Noirvember Day 15: Trivia Tuesday (Part 2)

— Oscar at 17?

Dive into a pool of trivia featuring your favorite femmes!

Ann Blyth was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Veda in Mildred Pierce (1945). At age 17, she was the youngest actress up to that time to be nominated.

As a child growing up in Snoqualmie Falls, a small town in Washington, Ella Raines was outgoing and adventurous, engaging in a wide range of activities including swimming, horseback riding, skiing, archery, and fishing.

Ruth Roman’s second film noir appearance was in Beyond the Forest (1949), which starred Bette Davis and Joseph Cotten. The film was almost universally panned upon its release, but critics praised Roman for her performance, with one reviewer saying she “comes across splendidly and beautifully” and another writing that she “graces [her part] nicely.”

— Blue like a lake . . .

Born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman, Veronica Lake received her screen moniker from Paramount producer Arthur Hornblow. He reportedly borrowed her first name from his secretary Veronica Grusling, and selected her surname because “her eyes are calm and blue like a lake.”

On New Year’s Eve 1945, Jeanne Crain married Paul Brinkman, who’d had a brief film career as Paul Brook and was once billed as “a second Errol Flynn.” He later found success as head of a missile parts manufacturing company and a helicopter business. Crain and Brinkman had six children and remained together until Crain’s death in 2003.

— The Eyeful . . .

Adele Jergens was known, at different times in her career, as “The Champagne Blonde, “The Eyeful, and “The Girl with the Million Dollar Legs.”

Following a nationwide talent search, Peggy Cummins was cast in the lead role of Forever Amber (1947), but two months later, 20th Century Fox head Darryl Zanuck called a halt to shooting and directed a complete overhaul of the cast. Among the casualties was Cummins, who was replaced by Linda Darnell. (Other changes included replacing Vincent Price with Reginald Greene and Reginald Gardiner with George Sanders.) The film was trashed by critics, and Cummins said years later, “When I saw it, of course, I just felt relieved.”

According to legend, Evelyn Keyes arrived in Hollywood after winning a beauty contest sponsored by Universal Studios. In her (rather spicy) memoir, however, she states that she paid her own way to Tinseltown by saving the salary the earned from dancing gigs while she was in high school.

Cathy O’Donnell’s film debut, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and her last film, Ben-Hur (1959), were both directed by her brother-in-law, William Wyler. O’Donnell was married to Wyler’s brother Robert from 1948 until O’Donnell’s death, on the couple’s 22nd wedding anniversary, in 1970. (Robert Wyler died nine months later of a heart attack.)

In 1957, Jean Peters secretly wed eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes in Tonopah, Nevada, using the name G.A. Johnson and Mary Ann Evans. After the wedding, at the age of 31, Peters retired from acting. The union last until 1971, and Peters returned to performing in 1973 for the PBS production of Winesburg, Ohio.

And that’s all she wrote. Join me tomorrow for Day 16 of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 15, 2022.

14 Responses to “Noirvember Day 15: Trivia Tuesday (Part 2)”

  1. I’m about half-way through a MURDER, SHE WROTE binge, so this post gave me a whole other level of enjoyment because Jean Peters, Evelyn Keyes, and Ann Blyth all guested on the show. (Ann Blyth still looked like she belonged in a Madame Alexander box forty years after MILDRED PIERCE!)

    Every time I see PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, I mourn all the other performances Peters never got to give. If your non-femme fatale series ever becomes a thing, I hope you’ll consider that character…

    Thank you for featuring these actresses. They all deserve to be better remembered!

    • I never really got into Murder, She Wrote, but every time I see that a classic movie star guested on the series, I want to check it out. I will definitely add Jean Peters to my non-femme fatale list — thank you!

      • I hear you about MURDER, SHE WROTE. It was never my jam until I happened to catch an episode that involved Angela Lansbury, Kathryn Grayson, Gloria De Haven, and Julie Adams hanging out at a beauty parlor owned and operated by Ruth Roman — bliss!
        And after I posted yesterday, Phyllis-freaking-Thaxter popped up on a 1992 episode called FAMILY SECRETS. That’s gotta be sign, right?!?
        Marie Windsor swung by for a few episodes, too — once as a blond!

      • It’s streaming on Peacock btw! All 12 seasons.
        I’d never seen an episode before a month ago, and now I’m like, “Where gave you been all my life?!”

  2. Ok, my reply looked super weird on my phone screen, so I’m reposting:

    Breaking News! (To me, anyway)
    Betty Garrett, Margaret O’Brien, Janet Blair, Terry Moore, Jane Withers, and Marie Windsor all guest on a MURDER, SHE WROTE ep called WHO KILLED JB FLETCHER. It’s season 7, episode 14.

  3. I had to laugh when Peggy Cummins said she felt relieved when she saw Forever Amber. I’ve not seen that film, but it sounds like it had a fairly poor reputation at the time.

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