disposition. leave me some crumb.

    • Hi, Cecile — I certainly agree about stories related to hygenic practices and hedonism! This column in New Movie Magazine is lots of fun, though, and I love researching the follow-up to the items in this section.

  2. I love this, Karen! It’s really interesting to read “what Really happened”.

    More, please.

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