ginnyfan

In search of...Virginia Weidler

864 posts in this topic

hi ginnyfan. You are right a person with a bloodstream infection would not like last long without antibiotics at the very least. So, if I had to make a guess I would say Ginny died of Congestive Heart Failure which was a complication of her rheumatic heart.

 

I in no way want to make you feel bad, but congestive heart failure is not an easy way to go. However maybe she had some treatment so ease her symptoms.

 

You got me interested in her and I always liked her in the movies I have seen her in.

 

Thank you too for your support of my favorite actor John Garfield. I am lucky in that I am "facebook" friends with his daughter Julie Garfield. She very kind and understanding of the fans of her father and has sent me communications from time to time regarding different issues relating to her father. I in no means mean to imply we are friends but with me and other "fans" she always answers us or shares old pictures of her father will us or relates funny little stories she remembers with us.

 

Have you checked to see if there is a facebook page for Ginny, or maybe one of her sons has one?

Just a thought.

 

Thanks

Lori

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Lori,

 

I have tried Facebook. There are two Virginia Weidler pages. One is a fan 'like' page (I do) and the other just seems to be someone pretending to be her (not seriously, mind you).

 

I went back and contacted the latter just to find out if there is any connection. I highly doubt it.

 

Her sons don't have pages.

 

Ron was in college and Gary in high school when Ginny died. They were fortunate in that their father lived to almost 90, but you are right that the loss must have been tremendous.

 

I feel bad that she didn't see them both become successful. Ron is a well thought of photographer, I believe and I know that Gary was an executive for Disney Animation Television for many years.

 

BTW, your request that I look into her cause of death did clear up something unrelated for me. Most sites, and Ginny's friends and family, have stated that Ginny was born in 1927. That year makes sense when compared with George's date of birth as well as the dates for the other siblings. Some sites have used 1926 as her year of birth, saying that it's based on SSA records. 1926 only works if George was also lying about his age, for he is listed as being born in 1926.

 

Apparently, Ginny's DOB was misreported when she died. The SSA record cited is the death index. California birth records show her as being born on March 21, 1927 as she always claimed (except when either MGM or her agent was trying to cut two years off her age for professional reasons, something they stopped doing by 1942.)

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Hey ginnyfan. I was thinking of you when The Women 1939 aired this morning on TCM. It came on at 5am where I live! I love the part where she goes into the bathroom after her mother tells her that she and her father are getting a divorce. I always start crying when Virginia cries and says, "Daddy darling do something, do something." She really shows in very truthful way how a child is traumatized by divorce.

 

Also, just for you I wrote her name in the search box on YouTube and some videos came up with her in them. Mostly clips from her movies, but one looks like it is a radio show she did with John Barrymore in 1940, "The Great Man Votes."

 

My favorite, John Garfield has quite a few YouTube videos on him and a few tributes. Just last week I uploaded my tribute to him, another assignment from the "Garfield Gang" to help increase his recognition.

 

It would be great if you checked out my YouTube video and let me know what you thought.

The title is "John Garfield, My Humble Tribute" and my youtube name is LoveTigers5.

It is about 3 minutes long, and if you just type the title in the search box you should find it easily.

 

Maybe you should do a YouTube tribute for Ginny? ;)

 

Lori

 

Edited by: Lori3 on Jun 5, 2012 2:35 AM

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Hi Lori,

 

I saw your video. I liked it and left a comment. It's under my son's handle but you can guess which one it is.

 

Ginny's role in THE WOMEN is one that critics and viewers have mixed feelings on. Some, like me, think it gave her a chance to stretch past the clever, spunky kid she usually played and that she handled it well. Others, even some who are otherwise fans, think that she was miscast because "Ginny doesn't DO wimpy."

 

This Ginny, the one from 1939-40 is the one people remember, but she isn't the one I see when I think about her now. This one had the world on a string, the slightly older one found out how fleeting that was. That's the Ginny of my "project." That Ginny is often described as winding up bitter over how things turned out. I hope to prove that Ginny didn't DO bitter, either.

 

If you look on youtube at the clip of Ginny with Greer Garson and Jean Porter in THE YOUNGEST PROFESSION (1942) and with Jane Withers in the short "PEEKS AT HOLLYWOOD" (1945), you'll see the Ginny I'm doing this for. That last one shows Ginny still enjoying even a small role as her movie career closed out.

 

Since you brought up old time radio, the internet archive at archive.org has many episodes of Screen Guild Theater, Lux Radio Theater and Screen Director's Playhouse featuring versions of movies for radio. Just a quick glance at the Screen Guild page and I noticed John Garfield in SATURDAY'S CHILDREN, EDGE OF DARKNESS and POSTMAN.

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Hey ginnyfan. Thanks for the info regarding archive.org and those old radio shows. I have heard some radio shows with Garfield, but none of the ones you mention. I will definitively check it out.

 

Thanks too for viewing my YouTube video, and thanks for the comment and I agree with what you wrote.

 

Good luck with "your" Ginny project.

 

Lori

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I'm posting slightly off topic tonight because of something I stumbled upon while replying to TB's new child actor thread.

 

I try to look things up when I post instead of just shooting off at the keyboard. Hopefully, even when what I have to say doesn't please or interest you, you'll give me credit for that. I try to be accurate, and I hate making a mistake. So I look things up.

 

I tried to look up something on each of the children I mentioned in my reply mainly just to refresh my memory. When I got to Quinn Cummings, I found her delightful blog, The QC Report. I wish I could think, much less write, the way this woman does. She has maintained a wonderful sense of self and of snark. The slogan of her blog is, *Putting the "Self" in "Paralyzing Self-Consciousness" since the 20th century. *You get the idea.

 

 

I personally think that everyone who post here should read her post from February 28, 2012 entitled I'm Still Here. It her response to the endless where-are-they-now? interviews she has done over the years. After I read it I understood why it might be possible for Virginia Weidler-you knew I'd get back to *her, *didn't you-to forego the interviews without it necessarily meaning that she was horribly bitter. She may have just thought she was a complete person without having to validate her former self constantly.

 

 

The post also began to make me think that I might be wrong to be putting all this effort into my Ginny search. Quinn's post gave me some doubts based on how someone like me might look to someone like her. Or someone like Ginny.

 

 

I want to see someone whose gone from favorite to friend to me get her due. But who am I to say she didn't get exactly her due by leading the life she led?

 

 

Anyway, enough self doubt. Please do me a favor and take a look at the blog. Right now Quinn has a video for her new book up, so you can see what she looks like at 45.

 

 

The post I'm recommending is at http://qcreport.blogspot.com/2012/02/im-still-here.html

 

 

I will tease you with her straight forward explanation of why she didn't wind up "huffing Febreze."

 

 

"BECAUSE MY PARENTS DIDN’T CONFUSE ME FOR AN ATM."

 

 

Happy reading!

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TopBilled's wonderful new thread on child actors is the gift that keeps on giving. Last night, a quick google and IMDb check led me to Quinn Cummings wonderful blog, THE QC PROJECT. I still urge everyone to read the post below this one (please?) and go see Quinn take on the whole "what ever happened to you" industry.

 

Today one of the great posters here, Sepiatone, asked a perfectly reasonable question: "And what's going on with Mara Wilson?" I gave a flip answer based totally on internet gossip, which was based on a hatchet job done by the Daily Mail...well you get the idea. Once I went back and looked at what Mara actually says in her blog, Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, I saw something that fits well with this Ginny thread.

 

In addition to writing that even as a child she found film acting tedious, Mara points out that despite this she was still trying to get work after puberty set in. Her description of the situation is slightly different from the Weidler situation because the studio era is no more, but it still is a good example.

 

Mara writes that child actors always play younger than their real ages, as we certainly have seen, but that after she hit puberty she was extremely awkward looking and then tried to audition for both older and younger parts without success.

 

This seems to match the Weidler stories we've seen before. Ginny was playing younger and then around 1941 or 42 was suddenly playing her actual age. In fact, she was younger than all the other girls in BEST FOOT FORWARD, her final film, and trying to play older. She left MGM and never won another part.

 

Mara also speaks of Hollywood "lookism.". She states that conventionally attractive male actors have a far easier transition to adult roles than women, who are subject to more tabloid articles debating their looks. This was at least as true for Weidler 70 years ago, when she was often derided as a "Plain Jane."

 

So I guess the lesson here is that the industry really hasn't evolve very much over the decades.

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As I am painfully aware, Virginia Weidler granted no interviews in the last two decades of her life. She did, however, do a lot of press while on a War Bond tour after completing her final MGM picture.

 

Here's what she had to say about her having Judy Garland in the audience for her stage act:

 

*"No, I'm not nervous on the stage. Well, I was one day, but that was because Judy Garland was in the audience. You could hear my knees shaking. Judy is a friend of mine, and I hope some day to arrive not where she is, but well, somewhere near that."*

 

 

The writer described Virginia's voice as full of awe.

 

 

-Published in the Pittsburgh Press July 25, 1943

 

 

Edited by: ginnyfan on Jun 10, 2012 4:02 PM

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It is nice to be able to find information on internet blogs. It would be even nicer if one of Virginia Weidler's relatives created a blog in her honor. Or maybe some dedicated fan could...?

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ginnyfan, that is a sweet story you shared about Ginny and Judy Garland. I am sure Judy didn't mean to make Ginny nervous, but I do understand Ginny's feelings.

 

I agree with TopBilled, you should start a blog in Ginny's honor.

 

Also I read your other post, on the September Schedule thread. You watch Garfield and I will watch Ginny's film. I am sure I am never seen the film you mentioned.

 

 

Lori3

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If only there were a dedicated fan who actually understood all this blog/internet/html stuff!!

 

I, OTOH, can't even figure out how to post a picture here.

 

It would be nice if the Weidler family had a historian who kept track of this relatively recent past. Everyone in the family had a show business connection. Mom was in opera. Dad was an architect but did do set work. The brothers were in a couple of Our Gangs, worked with the big bands, and had at least one single on Capitol Records, Schnitzelbank Polka.

 

I'm not sure what the older sisters did, but they were in the family's early professional photo.

 

It's a pretty interesting family even without Ginny's career or George's controversial marriage to Doris Day.

 

BTW, I've been holding the Ginny quote for the last month waiting for today. As we've discussed before, I still think Weidler might have relented on the interview thing if she had lived into her senior years. Besides TCM and the internet increasing interest, Jean Porter might have dragged her kicking and screaming into being more public.

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In honor of Father's Day, here's a few shots of Virginia Weidler with her movie "father figures."

 

dhd5xk.jpg

 

Virginia's Edie gets taken in by editor Erickson in GIRL FROM THE OZARKS (1936).

 

dpbh2v.jpg

 

A more mature Ginny and Henry O'Neill in BORN TO SING (1942).

 

2rxiadk.jpg

 

After working with Weidler in THE GREAT MAN VOTES (1939), John Barrymore called her "Hollywood's Greatest Actress." Of course, he called her something completely different when he threw her off his lap in a rage about scene stealing. Her crime was playing with his tie during a lap scene.

 

ojngv9.jpg

 

OK, that's not her dad in this movie. That's dad Michael Lanyard's butler Jameson in THE LONE WOLF SPY HUNT (1939). Watching this movie caused me to start all this.

 

vfh4.jpg

 

Edward Arnold was Ginny's "dad" in her penultimate picture, THE YOUNGEST PROFESSION (1942). That's her lifelong friend Jean Porter sharing autograph books with the serious Ginny.

 

k38utf.jpg

 

Finally, I don't know much about this one but it seemed appropriate. It's apparently Weidler and Dickie Moore "turning the tables", but I have no idea how this came to be.

 

For those who would like to see a photo of Ginny's real dad here's a link to a LIFE magazine page from 1946. I don't know how to copy a pic from there.

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=kEkEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA78&dq=al+weidler&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ilHdT7X7NLKN6QGN2NCXCw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA

 

 

Happy Father's Day!

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I love these photos...especially the last one with them spanking the dad! Cute stuff.

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Hi ginnyfan. Great pictures.

Thanks

 

I can't believe that John Barrymore accused Virginia of scene stealing! What?

 

Happy Father's Day to you!'

 

 

 

Lori3

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Thanks to both of you for your comments. As you can tell, I did figure out how to post pictures. The key was switching over to plain text to do it. I had no idea.

 

I really wanted to find a Warren William with Weidler photo but I couldn't. There is a scene near the end of the picture where she's sitting on HIS lap, and I thought it might contrast well with the Barrymore one.

 

I just lucked into the Dickie Moore pic at a site about him. They were in three movies together and I know it wasn't PETER IBBOTSON where Virginia was blond or THE UNDER-PUP where she was older. I've never seen TIMOTHY'S QUEST, but the ages for her and Dickie would be about right.

 

Lori, there were a lot of Hollywood vets who feared working with Ginny because of scene stealing, not the malicious Glenn Ford kind, but the experienced Virginia of the late 30s just knew how to get the most from her part no matter how small. The "business" of playing with Daddy's tie while he talks to you is real and a smart addition to the scene, but Barrymore wasn't having any of that.

 

I did get news this week that the San Diego Central Library is going to help me by checking out local newspapers for "Ginny sightings" during

1951 when Lionel Krisel was stationed there. The search will be limited due to budget cuts, but I'm hoping for the best.

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Hi ginnyfan. I agree with you regarding the bit of Ginny playing with Barrymore's tie.

I would not look at it at all as "scene stealing" but rather as adding something a little girl might due when sitting on her

daddy's lap. I see scene stealing more as when an actor really "hams" it up on camera.

 

Oh and I am a bit confused regarding Glen Ford. Was he known for stealing scenes, or being mean?

 

 

 

Any ways of all the movies I have seen Ginny in I never once thought she was guilty scene stealing.

 

 

 

Good luck on your Ginny sight mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lori3

 

Edited by: Lori3 on Jun 18, 2012 3:13 AM

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Glenn Ford had a reputation for trying to make himself look better at the other actor's expense. I first read about it in Roger Moore's memoir where he talked about Ford repositioning himself on the set to try to physically dominate the scenes they had together. He called Ford a selfish actor.

 

I've seen comment in a couple of other places of people backing this up, but I admit to not remembering the sources.

 

Ford personally was apparently very kind on the set, he just had this competitive streak when the cameras rolled.

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Hi ginnyfan. I never knew that about Glen Ford.

 

I took a moment to try and see if there was a group for Virginia Weidler over on the Classic Film Union page. I could find nothing on her and not even a Child Actor group that maybe you could check out. *UPDATE:* Ginny does have some info on her over at the classic film union page. Also, about 61 people have listed themselves as fans of hers. (Maybe you already know this if so, sorry.)

 

I know people can start groups over there so maybe you should start a Virginia Weidler group. You never know you there might be a lot of people interested in joining it.

 

Just to show you that not all stars had the same of thinking that Ford did when the cameras started to roll here is what Shelley Winters wrote in her biography regarding John Garfield.

 

Winters remembers Garfield's kindness to her most of all. during the filming of He Ran All The Way. "He was generous to me in every way a big star can be to a newcomer. He gave me the best camera angles in two-shots, made sure the camera favored me and the audience saw both of my eyes. He spent hours on my close-ups, and if he didn't like the rushes and felt I could look prettier, he insisted that the director relight the scene and reshoot it."

 

Sorry, I had to bring up the above, since yesterday someone wrote such a nasty statement about him.

 

If you haven't already checked out the Classic Film Union page maybe you should. You might be able to find some info on her that I couldn't find.

 

Thanks

Lori3

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Thanks, Lori. I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about CFU. I'll need to find out.

 

I probably shouldn't have mentioned the Glenn Ford thing. I admit that since I read Moore's book last year it has affected how I watch his films, and that's too bad 'cause I really like him. I try not to get into that side of the business.

 

 

Weidler and Rooney were perceived as scene stealers at MGM. I always thought it was based on two things, their experience as I mentioned about Ginny in my last post and the sheer energy boost they gave when they walked into a scene. Both had been doing this since early childhood, and they understood the work. What it seems Ginny didn't understand was the business and that her studio deal could be gone in an instant. Rooney went through rough patches too, but he was just too stubborn to give up the business. Having been a real star and a guy made it easier for him to hang on, though.

 

 

As TB mentioned very early in this thread, Virginia was the one person who could actually best Rooney in a scene. They worked together three times, I believe. In the first two they were great as brother and sister. In the third, BABES ON BROADWAY, there was a little less direct interaction between their characters.

 

 

Gee, I've rambled on again. I do have one more story about two nights ago when I was searching for daddy photos. I found a review of GIRL OF THE OZARKS on a TV Guide web page. Rovi, TV Guide's parent company, seems to have reviews of Weidler movies written either by Hal Erickson, who really likes her and wrote one of the nicest bios of her I've found on the net, and ANOTHER GUY who hates her and seems to always add things to his review such as "Virginia Weidler was always unnatural and grating and only got more so as she got older" and "everyone was well cast except for the always annoying Weidler."

 

 

Anyway, this review for OZARKS says, "A triumph of miscasting in general, except for that brat Weidler, nine years old at the time, who covers up the best she can with singing, comedy, and general mischief."

 

I hope that Ginny is aware of that review and is smiling.

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Thanks to Lori and TopBilled's cajoling, and Lori's suggestion about the TCM Classic Film Union, I am tonight announcing that I have formed the Virginia Weidler Remembrance Society over at CFU. This move allows me to claim I'm blogging even though I have no idea what I'm doing.

 

My first blog post tonight was simply an introduction of who I am and how I came to be doing this. Something those of you who have read this thread already know.

 

 

I still hope you'll drop by there and up my view count a little. Maybe you'd even consider joining?

 

 

Thanks.

 

Edited by: ginnyfan on Jun 20, 2012 8:51 PM because spell check is your friend.

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Hi ginnyfan. Good for you! I will stop by and check it out a little later on tonight. You can count me in as a member.

 

 

Lori

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Glad to see you have forged ahead with this idea. Good! She was a special talent and deserves more continued recognition.

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I know many of you were praying that you had seen the last of this thread, but I figure it's best to continue to run any Weideristic comments or questions through this one thread rather than adding multiple ginnythreads and getting everyone sick of both of us.

 

Anyway, my question today is something I also asked over at my new Virginia Weidler group. What is the criteria for getting a star a portrait photo on his/her star page at the Classic Film Union? Virginia's is still that "shadow noir guy" everyone without a photo gets.

 

Some bigger stars like Alexis Smith don't have them either.

 

I'd like to get Ginny a photo, if possible.

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hi ginnyfan

 

I just read your most recent blog, it is was wonderful. WOW a hand written note from Gloria Jean. How old is Gloria Jean now?

 

I can't recall any movies of Gloria Jean, but I remember my mother spoke of her from time to time, she really liked her. I also had a close girlfriend in elementary school and her first name was Gloria Jean.

 

Any ways, great job.

 

I keep meaning to write a blog for a classic movie website on my favorite. The site first has to approve it, but once it is approved they will feature it on their site which has quite a few visitors. I just haven't had yet time because I been busy visiting film noir sites to garner signature for my project.

 

Any ways, if you want to submit either one of your blogs to this website let me know and I will forward to you the website address.

You never can tell, you might find some more Ginny fans!

 

Thanks

Lori

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