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Joan Blondell questions


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I love that wise-cracking dame and I just finished her thinly-disguised autobiography masking-as-a-novel, called Center Door Fancy, which I recommend. In it, she takes hard aim at the June Allyson character, who set out to steal her then-husband, Dick Powell, himself a strange bird. Allyson is portrayed as a conniving prostitute on her way up the ladder. She later adopts the child Blondell had with Powell but the book doesn't mention it, as it ends prior to the event. Now, why would Blondell allow such a thing to happen to her daughter? Does anyone know the details. Was Allyson really so bad?

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I don't think that June Allyson was a prostitute because she worked as an actress in MGM studios and they would not allow a prostitute to become an actress. June Allyson has always come across to me as a joyful person who enjoyed singing and dancing parts in movies.

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Kinston,

 

I don't think the original poster was saying that June Allyson was a prostitute.

 

There is a character in the fictional book, Center Door Fancy, written by Joan Blondell that includes a prostitute character that may be modeled on June Allyson. As Allyson is one of the reasons Blondell's marriage to Dick Powell blew up, Blondell was not known to harbor the warmest feelings towards Allyson.

 

So, this is one of the times where fiction is, indeed, stranger than fact.

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She later adopts the child Blondell had with Powell but the book doesn't mention it, as it ends prior to the event. Now, why would Blondell allow such a thing to happen to her daughter? Does anyone know the details. Was Allyson really so bad?>>

 

Cybrspacy,

 

I don't know about Allyson being bad but a little digging shows that there is some misinformation on imdb.com about Blondell and her daughter.

 

Blondell first marriage was to George Barnes. They had son Norman. Blondell and Barnes divorced.

 

Blondell married Powell in 1936. Powell adopted Blondell's son, Norman.

 

Blondell and Powell had a daughter, Ellen.

 

They divorced in 1944.

 

Powell married Allyson and they adopted a daughter, Pamela.

 

So, while Powell and Allyson adopted a daughter, it was not the daughter from Powell's previous marriage to Blondell.

 

Blondell went on to marry Mike Todd who left her in financial tatters due to his gambling addiction. They went through a controversial bankruptcy during their marriage. Todd ultimately left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Blondell and Todd did not have any children.

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Hi Lynn,

 

I'm glad you cleared this up.

I knew that Powell and Allyson had adopted a daughter but couln't for the life of me remember about there being 2 girls. After reading this first posting, I just couldn't believe Joan Blondell would allow her daughter to go to June Allyson, since she hated her (a very well known fact when I lived there!).......

 

Now, I remember the names of the girls since you jogged my memory (dangerously fuzzy and cobwebby at times!).....

 

Joan Blondell was a decent woman, but June Allyson used to be called "The ****" when I first heard about her. As a child, I thought she was a nymph, which I equated to a fairy or leprechaun. Then, I learned what they meant when she broke up Alan Ladd's marriage (temporarily) just as she'd done with Dick Powell.

 

Truthfully, I believe Joan was glad to be rid of both Dick and Mike in the long run.

I did not know any of these people but this was the gossip of the day back in the Hollywood 50's....... And, I had very big ears......

 

Larry

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Larry,

 

Thanks for adding to my post. I always adored Joan Blondell. She was one of my favorite characters on "Here Come the Brides" when I was much younger. It was about the time that show was running that our local, non-network affiliated, television station began running studio era films, especially the Warner Bros library. So, I got to see Blondell at the start of her career and towards the end of her career at the same time.

 

I later became good friends with one of the sons of Henry Beckman who played Capt. Clancey and he always had good things to say about Blondell.

 

BTW, I think we are grateful you had "big" ears! :)

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> Joan Blondell was a decent woman, but June Allyson

> used to be called "The ****" when I first heard

> about her. As a child, I thought she was a

> nymph, which I equated to a fairy or

> leprechaun. Then, I learned what they meant when she

> broke up Alan Ladd's marriage (temporarily) just as

> she'd done with Dick Powell.

 

This reminds me of the interstitial TCM airs with Rhonda Fleming about Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound. Fleming was about 19 at the time, and still living with her mother. When she found out her character was a nymphomaniac, she and her mother had to look it up in the dictionary!

 

(At least she wasn't playing an ichthyologist ;-))

 

I gotta go off and see if FMC are airing Fleming in Inferno any time soon....

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Wow; June Allyson a ****??? Just goes to show, there's no accounting for taste!!! She's absolutely my LEAST favorite actress; just something about her.

But interesting to read all the gossip; sounds like Hollywood marriages, alright!

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"Wow; June Allyson a ****??? Just goes to show, there's no accounting for taste!!! She's absolutely my LEAST favorite actress; just something about her.

But interesting to read all the gossip; sounds like Hollywood marriages, alright!"

 

Well I'd always heard she was a lesbian, so this thread set me straight. I guess she wasn't a lesbian, she just played one on the screen (They Killed Their Masters)...

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First of all, thanks to all for clearing up my misunderstanding about Blondell's daughter. Nice to know she wasn't adopted by Allyson after all.

In light of all this **** talk, I find it fascinating how boring a lover Blondell portrayed Powell to be. His technique was to turn off the lights, jump on and off, shower, comb his hair, stand the collar up on his pjs, and go to bed with a volume on taxes! I never got his appeal at all.

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Hi Fedya,

 

If a **** in the form of Rhonda Fleming was coming at me, I'd have a smile on my face and something else tilted upward!!

But, if it was one like June Allyson, I'd have to think about it......

 

I don't mind June Allyson's screen persona; I think she did a pretty good job of it over the years.

And, my gossipy revellations are merely bitchy utterances from people like Betty Blythe and Rose Douras, both of whom are now long dead.

I don't know for sure if June was a **** or not, but some people sure detested her.....

 

Larry

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I will say up front I am not a Rhonda Fleming fan. When I see A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, I wonder at her lack of acting ability (in my opinion).

 

I had the misfortune to see her in person in a stage production circa 1976 of "Kismet" in Los Angeles, at the Dorothy Chandler, I think. Oh, she was bad! Instead of being in character as the others were in the production, her performance was that of a Hollywood star playing a Hollywood star. When the curtain call came, and this is no lie, everybody got their applause as they took their bows individually...except when she came out. The theater audience abruptly stopped applauding and the theater was silent, as if everyone else were also sitting on their hands. And the applause only resumed when the actor playing the main part came out. Believe me, she was so unwatchable that I started counting the cracks in the ceiling.

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Hi Filmlover,

 

I was referring to her looks, as you probably know anyway.

But, she certainly was never known for her thespian qualities.

 

I have a tendency to overlook & forgive people who are awful but whom I like.

Lana, Ava and Paulette are just a few in mind.

I do like Rhonda Fleming but I can just imagine she was never cut out for the stage.

I remember Rita Hayworth was going to go on Broadway in the early 60's and everybody was holding their breath wondering what wouls transpire. Fortunately, she came to her senses and bowed out. Some people say Orson Welles had a long talk with her, but who knows!!!

 

Larry

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Hi,

 

Well, phew!! I'm glad the comment was taken in a light vein!!! That's how it was meant.....

 

And thanks Dan for the great picture. If I saw that coming towards me with that big smile and all those arms and legs, I wouldn't care if she could act.....

Who wants acting when you have a major job ahead of you helping the lady remove those pesky veils!!!!

Always the gentleman, I'd happily oblige..

 

Larry

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I've always enjoyed Joan Blondell's performances - I think in every movie I've seen her in -- and I started early, too - in the series Here Comes The Brides - like another poster.

 

I had heard, somewhere, that Joan and Dick Powell's daughter, Ellen, had gone to live with June and Dick at sometime -- I think there was some trouble? My memory is that this is from a June Allyson interview - if not the Private Screening one, then another.

 

Julie

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