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Janet0312

Question of the Day: Ruby Keeler

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Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell starred in 7 films together, while Ruby and Jolson starred together in only one. Many celebrities I guess didn't want to star in films with their significant other when the marriage is rocky, which I do understand.

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29 minutes ago, Allenex said:

Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell starred in 7 films together, while Ruby and Jolson starred together in only one. Many celebrities I guess didn't want to star in films with their significant other when the marriage is rocky, which I do understand.

Dick Powell and Joan Blondell made many movies together before and after they were married (but in the films that also included Keeler,   it was Keeler and Powell that were the love interest \ couple).

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On 3/20/2015 at 6:31 PM, TopBilled said:

I like her. Think she is a good dancer. They couldn't all be great actresses, could they...?

You kill me, TB! You are just so kind, but in this case I will have to partially go along with you and say Ruby may not have been the best dancer, or singer but I don't think being with Al Jolson or anyone got her in films, just her well scrubbed and rather innocently cute personality probably.

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On Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 3:44 PM, CaveGirl said:

You kill me, TB! You are just so kind, but in this case I will have to partially go along with you and say Ruby may not have been the best dancer, or singer but I don't think being with Al Jolson or anyone got her in films, just her well scrubbed and rather innocently cute personality probably.

I agree that it's likely that Ruby didn't get into films due to her being the wife of Jolson, and that it was her innocence and cute personality. I also think she got in because she was so sweet, pretty, charming, girl next door like, and she was a talented buck n wing dancer. People compare her to graceful dancers and say that she wasn't as good as them, but it's not that. Buck n wing is a different form of dancing which doesn't have the same style of grace.

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On 5/23/2018 at 9:28 PM, Allenex said:

Oh, I know you weren't knocking Ruby and I know that no one said that anyone is perfect. I'm just stating my opinions, I'm not correcting anybody or calling anyone out.

I know that the term perfect is a totally straw man pov. Like I said before, perfect is a very contradictory term.

I would say concerning Ruby Keeler that she had an exemplary character and behavior considering all in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

What I particularly admired about her is how she handled being married to  a very difficult man like Al Jolson and then how she handled the divorce after he disowned their adopted son.

Jolson remarried and adopted another child giving that child the first adopted son's name, which was a Junior.  Ruby and her adopted son found out about it in the newspaper when they saw the new adopted baby's name announced.

Ruby didn't go to the media with this or complain about this in public. She simply quietly had her current husband adopt the boy, who took his stepfather's name from there on out.

Ruby was married to her second husband for nearly 30 years until his death in 1969. They had four children in addition to the adopted son. She only went back to Broadway in the Revival of No, No Nanette after the death of her husband.

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I'm getting a kick out of the Ruby Keeler threads in the Mad About Musicals forum. 

Ruby has become all the rage over there. I think one of their assignments requires them to compare her to Eleanor Powell.

 

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On Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 7:04 PM, Princess of Tap said:

I would say concerning Ruby Keeler that she had an exemplary character and behavior considering all in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

What I particularly admired about her is how she handled being married to  a very difficult man like Al Jolson and then how she handled the divorce after he disowned their adopted son.

Jolson remarried and adopted another child giving that child the first adopted son's name, which was a Junior.  Ruby and her adopted son found out about it in the newspaper when they saw the new adopted baby's name announced.

Ruby didn't go to the media with this or complain about this in public. She simply quietly had her current husband adopt the boy, who took his stepfather's name from there on out.

Ruby was married to her second husband for nearly 30 years until his death in 1969. They had four children in addition to the adopted son. She only went back to Broadway in the Revival of No, No Nanette after the death of her husband.

Yes, it's very admirable how Ruby hung in there and stayed strong during the years she was with Jolson. Some wives would've created huge fusses and ordeals about it, cried and complained, running to people here and there, etc. like you said. I don't know if Al was physically abusive with Ruby during their marriage, but I'm very sure he was quite verbally abusive and controlling, which is how he treated all of his women. Kudos to Ruby for how she dealt with it.  Very tough times in life is part of life, and those horrible times can last weeks, months, or even years. But, it's how people handle it what determines how they look to others. When you see someone going through hard times, would you admire and respect them more if they stayed strong and confident, or if they were crying to people all over the place, freaking out, and losing their mind and their stability over it?

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49 minutes ago, Allenex said:

Yes, it's very admirable how Ruby hung in there and stayed strong during the years she was with Jolson. Some wives would've created huge fusses and ordeals about it, cried and complained, running to people here and there, etc. like you said. I don't know if Al was physically abusive with Ruby during their marriage, but I'm very sure he was quite verbally abusive and controlling, which is how he treated all of his women. Kudos to Ruby for how she dealt with it.  Very tough times in life is part of life, and those horrible times can last weeks, months, or even years. But, it's how people handle it what determines how they look to others. When you see someone going through hard times, would you admire and respect them more if they stayed strong and confident, or if they were crying to people all over the place, freaking out, and losing their mind and their stability over it?

Jolie was probably nasty to most people, when you consider his personality.

 Larry Parks deserved an Oscar, not just for his performances in those two Jolson movies, but for being forced to work with Al Jolson through both of them. LOL

 However, thanks to Larry Parks, I have always been and shall always be a tremendous fan of Al Jolson.

 Most singers that I love, I also love their personality, respect their character and feel as though their lives have stood for something positive in addition to music-- Judy Garland, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Barbra Streisand, just to name a few.

Even though I can't say that about Al Jolson, he is still one of my favorite singers.

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On Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 6:52 PM, Princess of Tap said:

For the time and place she was perfect as a flapper.

And her tap dancing is way above average. Often people today really forget or they're just never learned how the United States was in previous eras. Ruby's style of dancing was the norm for her era and she did a wonderful job with it.

 

On Saturday, April 07, 2018 at 2:52 PM, jamesjazzguitar said:

Note that I wasn't criticizing Rudy.  Far from it.   I'm no fan of the RCC.  (and that is putting it gently since this isn't a political thread).    So for Rudy,  I respect her decision to get a divorce and remarry.

I just find the use of the term 'loyal' or 'devout' when the actions say otherwise as a knee-jerk type of response.

Now I don't know if Tracy ever referred to himself as a devout Catholic but if he did,  that is a big joke.   He was an adulterer and while I'm not religious,  I can't respect someone that does this on a consistent basis.  

As for Young;  to me she was a phony especially with her silly and immature cussing jar antic.    Too selfish to tell her daughter who her father was.    That is low life behavior IMO.

 

I know that Ruby didn't tell her kids until they got older about her previous marriage to Jolson, but I don't think that Ruby could've ever done what Young did, not tell her own kids who their father was. And all of her kids' were decedent of John Homer Lowe. Ruby wasn't able to have kids with Jolson, and ended up adopting (the Jolson appointed) Al Jolson Jr.

I once read that Ruby and Dick Powell had started gaining romantic feelings for each other on the sets of the 1930s films they starred together in, but Jolson's tendencies to get insanely jealous was basically the reason why nothing romantic actually developed between them, thus Powell ended up marrying Blondell. I don't know how Ruby tolerated being with Jolson for a whole decade with what I've read about how he treated women. I'm not sure though if he was just verbally abusive towards Ruby or physically abusive too.

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4 minutes ago, Allenex said:

 

I know that Ruby didn't tell her kids until they got older about her previous marriage to Jolson, but I don't think that Ruby could've ever done what Young did, not tell her own kids who their father was. And all of her kids' were decedent of John Homer Lowe. Ruby wasn't able to have kids with Jolson, and ended up adopting (the Jolson appointed) Al Jolson Jr.

I once read that Ruby and Dick Powell had started gaining romantic feelings for each other on the sets of the 1930s films they starred together in, but Jolson's tendencies to get insanely jealous was basically the reason why nothing romantic actually developed between them, thus Powell ended up marrying Blondell. I don't know how Ruby tolerated being with Jolson for a whole decade with what I've read about how he treated women. I'm not sure though if he was just verbally abusive towards Ruby or physically abusive too.

Loretta Young's situation was unique and one that I would not compare to Ruby Keeler's.

I was just reading where Ruby had a stroke late in life and made quite a credible recovery. But I think tap dancers,  have to be physically and emotionally strong to put up with all of that repetitive rehearsal and frustration.  

Discipline, whether it's learned through Dance Training, or in some other way, stays with you for your entire life.

 

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3 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Loretta Young's situation was unique and one that I would not compare to Ruby Keeler's.

I was just reading where Ruby had a stroke late in life and made quite a credible recovery. But I think tap dancers,  have to be physically and emotionally strong to put up with all of that repetitive rehearsal and frustration.  

Discipline, whether it's learned through Dance Training, or in some other way, stays with you for your entire life.

 

That is a good word for Ruby, discipline. She must've had great self discipline to help carry her through the situations in her life the way she got through them. I heard that Ruby was a loving mother, but I'm sure she used good discipline on her kids too. A good mother doesn't allow her kids to do whatever they want anyway. A good mother shows love for her kids and also knows how to discipline them and without being abusive, which is how I'm sure Ruby was. Al Jolson though would've probably crossed the line over to abusive towards their kids if he'd had kids with her. It's a good thing that she ended up raising her family with John Lowe.

When Ruby had a stroke in the 1970s after 4 years in "No, no Nanette", I do wonder if maybe some of the reason was due to too much strain on her, since she was in her 60s by then and had been spending 4 straight years touring the world and appearing in the show, all the constant work, rehearsing, and traveling was possibly too much strain on a 60 something year old. But you still got to hand it to Ruby, she made a great recovery, appeared in a number of different award ceremonies, guest shots on shows, and several more movie and program appearances throughout most of the remainder of her life, and ended up dying of cancer and never got a second stroke. 

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16 minutes ago, Allenex said:

That is a good word for Ruby, discipline. She must've had great self discipline to help carry her through the situations in her life the way she got through them. I heard that Ruby was a loving mother, but I'm sure she used good discipline on her kids too. A good mother doesn't allow her kids to do whatever they want anyway. A good mother shows love for her kids and also knows how to discipline them and without being abusive, which is how I'm sure Ruby was. Al Jolson though would've probably crossed the line over to abusive towards their kids if he'd had kids with her. It's a good thing that she ended up raising her family with John Lowe.

When Ruby had a stroke in the 1970s after 4 years in "No, no Nanette", I do wonder if maybe some of the reason was due to too much strain on her, since she was in her 60s by then and had been spending 4 straight years touring the world and appearing in the show, all the constant work, rehearsing, and traveling was possibly too much strain on a 60 something year old. But you still got to hand it to Ruby, she made a great recovery, appeared in a number of different award ceremonies, guest shots on shows, and several more movie and program appearances throughout most of the remainder of her life, and ended up dying of cancer and never got a second stroke. 

Ruby got a standing ovation at the Oscars after her recovery from the stroke.

 In one of Ruby's last personal appearances, she was honored at a dance teachers convention. They played a video of her legendary performance of "42nd Street", from the movie of the same name. I was so impressed with her because even though she was confined to a wheelchair, her upper body was still performing the number, as she sang at the top of her lungs. She was always the trouper.

 

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When they filmed "The Jolson Story" Ms. Keeler forbade them to use her real name.  What a pity.  It might have helped her in later years, but she "retired" to be a mother and golf pro until she came back with No No Nanette on Broadway.

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5 hours ago, Im4movies2 said:

When they filmed "The Jolson Story" Ms. Keeler forbade them to use her real name.  What a pity.  It might have helped her in later years, but she "retired" to be a mother and golf pro until she came back with No No Nanette on Broadway.

I read about this on Wiki, but I couldn't find out if,  at the time,  Keeler had a legal right to demand the studio didn't use her name OR if the studio just gave in to avoid litigation that the studio would likely win.    Because today it is my understanding one doesn't have a legal right to suppress the use of their name if such use is accurate (and of course Keeler was the wife of Jolson).

 

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On 3/20/2015 at 1:48 PM, Janet0312 said:

Who the heck did this woman sleep with to obtain a movie career? Gad, she's horrible.

Why do you think Ruby is so horrible? Ruby may have not been the most talented singer, but singing wasn't her signature tribute, besides I found her singing cute in her own way, including the cute way she talked her line while getting into the subway with Dick Powell in "I only have eyes for you". As for her dancing, Ruby was a buck n wing style tap dancer, which was a form of dancing less graceful than Ginger Rogers' graceful style which included ballet skills. Ruby's didn't, but her tapping skills were amazing, if you ever listen to her fabulous tapping rhythms. Ruby was also beautiful, had a great charm, and was known as a sweet girl-next-door type. And Ruby was such a kind sweetheart in every way, not just on screen, but in real life too from everything I've read about her. And she was a very caring and loving mother, her kids and grandkids have officially stated this. I can understand not everyone favoring her style of entertainment, but I cannot understand how people could downright dislike her. Watch her recorded appearance dancing on stage in Broadway's "No no Nanette", or her walking on stage to receive her honorary award at the 1980 ceremonies, she got a long standing ovation both times. And Ruby in her 1930s film I really love.  I think Ruby Keeler is wonderful

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3 hours ago, Ruby jewel said:

Why do you think Ruby is so horrible? Ruby may have not been the most talented singer, but singing wasn't her signature tribute, besides I found her singing cute in her own way, including the cute way she talked her line while getting into the subway with Dick Powell in "I only have eyes for you". As for her dancing, Ruby was a buck n wing style tap dancer, which was a form of dancing less graceful than Ginger Rogers' graceful style which included ballet skills. Ruby's didn't, but her tapping skills were amazing, if you ever listen to her fabulous tapping rhythms. Ruby was also beautiful, had a great charm, and was known as a sweet girl-next-door type. And Ruby was such a kind sweetheart in every way, not just on screen, but in real life too from everything I've read about her. And she was a very caring and loving mother, her kids and grandkids have officially stated this. I can understand not everyone favoring her style of entertainment, but I cannot understand how people could downright dislike her. Watch her recorded appearance dancing on stage in Broadway's "No no Nanette", or her walking on stage to receive her honorary award at the 1980 ceremonies, she got a long standing ovation both times. And Ruby in her 1930s film I really love.  I think Ruby Keeler is wonderful

Oh I don't think she's so horrible. She just can't dance. She stinks. I could put two shoe boxes on my feet and tap better'n her. But she is cute as a button. 

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On 8/25/2018 at 1:33 PM, Janet0312 said:

Oh I don't think she's so horrible. She just can't dance. She stinks. I could put two shoe boxes on my feet and tap better'n her. But she is cute as a button. 

Well, I guess everyone has different opinions on different people. Some people love Paul McCartney, some can't stand him. Same with Prince, Cher, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Mariah Carey, or anybody in the world.

I think Ruby is a wonderful angel. I guess you've been able to already figure that out with how I've been talking about her, and by my username Ruby jewel. I'm sure you have your celebrity who you think the world of. I have a friend who's dad feels the same way about Doris Day, and another friend who feels the same way about Prince, he thinks he's a God. I've heard another person recently describe similarly about Mariah Carey.

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3 hours ago, Ruby jewel said:

Well, I guess everyone has different opinions on different people. Some people love Paul McCartney, some can't stand him. Same with Prince, Cher, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Mariah Carey, or anybody in the world.

I think Ruby is a wonderful angel. I guess you've been able to already figure that out with how I've been talking about her, and by my username Ruby jewel. I'm sure you have your celebrity who you think the world of. I have a friend who's dad feels the same way about Doris Day, and another friend who feels the same way about Prince, he thinks he's a God. I've heard another person recently describe similarly about Mariah Carey.

It appears you're mixing liking a person as a human being and liking them as an artist \ for their work. 

I say this because you use the phase 'some can't stand him'.    Anyone that feel that way about Paul McCartney as a musician \ songwriter \ singer doesn't know much about music.    

Janet (as well as others),  where talking about Ruby Keeler's abilities as a dancer \ singer \ actor and not about her off screen personality.    

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6 hours ago, Ruby jewel said:

Well, I guess everyone has different opinions on different people. Some people love Paul McCartney, some can't stand him. Same with Prince, Cher, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Mariah Carey, or anybody in the world.

I think Ruby is a wonderful angel. I guess you've been able to already figure that out with how I've been talking about her, and by my username Ruby jewel. I'm sure you have your celebrity who you think the world of. I have a friend who's dad feels the same way about Doris Day, and another friend who feels the same way about Prince, he thinks he's a God. I've heard another person recently describe similarly about Mariah Carey.

I guess entertainers are as subjective as art. I could give you a list of all the musicians and actors who are revered by most and I... just...don't...get...them. I'm sure it's the same with most folks. There's nothing wrong with coming to their defense, though. ;)

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On 9/1/2018 at 2:38 PM, jamesjazzguitar said:

It appears you're mixing liking a person as a human being and liking them as an artist \ for their work. 

I say this because you use the phase 'some can't stand him'.    Anyone that feel that way about Paul McCartney as a musician \ songwriter \ singer doesn't know much about music.    

Janet (as well as others),  where talking about Ruby Keeler's abilities as a dancer \ singer \ actor and not about her off screen personality.    

I'm going mostly by artistic/music ability, their style of music, and that goes by each individual's taste on what kind of music and style they love or hate. Some people really don't care for Paul McCartney's music. A portion of one's feelings towards a celebrity does go to what they're actually like as a person, which often is brought out in their work, at least to a point. Many singers sing about things they're really passionate about, and they put their real life emotions into their singing. Same with actors/ actresses. So my point is, when I love a celebrity, I love their work and their songs, films, etc., acting/ singing skills, and material, and who they are as a person which often has gone with the territory, it's all rolled into one to a point.

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1 hour ago, Ruby jewel said:

I'm going mostly by artistic/music ability, their style of music, and that goes by each individual's taste on what kind of music and style they love or hate. Some people really don't care for Paul McCartney's music. A portion of one's feelings towards a celebrity does go to what they're actually like as a person, which often is brought out in their work, at least to a point. Many singers sing about things they're really passionate about, and they put their real life emotions into their singing. Same with actors/ actresses. So my point is, when I love a celebrity, I love their work and their songs, films, etc., acting/ singing skills, and material, and who they are as a person which often has gone with the territory, it's all rolled into one to a point.

When I say I 'love a celebrity' I'm basing this 100% on their work.   Period.   Anyhow,  I prefer that people are more articulate when discussing why they don't like someone's work.   E.g. I find a lot of McCartney's music to be wimpy and pretentious (not my opinion of his Beatles work,  but it does apply to a lot of post-Beatles music).   To me this leads to a more fruitful discussion then just 'I don't like them'.

As it relates to Ruby,  most people were articulate; e.g. saying she can't dance or to be more precise,  that her dancing \ tap style is 'dated' (even in the early 30s) or that they don't like the sound of her voice.     

You mostly just said "I think Ruby is a wonderful angel",   which doesn't relates to her performances at all (expect maybe that you find her screen persona charming,  which I do).    So I'm still interested in what is in those performances that you find so appealing.

 

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On 9/6/2018 at 7:14 PM, jamesjazzguitar said:

When I say I 'love a celebrity' I'm basing this 100% on their work.   Period.   Anyhow,  I prefer that people are more articulate when discussing why they don't like someone's work.   E.g. I find a lot of McCartney's music to be wimpy and pretentious (not my opinion of his Beatles work,  but it does apply to a lot of post-Beatles music).   To me this leads to a more fruitful discussion then just 'I don't like them'.

As it relates to Ruby,  most people were articulate; e.g. saying she can't dance or to be more precise,  that her dancing \ tap style is 'dated' (even in the early 30s) or that they don't like the sound of her voice.     

You mostly just said "I think Ruby is a wonderful angel",   which doesn't relates to her performances at all (expect maybe that you find her screen persona charming,  which I do).    So I'm still interested in what is in those performances that you find so appealing.

 

I find Ruby's on-screen persona very charming, like you said. I also find her dancing, acting skills, and to me anyway, her voice very pleasant and appealing. Her talented buck n wing dance style along with the great sounding tapping rhythms I hear her tap out on screen has really impressed me. Her beauty and sweetness which she shows on screen is very pleasant to watch. All of this combined with everything that I ever read about how she was in real life is what's gotten me in my opinion to think that she is an.angel. I've read in many sources including from her children what a loving mother she was plus that alot of her sweet, charming on screen presence is how she was in real life. She was not one of those actresses who was very different in.real life than she was in her films.

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4 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

This is why I'd never title a thread "__of the day". March 20th was "the day" well past.

You are wise, Tiki. I never thought this subject would emote so much reaction. I certainly have nothing against Ms. Keeler herself. I only commented on her dancing. The Jolson Story is one of my favorite films and I wish Ruby had been a part of it, because I think it would have made the film a little better. 

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46 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

You are wise, Tiki. I never thought this subject would emote so much reaction. I certainly have nothing against Ms. Keeler herself. I only commented on her dancing. The Jolson Story is one of my favorite films and I wish Ruby had been a part of it, because I think it would have made the film a little better. 

I watched "The Jolson Story" as a kid and really loved it. But I was just a begginer tap dancer at the time and didn't notice the discrepancy in the tap dancing of Evelyn Keyes.

Later when I became a professional tap dancer, I couldn't help but notice that Miss Keyes was doing a real Eleanor Powell impersonation, while Ruby Keelers style tap dancing was straight hoofing without much, or really any ballet influence.

 

* So I think if Miss Keeler had been participating, we might have seen her style as it was in those "42nd Street" movies, rather than than that quite fluid feminine Style that Evelyn Keyes  projected.

 

 Either way William Demarest was my favorite actor in the movie along with Ludwig Donath, who played Jolson's father--and they both were in the original movie and the sequel.

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