1. A note from ginnyfan before the big reveal. It is near impossible to set up a quiz involving our mystery guest without dealing with several elephants in the room. I am quite proud we manged to do so (although I have no problem mentioning some of the elephants during the reveal).

    I was in one Virginia Weidler film.
    That was LOVE IS A HEADACHE (1938). The film was shot in late 1937 and, sadly, was my final one.

    I am sometimes compared to Pete Best or, at least, Tony Sheridan.
    My biggest act was ____________ and his Stooges. Either I left them or they left me, but we wound up separate and I wound up suing when they took the material I wrote with them. Unfortunately for me, the courts ruled that the skit belonged to the Shuberts, who we were working for at the time I wrote them.

    I started in vaudeville in 1912.
    My boyhood friend, Moses Horwitz and I joined the Annette Kellerman Diving Girls. While that didn’t last, I stayed in vaudeville and developed an act that eventually paid me $9000 per week. Moses rejoined me in the 1920s and we added his brother Sam and violinist Louis Feinberg and we had the start of the act that made them famous. Moses’ younger brother Jerome or “Babe” joined the act when Sam went out as a solo.

    Some TIGers I worked with include Allyn Joslin, Louella Parsons, Margaret Hamilton, and Clark Gable.
    And that was the last two years of my film career.

    Many future stars considered me a mentor. I advised Milton Berle to “always play to the public, not the theatrical crowd”.
    others I helped included Red Skelton and Bob Hope.

    Who am I?


    Comedian Ted Healy, frontman of Ted Healy and his Stooges, born on this date in 1896.

     

  2. TODAY IN GINNY! - October 1 - Who Am I?

    Here’s our TODAY IN GINNY! mystery guest.

    I was in one Virginia Weidler film.

    I am sometimes compared to Pete Best or, at least, Tony Sheridan.

    I started in vaudeville in 1912.

    Some TIGers I worked with include Allyn Joslin, Louella Parsons, Margaret Hamilton, and Clark Gable.

    Many future stars considered me a mentor. I advised Milton Berle to “always play to the public, not the theatrical crowd”.

    Who am I?

     

  3. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 30 - Carol Ann Beery

    It’s time for the big reveal…TODAY IN GINNY!

    I was once a substitute Ginny.
    In 1946, I played Ginny Johansen in a radio version of BARNACLE BILL with Wallace Beery and Marjorie Main.

    I worked with a few TIGers, including C. Aubrey Smith, Akim Tamiroff, Lewis Stone, Dorothy Morris, and Marjorie Main.
    And I did all that while only making two films and that radio appearance!

    My career was at best intermittent.
    My two films were nine years apart.

    There was a doll made in my image.


    Not long after I was adopted by Rita and Wallace Beery, there was a doll of Carol Ann on the market.

    Who am I?


    Carol Ann Beery, born on this date in 1930.

     

  4. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 30 - Who Am I?

    I was once a substitute Ginny.

    I worked with a few TIGers, including C. Aubrey Smith, Akim Tamiroff, Lewis Stone, Dorothy Morris, and Marjorie Main.

    My career was at best intermittent.

    There was a doll made in my image.

    Who am I?

     

  5. Does this honor count?

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    Good morning! Our friend Danny Proctor, affectionately called “other Danny” around here, sent us this page from SILVER SCREEN magazine (November 1939) and I have a question for the masses:

    Should I add “Proclamation from the Mayor of Munchkinland” to the list of Virginia’s awards on the various VWRS websites?

    You decide.

    If you ever reblog a Virginia Weidler post, please reblog this one. We want a maximum vote!

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  6. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 29 - Greer Garson

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    Let’s reveal our mystery guest.

    I was in one film with Virginia Weidler.
    That would be THE YOUNGEST PROFESSION (1943).

    image



    I was in many times that number with another TIGer.
    Counting THE YOUNGEST PROFESSION, I was in nine films with Walter Pidgeon.

    Some might say Virginia and I didn’t see eye to eye.
    As Jean Porter tells it, my personal photographer told me that I looked better with my chin lifted, so I did my scene with the shorter Ginny and Jean by looking above the tops of their heads at all times. It apparently confused the girls a bit.  

    When it came to Oscars, I only batted .143.
    One win in seven tries.

    Who am I?

    image


    Greer Garson, born on this date in 1904

     
  7. retrobaltimore:

    Comedian Harpo Marx dies: The Sun Front Page: Sept. 29, 1964

    Click on the newspaper above to get a closer view of the front page.

    I didn’t realize he died so close to his brother Groucho’s birthday…

     

  8. Today In Ginny! - September 29 - Who Am I?

    I was in one film with Virginia Weidler.

    I was in many times that number with another TIG honoree.

    Some might say Virginia and I didn’t see eye to eye.

    When it came to Oscars, I only batted .143.

    Who am I?

     

  9. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 28 - Kate Douglas Wiggin

    Good morning! I see Miranda never gave you the answer to yesterday’s TIG! Of course John already did, so no matter.

    Here we go.

    This one was connected to two Virginia Weidler films.
    That would be TIMOTHY’S QUEST (1936) and MOTHER CAREY’S CHICKENS (1938). Our guest authored them both.



    Neither one featured Virginia’s most challenging role, that of Miranda Sommerfield.
    Quite true, and we are all thankful.

    The guest was also connected to two other well known child actresses.
    She also wrote REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM. I could make a joke that the thirty year old Mary Pickford was one of the children, but I won’t. Obviously, Shirley Temple played Rebecca in one version. The other child I was referring to was Hayley Mills, who played Nancy Carey in Disney’s musical version of MOTHER CAREY’S CHICKENS, SUMMER MAGIC. I admit I never have seen either the Temple nor the Mills film. The first by choice and the second because I wasn’t even aware of it.

    Virginia Weidler, Mel Blanc(?), Wendy Turner.
    Virginia played Lally Joy in MCC, Turner played Lally Joy in SUMMER MAGIC, and Blanc was part of a Porky Pig cartoon that was a supposed spoof of MOTHER CAREY, CHICKEN JITTERS. I don’t actually know if there was a Lally Joy in the spoof, but close enough.

    Think kindergarten!
    Our guest founded the first free kindergarten in California, in the slums of San Francisco.

    The name of our guest?


    Author Kate Douglas Wiggin, born September 28, 1856.

     

  10. The re-premiere of LADDIE (1935)

    Our West Coast representative, Danny Miller, was fortunate enough to be at the Academy’s screening of LADDIE (1935). They have restored it from one of the only 35 mm prints thought to exist. Thank heavens for this print!

    Here’s Danny’s report and thoughts.

    (DM) Went to the Motion Picture Academy’s special screening of “Laddie” last night and it was extraordinary. As most reviews at the time said, as well as the Academy spokesperson who was there, Virginia steals the picture as Little Sister Stanton. She is amazing in the film and got a very strong response from the audience. Shot from January to March 1935, Virginia was seven when she made “Laddie” but looks five or six and is really given the “star treatment” with billing on par with John Beal and Gloria Stuart. The story is simple but very moving and I loved the rest of the cast as well, especially Dorothy Peterson as Mrs. Stanton (who would play Ginny’s mother again the following year in “Freckles,” another film based on a Gene Stratton-Porter novel) and 14-year-old Jimmy Butler (who would die on the battlefield in France during World War II) as Ginny’s mischievous brother Leon. I thought John Beal was just great and it was fun to see Gloria Stuart, especially since I’m not sure I’ve seen any of her films prior to “Titanic” which she made at the age of 87! Donald Crisp was great as Stuart’s tortured father. I haven’t seen the other versions of “Laddie,” but director George Stevens did a fantastic job (and this film really helped his career) because it is completely devoid of the saccharine schmaltziness that a story like this could have so easily drowned in. It was very moving to know that we were the first audience in 79 years to be sitting in a theater watching a 35mm print of this film. Most of the prints and even the original negatives were destroyed by RKO when they decided to remake the film again with Joan Carroll (Agnes from “Meet Me in St. Louis”) in 1940 which is a real shame because I’m sure this is the superior version. The Academy had just one print in their vault all this time and though they did a search, were unable to find any others so they made the restoration from that. I didn’t hear anything about the issues with the Stratton-Porter estate and didn’t get a chance to talk to the Academy person but maybe now that there is this new print of the film it will eventually make its way to a DVD release or airing on TCM. With this film followed by “Freckles” and “Girl of the Ozarks,” there’s no question that Ginny was being groomed for Shirley Temple-level stardom, as we’ve discussed, and with consistently excellent reviews and a public that loved her, it remains a mystery as to why that didn’t exactly happen. I know we’ve debated this endlessly and I’m sure it’s a combination of things including the same “aging” problems that even Temple had to deal with as well as MGM’s own issues. Worth noting, however, that even last night she was referred to warmly as “the girl from ‘The Philadelphia Story’” so no matter what we want to say about MGM, they did give VW her most memorable role. The young Academy spokesperson said that she was most impressed by Ginny when she first saw this film but she did butcher her name and call her “Virginia Weelder.” I emitted a slight grown in honor of our group but I’m grateful to the Academy for screening this remarkable film.

    The film was restored as part of the Academy’s “Film to Film” project, aimed at preserving important films for which there are few decent prints while the various film stocks are still available (they probably won’t be in a few years) as opposed to digital restorations (which will be the norm from here on out).

    Unfortunately, I doubt that the people arranging this screening (the first part of “The Two Sides of George Stevens”) stopped to think if Virginia Weidler had any descendants around or did the research to find out who they were. When I had a brief exchange with her grandson, Jonathan Krisel (“Portlandia,” “Kroll Show”), he seemed quite proud of his grandmother’s work. If I had thought of it, I would have tried to let him know about the screening myself. There was about an hour gap between the two films and I’m afraid “A Place in the Sun” got a much bigger crowd last night. But the people who were there were very appreciative. It was held at LACMA, our art museum that now has a strong relationship with the Academy (the new Academy Museum will open next to LACMA in 2017).

    There were so many publicity shots of Ginny with John Beal. They had a great rapport. I only wish we could’ve asked Gloria Stuart about the film before she died at the age of 100 in 2010. Beal died in 1997 and acted well into his 80s even though he never hit the level of stardom that it’s clear people thought he would when he started out in the early 1930s — the fan magazines were full of articles about him.

    Here’s Ginny with Stuart and the wonderful Dorothy Peterson as her mother. I have to admit I was not familiar with Peterson even though she was also in films such as “I’m No Angel,” “Dark Victory,” “Sabotage,” “Saboteur,” “Mr. Skeffington,” and playing the mother of a certain other former child star in “That Hagen Girl.” On Broadway, she starred in the original 1927 version of “Dracula” opposite Bela Lugosi. She’s a natural in “Laddie” and also played the mother in the “Five Little Peppers” series with Edith Fellows and other TIG-ers.

    I am so excited about this restoration and Danny’s report. I just hope they will soon make the film publicly available so we may all experience the magic of LADDIE.

     

  11. Today in Ginny! - September 28 - Who Am I?

    Hi. Miranda Sommerfield here with weekend TIG! duty since ginnyfan is doing the football game ritual today.

    I’m not going to pretend the person is right here, that seems rather silly.

    This one was connected to two Virginia Weidler films.

    Neither one featured Virginia’s most challenging role, that of Miranda Sommerfield.

    The guest was also connected to two other well known child actresses.

    Virginia Weidler, Mel Blanc(?), Wendy Turner.

    Think kindergarten!

    Name that guest!

     

  12. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 27 - Mary Brodel

    Here’s our Saturday Evening Post, so to speak.

    I was in one film featuring Virginia Weidler.
    that was MEN WITH WINGS (1938).

    My presence in that film was under odd circumstances.
    First, they hired Marilyn Knowlden, but she was signed to two films and ended up doing the other one. Then they signed my younger sister Joan, but she couldn’t work late into the night at age 13 and filming fell behind. I was twenty, looked like Joan, so they hired me to finish the film.

    My first film I made with my sisters.
    That would be Joan and Betty.

    Some of the TIGers I worked with were Tom Brown, Frank Jenks, Donald Meek, Gene Lockhart and Beulah Bondi.
    I also worked with Fred and Ginger.

    Who am I?


    Mary Brodel, born on this date in 1917. If you don’t know my sister Joan Brodel that’s probably because she later changed her name to Joan Leslie and became a star.

     

  13. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 27 - Who Am I?

    I was in one film featuring Virginia Weidler.

    My presence in that film was under odd circumstances.

    My first film I made with my sisters.

    Some of the TIGers I worked with were Tom Brown, Frank Jenks, Donald Meek, Gene Lockhart and Beulah Bondi.

    Who am I?

     

  14. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 26 - Fay Holden

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    John got the TIG! guest fairly easily again today. For those who want to get there and beat him, I never post it before Noon Eastern Time. I try to be as close to noon as possible, but I’m never early.

    Here’s the guest.

    I was in as many Weidler films as Mickey Rooney was.
    That would be four. Mickey and I share two in common, LOVE IS A HEADACHE (1938) and OUT WEST WITH THE HARDYS (1938). I was earlier in SOULS AT SEA (1937) and later in I’LL WAIT FOR YOU (1941).

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    IMDb thinks I’m best remembered for a film neither Virginia nor Mickey was in. gf thinks they are wrong.
    IMDb thinks SAMSON AND DELILAH is what I’m best known for. They have me confused with Victor Mature. Obviously, most people remember me as Emily Hardy in the Hardy Family series.

    At one time, my first name was last.
    My stage work and first two film were as “Gaby Fay”.

    No son of mine ever married a Philistine.
    Just a reminder about my famous line in SAMSON.

    I worked with Garland and Elizabeth Taylor, too.
    Judy in both Hardy films and in ZIEGFELD GIRL, Elizabeth in THE BIG HANGOVER.

    I also worked with Wallace Beery and the other Gorcey.
    Both Beery and David Gorcey were in SGT.MADDEN, as was Ginny’s FRECKLES co-star Tom Brown.

    Who am I?

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    Fay Holden, born on this date in 1893.

     

  15. TODAY IN GINNY! - September 26 - Who Am I?

    I was in as many Weidler films as Mickey Rooney was. (No letters, please. To gf any film with Ginny in it is a Weidler film. Even one with Mickey Rooney.)

    IMDb thinks I’m best remembered for a film neither Virginia nor Mickey was in. gf thinks they are wrong.

    At one time, my first name was last.

    No son of mine ever married a Philistine.

    I worked with Garland and Elizabeth Taylor, too.

    I also worked with Wallace Beery and the other Gorcey.

    Who am I?