Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon on April 4, 1936 · Page 13
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April 4, 1936

Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon · Page 13

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Albany, Oregon
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Saturday, April 4, 1936
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Page 13
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o o o o o O . O i - J f y o Looking 'em Over WITH GAIL GARDNER Five Star Motion Picture Editor Gossip FROM THE STUDIOS AND SOCIAL CENTERS OF HOLLYWOOD By Jane Even though they're under contract! young motion picture actresses still have to go to school to learn to act! These photos, made at Twentieth Century-Fox Film studios, show activities In the school, directed by Miss Lillian Barkley. Left to right: Virginia Paxton, a pupil, performs a difficult dance step; Dixie Dunbar, now featured player; Miss Barkley, teacher and principal; Miss Barkley's Monday morning weight check-in. The girls are Phlllipa Hllber, on scales; Marlon Weldon, Frances Paxton, Geneva Sawyer, Esther Brodelet and Lucille Miller. Here's a Strange School Where Fox Players Learn toWalk, Talk and Act! Film Company Teacher Keeps Eagle Eye On the Weights Of Her Pupils and Her Courses Run From Pantomime To Dancing and Singing; Graduates Are Successful, Too By Donna Risher THIS may sound like a nightmare to some, but to Victor Kilian it is his "great predicament." Victor lives momentarily expecting an order which will de-pant him. He is determined to escape, if possible. It all started back in New York when the actor appeared in a play called "Valley Forge." For comedy, Victor went through the play without pants, always on the search for a nether garment that would fit him. It was a running gag which LILLIAN BARKLEY, in plain, business-like dress quickly entered the school room at Fox Studios, looked over her class of pupils and remarked: "June Lang has just received her fourth leading role in eight weeks. I should think that would in Hollywood. DEAR FOLKS: Some people colild raise a tempest in a teapot just by drinking out of a saucer. Anyhoo, that's what your correspondent discov-' ered out on the "Captain January" set where little curly Shirley was going through the last two sequences in her latest picture, which is just chock full of coast guard cutters, lighthouses and rocky Maine coasts. When we saw the dirty, oily waterfront and the pounding sea beyond we turned instinctively to Dave Butler, director, with: "Reginald Ringrose, are you going to hesitate now when one step will take you off that wharf?" "Quiet, please," came in shouts from all corners of the set. "Quiet, p-l-e-a-s-e." So we settled down in the shadows and watched from thereon, feeling as ineffective as the guy who tried to get a bucket of maple syrup out of the Petrified Forest. THE baffling location question, the problem of devising a waterfront which could be used throughout the picture, had been satisfactorily solved by William Darling, art director, who brought forth his trusty old tank for the job. On the tankful of water floated fishing boats and a brought down the house and which culminated in Victor appearing in the last act in a pair of women's bloomers. THE pants gag made Victor's part outstanding. In fact, it drew the attention of the movies to him, but once here in Hollywood, Victor hoped to do some acting. To date, executives, writers, directors and fellow actors have kept suggesting that the actor do his "pants routine." With courage in hand, Victor has spire all of you to get to work in earnest." A bright chorus of "ohs" and "ahs" went up. Then Shirley Dcane, a tall blond youngster from Fresno, Calif., who is considered one of the most apt, spoke up. "Oh, Miss Barkley, I'm so glad for June," she exclaimed. "I'm going to study harder than ever. I took off that extra five pounds you spoke of last week. And I studied my voice lesson for three whole hours and . . ." Miss Barkley smiled. "All right, ii Viotor Klllan tunity is of use only to those who are equipped to grasp it. And the opportunity in this school is great. "The Fox studios maintain this school, free of charge to the students for the purpose of giving these promising young women the right foundation work which will prepare them for careers in pictures. They have nothing to do but to apply themselves." IT ISN'T all school work for the stock players', though. They are frequently used as "atmosphere" in everything from cafe scenes to drawing room sequences. Some of the girls "double in brass" in chorus work and are known as "show girls" girls who can do chorus routines. Sometimes they get a "bit" that is to say, they speak a line or two. They're under contract but that high sounding phrase doesn't, in this instance, mean a great deal, for salaries to stock people aren't up in the star and featured player class. Only three of the group of stock players are daughters of California. Julie Cabanne arrived by way of Hollywood, Shirley Deane is from Fresno and Philippa Hilber is from' Los Angeles. Girls whose accents require Miss Barkley's special attention are Lynn Bari from Roanoke, Virginia, Mary Blackwood from ' Alexandria, Louisiana, and Anita Thompson from Dallas, Texas. Illinois claims Esther Brodelet of Chicago and Fred Wallace from Peoria. Marion Weldon comes from Duluth, Minn., while Geneva Sawyer hails from Minneapolis. Ann Nagel and Paul McVcy hail from Boston. Dorothy Dearing comes from Parachute, Colo., Patricia Farr is a former resident of Kansas City and William Stelling clainiF Weehawkcn, New Jersey, as his home. Donna Risher quelled each and every suggestion. "But," he confided, "a great fear is coming over me. "Imagine making a bid to fame on a no-pants basis. Imagine being condemned never to wear pants again. They have me scared. Now, I buy two pairs of pants with every suit. I go over my clothes daily in the closet to see that no one has absconded with my trousers, thus forcing me into my terrifying routine." DIXIE DUNBAR'S first screen opportunity to "act with my face instead of my feet," was given the little Georgia dancer with the assignment IV ot a featured role in "The First Baby." Although she has achieved high places with her dancing, Dixie was beginning to believe the studio execs thought of her as a woman without a voice, IT WAS embarrassing, to say the least, when Dr. Joel Pressman, husband of Claudette Colbert, forgot his own telephone number. Dr. Pressman arrived on the set promptly at 6 p. m., to take his wife home. She had already been dismissed for the day. He sought it Dixie Dunbar Shirley," she cut in, "I'll soon find out how much you have studied when we go over the morning lessons." THE lessons in the Fox Film stock school, however, did not begin until Miss Barkley, the coach, had lined up her pupils before the scales. With pad and pencil in hand she weighed each girl carefully to see that no gain in weight had occurred over the week-end. The coach took this occasion to instruct her students in discipline. "If you can't discipline yourselves sufficiently to keep your proper weight," she said, "then you might just as well forget the picture business. Because this business demands discipline, hard, uncompromising discipline from the first to the last." The pantomime class came next. Miss Barkley's students joined with older groups, including a few adult males. Here a lesson in expression and in pantomime continued throughout the regular study period. Later in the ' afternoon the students went through their dancing and singing lessons, rounding out the day by presenting a little playlet for their teacher. AT THE conclusion Miss Barkley seemed pleased with results. "They are encouraged today," the coach said, "because of the success of their former school mates, June Lang and Dixie Dunbar. These two girls had natural talent to begin with. But natural talent is useless unless it is 'polished up'. It must be supplemented with diction, tone quality, pantomime and expression. "I preach to my girls, " she added, "that oppor- and at such speed that Butler was confounded. "That's marvelous, Shirley," complimented Butler, "but what's the grand rush?" Shirley cast a sidelong glance at Jerry. "I thought," she returned, "that you had forjot-ten, mayb that I was in the picture." Whpjh pov old. Ben Johnson used to say to Cardinal Ricliu itf the Bull's Head Tavern, "You never can tell baby tflljj will come out Shirley Temple with Buddy Ebsen In "Captain January." coast guard cutter, while "agitators" on three sides manned by crews of husky workmen, created realistic waves. Vaporized mineral oil, cooled over dry ice, vided fog which clung close to the water it's breaking my heart to divulge these secrets. And over to the right Jack Donohue, former Broadway dancer and now an instructor at Fox, was trying hard to teach young Miss Temple to "truck." . " Shirley was required to do a dance with Buddy Ebsen, another dancing star, along the "waterfront.""." Each time Shirley tried her steps, she failed. In desperation Donohue sought out Bill Robinson, the ace of truckers. ' "Shirley knows how to truck," replied Bill, " 'cause I taught her." But when Bill went to Shirley and told her that, she floored everyone with a remarkable bit of professional ethics. "Bill," she returned, "I'm not going to tell Mr. Donohue your secrets." THE filming went along smoothly until little Jerry Tucker, 10 years old, was cast as Shirley's nemesis in a schoolroom sequence. Then Shirley displayed the genuine Hollywood temperament. Shirley was tremendously jealous of Jerrs ability and was out to 9ho- him up. it Jerry ent through his scenoa ith two takes. Shirly had two pags of diahjjsiie which Direct BuVtyr planned to brnik up with close and medium shots. But, when Shirley started there was no stopping (Mr. n out the telephone, then fumbled through his pockets. He couldn't find hjs telephone number. He asked everyone around the set without luck. He tried the studio telephone operator and was infurmed the number was "private." In desperation, Dr. Pressman made the rounds of Directors' Row, knocking at doors. Finally he located Director Frank Lloyd, who provided him with the sought-for number of his own home. Pressman then wrote the number in his hat so he wouldn't lose it. NO ACTOR can be important in Hollywood, it must be understood, without a swimming pool. So, with a real stroke of genius, Michael Whalen, who is being whirled along with a star-bound wind, has settled the vital matter of how to acquire position at the least possible expense. He has rented himself a Hollywood hilltop home with a swimming pool, a fact which makes him a blood brother to the film elect. But Mike's pool is different. It is as dry as the Sahara, and Mike says it will stay that way for some time. It costs $40 minimum to fill one of these tiled holes in the ground, and until his streak of luck recently, young Whalen thought $40 was the national debt. PAGE HVB - b.aafc md P ranfc of a full-grown The cute Kelly twins know when to smile for the camera and they are making a tremendous hit at the M-G-M studio, where they appear withChester Morris. 1 who iirHolding them. Cordially yoursrj GAIL. o o O 0 O : SheCwiided into those two pagjjwKhouLa hith O OoO b o o 0 o Q o O Q (Q) 9 0 0

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