Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on June 12, 1955 · Page 213
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · Page 213

Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 12, 1955
Page 213
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NOW... DISCOVER HOW GOOD realty- fresh, tea - See Page 36 for Hedda Hopper's interview with Doris Day. SWEETHEART! can mm i By William Leonard yfTlHE RUTH ETTING story, which has reached the sound sets of Hol--- lywood after all these years in a movie called " Love Me or Leave Me," is one of brilliance and brutality, love and hate, that had its roots in Chicago's show rialto of a generation ago. From modest beginnings in the chorus line at a north side cabaret, Miss Etting grew into the highest paid star in radio. She was known as "Chicago's sweetheart" on the airlanes. The romance and 17-year marriage that were part of her climb blew apart in gunplay, recriminations, and sordid court suits. Now, 17 years after the story made front page headlines. Hollywood screens its own version, with Doris Day as the sultry songstress. Ruth Etting came to Chicago in 1917 from her home in David City, Neb., to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. As part time work to supplement her funds, she hired out as a chorus girl in a revue at the old Marigold Gardens. After successfully designing some of the costumes for the chorus, she was engaged by the owner of a Loop shop to do more designing, and later became part owner of a shop at 72 W. Randolph st. There she would put in a five-hour day before heading for her work behind the bright lights of one of the many Chicago cabarets that flourished in the early prohibition days. It was in 1922, when she was back at the Marigold Gardens in "The Passing Parade." that she made the acquaintance of Martin Snyder, known in Chicago theatrical circles as Col. Moe Snyder, or Moe the Gimp, because of his pronounced limp. Snyder, a product of the rugged southwest side neighborhood called " The Valley," was a pretty tough customer. He was a follower of Dennis Egan, Democratic political leader, and a pal of Egan's secretary, Albert Prignano, who became a state representative before being murdered. Moe was known as a bodyguard in the early bootlegging days for several widely known persons in the theatrical world, including Al Jolson. Becoming an intimate of stage and night club entertainers in the early '20s, he was a familiar figure around the city's night spots. He divorced his first wife to marry Miss Etting at Crown Point, Ind., and forthwith became her business manager. A hard, crafty, uncompromising man who stated frankly that he didn't need or want any friends, Gimp acquired a reputation for shrewd dealing for Miss Etting's services. " To him," Ed Sullivan wrote in The Tribune in the late '30s, " the world was a battleground rather than an oyster. To him the world was full of real and fancied enemies, and he left his hotel each night ready to do battle with them. He eyed everybody with distrust and limped thru the world with a cigar in his mouth, a sour look on his face, and ' the little lady ' in his heart." Miss Etting became one of the biggest stars in radio and scored in movie and stage appearances in America and London, under the guidance of Moe the Gimp. But, despite his good intentions, he became a trial and burden to her, and in 1937 in Chicago she divorced him. Moe carried the torch right into the Hollywood NBC studio one October evening in 1938, forced Myrl Alderman, a music arranger, ( Continued on Page 36) James Cagney (right) appears in the movie with Miss Day. June 12, JQ5 Tea fresh as a mountain lake Yes, Tender Leaf is kept so amazingly fresh it fills your iced tea glass with brighter color, finer fragrance, richer flavor than any other tea you ever tried ! TENDER LEAF BRAND TEA FRESH EST MOST FLAVORFUL TEA YOU CAN BUY I 29

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