Archive for WW 2 Pin Up Girls
The World Book Dictionary defines pinup as: “Noun 1. A picture of a very attractive or famous person, pinned up on a wall, as in a barracks, usually by admirers who have not met the subject. 2. A very attractive girl, especially one considered attractive enough to be the subject of such a picture.”
Andrea King was born Georgette AndrÃ© Barry in Paris, France, however she lived there only two months before her mother, Belle Hart, brought her back to the United States.
Belle was an ambulance driver on the front lines during World War I, as well as a dancer with the renowned Isadora Duncan. Andrea was raised in Forest Hills, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, and adopted her stepfather’s surname of McKee when she began acting professionally at the age of 14.
Prior to signing with Warner Bros. in 1944, she appeared in three Broadway plays and two national companies, and managed to squeeze in her first screen appearance in The March of Time’s first feature-length film entitled “The Ramparts We Watch” (1940). After signing with Warner Bros. and changing her professional name, Andrea’s career took off very quickly, and she appeared in nine films in 18 months. SheÂ appeared un-credited in the Bette Davis film, “Mr. Skeffington” (1944).
The Warner Bros. studio photographers voted Andrea the most photogenic actress on the lot for the year 1945. Her first leading role came early on with “Hotel Berlin” (1945), and until she left the studio system in 1946, she continued on as a glamorous, often mysterious leading lady. King was originally cast to play Dr. Lilith Ritter in Edmund Goulding’s film noir classic “Nightmare Alley”, but she choose instead a memorable role as sophisticated Marjorie Lundeen in “Ride the Pink Horse” (1947).
Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, she continued to work steadily in leading roles and “bad girl” second leads, and made many starring television appearances as well, most notably in the original 1953 live broadcast of “Witness for the Prosecution” for “Lux Video Theatre” (1950) opposite Edward G. Robinson. For her early work in television she received one of the first stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In the early 1950s, she moved away from films and began making many television appearances on such programs as “Fireside Theatre”, “Cheyenne”, “Dragnet”, “Mike Hammer”, “77 Sunset Strip”, “The Donna Reed Show” and Perry Mason. Andrea continued to make occasional TV and film appearances through the late 1990s, until shortly before her death on April 22, 2003 from natural causes at the age of 84.
Height: 5′ 5Â½” (1.66 m)
Spouse: Nat Willis (6 October 1940 – 27 July 1970) (his death) 1 child
Vivian Austin was born Vivian Coe on February 23, 1920 in Hollywood, California. A former Miss Hollywood and a dancer, this Universal contract starlet of the 1940s entered films as a Goldwyn Girl in “The Goldwyn Follies” (1938).
That and a few other chorus girl assignments led to the contract with Universal, which cast her opposite Donald Barry in the original Red Ryder serial, “The Adventures of Red Ryder” (1940). For unknown reasons, the studio then changed her name to Vivian Austin and as such she appeared in B-musicals with Donald O’Connor and Peggy Ryan, a couple of oaters with Rod Cameron, and the well-received comedy “The Men in Her Diary” (1944).
She made 25 westerns, musicals and dramas for the studio until she nearly died from kidney failure in 1948, which leading to blindness, forced Ms. Austin into early retirement from the motion picture business.
A Palm Springs, California physician, Dr. Kenneth Grow, managed to restore her sight, and later they married on December 30, 1968. Vivian Austin died of natural causes on August 1, 2004 (Aged 84) in Los Angeles, California.
Gloria Mildred DeHaven was born on July 23, 1925 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actor-director Carter DeHaven and actress Flora Parker DeHaven, both former vaudeville performers.
She began her career as a child actor with a bit part in Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” (1936). She was signed to a contract with MGM Studios, but despite featured roles in such films as “The Thin Man Goes Home” (1944) and “Summer Stock” (1950), she did not achieve film stardom. She portrayed her mother in the Fred Astaire film “Three Little Words” (1950).
DeHaven also appeared as a regular in the television series and soap operas “As the World Turns”, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “Ryan’s Hope”. She was one of the numerous celebrities enticed to appear in the all-star box office flop “Won Ton Ton”, the “Dog Who Saved Hollywood” (1976), and has guest starred in such television series as “Robert Montgomery Presents”, “The Guy Mitchell Show”, “The Rifleman”, “Wagon Train”, “The Lloyd Bridges Show”, “Marcus Welby, M.D.”, “Gunsmoke”, “Fantasy Island”, “Hart to Hart”, “The Love Boat”, “Highway to Heaven”, “Murder, She Wrote” and “Touched By An Angel”.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, DeHaven hosted a morning call-in movie show, “Prize Movie”, on WABC-TV in New York City.
DeHaven has been married four times to three different men. Her first husband was actor John Payne whom she married on December 28, 1944 and divorced in 1950. Her second husband was Martin Kimmell; they were married June 21, 1953 and divorced the following year. She was married to Richard Fincher from 1957 until 1963; they remarried in 1965 and divorced in 1969.
She has two children with Payne, daughter Kathleen Hope born 1945 and son Thomas John born 1947. She has two additional children with Fincher, son Harry born 1958 and daughter Faith born 1962.
Measurements: 34-24-34 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
Frances Vorne, a 19-year-old New York girl who calls herself “The Shape”, wound up 1944 with perhaps the best claim to an honor publicity agents fight desperately over: the crown as Pin-Up Girl of the Year. First the Associated Press in a rare moment of relaxation gave her the title.
The Shape had received even more dazzling recognition as the circle of her admirers expanded to include at least one segment of British officialdom. The British Ministry of Information saw her photograph in the London Daily Mirror, immediately cabled the U.S. for permission to use it in stimulating the morale of Britain’s Army & Navy.
The Highlight of her career seems to be “Pin-Up Girl of the Year 1945” chosen by the Associated Press. He only film work seems to be a “Movie NewsReels Swimsuit Revue” which also featured Maria Montez and other beautiful young popular girls. Movie NewsReels were shown along with feature films and cartoons at theaters this one was also sold in 8 or 16mm via mail-order advertising from the back of Popular Science and other magazines. Frances Vorne was marketed as the “Modern Venus” and Star of “Swim Suit Revue”. Here last known work is the POLICE GAZETTE MAGAZINE cover June, 1947.
Carole Landis was born on New Year’s Day in 1919 in Fairchild, Wisconsin, as Frances Lillian Mary Ridste. Her childhood was, for the most part, normal. Her father, a railroad mechanic, was of Norwegian descent and her mother was Polish. Her father left the family and Carole, her mother and an older brother and sister were left to fend for themselves.
Once she graduated from high school, she married Irving Wheeler, but the union lasted a month before the marriage was annulled because Carole was only 15 at the time. The couple remarried in August of 1934 and the two headed to California to start a new life. For a while she worked as a dancer and singer, but it wasn’t long before the glitter of show business drew her to Los Angeles.
She won a studio contract with Warner Brothers, but was a bit player for the most part in such films as “A Star Is Born” (1937), “A Day at the Races” (1937), and “The Emperor’s Candlesticks” (1937). The following year started out much the same way with more bit roles. Carole’s career was stalled. By 1939, she was getting a few more into speaking roles, although mostly one-liners, and that year ended much like the previous two years with more bit roles, plus a divorce from Wheeler.
In 1940 she was cast as Loana in the Hal Roach production of “One Million B.C.” (1940), where her beauty (and skimpy outfit) finally got her recognition, and her career finally began moving. She didn’t star in big productions but began getting parts in B pictures. Although she had a fine acting talent, the really good roles were snatched up by the established stars of the day. Warner Brothers then sold her contract to 20th Century-Fox. She played “B” leads and “A” supporting roles in her first 12 Fox films, with a notable dramatic performance in “I Wake Up Screaming” (1941). Critics dwelled on her fresh-faced beauty, seldom mentioning her acting and comedy potential. Her busiest year ever turned out to be 1942, with roles in six films such as “Manila Calling” (1942), “The Powers Girl” (1943) and “A Gentleman at Heart” (1942). It seemed that her films never really attracted good critical reviews, and if they were reviewed at all it was in reference to Carole’s breathtaking beauty.
During World War 2 Carole spent more time visiting troops than any other actress. She took time off from her career and dedicated herself to the war effort. Carole toured the country selling war bonds and entertained soldiers all over the world. The press called her “a heroine” and “pride of the yanks”. She joined the Hollywood Victory Committee and worked tirelessly with the Red Cross, the Naval Aid Auxiliary, and Bundles for Blue Jackets. Carole collected cigarettes for the soldiers, taught first aid, and donated blood as often as she was allowed. She never turned down a request to help and visited more than 250 military bases across the United States. When she went to Camp Bowie for a three day appearance in 1942 she danced with 200 soldiers, sang 15 songs, and signed 1000 autographs. In September 1942 she visited the Mare Island Navy Yard where she sang for the injured men in the hospital ward. Carole became one of the soldier’s favorite pin-up girls and they nicknamed her “The Blonde Bomber”. When she appeared on the Command Performance radio show one soldier requested that she “just sigh” into the microphone. In November 1942 Carole started a five month tour of Europe and Africa with Mitzi Mayfair, Kay Francis, and Martha Raye. She met her husband Tommy Wallace during this tour and she wrote about her experiences in her 1944 book “Four Jills In A Jeep”. In the film version, “Four Jills in a Jeep” (1944), you can get a glimpse of the kind of talent she really had, and which Fox was wasting.
Carole was a hostess at the Hollywood Canteen and she invited soldiers to her beach house every weekend. In June 1944 she began a U.S.O. tour with Jack Benny, singer Martha Tilton, harmonica player Larry Adler, and pianist June Bruner. During their camp shows Carole sang and jitterbugged with the boys. She spent much of her time visiting wounded soldiers and she wrote hundreds of letters to their families. Jack Benny said “You soon forgot she was Carole Landis, the sex symbol, the Hollywood star, the sweater girl, because she was a real human being and had a warm heart that spilled over with kindness”.
During their two month tour of the South Pacific Carole almost died when she contracted malaria and amoebic dysentery. She was hospitalized for weeks, lost 15 pounds, and suffered with these illnesses for the rest of her life. Carole became an Air Raid Warden, a commander in the Aerial Nurses Corps, and an honorary Colonel in the American Legion. She auctioned off her favorite opal ring to raise money and she donated several movie projectors to bases overseas. Carole traveled more than 125,000 miles during the war. She performed for soldiers in Australia, Brazil, Algeria, Bermuda, Scotland, England, New Guinea, Ireland, Guam, and New Zealand. Carole said “Whatever we do for soldiers can’t be enough in return for what they do for us. They are wonderful!”
By the middle 1940s her career was beginning to short-circuit. Her contract with 20th Century-Fox had been canceled, failed marriages to Willis Hunt Jr. and Thomas Wallace, her current marriage to Horace Schmidlapp on the skids, plus a battle with poor health spelled disaster for her professionally and personally. Her final two films were released in 1948, “Brass Monkey” (1948) and “Noose” (1948). On July 5, 1948, Carole committed suicide by taking an overdose of seconal in her Brentwood Heights, California, home. She was only 29 and had made 49 pictures, unfortunately, mostly forgettable ones. If Hollywood moguls had given Carole a good chance, she could have been one of the brightest stars in its history.
5′ 5″ (1.66 m)
The ‘Ping’ Girl
The Blonde Bomber
Carole protested strongly and publicly against the nonsensical nickname “Ping Girl” (apparently short for “purring”) coined by Hal Roach publicist Frank N. Seltzer in April 1940.
She knew how to fly a plane. Carole started taking flying lessons with her second husband Willis Hunt and got her pilots license in 1941. During World War 2 she flew for the Civilian Air Patrol.
In 1944 Carole appeared in ads for Chesterfield cigarettes. During her career she was also featured in ads for Lipton tea, Schaefer beer, Jergens lotion, Sinclair oil, and Nescafe coffee.
On her family’s official web site they claim that Carole’s death was not a suicide, they believe someone murdered her.