Moving Picture Exhibitors' Association.

Photoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) online

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don't need influence."

" I kinda thought somebody might see me doing that sheik
stuff on the roof — "

"Don't kid yourself. Sheiks went out with mammy songs."

" JVlavbe you're right at that," he shrugged. "But I'U get a
break one of these days. Somebody'U discover me. Sure to,"
he added with conviction.

Billie studied him thoughtfully for a moment.

"Say, you know what you ought to do?" she asked. "The
same kind of stuff that Bill Haines does."

" T/hil Smart .•\lec!" he said contemptuously.

She smiled. " Somebody ought to give him a mirror so he
could take a look at himself," ran her thought, "and one of
those sound things so he could hear himself."

Still, absurdly enough, she found herself liking him. He was
good looking in spite of his trick clothes with their padded
shoulders and pinched waistline. Something feminine in her
recognized the appeal of his smile and the clearness of his eyes.
He was just a cocksure kid. A few hard bumps would cure

" Have you done any picture work at all?" she asked.

"Sure. I was the tenderfoot guy that fell off a horse in a
Ken Maynard picture. And I danced with Clara Bow once in a
dance hall scene. But I guess I was too good," he said im-
portantlv. "When I saw the picture they had cut my stuff

Billie finished the sandwich and lighted a cigarette. He was
like a small boy, talking big. But she remembered times when
she had talked big herself, to bolster up her sagging spirits.

Perhaps it was a maternal comple.x which she did not even
know she possessed which gave her the sudden impulse to
render first aid to this boy who pretended to be so sure of him-
self. "Listen. I've got a friend over
at Paradox. His name's Bernstein

and he's got a lot of say-so over And here is Billie O'Neil,

there. He told me the other day known to a few small bill-

thev wanted somebody to play op- boards as The Little Blue

pos'ite Odette Dayne— " Streak Blues Singer

"But I guess they'd want some guy with a name."

"No, that's just the point. They figure she's got a big
enough name to carry the picture. Of course," she added,
"they'd want somebody who could act a little bit."

"Well, say—" he bristled.

" I'U give you a letter to Bernstein if you like. You never can
tell. It might get you a break. He's out of town right now or
I'd introduce you personally."

" Gee — gosh — that's great."

They walked home along a street bordered with pepper trees.
The moon shining through the lacy branches made fantastic
patterns across the walk and the air was filled with the delicate
fragrance of orange blossoms. When they reached her door,
as a matter of course, he started to kiss her goodnight. Billie
would have none of it.- [ please turn to page 110]





pull pace & Profile


If you don't think the camera is trickier than
a boarding house card shark, look at these!
At the left is a hard-boiled, smart alecky
master of ceremonies. At the right, a soft-
eyed, wistful college boy. Believe it or not,
they're both Buddy Rogers!


See this beautiful but wise woman of the
world, looking very much like Elsie Fer-
guson, with her chiselled loveliness and
her perfect poise


I Photographs by Vandamm ]

This shy young sorority sister is the same
girl, tricked by the camera — Catherine
Dale Owen, Jack Gilbert's leading woman
in his new film!







A remarkable and true
story of a man whom
Hollywood couldn't buy

By Herbert Howe

THEY offered Leslie Fenton a million dollars, and he ihrew
it away.

They led him up the golden mountain and showed him
the kingdoms of the world that could be his, and Leslie Fenton
laughed it off.

Hollywood calls him mad. Producers say that the young
actor who cussed into fame as the free-speaking young Lieu-
tenant- Moore in "What
Price Glory" has gone

But Fenton just

laughs. He'd rather be

thought haywire than

worry his life away

over check-signing and

the state of his

balance at the First

National Trust

and Savings.

A hit in a half
dozen films, he's

There's pride and spirit in this face! It's that

of Leslie Fenton, the clever young actor who

turned down rich contracts and sailed far

away to save his soul

shipped on an Italian tramp steamer that is now butting her
way through the golden seas to the island of IMajorca. And
I've a date to crack a bottle of laughing Spanish wine with the
happy Hollywood madman a year from today. Les Fenton —
who laughed away a million dollars and is sailing six thousand
miles for the privilege of being himself.

He loves, he fights and now he runs away. He climbs in
windows when ladies smile and he's had his nose broken four
times. lie's Irish.

AS genealogist, I trace Leslie Fenton to the doors of JMessrs.
Byron, D'Artagnan, Villon, Cellini and fellow racketeers.
He's the character our romantic actors play but aren't.

Romance was not dead until Lei sailed away. He's on the
high seas now and so I can betray him boldly.

I recall a scene in my apartment house without benefit of
cameras: Les backing into the lobby, circling a piano and hurl-
ing a chair at a bellowing gent, while down the hail a fair one
wept. He swears he climbed in the wrong window and evi-
dently he did, but the lady wept and wept.

Yuu recall Leslie Fenton as the young lieutenant who goes
mad in "What Price Glory" and blas-
phemes to the high heavens.

"And I've been going mad ever since,"
said Les over a farewell lunch in Henry's.
"Producers only see me as mad."

Producers, for once, are right: Les is
romantically, gallantly mad. When he
recently rejected a contract that would
bring him close to a million ducats the
producers were confirmed in their opinion.
There was nothing mad about their
offer. It was ehcited by epistolary ton-
nage from [please turn to page 114]

His first great role. Leslie Fenton
as the tender, sensitive Lieut.
Moore in "What Price Glory,"
writing in his diary after his first
tragic battle



A backward glance at the
deserted, romantic dream
workshops of the Holly-
wood that was and the stars
that were

DOTTING HoUywood here and there,
they stand today — the ghostly stu-
dios of other times.

Some of them are stUl faintly alive.
Most are dead and almost forgotten. In a
year, at the longest, all will be gone. On every
rubbish-cluttered lot is some monument, some
memorial to the great men and women of
pictures' more spacious and romantic days.

It scarcely seems possible, even to those who
remember, that only a few years ago these
deserted studios were gay and busy, peopled
'with happy-go-lucky humans.

Pictures in those days were not so much a
business. It was romance, and glorious
dreams were being woven for all the world —
dreams that left Hollywood in two-reel cans
and occasionally as a super feature of five!

Rescued from ruin, this pictur-
esque structure is now a private
home in Beverly Hills. It was
moved from Culver City where it
had been the general offices of
Irvin Willat, Billie Dove's pro-
ducer husband

Remember the heydey of Bill
Hart Westerns, of Bessie Barri-
scale, Glaum and Dalton? This
little church and the film vault
built into the Malabu hillside are
all that remain of the magic city
of Inceville

Heartbreak Studio, they call it.
It was once used by such pro-
ducers as Garson, Selig and Mar-
shall Neilan. And on the adjoin-
ing lot "The Adventures of
Kathlyn" made serial motion
picture history


That was yesterday. Now the old Hollywood land-
marks are going, and there is little today to suggest
the Hollywood that was.

In the da\'s of '49 California saw another gold
rush. Towns sprang up like mushrooms. Nowa-
days, traveling through the Sierras, one comes sud-
denly on these deserted ghost cities. They are
isolated and alone, brooding over their turbulent

But aren't they more pathetic — the ghost studios
of Hollywood? They stand forgotten and forlorn in
the heart of a great city, their purpose served, their
death knell sounded. Thousands pass by unheeding,
or perhaps with a casual, curious glance at the ugly

There is not a trace left now of the old Lasky studio


Studios of


Marquis Busby

P hot ogr af h s by

The old Metro studio.
Neglected now, but
haunted by glorious
memories of Valentino in
Ingram's "Four Horse-
men"; of June Mathis,
brilliant scenarist, and
of lovely Barbara LaMarr

The door that welcomed Mabel
Normand to Mack Sennett's
world of beach peaches. Key-
stone cops and custard pies —
those pies that "talked" even
in the old, silent days



which stood on Vine and Sunset in Hollywood, once the
proudest studio in the land, and the site where Jesse Lasky,
Cecil B. De Mille and Dustin Farnum made history with
"The Squaw Man."

At the Lasky gates the crowds used to gather for fleeting
glimpses of Mary Miles Minter, Wallace Reid, Valentino,
Marguerite Clarke, Robert Warwick, Ethel Clayton, Ros
coe Arbuckle and William S. Hart. Glamorous, never-to-
be-forgotten names. In this day when Hollywood is again
crowded with stage people, it is not to be overlooked that
at this old studio worked Irene Castle, Elsie Ferguson,
Alice Brady, Madge Kennedy and Billie Burke.

ALL that was spared of that studio is the barn, stand-
ing on the same vacant lot when Lasky leased it years
ago. That barn became executive offices, and the stables
were dressing rooms. When the studio moved to its new
home, the magnificently reconstructed Brunton studios,
the old barn went along!

Outmoded street cars, as grotesque as a tintype, are left
to the mercy of the sun and rain where once stood the
rambling studio where Mary Pickford and Owen Moore
used to make pictures in the earlier days of California pro-

Griffith directed here long before he dreamed of "The
Birth of a Nation." Later, in this same studio, Katherine
MacDonald rose to fame as the American Beauty.

Edendale, a residential community in Los Angeles, was
the Hollywood of years past. Important studios were
there then. They're still standing. Edendale is a pleasant
place with its rolling hills and little valleys. Here was the
Mack Sennett studio where Keystone comedies were made;


this grand
old ga te
in the
golden days
when she was
making "The
Adventures of
Kathlyn." The
old Selig Studio,
mates — now
used as a zoo for
elderly and
lonely lions


it looked ghost-ridden. And a world once laughed at its prod-
ucts! Somehow, the old Sennett is the most tragic of deserted
studios, because a comedy ghost is more tragic than any other

GLORIA, never dreaming that she would one day become a
Marquise, lived in a humble dwelling across the street.
In private life she was Mrs. Wallace Beery.

She was a quiet girl, a bit apart from the others who were not

Louise Fazenda was earning forty dollars a week. Some of
the other girls received less. Strangely enough, although it was
the bathing girls that made Mack Sennett a household name,
they were not highly paid. The male stars, however, made
what seemed a great deal of money in those days.

Through the now sagging gates these now famous players
used to leave on location trips to Venice and Santa Monica.
They sat in the back of the disreputable studio car with Pepper,
the cat, Teddy, the great Dane, and the famous Sennett baby.
Piled atop all of them were numerous dummies.

All of the contract players reported at the studio every day

whether they were working or not. Scenarios were

written on the cuff as the picture progressed. An actor

might be needed for a scene at any time. Gloria couldn't

be located one night so Marie Prevost doubled for her.

Mabel Normand had the grandest dressing room on the

lot. She had a whole room to herself. Mabel

of the joyous spirit, beloved by everyone

who knew her. Now she is fighting for her

life, clima.xing a career of tragedy.

Raymond Hatton, Wallace Beery, Char-'
lie Murray, Ben Turpin and Bert Roach
could also tell tales of the old studio.

ACROSS from Sennett's is one of the
heartbreak studios of the industry. It
is the down-at-the-heels, but still pictur-
esque place where productions were made
at different periods by Selig, Garson, and
Marshall Neilan.

With its Spanish architecture, ivy clad
walls and graceful palms no other studio
could equal it for charm. There is a swim-
ming pool and pretty dressing room

Between this studio and the historic lot
adjoining the present Selig zoo was made
"The Adventures of Kathlyn," the serial
that made Kathlx'n Williams famous.

It was a picture, too, that introduced
many new elements into the business.

Stock shots of [ PLE.-^SE TURN TO PAGE 99 ]

where memories of Charles Chaplin, Ford
Sterling, Mack Swain and Mabel Normand
linger. And the bathing girls that grew up
to be stars. Gloria Swanson, Phyllis Haver,
Marie Prevost and Louise Fazenda. Harriet
Hammond, one of the loveliest of them
all, married and left the screen. Mary
Thurman is dead. Two years ago Sennett
completed "The Goodbye Kiss" at the
old stand and departed for his new studio
in San Fernando Valley.

The other day I happened to drive past
old Sennett's. Neighborhood youngsters
had amused themselves by tossing rocks
through the windows. A cat which had
chosen an inauspicious time to cross the
thoroughfare had been left unceremo-
niously in front of the main entrance. Dingy
walls and faded ragged awnings, flapping
dismally in the breeze. Even by daylight

This is the studio where Louis
B. Mayer lived and labored in
the films before he became the
big mogul at Metro-Goldwyn-
Mayer. Now it is a deserted


nother Hollywood

Regis Toomey
used it playing
tennis with
Roland West's

SOME day one of the smart
boys is going to write a play
about Hollywood. It will be
patterned along the lines of
"White Cargo" and will describe in
minute details what happens to
young stage stars who come out
with ideals all mixed up with the
grease paint.

The storv mav or mav not end
like "White Cargo." The legit
boys may be able to resist the
strange influence of the Gold Coast.
They may be able to keep outside
interests. Maybe. And maybe not.

Regis Toomey is one of those who thinks
he will be ablelto cast aside the glamour
and the all-enveloping atmosphere of the
pictures. Certainly his foundation is secure
enough. Certainly he has more than a
small-town background with Hollywood
success the ultimate end of existence.

He's a graduate of the University of
Pittsburgh. A Sigma Chi. A good runner
and all 'round track man. A member of
the Cap and Gown Club. A business fail-
ure with a flare for acting. And the hus-
band of an adoring wife, named Kathryn
Scott, a producer of chorus numbers, whom
he met in London.

REGIS TOOMEY has seen and read and
thought. And, at the moment with a
snug little house tucked away in Laurel Can-
yon and his wife tucked away in it, he has
taken a vow to keep on reading and seeing
and thinking. He is still somewhat startled
at the success which now surrounds him.

It all began in London after he had
finished a couple of seasons on the stage,
when, at a farewell dinner, a friend said
gayly , " When you get to Los Angeles, look
up Eddie Belasco and give him my regards."

It was Toomey's intention simply to visit
his family in Los Angeles, proudly show
them his new wife and go back to New
York and the stage. In the meantime he
looked up Eddie Belasco and, instead of
simply saying "Hello," Belasco added,
" Sign here." He played a successful season
in " Hit the Deck" and decided to stay in
CaUfornia if he could find a job.



And here is where tennis and
fate stepped in. He had had the
usual amount of very bad screen
tests that every actor has, but he
had made a good friend in Thorn-
ton Freeland, who is Roland
West's assistant. He and Free-
land and Mrs. Roland West
(Jewel Carmen) played tennis to-
gether. West could not be
dragged into the game. He was
just plunging into the vigorous
business of assembling a cast for

One night over the dinner table
he remarked that he was having a
tough time finding a boy to play
Danny. Chester Morris had
already been cast as Chick.

"I know just the lad," said
Mrs. Roland West. "A kid who

sometimes plays tennis with me."

But apparently West did not give his

wife credit as a good casting director. He

forgot about it at once.

IN the meantime Freeland had the same
idea about Regis and Danny. "But," he
explained, "I couldn't say anything to Mr.
West. He'd think I was trying to plug a
friend of mine, and he hates that. There's
got to be another way."

So Toomey got a manager and, through
him, had his first interview with West. The
manager and West first considered him for
the role of Tommy Glcnnon, which was
really played by Pat O'Malley. So late
that night they made a test. Freeland took
the test and did it as carefully as if it were
his own picture he was directing. When he ,
had finished with Regis as Tommy, he in-
sisted that he change make-up and do a
test for Danny.

West saw the test. He knew it was good,
but still he was not convinced. Toomey
learned the script as if he had written it and
appeared every afternoon for three days in
West's office to act out bits of the role for
him. Every scene was done in the director's
office until West saw that there was only
one man for the part.


Above, Regis Toomey flashing that old
wistful Toomey smile that helped him
click as the young copper in "Alibi."
Below, a scene with Irma Harrison
from that film


ossip of AW


Nobody in Hollywood believed it would ever happen, tut
Lydell Peck, a young San Francisco lawyer, and Janet Gaynor
were married September 11. These Frisco barristers get their
women like the Northwest Mounted get their men! Charlie
Farrell and Virginia Valli next?

Joe! Hurry up! Stop the press!

Patsy Ruth Miller is wed!
Hollywood's most engaged gal

Now to the gossip is dead!

Good for a story a montli.

Patsy is now under glass.
And Cal, who depended on her,

Soon will be back selling gas!

GLORIA SWANSON, after ten happy and hectic days in
New York, stood in her cabin on the liner Olympic, sur-
rounded b)' friends aboard to say goodbve.

In the avalanche of going away gifts Gloria found one
expensive looking package. It was luxuriously wrapped and
tied. She had a steward open it.

The box contained a beautiful laurel wreath. Concealed
by the green leaves was a large, musty-looking bottle, with
fancy seals. The label read — "Bethlehem Rve, Twentv
Years Old."

HUZZA!" said the star. "Just the time to drink to a
happy and successful voyage for Gloria! Open 'er up!"
The visitors all looked eager.

She held the bottle up to the light, but no liquid winked
back at her. Which was not odd, because there was no liquid
in it.

Hollow laughter from the crowd. Glares from Gloria.
She didn't even look at the card to iind out who the brilliant
jokester was. Dry of tonsil and dull of eye, Gloria's well-
wishers shook hands and left the ship.

And as Gloria sailed away, a handsome brown bottle might
have been seen dropping unobtrusively from a porthole
into the Atlantic Ocean.

LON CHANEY seems to be changing his tune a little on
this talking proposition.

"I never said I wouldn't make a talkie," said Lon not long
ago, while vacationing for his health. "I simply said I wouldn't
until the apparatus was improved."


Stepin Fetchit
has a new job,
and it seems to
puzzle him. He's
Keeper of the
Seals in the new
Fox Movietone
film, "Big Time."
Here is one of
Stepin's little
pets going for a
fake fish. How
long can Stepin
fool a seal.'

Which settles the matter of the man of a thousand faces
and only one voice.

QHARLIE bashful ray, now a vaudevUle headliner,
tells of the woman who came to him and confided that
she was going to make an actor out of her son.

"Why do you think he can qualify?" he asked her.
"Because he sleeps until noon?"

"No," repUed the doting mamma, "because he can go
a week without food."

DOLORES DEL RIO appears to have found more than a
lot of admiring fans on her recent personal appearance tour.

In Pittsburgh toils one Teddy Joyce, a handsome and popular
master of ceremonies. It appears that while Del Rio was
making the grand tour she saw the debonair Mr. Joyce and
succumbed to his charms — to the horror, no doubt, of his
adoring flapper fans in the city famous for steel and

This would seem to leave Mr. Roland Drew rather out in
the wind. Mr. Drew, who, as Walter Goss, chased fire wagons
as a New York reporter, has had a case on Dolores for some
time, and it was decidedly mutual. At the moment Mr.
Joyce, the Pittsburgh foot-tapper and stick-waver, seems




Apparently Nils Asther, the solitary Swede, has learned to
go to Hollywood parties and like it, for he and Vivian Duncan,
the pretty half of the famous sister act, are to be married soon.
When Nils and Vivian split up. Nils blamed it on his anti-

Ruth Harriet Louise

Joan Crawford is
enjoying the foot-
ball season, now
that she has this
football suit. She
says she wears it
to all the big
games, but you
judge! That thing
on her chest is
not a water-
melon, as you
think. It's a

to have the whip hand, while Mr. Drew finds himself directly
behind' the eight-ball.

LILLIAN GISH is back in New York after a long stay
abroad, waiting to make "The Swan."

She's living at a quiet little hotel on a side street — going
to the theater now and again with George Jean Nathan, who
seems as devoted as ever.

Oddly enough, she came back on the same ship with her
former boss, Charles H. Duell, who sues her for millions every
now and then, and spent most of the trip avoiding him, to
hear her tell it.

Her mother, Mrs. May Gish, is in London, carefully tended by
Sister Dorothy.

Mrs. Gish's health is a little improved. She's been an invalid
now for some years, you remember.

DOROTHY, by the way, has had a successful voice test
made in England and will appear in a British talkie,

Funny, but Dorothy has her best luck in England.
She made her best picture, "Nell Gwyn," over there, and
the British public adores her.
A few months ago Dorothy told me that she was afraid

to have a voice test made, in spite of her success on the stage.
But she doesn't seem to be afraid of anything in London!

PITY Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Chevalier, unused to the ways
of Hollywood's most exploited love birds!
The other night the French couple were guests of Joan
Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Doug took a look at the
table. He found himself seated ne.xt to Mrs. Chevalier in-
stead of Joan. Nonchalantly he moved his place to be near
his wife.

The little French actress merely shrugged her shoulders
and remarked, ".^h, zees .Americans."

■\X7ILL Claire Windsor soon be a relative of Vice-
^ • President Charles Curtis?

If you can't answer yes or no, we'll still remark that a
heavy romance seems to be brewing between Harry
Curtis and the blonde star.

INTEREST in the Clara Bow-Harry Richman thing slowed
down quickly to a feeble crawl.

Clara's red-headed dander rose when it was reported that
sportsmen along the Boul' Hollywood were laying 12 to 1, in
American money, that the nuptials would never come off.
Clara didn't mind the fact so much as she did the notion that
people were actually making wagers on such an intimate
matter as a wedding.

Then a bright-eyed newspaperman wrote a story to the
effect that Mr. Richman's press agent had approached other
film stars, prior to the Bow announcement, on allowing a story
to be printed linking their names with Harry's.

THIS article even reported that the aloof and dignified Garbo
had been asked about this — which, knowing Garbo and
her ways, is one of the funniest things in history. Imagine our
calm blonde queen permitting such a business! Naturally, she
is reported to have sent the press agent sky-hooting out of
the house with coat-tails flying.

And still the odds are said to be 12 to I. Old Cal would
give even higher, and count it a sure-thing wager.


Soaking up sun at Norma's new beach
home. Norma and Constance Talmadge,
Gilbert Roland and Connie's new hus-

Online LibraryMoving Picture Exhibitors' AssociationPhotoplay (Volume 36 – 37 (Jul. - Dec. 1929)) → online text (page 102 of 145)