1. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 19 - Richard “Dick” Simmons

    Let’s reveal Ginny’s mystery guest.

    I was in one Virginia Weidler film.


    I was in THE YOUNGEST PROFESSION (1943).

    I spent most of my career going by a name now identified with someone else, dang it!
    For most of my post-Ginny career, I used the name now used by a guy who sweats to oldies.

    I spent most of a decade at MGM, but didn’t make a name for myself until television.
    My movie roles were minor, but I scored a major hit when I became Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.



    Who am I?


    Richard “Dick” Simmons, born on this date in 1913.

    Bonus question-I am associated with a catchphrase. What is it?
    As was true of the radio show, at the end of each episode I would turn to my loyal dog, Yukon King, and say, “Well, King, this case is closed.”

    ginnyfan would have also accepted, “On King! On you huskies!” which I probably said in most episodes.

     

  2. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 19 - Who Am I?

    And now…it’s time for Ginny’s mystery guest.

    I was in one Virginia Weidler film.

    I spent most of my career going by a name now identified with someone else, dang it!

    I spent most of a decade at MGM, but didn’t make a name for myself until television.

    Who am I?

    Bonus question-I am associated with a catchphrase. What is it?

     
  3. Good morning!

    As a child, Virginia told us first that she wanted to be a race car driver. She then wanted to be a “farmerette”, then for the longest time wanted to be a band singer.

    Her actual vaudeville act brought her pretty close to that last one.

    We know she actually was a movie actress, vaudeville headliner, Broadway actress, radio actress, television host. She did her share of volunteer work, was a devoted wife and mother, and even, along with former co-star Constance Bennett, tried to “coach up” would be society actors by serving on the board of a Washington D.C. society theater club.

    What we didn’t know was that concurrent with the radio and stage work, Ginny was also using her “gams” to make a living.

    From Walter Winchell in July, 1945.

     

  4. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 18 - Travis Banton

    Here’s the guy.

    You know I worked on one Virginia Weidler film, but I was probably involved in several more.
    I was credited with costumes for MAID OF SALEM, but since I was head of the costuming department at Paramount, I had my hands in more than just that film.



    Some other glamorous stars I worked with were Dietrich, Lombard, Kay Francis, and Mae West.


    They called my style “Hollywood Baroque”.



    I was a legend in my time, but was replaced by a legend for all time.
    When Paramount fired me in the late 1930s, I was replaced by Edith Head.

    Who am I?

    Travis Banton, born on this date in 1894.

     

  5. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 18 - Who Am I?

    You know I worked on one Virginia Weidler film, but I was probably involved in several more.

    Some other glamorous stars I worked with were Dietrich, Lombard, Kay Francis, and Mae West.

    I was a legend in my time, but was replaced by a legend for all time.

    Who am I?

     

  6. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 17 - Gene Stratton-Porter

    Let’s take a look at tonight’s TIG mystery guest.

    I am connected to two Virginia Weidler films.
    I wrote the novels LADDIE AND FRECKLES, which became vehicles for Virginia Weidler and her castmates at RKO.


    I am also connected to work of Jackie Moran, Edith Fellows, Charlene Wyatt, and Gale Storm.
    My tales of the Limberlost swamp and other novels resulted in movie roles for all those actors. Jackie and Charlene were both in MICHAEL O’HALLORAN, with Jackie in the title role. Edith starred in HER FIRST ROMANCE and Gale in Monogram’s FRECKLES COMES HOME, a weak extension of the FRECKLES story that is available today.

    Some think that my work and Virginia’s are a very good fit.
    Virginia was always at her best in rustic settings and my books were a gold standard for the genre.

    I had several careers and set Hollywood abuzz before Virginia was even born.
    In addition to writing novels, I was a naturalist, a writer of natural history, and a wildlife photographer. In the silent era, I even started my own motion picture company!

    Who am I?


    Gene (Geneva) Stratton-Porter, born on this date in 1863.

    note from ginnyfan-I have contacted the Gene Stratton-Porter Memorial Society is the hopes that, as a gesture of goodwill between societies, they will explain the legal problems that exist concerning LADDIE and FRECKLES or at least point us to someone who can.

    You can learn more about Stratton-Porter and even tour her cabin and final resting place in Indiana. See http://www.genestratton-porter.com/ for more information.

     

  7. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 17 - Who Am I?

    I am connected to two Virginia Weidler films.

    I am also connected to work of Jackie Moran, Edith Fellows, Charlene Wyatt, and Gale Storm.

    Some think that my work and Virginia’s are a very good fit.

    I had several careers and set Hollywood abuzz before Virginia was even born.

    Who am I?

     

  8. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 16 - Bennie Bartlett

    I was in three Virginia Weidler films.
    I was Jimmy in TIMOTHY’S QUEST (1936), Timothy in MAID OF SALEM (1937), and Davy McCarthy in THE GREAT MAN VOTES (1939).

    By the way, Virginia and I were also paired in all sorts of publicity photos. As ginnyfan says, Paramount liked taking pictures of child actors a lot more than making pictures with them.



    In my early career I tinkled the ivories.
    I was originally signed as a child prodigy pianist. I even played one of my own compositions in a Paramount short.

    In the final decade of my career, I usually appeared in films with another Today In Ginny! honoree.
    After I returned from the Second World War, I eventually wound up being a regular in the Bowery Boys films with Leo Gorcey.

    I played someone with the exact same first and last names in completely unrelated films.
    In my Bowery entries, my character was Butch Williams. I had previously played a Butch Williams in the first Henry Aldrich film in 1939.

    Who am I?


    Bennie Bartlett, born on this date in 1924.

     

  9. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 16 - Who Am I?

    Good morning! I’m starting with TIG today because it’s the weekend and I’ve got nuthin’.

    I was in three Virginia Weidler films.

    In my early career I tinkled the ivories.

    In the final decade of my career, I usually appeared in films with another Today In Ginny! honoree.

    I played someone with the exact same first and last names in completely unrelated films.

    Who am I?

     

  10. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 15 - Mary Nash

    I was in two films with Virginia Weidler.
    They were in succession, GOLD RUSH MAISIE (1940) and THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940).

    You might say our experiences together were at the extremes.

    In GRM, Virginia was my daughter Jubee and we were as poor as the Joads.

    In TPS, Virginia was my daughter Dinah, and we were as rich as the Rockefellers, or at least Grace Kelly’s family.

    I once got to play a Queen.
    Not as great as you might think. It was in COBRA WOMAN featuring Sabu.

    I was in a non-Ginny film with two of her “fathers”.
    That was COME AND GET IT and both Edward Arnold and Walter Brennan were in the cast.

    Who am I?


    Mary Nash, born on this date in 1884.

     

  11. TODAY IN GINNY ! - August 15 - Who Am I?

    I was in two films with Virginia Weidler.

    You might say our experiences together were at the extremes.

    I once got to play a Queen.

    I was in a non-Ginny film with two of her “fathers”.

    Who am I?

     
  12. Good morning!

    We talked a lot about the Paramount stable of child players back in the early days of the Facebook page. I have always contended that Paramount put together the best group of kids in the industry, then didn’t use them in anything. Virginia herself made almost as many films for RKO during her Paramount contract as she did for the home studio.

    David Holt, yesterday’s TIGer, was one of these kids. Yesterday, I read a biography stating that he had a reputation as a troublemaker that held him back from being “the boy Temple” that Paramount planned him to be. How much trouble could an eight year old be?

    His was a typical story. His parents broke up when Dad couldn’t handle David being the family breadwinner. He couldn’t really “transition” (I now hate that word almost as much as “Plain Jane” and “awkward” in how it is used as a cudgel against child actors) to adult roles.

    Unlike Virginia he kind of hung around, moving back and forth between acting and a growing career as a songwriter when he reached adulthood. Eventually David ran a music publishing business full time.

     

  13. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 14 - David Holt

    image

    Here’s tonight’s slightly more difficult TIG mystery guest.

    I was in three films with Virginia Weidler.
    image


    Those were THE BIG BROADCAST of 1936 and 1937 and TROUBLE FOR TWO. MGM borrowed us from Paramount, shot us, put us in the trailer WITH BILLING then cut us before release.
    image

    I also worked with a host of other TODAY IN GINNY! honorees outside of my “ginnyfilms” including Donald Meek, Elizabeth Patterson, and Ralph Morgan.
    There are a lot more of those as well. I worked with Morgan in that Warner Baxter classic STAND UP AND CHEER.

    I was supposed to work with Virginia another time, but someone failed to answer the bell.
    Virginia and I were to be the kids Max Baer took under his wing in KIDS ON THE CUFF to be shot in 1935, but the champ failed to “answer the bell” and changed studios.

    Who am I?
    image


    Child actor David Holt, born on this date in 1927.

    image

     

  14. TODAY IN GINNY! - August 14 - Who Am I?

    I was in three films with Virginia Weidler.

    I also worked with a host of other TODAY IN GINNY! honorees outside of my “ginnyfilms” including Donald Meek, Elizabeth Patterson, and Ralph Morgan.

    I was supposed to work with Virginia another time, but someone failed to answer the bell.

    Who am I?

     
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