The Salt Lake Tribune from Salt Lake City, Utah on December 31, 1944 · Page 35
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The Salt Lake Tribune from Salt Lake City, Utah · Page 35

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Sunday, December 31, 1944
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Page 35
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Magazine Features, News Analysts Sunday Morning Section D December 31, 1944 Drama, Books and Music You "ve Never Seen Her Face . * » By Hazel Harlog HOLLYWOOD (UP) -—Moviegoers have never seen her face y but just about every one of them has heard Sara Berner's voice at one time or other. Maybe it was a turtle doing the talking, or a chipmunk, camel or hi ft fro or other animals — but the voice was always Sara's. Sara provides vocal chords for most of Hollywood's familiar cartoon characters. She's spoken for Red Hot Riding Hood, Little Jasper, Betty Boop and Mother Goose. And she .has verbally caricatured almost every animal known, including the turtle in "The Tor- toise and the Hare" the h/ppo, clcf)hfuif and camel in "Speaking of Animals," and the baby panda in the Andy Panda series. Currently, Sara is the voice of Jcrry Mouse, Gene Kelly's dancing partner in the cartoon fantasy which highlights rf Anchors Aweigh" at Metro-Gold- wyn-Maycr. "I have been putting words in animals' mouths for eight years" the pint- sized bruncf said. One of her performances helped win an Academy award — that ivas "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" a Disney picture in which she vocally imitated top feminine stars from Shirley Temple to the late Edna Mae Oliver. Sara started doing voices for screen animals after a cartoon producer nabbed her from a vaudeville act. where she ivas impersonating Katharine Hepburn. Her first job was being the voice of a baby panda. From her first cartoon stint, Sara concentrated on animated animals' voices. She now has 22 characterizations, ranging from the thin chirp of a quail to the guttural groan of a lady crocodile, Her attorney ~ husband confesses he never knows ivhose voice will . answer the telephone when he calls home. Dance Hall Gal—a la Gypsy R. Lee HOLLYWOOD—"The Klondike gold strike is a stereopticon travelog compared with the furore incited by the arrival of Belle DeValle and her girls at Malemute—a roaring, snorting Alaskan boom town mushrooming on fee muddy banks of the Yukon river." Thus Gypsy Rose Lee, reading aloud from a script of International Pictures Technicolor film, "Belle of the Yukon." Dressed in dance hall costume (period of 1898, pod- p.er), with butterflies ap- pliqued on her black silk stocking, Gypsy Rose was an eyeful in her dressing room on the set. Oh, yes, she plays Belle DeValle. "Quite a tasty bit of writing," said Gypsy Rose, as one author commenting judiciously on another's endeavors. On a table conveniently at hand stood her own portable. Author of two best sellers representing the modern thriller school—one of which already has been translated to the screen — she is now engaged on an autobiography. Now and then, when Director William Seiter doesn't need her in Malemute's Emporium, presided over by Randolph (Gentleman Jack) Scott, Gypsy Rose tears off a chapter or two, just like that. She has her title picked out. In view of the fame once hers as queen of the ladies who take 'em off, she considers it singularly appropriate. It is "Naked Genius." Lightly she dismissed her previous appearance in Hollywood some five years ago. "I was Louise Hovick then." she said. "Then I went east and became Gypsy Rose Lee again. It felt more natural." In fact, resumption of that name and personality, after the blurred Hovick episode, seemed to have an electrifying effect on her fortunes. Stage engagements followed. Literature welcomed her to its ranks. And International Pictures the other day dropped around, fountain pen in hand, to get her name on the dotted line of a five-year contract. Already her bon mots are going the rounds. As when dress designer Don Loper squinted at her all encased in his own conception of a strapless princess gown, and said, "The length seems all right." Quipped Gypsy Rose, "But is it tall enough?" On the dressing room couch beside Gypsy Rose as she talked, rested one pound of shivery Chihuahua called Hercules. Hercules is a female. "I thought it would be in character for a gal like Belle DeValle to have a shivery Chihuahua up there in the far north," she said. Whether you call her Belle DeValle, Louise Hovick or Gipsy Rose Lee, this personable young lady is worth considering. She is dressed in 1898 dance hall costume for her new technicolor film, "Belle of the Yukon." Hard Work Is Judy Garland's Fairy Its Wand Wafted Her Skyward By Hf!<l«la Hopper HOLLYWOOD—The odds were thousands to one against a stocky, freckled-faced blues singer who came here nine years ago for a career. Today Judy Garland is one of our top box office pets. She could put aside her songs and go dramatic any day in the week. She could, but I-sure would be mad at her. Hers is no Cinderella story. No stardom overnight for Baby Frances Gumm, "the little girl with the great big voice," as she was billed in vaudeville. From the day she was three she worked, and worked some more. Long before Judy or her two sisters, Virginia and Sue, were born, Frank and Ethel Gumm toured vaudeville circuits as "Jack and Virginia Lee, sweet southern singers, 1 ' When the first Gumm sister arrived they settled in Grand Rapids, Minn. Stage Debut / Grease paint was put aside for the nonce and Frank Gumm took over the New Grand theater as manager. It was there, at the age of three, that Judy made her debut. Her two sisters, with mother at the piano, were on the stage. Judy had been told to sit quietly in the dressing room. She had her own ideas—she still has. She wanted to sing, too, and sing she did. Before anyone knew it, she was standing in front of the audience singing five choruses of "Jingle Bells"—one right after the other. From then on Judy was part of the act. Shortly after that the Gumms left for California. In other words, they worked their way out. Jobs were scarce. Some night appearances netted them not more than 50 cents apiece. Joining the Meglin Kiddies helped a little, but they finally decided to move to Lancaster, Cal., where the local theater was crying for a new manager. For nine years the Gumms lived there. Winter found the girls studying hard in school. Summer found them working hard on the road. It took lots of courage to tackle a trip to Chicago. But they did it. Mother and the three girls piled into the family car and worked their way. to the Windy city. They were in demand when they got there—for benefits. Then fortune smiled. They were booked into the Oriental theater, That night marked the end of the Gumm Sisters. Up until! now they had been billed as "The Crumb Sisters" and "The Bum Sisters," but this was too much. The marquee read: "The GLUM Sisters." George Jessel changed their names to Garland and Frances switched hers to Judy. ;\ What's in a Name? ••"wft. Then Virginia and Sue decided to marry. That meant that what was laughingly called their act would split up. For sentiment's sake, they had one last fling. They sang at the lodge at Lake Tahoc. A talent scout spotted Judy and in three, wooks she was signed by Mi'tro-Goklwyn-Mnyer. Even then she waited around a year, but Judy finally got an assignment—a two-reeler with Deanna Durbin called "Every Sunday." Then Deanna was grabbed by Universal and started getting the breaks. But Judy got nothing except bits and heartbreak, even with such things as "Pigskin Parade," "Everybody Sing" and "Listen, Darling." None of these caused Judy to shine or even glimmer. But her first role with Mickey Rooney broke the ice. Deserved It For "The Wizard, of Oz" 'Judy received the Academy av/arcl for the outstanding juvenile performance of the year. Then came "Babes in Arms" and a series of Rooney - Garland musicals that spelled box. office dynamite. "Yeah, but how good will she be without Rooney?" the cynics questioned. ' Judy answered them with "Little Nellie Kelly," "Presenting Lily Mars" and "For M.c and My Gal." Then suddenly the girl they called "the ugly duckling" lost her baby fat; her freckles and pug nose no longer mattered. Judy Garland emerged into a lovely young thing. She was taking tips from dress designers, makeup experts, hair stylists, when most kids wore sneaking lipsticks out of their high school lockers. Time Marches On It seems a far cry from one-night stands in East Alhambra to the Philadelphia symphony, but Judy was the' girl who made it. Last sum- irisr she broke the record at Robin Hood Dell when, accompanied by Andre Kostelanetz • and a 100-piecc symphony orchestra, she appeared there in a summer concert. One amazing fact about Judy is her extreme versatility. She could "jump from Mickey's i^cn-age sweetheart in "Babes on Broadway" to the mature role with Gene Kelly in "For Me and My Gal." Then back with Mickey in "Girl Crazy." Now she's bridging the widest gap of all. With the technicolor musical "Meet Me in St. Louis" done, Judy's done her first straight dramatic role in "The Crock." The story, an original by Paul and Pauline Gallico,

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