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"In the Spotlight"

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In the spotlight: Anne Revere



Anne Revere was born June 25, 1903 and died December 18, 1990. was a grand American film character actress.


Born in New York, New York, Revere was a direct descendant of American Revolution figure Paul Revere. She made her Broadway acting debut in 1931 in The "Great Barrington" and followed this success with a role in "Double Door".


She made her film debut in the 1934 film version of the latter, and she quickly established herself as a character actress, specializing in worldly wise but frequently sharp tongued supporting roles.


She received Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actress for her world-weary yet sympathetic roles as a blue-class working mother in three roles in the 1940s - as the mother of Jennifer Jones in "The Song of Bernadette" (1943), Elizabeth Taylor in "National Velvet" (1944) for which she won the award as a woman who had swum the English Channel as a teenager, and as the mother of Gregory Peck in "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947). Her last role of note was as the mother of Montgomery Clift in A "Place in the Sun" (1951), before her career was destroyed by the McCarthy-era witchhunts. Called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Revere pleaded the Fifth Amendment and she was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses and her career ruined. For the rest of her life she maintained that the unsigned copy of a Communist Party registration card that was used as evidence of her party membership was a fake. Her role as Montgomery Clift's mother in "A Place in the Sun" was was cut to ribbons, from the final print of the film because of the "Red" scare. Shameful, since she had said it was the best work she ever did in a movie.

Also appeared in "Remember the Day" w/Colbert, "The Gay Ststers", "Old Acquaintance", "The Keys of the Kingdom", "Drangonwyck", "Body and Soul" w/Garfield, etc.


With her husband, the playwright and director Samuel Rosen, Revere moved to New York where the couple ran an acting school, and Revere returned to Broadway. She won a Tony Award in 1961 for her role in Lillian Hellman's "Toys in the Attic". Still an outsider in Hollywood, Revere was not considered for the film version which was played by Wendy Hiller.


In her later years she appeared in supporting roles in a few films and on TV, including soap operas.


Miss Revere passed away after contracting pneumonia at age 87 and was survived by a sister. She had no children. Although a victim of "Cold War" paranoia, she always persevered, showing the same kind of grit and courage that embodied her gallery of characters on film.




Anne Revere, letter to her fellow Screen Actors Guild Board members in 1953:


You, the Board of the Screen Actors Guild, point with pride to your seven-year fight against the Communist conspiracy. What have you accomplished? You have sanctioned the blacklist of 23 of your fellow members because they chose to defy an unconstitutional investigation into their thoughts and beliefs. Have you given strength to the industry by depriving those artists of their art and bread? Or have you further incapacitated the industry and the art which you profess to nourish? For seven years you have purged the screen of 'dangerous ideas.' With what results? The obliteration of all ideas. And people. Behold an industry that once bestrode the envious pinnacle of world leadership, now so paralyzed with fear that the screen is now inhabited solely by three-dimensional spooks and men from Mars. But there is still hope. The invalid is sick but not dead. Unlock the dungeon doors. Give him fresh air and sunshine. Take off the straitjacket and let him move about with freedom. But above all, return his conscience which you have filched from him.


Miss Revere has no star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Here is a few more I can think of for your spotlight

Joseph Cotton

Lewis Stone

Walter BRennan

Donald O'Connor

William Demerest

Karl Malden

T Bankhead

Leslie Howard

Ernest Borgine

Judy Holiday

Beluah Bondi

Jane Russell

That's all I could think for now.


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Christine, at least half of the stars that you listed, have been discussed or mentioned on the boards numerous times, on various threads.


My intentions are to profile stars that are not that often mentioned or appreciated on the boards, as I have done so far.

I have quite a list of them prepared for future 'spotlights', at this time.


I do appreciate that you took the time to offer a list for future profiles, and I have considered a few of them. Thank you.

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Hi Mongo,


It was nice to see Anne Revere.

Even though her part was cut quite a bit from "A Place in the Sun", she still comes across very strongly and I always remember her from that telephone call and not from her other roles.

Strange that she was blacklisted when she had done nothing wrong. She was tarred with innuendo only. Stupid people! - - can we ever be saved from them??



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Thank you for spotlighting Ann Revere. I really didn't know much about her--had no idea that she had been blacklisted. Her letter to the Screen Actors Guild was beautifully written. I've always admired her performance in National Velvet.


Sandy K

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In the spotlight: William Bendix



William Bendix (January 14, 1906 ? December 14, 1964) was a Jut-jawed, broken-nosed and burly, grand character actor.


Bendix was born in New York City, and made his film debut in 1942, having worked as a grocer until the Great Depression. As a young boy, he was a batboy for the New York Yankees.

He played in supporting roles in dozens of Hollywood films, usually as a soldier, gangster or detective (with a great Brooklyn accent).


He started with appearances in film-noir including a memorable performance in "The Glass Key", which also featured Brian Donlevy and Veronica Lake.

Was Oscar nominated best support for his fine role in "Wake Island".

He soon gained more attention after appearing in Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" as Gus, a wounded and dying American sailor. Bendix's other well-known movie roles include his portrayal of legendary baseball-player Babe Ruth in "The Babe Ruth Story" and Sir Sagramore opposite Bing Crosby in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1949), in which he took part in the famous trio, "Busy Doing Nothing". He also played Nick the bartender in the 1948 film version of William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life". Bendix had also appeared in the stage version, but in the role of Officer Krupp (a role played on film by Broderick Crawford).


Other notables films of the 1940s were, "Woman of the Year", "Who Done It?" w/Abbott & Costello, "Guadalcanal Diary", "The Hairy Ape" with Susan Hayward, "A Bell for Adano", "The Blue Dahlia" with Ladd & Lake, "Blaze of Noon", "Kill the Umpire", "Detective Story" an exceptional performance (coming to TCM), etc.


At the time, however, Bendix was probably best known for his radio work, starring as Chester A. Riley in the radio comedy series "The Life of Riley," from 1944 through 1951. The series is considered by some to be the first actual situation comedy. Bendix also played the title role in the second television version of the series, which ran from 1953 to 1958 (Jackie Gleason played Riley in a short-lived 1949 version). Bendix is one of the most cherished actors in the history of radio.


William Bendix died in Los Angeles from lobar pneumonia aged 58 and was interred there in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery. He was married to Theresa Stefanotti from 1927 until his death. They had two daughters together.


Mr. Bendix has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Marvelous thread, Mongo! Great work and I look forward to your future "spotlights". Everyone you have profiled so far is a favorite of mine, Steve Cochran being the one I knew the least about (now I feel like I know him so "intimately"! lol)


I do want to mention that Ann Revere was also good in Otto Preminger's FALLEN ANGEL, co-starring Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell and as "Crazy Mary" in THE THIN MAN GOES HOME.


Miss G

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Thanks guys, I'm glad that your enjoying the thread.


There are so many 'unsung stars' who entertained us throughout the years that deserve their due, and if I can bring them some recognition on this little thread, I'm happy to oblige.

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Thank you so much for highlighting William Bendix. It's great to see a thread that is certainly not a "revoltin' development". Did you know that Bendix was said to have been a batboy for the Yankees when Babe Ruth was at the height of his legendary powers with that team? True or not, it's a great tale. I can't tell you how many times I've paused to watch some movie simply because someone wonderfully human like Bendix and Ann Revere had a role in it. Way to go, Mongo!

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Thanks, Moira. William Bendix was indeed a teddy bear, and a darn good actor.

It's a shame his life span was so short.

Of course Anne Revere was a most essential character actress, one of the best.

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n the Spotlight: Iris Adrian


Iris Adrian (May 29, 1912 ? September 17, 1994) was a dandy character actress, with platinum blonde hair, chipmunk cheeks, sparkling eyes, a chorus girl figure along with a shrill, brassy demeanor.


Born in Los Angeles, California as Iris Adrian Hofstadter, Adrian won a beauty pageant and worked with the Ziegfeld Follies, before she entered films at the end of the silent era in "Chasing Husbands" (1928).


During the 1930s she specialized in playing glamorous gold-diggers and gangsters' "dames", and played supporting roles in numerous features. She was considered a versatile actress, who could play drama or comedy, and she was also regarded as a capable dancer, dancing in a couple of films with George Raft.

In "Rumba", "Lady Luck", "Ou Relations" with Laurel & Hardy, "Gold Diggers of 1937", "One Third of a Nation", "Go West" with The Marx Bros., "Road to Zanzibar", "Roxie Hart" as '2 Gun' Gertie, "Lady of Burlesque" w/Stanwyck, "The Woman in the Window", "Bluebeard", "The Stork Club", "The Paleface", "The Scarf", "My Favorite Spy", "Highway Dragnet", etc. She also appeared on several radio programs, including serving as a regular on the Abbott and Costello Show.


She continued to act regularly without achieving star status and by the end of the 1960s had appeared in more than one hundred films. In her later years she appeared in several Walt Disney films, including That "Darn Cat!" (1965), "The Love Bug" (1970), "The Shaggy D.A." (1976) and "Freaky Friday" (1976). She also played numerous guest roles in such television series as "Get Smart", "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Green Acres", "Petticoat Junction", "The Munsters" and "The Love Boat".


She was married three times, the first time to Charles Over in 1935 (divorced in 1936), the second to George Jay (also divorced), and her final marriage was to Ray (Fido) Murphy which lasted over 30 years. She had no children.


Known for sense of humor, she wryly commented in an interview late in her life that the only thing she did not like about ageing was that she could no longer attract gangsters. A hoot indeed.


She died in Los Angeles, from injuries she sustained during the 1994 Northridge earthquake nine months earlier, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Cemetery. She was 82.

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Larry & Vallo, the bubbly Iris Adrian was always a favorite of mine ever since I saw her in "Lady of Burlesque" as GeeGee.

Her portrayal of a gum-snappin' chorus girl was a riot.


Should also mention that she was very fond of Jack Benny and appeared numerous times on his TV show.

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In the spotlight: Dan Duryea


Dan Duryea (born January 23, 1907, in White Plains, New York; died June 7, 1968, in Hollywood, California) was a hard-working American TV and movie actor.

He made his name on Broadway in the play "Dead End", followed by "The Little Foxes", in which he played the dishonest and not particularly bright weakling Leo Hubbard. He moved to Hollywood in 1940 to appear in the film version in the same role.


He established himself in films playing similar secondary roles as the foil, usually as a weak or annoyingly immature character, in movies such as "The Pride of the Yankees".

As his career progressed he played a number of roles as a violent, yet sexy, bad guy throughout the 1940s in a number of film noirs. Duryea usually played a con man or criminal who beat his women. His work in this era included "Scarlet Street", "The Woman in the Window", "Criss Cross" and "Black Angel".

Other films include: "Ball of Fire", "Sahara", "Mrs. Parkington", "Ministry of Fear", "The Great Flamarion", "The Valley of Decision", "Lady on a Train", "Too Late for Tears", etc.


By the 1950s, Duryea spent most of his time appearing in television programs and an occasional western. Other notable roles included parts in "Winchester '73" and "The Flight of the Phoenix". He also appeared in one of the first "Twilight Zone" episodes in 1959 as a drunken former gunfighter in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday", written by Rod Serling.


Duryea was far removed from many of the characters he played in the course of his career. He was married for 35 years to his wife, Helen, who preceded him in death on January 21, 1967. The couple had two sons, Peter, who worked for a time as an actor, and Richard.


Dan Duryea died of cancer in 1968 at age sixty-one. He is buried in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.


Dan Duryea has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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