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TopBilled

Does religion get in the way of a star's career?

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Wayne, one more time, my first post here was in regards to Jack Warner telling Garfield we have to change your first name because it sounds too JEWISH and many people "think" they don't like Jews. That I believe that is appropriate to this thread and other people here have agreed with me. The Gentleman's Agreement discussion did get off topic and I have admitted that, and apologized.

 

I hear you loud and clear though, so can we just let it go now, please? This isn't a very pleasant experience for me and as I wrote earlier, I soon will be much less activity on these message boards. Until then I think it might be in your best interest if you put me on your ignore list, don't you?

 

*To get back on topic. I too never knew till just recently that Elizabeth Taylor was Jewish,and I never knew Lauren Bacall was Jewish. I guess "stars" don't have to advertise their religion, but it does seem like some, might have kind of "hide the fact" that they were Jewish. At least years ago it seemed that way, and that is too bad, in my opinion.*

 

Lori

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First, Sorry TopBilled, I know you want us to stay on topic, I'll just answer this.

DB- I've never used the Ignore Button, I'm not afraid to read anyone's posts, even the ones I find disagreeable. That was directed to Wayne since he feels that the threads are inundated with Garfield posts and he's tired of reading them, then I can see where the Ignore Button would help him. Lori is going to post what she feels, Wayne is uncomfortable with that. What other solution is possible? No malice is intended towards anyone. I feel badly for TopBilled, he wants us to just stick to the topic of his thread.

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> {quote:title=Wayne wrote:}{quote}This is the 2nd thread I've read (that I remember offhand) where Lori3 tried to unsuccessfully inject John Garfield into a conversation where he didn't belong. I wanted to point that out to her and meant no disrespect. I like John Garfield, just not on every other thread. And no, he does NOT belong in this thread because as Lori herself pointed out, his religion didn't get in the way of his career.

 

Gee, I disagree with almost all of that. The question was asked, stars were named by people and the issue debated. Because the debate seemed to go your way, that JG wasn't damaged by his religion, you go after the fact and accuse someone of hijacking the thread.

 

In actuality you, with an unfortunate assist from me, hijacked this thread. You made the accusation and I stupidly reacted to it, just as Michael told us not to in his recent civility thread. Since no one else at that point had even reacted to you, I should have simply moved on since it wasn't my fight.

 

I apologize to the rest of the posters for my part in that.

 

This forum is, the last time I looked, listed as a part of the TCM Fan Community. People who come here to read posts should expect to see posts from fans. If this were the TCM Boring Detached Automaton Community, I'd expect something a little different.

 

Trying to run perfectly decent, friendly posters out of here, or at least shame them into not posting, really stinks. And I've seen a little too much of that in the five months I've been here.

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Back on topic, the Lisa Welchel decision probably improved the impact of the episode since they gave the issue to Mindy Cohn's less popular girl character.

 

And I hate that I actually know this...

 

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Lori mentioned Lauren Becall. I somewhat remember watching Becall's interview with RO last year. She did mention that when she was a model, she did unfortunately overhear some of the models dicussing her, and making anti-semetic remarks.

 

I have read that when Danny Kaye first came to Hollywood, he was asked by the studio to have rhinoplasty so that he would have more of an All American boy look and not look as ethnic. He refused. Danny Kaye was a practicing Jewish man. The studio then had his hair dyed blond for awhile thinking that might give him that look. btw, finance's post was correct. Paul Newman was asked to change his name and he refused. He also considered himself Jewish and was proud of his heritage.

 

Tom, you brought up an interesting point about Elizabeth Taylor. I think the same point can be made about beautiful Hedy Lamarr, who was Jewish. Her roles were bland enough, so that one wouldn't associate any belief system to her.

 

 

 

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DarkBlue, no one is telling anyone to Ignore. It's a suggestion for Wayne's sake since he's the one who's uncomfortable. I could less if he reads or doesn't read any post. That's his business, but by the same token he can't tell Lori what not to post. I'm holding out some hope here, that this thread doesn't turn into a locked thread. So far, no one is arguing religious beliefs. Let's hope it stays that way.

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Ginny Fan said

"I hate that I actually know this" about The Facts Of Life.

 

I knew it too. I kind of know what you mean. That show was on too long.

 

Another Embarrassing fact.

 

The final episode had appearences by Seth Green, Juliet Lewis, and Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik.

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I see there's no end to this. OK YOU WIN! but with that said give me a break. You and Wayne have both written that to put it mildly you're tired of reading about John Garfield on the threads. My feelings are certainly not hurt and I can't speak for Lori but I'm sure she's over it by now. Your sophistication comment only has one meaning, you are bucking for a fight and to have the thread locked. Be my guest, fight with yourself, I'm done. Have some Respect for the OP of this thread and stick to posts that are relevant to this thread.

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I agree with lavender completely. darkblue,I see your "level of sophistication" statement as not very nice and uncalled for, but that is just my feelings and my opinion. You of course can post what you like, and you have and it is obviously your opinion.

 

I have explained more than once here and just recently, that my first post here was appropriate to the topic at hand. JG's first name was changed because it sounded too Jewish. The other post I admit got off topic but I did not start it. I did response to it though and I have apologized.

Wayne made his response to me without reading my first post!

I am not telling anyone to use his or her ignore function here. I am just making the suggestion.

 

Like lavendarblue, I too say you win and I hear what you and Wayne are saying very clearly.

Can we drop it now please?

 

 

Lori

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DarkBlue, I'm not angry at all. I have no vested interest one way or the other, as far as I'm concerned I'm out of any conversation that does not deal with the thread topic.. Actually, I'm fond of your posts, always have been. I'm just unsure as to why this is being dragged out,especially since I don't want to participate in this discussion. I would very much like to read a post from you on the original topic of this thread. that I would gladly read and respond to. :)

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When Monty Clift emerged from a week in a monastery in preparation for Hitchcock's I Confess (1953), he commented about the monks: *"Their passion for saints is like ours for movie stars."*

 

His comment stuck with me because I think the reverse is also true.

 

Some of us really DO have a passion for our favorite movie stars that's the equal of any Catholic for a patron saint ...

 

Some of mine are:

 

St. Marilyn, patron saint of innocent sexuality and showing up late to the set.

 

St. Tallulah who watches out for big mouths and those who smoke.

 

St. Barbra who watches over aspiring performers who learn breath control while singing along witih her (even the goyem ). St. Francis of Sinatra does this, too.

 

I think that if I worked with a Catholic woman who mentioned St. Anthony with some regularity until it kinda got to me, I'd look for a way to say, "Boy, you sure do loooove St. Anthony ! Seems like you mention him just about every day!" and hope like heck she'd take the hint.

 

But that's just me.

 

Pax Vobiscope,

Sister Valeska Suratt

 

* goyem is Yiddish for gentiles

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Jane Wyman converted after the divorce from Reagan. His father was Catholic and he was baptized one but raised Protestant. Since Wyman and he never married in a Catholic ceremony the marriage was considered legal but not sacramental and she was able to marry in the Church. She did this with the same man twice both times unsuccessfully. She remained a devout Catholic as did my mother after my father left us.

 

Loretta Young had a first civil marriage which failed and a later Church marriage which did as well. The last one came after he died. This was also the case with lifelong Catholic Maureen O'Hara and another convert Ann Sothern. Marriage is considered a Sacrament and when a Catholic is involved only a Church ceremony is recognized; it is for life unless there are grounds for an annulment.

 

I don't like off-color language either and can sympathize with Loretta's "swear jar" but understand that others might not have. I've read accounts of Groucho Marx and his family, Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall encountering anti-Semitism and can't believe it happened in an industry that owes so much of its existance to Jewish immigrants whose founded the studios.

 

I respect Steven Hill's decision to leave *MI.* He later went on to spend several seasons on *Law &* *Order* so in this case "He who honors Me so will I honor" seems to have been proven true.

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> {quote:title=Wayne wrote:}{quote}This is the 2nd thread I've read (that I remember offhand) where Lori3 tried to unsuccessfully inject John Garfield into a conversation where he didn't belong. I wanted to point that out to her and meant no disrespect. I like John Garfield, just not on every other thread. And no, he does NOT belong in this thread because as Lori herself pointed out, his religion didn't get in the way of his career.

I would like to say that John Garfield's Jewish sounding name necessitated a first and last name change for his career to take off. So in this sense his religion did impact his career.

 

Many people have posted here about how religion did not affect an actor's career negatively and no one has challenged that appropriateness to this thread. All posts should be welcome that discuss an actor's religion vis-a-vis their career and in this sense, John Garfield's inclusion is wholly appropriate.

Lori's inclusion of Mr. Garfield's religion added to the discussion immensely.

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Dolores Hart, a starlet from the late 50"s and early 60's, gave up acting to become a nun. That certainly impacted her career. Actually I wouldn't call her a star, but I believe there have been others who have given up acting to pursue a religious vocation.

 

Edited by: Dmallon on Sep 7, 2012 10:23 PM

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I have to disagree, Raquel. Sorry. Had Garfield insisted (to Jack Warner) that he keep his real name because he was proud of his religious heritage, THEN his religion would have gotten in the way of his career....which is the point of this thread. What Garfield did instead is exactly what hundreds of other actors/actresses have been doing for years in an effort to secure work in Hollywood --- he changed his name. John Wayne, Barbara Stanwyck, George Burns, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and so many others have done the same thing. And it has more to do with creating a brand name the public will accept than w/ religion. Lori, I DID read your first post and didn't think it fit this thread either.

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I did some news type investigations about name changes years ago, and I found out that many immigrants in the 19th Century Anglicized their names when they moved to the United States, so they would fit in better, because English names were the most common, and some old European names sounded odd or silly.

 

Many people in the theater and film business (no matter what their religion was) changed their names because their real names sounded a little silly for the types of roles they played, such as Leonard Sly (Roy Rogers), Marion Morrison (John Wayne), Archibald Alexander Leach (Cary Grant), and Frances Ethel Gumm (Judy Garland).

 

I knew kids in school in the 1950s who had old style European names, that were ok a hundred years ago, but that were no longer thought to be appropriate, such as Billy Butts, Robert ****, and Leonard Peacock. You really don't want a Butts, a ****, and a Peacock all on your same Highschool Football team. :)

 

We had a thread about name changes, a couple of years ago:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?messageID=8411249

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I'm not really sure one can say that John Garfield wasn't proud of his Jewish religion and cultural heritage because he changed his name to further his acting career in New York and Hollywood. It seems too conjectural.

 

 

This is part of the original post by TopBilled, the creater of this thread.

 

"First, I want to preface that this is not a discussion about religion per se. It is more about perception and careers."

 

 

One can only surmise what the emotional, physical and psychological effect was upon an actor of Jewish faith in 1940s and 1950s Hollywood. We do not know unequivocally if anti-semitic acts and discrimination had any impact on shortening the lives of those concerned, but it stands to reason some toll was taken. Is it any accident that HUAC's ( House Un-American Activities Committee) Hollywood Ten was comprised of Jewish directors and writers?

 

 

Sometimes the wounds are not visible on the surface.

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Beautifully written RaquelVixen. Thank you. I would add that a common story is that HUAC wanted a "big name Jewish actor" to "get" so to speak, so they could keep their mandate and to keep the American public on their side.

 

The names they had were Danny Kaye, Edward G.Robinson and John Garfield, all well known liberal Jews. The studio heads who were cooperating with HUAC said, "Take Garfield, he is replaceable." It was thought that they (the studio heads) gave up Garfield so to speak because he was not under contract to a major studio, and they were not happy with that fact. He had the nerve to start his own production company and they were fearful other stars would follow that example.

 

So one could surmise that John Garfield was caught in the "web of HUAC" because he was Jewish. Then I believe one could say, his religion did get in the way of his career. After his HUAC testimony and the blacklisting he never made another film, no film offers came his way, and he died about a year later.

 

That is the way I see the whole HUAC mess a least and I have done some reading and research on this subject. Therefore I don't believe my opinion here is coming from the point of view of a irrational fan or admirer. I am stating the facts as I learned them and as I see them, that is all.

Of course people may disagree with me, that is your right.

 

Lori

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>One can only surmise what the emotional, physical and psychological effect was upon an actor of Jewish faith in 1940s and 1950s Hollywood.

 

Or upon the producer. It took a Gentile (Darryl Zanuck) to make GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT. All the Jewish producers in town were afraid to make a picture based on Laura Hobson's book.

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Fred,

 

We do have to point out that Duke was billed under his real name, Marion Morrison, in an episode of Wagon Train that he did as a favor to Ward Bond.

 

Also, he made sure his children were given the last name Morrison. Patrick Wayne's name, for instance, is actually Patrick Morrison.

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The Hollywood studios treated their stars as product- American movie stars- which had a ceartain look and image. Unless their foreign background was at the heart of their persona ( Garbo, Dietrich ect) When you think of Paul Newman, or Elizabeth Taylor you dont see thm as one particular ethnickor religious background. On the other hand Streissand jewishness was always part of her screen image- and she was a huge star in her prime.

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Barbara Streisand's career is a little different then a Garfield or a Danny Kaye. The times were somewhat different. Streisand became famous 20 years later. She had established herself as a great talented singer, before she became a movie star. She is a good example of how times had changed and how pride in her heritage was accepted and endeared her to many fans.

 

 

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Acting and sounding (and looking) Jewish was part of Striesand's schtick, so any name change to a more Anglo name would have been ridiculous. Even though times had changed, she was, and remains, a singular case. For that, she deserves a huge amount of credit.

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