Well, if astrology is correct, then today's birthday ladies are! Hmmm, I have never thought of Irene "First Lady of Hollywood" Dunne and Audrey "Bad Girl" Totter as being in anyway similar, but perhaps it's the roles they played that separated them and not their selves.
Let's see ... they both starred in movies with Bob, Irene in Unfinished Business (1941) and Audrey in both Lady in the Lake (1947) and The Saxon Charm (1948).
Irene reads Bob's palm on the set of Unfinished Business
Adrienne (Audrey) offers coffee to Marlowe (Bob) in Lady in the Lake
And they both had just one husband, rather unique for Hollywood. Irene was married to Dr. Francis Griffin, a dentist, for 37 years and Audrey to Dr. Leo Fred, an assistant Dean of Medicine at UCLA, for 43 years. Both ladies outlived their husbands and died in their 90's, Irene 91 and Audrey 95! They were both involved in politics, particularly Ms. Dunne, and like Bob, were staunch Republicans.
One of my favorite things about Once More, My Darling (1949) is the character of Mrs. Laing, the long-suffering mother of our favorite playboy Collie (or Bob, all the same). Mom is so wonderfully brought to the screen by Jane Cowl, a highly successful stage actress and playwright who Bob somehow managed to talk into doing the movie.
Ms. Cowl was born on December 14, 1884, in Boston, Massachusetts. The photo below was taken to promote the movie The Spreading Dawn (1917). She made two silent movies and hurriedly returned to the stage where she was active from 1903 to 1947. Besides being an excellent actress, its easy to see how her classy appearance added to her stage appeal.
Unfortunately, Ms. Cowl died of cancer only a year after making Once More. She starred in two other excellent movies before her death: Man of her Own (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck and Payment on Demand (1951), released after her death, with Bette Davis. Holding your own against Montgomery, Stanwyck and Davis ... not bad for a "newcomer!"
TCM will be showing Night Flight (1933) Friday, December 9th at 8:00 p.m. PST. Bob's part in the movie isn't nearly as large as one would wish, but..."what there is is choice!" It is basically a John and Lionel Barrymore movie with guest stars Helen Hayes, Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and Bob.
Bob and Lionel Barrymore in Night Flight (1933)
Bob portrays a pilot, one of his few action roles. Of course he is still our lovable playboy, making a great entrance at 8 minutes into the movie. The two-minute scene with its pre-code banter between Bob and his "girl" makes the movie worth watching! He has a couple more scenes later in the movie, so don't give up on the movie. It is too bad Clark, Helen, Myrna and Bob do not have any scenes together. That would have helped a somewhat weak movie. And it definitely needs more Bob!!
Am showing the above blow-up of Bob's face, well, just because he looks so great in the uniform.
In a surprise attack by the Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941, the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was bombed, resulting in the loss of the lives of 2,403 U.S. Citizens. This attack leads the United States into WWII, referred by President Roosevelt as "a day which will live in infamy."
Lt. Henry Montgomery, Jr., was on leave that day, enjoying hunting with friends on his New York farm. On hearing the news, he returned to his naval base to begin, along with millions of others, a fight and sacrifice that would last for four years.
TCM is showing They Were Expendable (1945) on Wednesday, the 7th, at 4:00 p.m. EST. It is a very fitting movie to show, the opening scene is concluded with the news that the attack has occurred.