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About Noirdame79

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  1. Here are some rare photos of Vic and his daughter Jennifer Jason Leigh
  2. That style of tap dancing was popular on Broadway at the time, it was called Buck and Wing style. Ruby Keeler was trained as an Irish Step dancer. If you watch her dancing sequences (particularly the early ones) you'll notice she wasn't wearing tap shoes.
  3. When he was interviewed on the set of The Singing Marine (1937), Powell stated, "The hardest thing for me to do is listen well. You have to react to what you hear, and as a reactor I'm dead from the neck up. Ruby Keeler used to react me; she was good at it. But yesterday I had to react to Doris Weston while she sang a song in The Singing Marine (1937) and I sank like a chain anchor." It was obvious that he missed working with her. If they did have a fling as the press account suggested, I hope they enjoyed it. If things had been different, who knows. Shipmates Forever (1935)
  4. Dick Powell and Joan Blondell didn't marry until September 19, 1936; what ended up being the final Powell/Keeler film, "Colleen", was released earlier that year. From January 4, 1933 to September 4, 1936 Blondell was married to her first husband, cinematographer George Barnes. The Powell/Blondell marriage was in trouble early on and they were both unfaithful. I agree that it's unlikely that Powell and Ruby Keeler were involved when they worked together mostly due to the jealous and possessive nature of Keeler's husband, Al Jolson (he apparently even hired private detectives to keep tabs on her). Jolson insisted that she leave Warner Brothers with him in 1937 and her career never fully recovered. Powell was apparently unaware of Jolson's massive ego and jealousy until they worked together on "Wonder Bar" (1934); Powell and the rest of the cast ended up despising Jolson for his behavior and upstaging antics. I recently discovered that Powell and Keeler may have been involved following her separation from Jolson in 1939. It was noted in the press at the time that she moved into a house that was close to Powell's bachelor pad and it stirred up a "minor scandal". No doubt they would have tried to keep it secret for obvious reasons. I don't think Keeler would have had a fling under normal circumstances but given that Jolson had treated her so badly and they were headed for divorce, maybe she decided to enjoy herself. She and Powell had known each other for several years so it wasn't as if she was having an affair with a random stranger. (Keeler married her second husband, John Homer Lowe, in October 1941) There is, of course, no way to verify this all these years later, but I think it's safe to assume that there are a lot of stories that we don't know about. You'll notice that both books written about Ruby Keeler don't go into depth about her personal life and her relationship with others, as she was a very private person. Given that Powell was married at the time he likely wouldn't have talked about it either. He did mention in a 1937 interview that he missed working with Keeler because she was an empathetic actress and she made it easier for him to react to her because she reacted so well to him and he knew that their chemistry could not be duplicated. In the introduction to the pilot episode of his last television series, "The Dick Powell Show", he specifically mentioned Ruby - and only Ruby - when he talked about how his early movies were often seen on late night television. The information about the possible affair between Powell and Keeler was noted by Powell's third wife, June Allyson, in her 1983 autobiography. She stated that when she was dating Powell his father loaned her a scrapbook about his early career. His "romantic triumphs" as she put it were also featured - Powell was quite the ladies' man in the 1930s and he did have a tendency to become romantically involved with his female co-stars. Mary Brian, Ginger Rogers, Rosemary Lane, Marion Davies, and of course Joan Blondell. I was very surprised to read that there may have been more than a professional relationship between Powell and Keeler. I can't say whether they were ever in love with each other but there may have well been an attraction and they seemed fond of one another. Here are a couple of photos. The first one is candid of Powell, Keeler and Joan Blondell taken in 1935 which is interesting in retrospect, as is the next one of Powell, Keeler and Al Jolson (who is the only one looking at the camera and looks very possessive of his lovely young wife in the presence of the boyishly handsome Powell).
  5. Besides the fact that Jennifer adopted a different stage name, and the fact that her parents divorced when she was very young, there's never been anything that confirmed why she and Vic were estranged. Given how private JJL is, I doubt if we'll ever know. Her career was just starting out in the late '70s/early '80s and Vic was having a hard time breaking back into the mainstream. There's also a story that Jennifer wanted the role that Brooke Shields ultimately played in "The Blue Lagoon" (1980), but that Vic made her turn the role down because of the nudity involved. Not sure how true that is. Jennifer did say at the time of her father's death she hadn't talked to or seen him in two years, so the timing would be about right. But then again, who knows. Jennifer did talk about her father early on, and for a few years after his tragic death, albeit briefly. There was one interviewer in particular who apparently pressured her so much into talking about Vic's accident that she began to cry. She loved her dad, and lost any chance she had to get close to him, which no doubt left her with a lot of pain and guilt. Here's one of the rare occasions that she spoke about Vic and his death, in a People magazine article in October 1982, just a few short months after the tragedy: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20083345,00.html In more recent times she has declined to discuss him, which is understandable. "I don't really talk about my dad. Too sad," Jennifer stated in the '90s. If you go to [www.listal.com|http://www.listal.com] and look up them each individually, and go to their photo galleries you will find a few photos of them together and with Barbara and Carrie before the divorce. Even in those early photos, you can see the resemblance between father and daughter. Hope this sheds a little light on the subject! Edited by: Noirdame79 on Oct 22, 2012 3:48 PM Edited by: Noirdame79 on Oct 22, 2012 6:03 PM
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