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In search of...Virginia Weidler


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OK, I guess I will have to visit her FB on a more frequent basis. That is a sad story, and the murder has never been solved?

 

I didn't realize too that she worked at the Hollywood Canteen. A new book on the Canteen has just been released and suppose to have a lot of photos, maybe Virginia is mentioned and pictured in the book. Title is "The Hollywood Canteen, Where the greatest generation danced with the most beautiful girls in the world." One of the author's Bruce Torrence notified the JG fan club I belong to.

 

Oh and I just made a comment about the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Ginny's FB page. "Hollywood" has the shortest memory and a real tendency to just use people.

 

Lori

 

 

 

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I think I found out Virginia worked at the canteen from a list of stars on that book's website.

 

Georgette was a volunteer there and at least one soldier was questioned in the case. She was a few years older than Ginny.

 

There is a website, http://www.georgettebauerdorf.com/, with a lot of information. It was a fairly notorious murder at the time, with national coverage, but hasn't survived the test of time like the Black Dahlia. Danny over at VWRS wonders why there hasn't been a movie.

 

Update-The list I found of Hollywood Canteen volunteers was in a review of the book. It can be found at :

 

http://midatlanticnostalgiaconvention.com/a-history-of-the-hollywood-canteen/

 

Edited by: ginnyfan on Nov 17, 2012 3:16 PM

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Well if she volunteered at the Hollywood Canteen I was wondering if a solider might have been involved in the murder. Horrible to say, but one never knows.

 

I tried to leave a comment at the site that reviewed the book and listed the the celebrities that volunteered at the Canteen but I couldn't.

 

 

Thanks

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Lori,

 

I contacted the author of the review through his own site, http://www.martingrams.com/. I asked if he knew if there were any pics of Virginia either in the book or in the author's collection. I also asked if in his own research he had ever come up with anything on Ginny.

 

Update-Mr. Grams already replied. He explained that he got the list from an old magazine and not from the book. Ginny does not appear in the index of the book.

 

Edited by: ginnyfan on Nov 17, 2012 4:17 PM

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I am wondering if her family would be comfortable with all this? What if they thought a devoted fan might be turning her memory into a shrine of her as a little jesus...? I think it is best to promote her work and celebrate her talent without venturing into a 'when she walked the earth' sort of thing. I am not saying anyone has been guilty of that (yet), but I think it could be heading in that direction, and I would urge a bit of caution in the presentation of these materials, facts and figures.

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I still don't believe that the girl in the bottom right hand corner is Ginny. Her lips look different in that photo than in the other photos.

 

 

I use to post regularly on televisionwithoutpity.com in the WWE section and once we began to notice that ideas mentioned on the board for wrestling shows were being used in the shows and then suddenly stopped. Later someone mentioned an interview with someone on the WWE creative team who said that they had been getting ideas from message boards but people were still complaining about the storylines so they stopped. The point I am making here is that I would not be suprised if Ginny's family actually read the TCM message boards and the Facebook page.

 

 

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> {quote:title=ginnyfan wrote:}{quote}Lori,

>

> I contacted the author of the review through his own site, http://www.martingrams.com/. I asked if he knew if there were any pics of Virginia either in the book or in the author's collection. I also asked if in his own research he had ever come up with anything on Ginny.

>

>

> Update-Mr. Grams already replied. He explained that he got the list from an old magazine and not from the book. Ginny does not appear in the index of the book.

>

>

>

 

Hey, I know Martin! He's a good guy.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}I am wondering if her family would be comfortable with all this? What if they thought a devoted fan might be turning her memory into a shrine of her as a little jesus...? I think it is best to promote her work and celebrate her talent without venturing into a 'when she walked the earth' sort of thing. I am not saying anyone has been guilty of that (yet), but I think it could be heading in that direction, and I would urge a bit of caution in the presentation of these materials, facts and figures.

TB,

 

I don't think that's what I've done. Your position on anything that seems like fandom is well known but, face it, I'm never going to be as detached as you.

 

 

There is no Jesus thing going on here, I have one of those already. When we find things, we present them. It becomes the reader's choice on how to interpret the material.

 

 

There is only so many ways to discuss the merits of BAD LITTLE ANGEL. I know for I do that regularly. Over at the FB page we do that, we do recaps, and we also look for tidbits into both her movie and post movie life.

 

 

I'm proud of what we've uncovered. About half of the trivia on her IMDb page is a result of our work. I'm not really sure what we presented recently that has you so disturbed compared to just a couple of days ago when you favored my approach.

 

 

Have I played, cheerleader a bit? Yep. Will I probably continue that? Yep.

 

 

A couple of months ago an admonition like yours would have sent me into a two day funk, especially since you are one of the posters I respect here. It won't anymore.

 

Edited by: ginnyfan on Nov 18, 2012 10:54 AM

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I appreciate the reply, and of course I am going to follow-up here.

 

First, my posts are not meant to send anyone into a tailspin or into a mental institution. Second, I think it seems egotistical to claim credit for trivia about a dead movie star. Obviously, that information is not new to the family and they are perhaps guarding some private knowledge about her for their own reasons, which should be respected.

 

Next, I think that my admonition should be taken in the spirit it was offered. If not careful, your Weidler treasure hunt could be seen as bordering on lunacy (which in your heart of hearts would never been seen that way, because you are truly sincere in your admiration for her). However, when you start to cross the line a bit and turn it into some sort of worship, then it may help for others to point that out to you.

 

There's nothing to get mad or offended about. If I were in your shoes, I would be grateful that I am getting an added outside perspective. It will help sharpen your research, make it as scholarly as possible and prevent you from the eye-rolling that could threaten the sanctity of your admiration society.

 

So, again, take the time to step back and reflect on what I am really saying. If I did not care about this little actress and her accomplishments and the way her work still resonates with TCM fans years after her death, I would not take the time to compose these series of posts regarding any of these events. Nor would I have sent you a free copy of a film of hers that you did not have. Capiche?

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TB,

 

I'm not supposed to be offended when you throw around words like egotistical and lunacy? Think about it.

 

I never said that anything we've found isn't known to the family, they are items that all the website biographers didn't bother to even look for. And, yes, I'm proud that we made her site a little bit better and more appropriate for someone of her accomplishment. That isn't egotistical at all.

 

As I corrected my earlier statement to read, I do respect your opinion but I really fail to see where any of the last two days of posts are any different from what came before.

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> {quote:title=musicalnovelty wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=ginnyfan wrote:}{quote}Lori,

> >

> > I contacted the author of the review through his own site, http://www.martingrams.com/. I asked if he knew if there were any pics of Virginia either in the book or in the author's collection. I also asked if in his own research he had ever come up with anything on Ginny.

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> > Update-Mr. Grams already replied. He explained that he got the list from an old magazine and not from the book. Ginny does not appear in the index of the book.

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> > Hey, I know Martin! He's a good guy.

Yes, he is. He returned my email within twenty minutes.

 

 

 

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Getting back to the Hollywood Canteen, Danny at the VWRS posted a pic of an HC postcard signed by Weidler, Jimmy Cardwell and Harry Von Zell. There was also the signature of a Minnie Berry, but I don't know who that was.

 

I would like to obtain more information about Ginny's warwork. I know she went to camps, did War Bond and USO tours and that she worked at the Canteen. There apparently was footage of her in a 1994 documentary about the USO, but I've never seen it.

 

Because she wasn't making movies during most of the war, this, radio and vaudeville were her career at this point. We had a report that she might have been involved with some band shorts during the period, but nothing we've seen bears that out.

 

The search will continue...

 

 

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The other day I googled Virginia Weidler and there are links to this website and this specific thread as well as many others on her. To me this says your work (passion), is paying off.

 

That is great. She does have a someone unique life since she quit acting at the age of 17 but sadly died at 41. As I said I knew who Virginia was since I had seen her in many movies I enjoy but I didn't make much of a connection to her as a person. Thanks to you I'm more enlighten.

 

 

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> {quote:title=ginnyfan wrote:}{quote}TB,

>

> I'm not supposed to be offended when you throw around words like egotistical and lunacy? Think about it.

>

>

> I never said that anything we've found isn't known to the family, they are items that all the website biographers didn't bother to even look for. And, yes, I'm proud that we made her site a little bit better and more appropriate for someone of her accomplishment. That isn't egotistical at all.

>

>

> As I corrected my earlier statement to read, I do respect your opinion but I really fail to see where any of the last two days of posts are any different from what came before.

>

 

 

Well, my two cents is basically "Who cares" about how much research you do and regarding what others think??

 

Everybody has hobbies. I suppose some people could argue (and probably do) that watching movies on TCM is a waste of time, and discussing movies on the TCM Message Board is even more of a waste of time. Nevermind finding out information about long gone movie actors, etc...

But whatever. Everybody is different.

 

At least somebody doing research on Weidler isn't cooking illegal drugs or working for the mafia or doing some other activity that is evil and harmful to humankind.

So, who cares?

If it is doing no harm, what's the fuss.

 

As for Weidler's family, I suppose it they were upset they could contact legal help? I don't know what the laws are concerning dead people? I think you can say pretty much anything about anybody who is deceased and suffer no repercussions.

I suppose surviving family may be upset if something factually false is published for public consumption? I don't know??

 

It sort of reminds me of an interview Sally Field did recently related to the new movie "Lincoln" and the character she plays in it - Mary Todd Lincoln.

Apparently, Mrs. Lincoln was very possessive regarding her husband's memory after he died.

She allegedly considered her husband to belong to her, and nobody else, even 'tho he was a public figure. Apparently Mrs. Lincoln burned many items that had belonged to Lincoln just so nobody else would have access to them. She was very possessive in regards to her husband.

 

Anyway, Field compares herself to Mrs. Lincoln in regards to email text messages that her co-star Daniel Day-Lewis sent to her during the making of the movie:

 

"I actually kept all the texts. I printed them up, I will keep them forever. They were breathtakingly wonderful and important to me because he kept doing it throughout the whole filming. He would write me after I’d done big scenes. It meant so much to me, and I will never reveal it. I will never reveal what they are. They are mine, they belong to me — a little like what Mary Todd felt about Mr. Lincoln."

 

Full interview with Sally Field here:

http://metronews.ca/scene/427844/sally-field-text-messaged-in-character-for-lincoln/

 

So, I imagine many surviving family of public figures are like that too in being possessive towards their relative or family member. The dead movie star or public figure belongs to them and nobody else, etc... Not all 'tho. Some understand that the person was a public figure and want to share information too... Whatever... Everybody is different...

 

I also understand what TB is getting at too. Movie stars are just regular people too and what they do/did was a job that they did for money and to make a living.

They are/were gifted at what they did. Some more than others. Just like a blacksmith or a medical doctor can be gifted at what they do.

But they also had faults, just like anybody else.

 

Anyway, enough yapping on this topic...

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> {quote:title=jamesjazzguitar wrote:}{quote}The other day I googled Virginia Weidler and there are links to this website and this specific thread as well as many others on her. To me this says your work (passion), is paying off.

>

> That is great. She does have a someone unique life since she quit acting at the age of 17 but sadly died at 41. As I said I knew who Virginia was since I had seen her in many movies I enjoy but I didn't make much of a connection to her as a person. Thanks to you I'm more enlighten.

>

James,

 

Thanks. As I said earlier, I really respect TB. He's a font of movie knowledge and I enjoy his threads. I suspect either my mentioning the Bauerdorf case or posting the comparison photos bothered him, but in the case of Bauerdorf I was asked and I answered. The photos were an attempt to resolve a dispute from last month and, looking at Colorado's post, they didn't. :)

 

I find her life unique because so little is known now, but if one just starts looking through old newspapers he finds that she didn't just drop off the face of the earth when she left MGM. She still regularly appeared in trades and gossip columns throughout the 1940s. It's only in hindsight that one can say she disappeared.

 

Her actual public disappearance can actually be traced to the time that the family moved to Cuba for her husband's work. It's after that she refused publicity.

 

Edited by: ginnyfan on Nov 18, 2012 2:20 PM

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> I also understand what TB is getting at too. Movie stars are just regular people too and what they do/did was a job that they did for money and to make a living.

> They are/were gifted at what they did. Some more than others. Just like a blacksmith or a medical doctor can be gifted at what they do.

> But they also had faults, just like anybody else.

 

Color me confused. In the Loretta Young thread, TB has posted in response to another poster that dwelling on a star's shortcomings doesn't really help to have a better understanding of the star.

 

I don't really see much difference between what TB says about Loretta Young in that thread and what ginnyfan is doing here with his appreciation of Virginia Weidler.

 

ginnyfan is gathering information and sharing it about an actress that many people don't know about beyond her work in a handful of popular classic films.

 

His hard work is helping people to appreciate her work and seek out her other films to widen their appreciation of her as an actress and as a person.

 

How is that different from what TB is advocating in the Loretta Young thread?

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> Color me confused. In the Loretta Young thread, TB has posted in response to another poster that dwelling on a star's shortcomings doesn't really help to have a better understanding of the star.

>

> I don't really see much difference between what TB says about Loretta Young in that thread and what ginnyfan is doing here with his appreciation of Virginia Wiedler.

 

I don't know either, Lzcutter... I didn't read TB's posts about LY, just adding my two cents...

Nothing for anybody to get excited over, anyway, I don't think...

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RM,

 

Thank you also. I just think this is a fan forum and, when it comes to Weidler, I'm both researcher and fan. I can't stop being one or the other. I admit to being "hooked" on this individual's life at least in part because she seems to be one of the really good people in the business. There really isn't any scandal. I admit, though, that if there was I'd probably bury it because I'm a fan and not a professional researcher.

 

And, yes, I get what TB was saying as well. I just really don't think I've committed that sin, if it is one.

 

I'd like to think Weidler's family would approve of my work and the work of those who have joined me and accept that we aren't trying to exploit her memory but are trying to make sure there is one and that it's a little more full and accurate. I'd never knowingly post anything false and, as I stated above, wouldn't post any harmful truths either. I'm actually a little upset still that a blog I wrote about her family several months ago was woefully incomplete. Nothing in it was inaccurate, but we've since learned so much more about her siblings' work in show business that posting it when I did seems to actually have been an act of hubris. I wanted to tell what I knew so much that I didn't wait to know everything or, at least, what I would now consider to be an adequate amount of information.

 

Reading the comments you made about Sally Field and Lincoln, I must admit that it doesn't surprise me to see Ms. Field react to Mrs. Lincoln in such a fashion.

 

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LZ,

 

To be fair to TB I think he generally supports me but is worried that I don't have the detachment to finish this properly. He has been one of the major posters in this thread and has been an enormous help in the past.

 

As I said below, I can only guess that he either found the reference to the Bauerdorf murder tacky or he didn't think the montage of photos was proper research. I've explained both and, since I am also a fan, don't see the conflict.

 

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> {quote:title=ginnyfan wrote:}{quote}Getting back to the Hollywood Canteen, Danny at the VWRS posted a pic of an HC postcard signed by Weidler, Jimmy Cardwell and Harry Von Zell. There was also the signature of a Minnie Berry, but I don't know who that was.

>

> I would like to obtain more information about Ginny's warwork. I know she went to camps, did War Bond and USO tours and that she worked at the Canteen. There apparently was footage of her in a 1994 documentary about the USO, but I've never seen it.

>

> Because she wasn't making movies during most of the war, this, radio and vaudeville were her career at this point. We had a report that she might have been involved with some band shorts during the period, but nothing we've seen bears that out.

>

> The search will continue...

>

I'm answering myself just to bump a positive post to the top of the thread. If anyone knows anything about what Imention above, please let me know. Thank you.

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ginnyfan, I was just wondering if you have done internet searches for WWII sites? I know the USO has a site and I am pretty sure there is some history there and maybe you can find something related to Ginny's war work.

 

There are also certain "troops" that were sent overseas that have articles written by soldiers on the entertainers who put on shows for them.

 

I have come across some fun and interesting info and there might be some on Ginny too.

 

Just a thought. Keep up the good work.

 

Lori

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Hi Lori,

 

All I had found prior to this was an entry on a website for a Camp Reynolds in PA.

 

That entry reads: {font:Arial}*August 19, 1943*{font}

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial} Movie stars *Virginia Weidler* and *June Priesser* visit the camp.

 

And that's it. The would have been during the ALL GIRL REVUE portion of her Spring-Summer tour. In vaudeville the two were playing a bill with Ada Leonard's All Girl Orchestra, with Ginny headlining.

 

I did also see that Judy Garland had been there in July.

 

 

 

{font}

Edited by: ginnyfan on Nov 18, 2012 11:03 PM

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Pete,

 

The reference to the murder investigation is something I did not care for, though it was obviously news (at the time it happened) and anyone who is researching Weidler's life would naturally stumble upon it.

 

I did have a problem with another poster's idea that a military person killed Weidler's neighbor. An over-active imagination is one thing, but to suggest someone who served our country was a murderer of young women, without the facts to back it up, doesn't help matters and only confuses the issue. It's a cold case, simple as that. Also, to imply it may have been someone Weidler bumped into at the canteen is really veering too far away from the original subject under discussion.

 

The other thing I do have a problem with here is that we are getting into a cult of personality. I have tried to guard against this in the Loretta Young thread and certainly in my Ruth Roman thread and my Estelle Mayce thread. I try to keep the discussion positive about the performer and to present information about the making of the films, not the making or unmaking of the star's personal life.

 

I really do think that if x-number of years have gone by and the family has not been forthcoming, then there are private details they wish to remain private. Speculation about murders, what-ifs about careers and thoughts about a premature demise can seem tacky and actually detract from the star's talent and the films that still hold up and are worth watching and enjoying.

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}Pete,

>

> The reference to the murder investigation is something I did not care for, though it was obviously news (at the time it happened) and anyone who is researching Weidler's life would naturally stumble upon it.

>

> I did have a problem with another poster's idea that a military person killed Weidler's neighbor. An over-active imagination is one thing, but to suggest someone who served our country was a murderer of young women, without the facts to back it up, doesn't help matters and only confuses the issue. It's a cold case, simple as that. Also, to imply it may have been someone Weidler bumped into at the canteen is really veering too far away from the original subjct under discussion.

>

> The other thing I do have a problem with here is that we are getting into a cult of personality. I have tried to guard against this in the Loretta Young thread and certainly in my Ruth Roman thread. I try to keep the discussion positive about the performer and to present information about the making of the films, not the making or unmaking of the star's personal life.

>

> I really do think that if x-number of years have gone by and the family has not been forthcoming, then there are private details they wish to remain private. Speculation about murders, what-ifs about careers and thoughts about a premature demise can seem tacky and actually detract from the star's talent and the films that still hold up and are worth watching and enjoying.

 

Thanks for the explanation.

 

That's what should have been said before instead of the rather loaded "little jesus" stuff that was said and was guaranteed to inflame. The egotistical lunacy stuff is a little hard to let pass as well.

 

Rest assured that there is a line I'm not crossing and things found that will remain private. I do want to add that nothing I've found, nor anyone else who posts at the other site has found, has ever been negative toward Ginny in anyway. It really was an exemplary life from all I can tell.

 

I just didn't think of the Bauerdorf incident as one of those things to be withheld. Especially since there is a website devoted to it and Virginia involvement was so peripheral. Maybe my judgement was flawed, maybe not. That was my call.

 

BTW, who said it could have been someone Weidler met? I must have skipped over that.

 

As far as speculation about what ifs that is, for better or worse, a major component of her story and something that I was obviously looking at from the start. I never intended to limit myself to her braided brat days and declare a happy ending in 1943.

 

Thanks again for the clarification.

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