Wednesday 21 December 2011

Hollywood Holidays — 1946, 1947

Tralfaz note: Bob Thomas of the Associated Press was one of many wire service movie writers who put the tinsel in Tinseltown. We’ll be posting a number of his Christmas-themed columns until the 25th. For some reason, I cannot find a column dated Christmas Day for 1947.

The Peters story is full of hope, but her life remained sad with an unhappy, early end. See more HERE.


Can’t Walk, But Actress Enjoys Yule

HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 25—(AP)—It was a merry Christmas at Susan Peters’ today. The place rang with the laughter of children and the chuckles of grown folks. The fact that Susan cannot walk didn’t interfere with the fun.
Last night Susan and her husband, Richard Quine, entertained his family. Today was for her clan, the Carnahans. Their Beverly Hills apartment isn’t big enough to contain both groups, and besides—you know what happens when two-families of in-laws get together.
But both occasions were joyous even though the great dane, Butch, nosed into everything.
Two years ago New Year’s, Susan, a topflight MGM actress, was deprived of the use of her legs by a hunting accident. But after she pulled through it was apparent that no such handicap would hold her back. She had a variety of interests and activities that would exhaust a normal person.
She has done some magazine writing and performs on occasional dramatic radio shows. She and Dick adopted a child, Timmy. She has learned to drive a car by hand alone, and has even dabbled with flying. She often goes out to Birmingham Hospital where she and veteran Paraplegics bolster each other’s morale by discussing symptoms. And now she is getting ready for a return to the movies.
“Yes, the doctors say I will be able to make a picture soon,” she told me. Of course, I will have to arrange the schedule so it isn’t too tiring—perhaps work a five-day week. I’m terribly excited about it and a little bit frightened. It’s been so long.”
But her fear didn’t last long. Beautiful, long-haired Susan enthused as she described the part she has lined up “It’s a mean woman,” he explained, “and that’s the role I’d like to play. I couldn’t stand to play one of those starry-eyed, good little girls.”
Susan said she would like to do just one picture, or at the most, two or three and then quit and do radio work. “It would be hard to find roles for me—in my condition,” she said.
But what do you want to bet the movie public won’t let her quit? Her courage and pluck are gift enough for many people on this Christmas Day.


HOLLWOOD, Dec. 24.—(AP)— Santa Claus leaned back folded his hands across his fat belly and said, “I won’t be having any Christmas; I’ll be working, you know.”
“Yes, I’ve got two radio shows this week,” he continued, “and that will keep me busy. Radio takes a lot more preparation than you’d think.
“Besides, I have no family here and in the past years I’ve lived mostly in hotels. What relatives I have left are in England, and my home in London was blitzed in the war.”
This was Edmund Gwenn, the bald, 70-year-old Briton whose performance as St. Nick in “Miracle on 34th Street” captured the nation’s fancy. He was in his small dressing room in the Featured Players’ Bldg. at MGM, thumbing through his mail.
“I must say that the Post Office Department has been very good about it,” he said. “I’ve received many, many letters addressed merely, ‘Santa Claus, Hollywood.’”
Gwenn said the nature of the letters varied with the age of the sender. Adults complimented him on his performance, while youngsters actually think of him as Santa.
“There are so many requests,” he sighed, “that one man can’t take care of them all.”
The actor finds the mail cheering. He has had a tough time of it this year, being laid up for the first nine months by a serious operation. Only recently did he return to film work, in “Master Of Lassie.”
A cautious man, he doesn’t say that his Santa role is his favorite, even though it brought him his greatest fame. “I think it’s a mistake to select one’s favorite role,” he said. “I always figure that the role I’m doing at the moment is my favorite.”
The interview over, Gwenn showed me to the door and wished a Merry Christmas. “I’m afraid I haven’t been much help to you,” he said. “I live alone and I don’t go out much. I’m rather a humdrum person.”


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