The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on December 31, 1950 · Page 78
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 78

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 31, 1950
Page 78
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jPartners, Inc. The Breakup of an Unhappy Mar-riage Does Not Always Mean the End of a Successful Family Business Alliance By Toni Dreyspool LIKE an opening night in the theatre, drama and feverish excitement are attendant to a dress manufacturer's unveiling of a new line. Local and out-of-town buyers are. knotted together at the small tables and booths while models, salespeople and designers show the samples. At a recent opening, Samuel Chapman, head of the dress firm bearing his name, was busy with customers, orders and detail. He could not find a certain style he wanted. "Ceil," he called out, "where's number 2103?" "Ill get it in a minute, Sam," a voice answered from a corner of the display room. "I'm busy now." "Oh, pardon me, I'm terribly sorry," the manufacturer said. In due time, Ceil Chapman, a slim, attractive, black-haired woman, appeared with dress number 2103 over her arm, and Chapman thanked her graciously. "We were never that courteous to each other while we were married," she said recently as she explained the diplomatic relations isting between her and her ex-husband, Samuel Chapman, whom she divorced in Mexico last October. "We have a much better relationship now than before," she observed. "We are both individuals again, and as business partners only, have a better understanding than we had as partners in both marriage and business. We respect each other more. flimiHiiii: mmmmwmmm- husband as her producer-partner. As Mr. and Mrs. they couldn't make a go of it, so they separated last year. Yet as Miss Lupino and Mr. Young, they continued with their business alliance and at the end of a working day, go their separate ways. Many of the funny lines that come out . of the mouths of comedians Danny Kaye and Red Skelton were put there by their script-writing wives. Kaye attributed much of his success to his wife, Sylvia Fine, whom he married when he was young and unknown. Miss Fine wrote songs and material for her husband. Within the past few years the Kayes have split, reconciled, had a baby daughter, Dina, then split again and reconciled. Throughout this domestic cycle their business association never wavered. Red Skelton was billed as the youngest comic in burlesque, when, at 17, he met Edna Stilwell, a pretty, blond, 15-year-old usherette in a Kansas City theatre. They married and the teen-aged bride played stooge to her husband's act. She became his mentor, script writer and business manager, working side by side with him on his road to stardom. Their business partnership continued after their divorce in 1944, and even after Red married a red-haired film starlet, Georgia Davis, the mother of his two children. Edna went on providing the laughs for her ex-husband's scripts, meanwhile marrying and divorcing director Frank Borzage. An actress who has worked with Skelton in several pictures, where Edna -is constantly on the set in a professional capacity, said: "Edna has a deep maternal interest toward Red, and he is lost without her business guidance." When Maxene Andrews of the singing sisters trio ended her marital harmony with mate and manager Lou Levy, the father of her two children, Aleda, five, and Peter, three, the melody lingered on. Levy had agented the Andrews Sisters for f v I h ; "After our marriage in June, L ' 1938, Sam and I always worked together; I as the designer and he in the business end. Eventually, being together 24 hours a day began to take its toll on me. I felt like a puppet. He controlled my business life. and my personal life." The set-up whereby Ceil Chapman and her ex-husband continue to work together is shared by other noted divorced couples. When tennis star Sarah Palfrey Cooke, who won many doubles tournaments with her husband, El-wood Cooke, elected to become single again, she temporarily left the tennis courts for a Florida divorce court. After securing a decree in the Spring of 1949, Mrs. Cooke promptly went back to work for her former partner in his Tennis and Golf School in Manhattan. "We get along better now than before," Elwood Cooke remarked recently. "We're more courteous to each other, and Sarah feels she has more time to devote to a dramatic career, in addition to her tennis teachings. There are no complications because I see our eight-year-old daughter, Diana, whenever I please. They live near me. I suppose this arrangement couldn't apply to many divorced couples," Cooked added philosophically, "but since Sarah and I are both specialists in our fields, I saw no reason why we shouldn't continue together in the business we know best." In Hollywood, where it is the much publicized custom to remain friends after a divorce, screen star Ida Lupino and Collier Young have carried on the tradition. After they married in August, 1948, the actress formed a motion picture company, Filmakers, Inc., with her Becpmber 31, 1930 three years before he signed Maxene to a marriage contract in 1940 Their divorce became final this year, but Levy still master-minds the trio's career. Maxene said recently, "We love our work too much to break up, and each of us has too great an investment to sacrifice it. We sisters are a corporation, with Lou and each of us owning an equal amount of stock." Patti Andrews echoed the sentiments of her sisters when she said her formula for success was, "Have talent, have luck and find a manager like Lou Levy." Again, ., divorce didn't interfere with business. tiik a.mkiu:a. HKKKI.Y 11 Though Separated From Her Husband, Screen Star Ida lupino Continued to Work With Him.

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