The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin on July 26, 1959 · Page 48
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July 26, 1959

The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin from Racine, Wisconsin · Page 48

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Racine, Wisconsin
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Sunday, July 26, 1959
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Page 48
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Page 48 article text (OCR)

MOVIES How the stars get their names Rock, Tab, Kirk, and Kim are products of high-level Hollywood thinking aimed at creating a marquee moniker the moviegoer can't forget Shirley Schrift Shulley Wiutcvs Art Gelien Tab Hunt in by Peer J. Oppenheimer Cecilia Parkar Susy Parker E VKH HKAKU OK NoriiiH Joaii Bakoi? Bernard Schwartz? Art Gelien? Frederick Bickel? Eli;. Geisman? Issur Danielovitch? Daniel Kaminsky? Probably not. But you'd have no trouble recognizing them by their stage names—Marilyn Monroe. Tony Curtis. Tab Hunter, Fredric March. Juno Allyson, Kirk Douglas, and Danny Kayc. Notwithstanding Shakespeare's "What's in ii name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet," Hollywood producers, apcnts and publicists are convinced that it can .spell the difference between success and oblivion. As a result, nearly 70 percent of today's stars don't use their own names professionally. This includes Hollywood's No. 1 box-oflice actor and actress—currently co-starred in Universal-International's "Pillow Talk"—Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Then- real names are Roy Fitzgerald and Doris Kappelhoff! Rock al.so stars in his .studio's most expensive production of the year, "This Eiarth Is Mine." Ch.'uiging names is nothing new. Gladys Smilli was one of the first to recognize marquee valui' when she adopted the name Mary Pickford. Lucille Le Sueur was renamed in a fan-magazine contest. As Joan Crawford, she has been one of Hollywood's most durable stars. Even in Germany, ii young woman named Maria Magdalene von Losch sensed the importance of a catchy name; she became Marlenc Dietrich. There is no sure-iire method for choosing a name that will click; but a top expert on the subject, agent Henry Willson, who discovered and named Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, Rory Calhoun, and Rhonda Fleming, insists certain basic premises mu.st be kept in mind. "As with any commodity—and a star is a commodity—" says Mr. Willson, "the name must fit the product. It must be expressive, easy to remember, and, if po.ssible, unusual. Particularly the first name." Mr. Wilson points at Rock as his prime example. "When you hear his name for the first time, you visualize someone tall and strong as the Rock of Gibraltar. It's ea.sy to pronounce, easy to remember." Mr. Wilson is convinced many talented, good-looking actors hurt their careers because their names lacked excitement. Producer Jerry Wald agrees only in part with this reasoning. "Who would have thought a guy could overcome a name like Humphrey Bogart and a lisp to boot! If the talent and personality are strong enough, a person can overcome anything. But there are few performers in the Bogart cla.ss." He stresses a name should be distinctive, melodious, short enough to fit on a marquee, and express a player's personality. "It was only a small change from Cecilia Parker to Suzy Parker, but the latter not only had a prettier sound, the *z' in Suzy made it more dis- (Contimied) FamUy Weekly. July i6. 1959

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