The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on March 8, 1942 · Page 25
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 25

San Bernardino, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 8, 1942
Page 25
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v A- . - . ', -A ' fcT fcf M U U .A . . . X if T By DEE LOWRANCE HOLLYWOOD THE routine never varied.. For two years since her father died, every morning had been the same. Up at 6:30, then the long trek across Berlin to that dreadful, dark-paneled onicc. Always he was there waiting to pounce at her, his face stormy, his mouth snapping complaints. "Lipstick!" he would snort. "Wipe it off, right away!" "It's not lipstick," she would answer in a small voice. "It's cold; that's why they're red" "Speak when you're spoken to, child. Come here, let me see what you're wearing." That word, child, how she hated it. She was 16 grown up. Just becauso he was her legal guardian, just because she was tied to him by law. She ached with the effort of not answering back. But by then he had always found some other fault. Everything she did was wrong. She couldn't please him. "A Nazi girl," he would begin his monotonous lecture, "never wears hign heels, never sullies her face with cosmetics, never appears in public places without her family. You must marry and have children for the Fatherland. You must give up this foolishness '' This foolishness was the fire that consumed her, the desire to be an actress. This foolishness was the days and nights she spent v studying dramatics at the Staats theater, on a scholarship she had won from 500 other candidates. But even her fearful guardian, a martinet-souled German of the old school, with a ramrod for a spine and Mein Kampf for a heart, couldn't sway Kaaren Verne. Let him try to stop her. She was going to be an actress. She did, finally. Right now Kaaren Verne is one of the most discussed new faces In Hollywood. On the threshold of stardom, she made an immediate hit in "Underground" with Philip Dorn . and Jeffrey Lynn. She followed It ' with a part In "Kings Row" and has just finished starring with Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in "All Through the Night." , . . Sy $ - Her first American picture cast her in the role of a girl fighting Nazis. Kaaren Verne knows that part too well from real-life experience in Germany Her guardian must have swallowed plenty of spleen by now. It -was none of his doing that she attained her goal. She worked alone. It wasn't easy. pEOPLE don't always flee from a dictatorship because of a clash of political ideals. Some leave because everything in the country becomes unbearable but they don't really know enough to blame it on the system. Kaaren was one of these. She admits she knew nothing of politics, had never formed an opinion at the time she left Germany. But remember, she was scarcely 16 then and how many . girls of that age know much about their government? It was her utter political ignorance that precipitated her flight from Nazi Germany. Failure to break her independent spirit infuriated her guardian. A fanatical Nazi, he flew into a rage when she failed to pass a simple examination in Nazi politics. This was an obligatory test for all students before they were allowed to graduate. Those who failed were refused work permits. Kaaren really flunked the quiz. She didn't know any of the answers. That wasn't all. That same day her guardian saw her in a coffee house, unchaperoned, with three men. That all three had been friends of her father's made no difference. It was scandalous. "He was awful,", she remembered and a slight shudder ran through her. Her bright face, with its irregular features and generous mouth, clouded. "I thought he would hit me. He threatened to send me to a reform school for two years. That would knock sense into my head, he said. It would also have meant the state would have relieved him of the expense of supporting me, I was scared." One of the men who had been drinking coffee with her that afternoon was the means of her rescue. Knowing her growing unhappiness, Arthur Young had, for months, been urging her to marry .him and leave Germany He was an Englishman, and as his wife, she could leave the country. " 'We won't have much,' Arthur told me, 'but we'll get along somehow.' "He was a pianist, not wealthy but pretty good at his work. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to be really in love before I married. 1 liked Arthur, but he was much older,'' she paused. So much has happened since those unhappy pre-war days. "Arthur kept asking. Each time I saw my guardian, he raved about mv acting, about reform school. So Arthur and I tried to get married in Berlin. But, although my papers proved that I was Aryan, Arthur had no such proof. Nazi officials won't allow a German to marry a foreigner unless he can prove he is Aryan. "So I decided to run away." She picked up her teacup and swished the tea leaves around. Her story seemed so far from this comfortable little house in the Hollywood hills. "I tried to get a passport but, at 16, I was a minor and had to have my , parents' signatures. Mother and father had been divorced just before father died. When the passport office told me about the signatures I thought fast faster than ever before or since. 1 asked if my mother's would do. They said yes. , "I went to my mother. She made an awful scene cried and begged me rot to get married and leave the country. But finally I persuaded her. 1 got the passport and Arthur and 1 scrammed over the border to Holland.'' That trick of Kaaren Verne's mixing American slang with her grammatically perfect English and soft accent is disconcerting. When "Underground" was shown in England, her friends wrote, "You were good, but what happened to your English?" She used to speak with a British accent, learned in England and from ? AlV " W A "4? v:::: . - ; A Xs' if rJ . Polishing furniture is a favorite pastime. Her houseboy recovered from his first amazement and now keeps a dust cloth handy for her. the English that her parents spoke, when she was a child. Much in love with her new country, Kaaren loves to use American slang and hasn't spoken German since she arrived. UOR a year Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Young lived in Denmark a pleasant country, she reports, filled with kindly, easygoing people and, at that time, lovely food. Food is important to Kaaren. Once she missed a boat train in Holland when someone put a plate of ham and eggs under her nose. The train went on without her. Such food was not available in Germany. Then the Youngs went back to Englandhe tc lead a band in London, she to have a baby. It was a son, named Alistair Peter Michael Young, Shortly afterwards they separated, and Kaaren started earning a living for Alistair and herself. "I modeled a little for photographs A t I toothpaste and face powder," she said. "But I was too small and there weren't many jobs. Then someone introduced me to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. He was interested .in film production then, and made a silent test of me. "It lay around the studios for months while we almost starved. Then Irving Ascher found it, gave me a sound test and signed me for English films." Kaaren had been christened Inge-bord Katrina Margaret Marie Rose Klinkerfuss. Her husband had shortened it to Katherine. But Young is a common film name, Ascher said. She would have to have another. He put his press agent on the job. "I can remember only a few," she grinned. "Constance Keats, Katherine Shelley, Katia Romaine, Flora Silva. Gloria Byron I wouldn't have been caught dead with any of them. "One day Irving called me to his w .A Talented and versatile, Kaaren already has three suc-' cessful pictures to her credit. cflice. 'Here's vour n;ime,' he said. Karen Verne was written on a slip of paper. I took it to end the fuss. Then, over here, Warners add6d the extra A in Kaaren." Suddenly, Kaaren Verne sat up. "My stupid head," she exclaimed, "what a silly! I m named after Jules Verne those names Ascher picked were authors' last names!" Her first and only English picture started out as "Ten Days in Paris." A week before it was finished, Paris fell. So it is now called "Ten Missing Days." "I saw it in Hollywood," Kaaren remarked. "I didn't much like myself. I looked so fat and blond ..." TVTO one would call her fat now. But she admits watching her waistline. Good food is heavenly after so many years in Berlin. Actually she's not so blond, but has dark golden hair and violet-blue eyes. She doesn't care much for clothes but did enjoy getting a new wardrobe over here, after leaving England with but one suit and a dress. MGM had wired her contract and the trip was set when her son caught measles. The authorities wouldn't let him leave England. Alistair is now with his nurse in Devon and there's little hope of getting him here until the war ends. The trip here took 12 days instead of the usual six as the blacked-out ship zigzagged across the Atlantic. Riding horseback is a favorite pastime to Kaaren. She loves decking herself out in blue jeans and boots and playing cowboy in the desert. Not fond of nightlife, she reads or plays records when she is at home alone or polishes furniture. "It's an avocation," she explained. "I simply cannot stand a speck of dust or a spot on varnished furniture. Cawal, my Filipino boy, looked surprised at first but now he doesn't pay any attention just keeps a rag handy for me." Kaaren maintains an international house, but a peaceful one. A Japanese gardener completes the trio. But Kaaren has had no cause to doubt his loyalty to America. When war was declared, Cawal immediately joined the California State Guard. He gets time off each day for drill. Even Cawal remains friendly to the gardener. ' "Why should I hate him?" the Filipino boy declares. "Maybe he is a good American, too." Only 23, Kaaren Verne is easily one of the most interesting new arrivals on the screen. She is versatile, talented and has a mobile, expressive lace. If she keeps up the pace at which the is now going her name should rank with Hollywood's mightiest. (Every Week Magazine' Printed In U. S. A.) i

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