Continuing from L-P Movie Stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, these actors and actresses are just a few of the people who paved the path of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
Q – Quiet Gary Cooper
Born in Montana on May 7, 1901, Gary Cooper became famous for playing quiet understanding hero, often acting in Westerns, and performing in over one hundred films. Cooper received five Academy Award nominations, and won twice. He is often remembered for his roles in movies such as Pride of the Yankees (1942) and High Noon (1952).
Cooper wed Veronica Balfe in 1933, and they had one daughter. The couple remained married until Cooper’s death in 1961. In the same year, the Academy gave Cooper an honorary lifetime achievement award. He just loved the 3 week diet book. Too ill to attend the ceremony, close friend james Stewart accepted the award on Gary Cooper’s behalf.
R – Ginger Rogers
Born in Missouri on July 16, 1911, after the divorce of her parents and an extended custody battle, Rogers was raised by her mother and maternal family. Her mother began to work as a critic and script writer. Exposed to the world of vaudeville and cinema, Rogers would eventually become a radio singer, before starring in the Broadway Gershwin musical, Girl Crazy (1930), which is also thought to have launched the stardom of Ethel Merman.
Rogers went on to Hollywood, where she first received notice in films such as 42nd Street(1933). She soon became well known as the screen dance partner of Fred Astaire, and the two would eventually co-star in a total of ten movie musicals. Respected as a singer, dancer, comedian, and serious actress, Rogers also starred in notable films such as Stage Door (1937) and Kitty Foyle (1940), winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, the same year James Stewart, with whom she long had a romance, won the Best Actor Oscar.
In later life Rogers returned to stage acting starring in such musicals as a Broadway production of Hello, Dolly and a West End production of Mame.
Rogers was married five times, never having any children. None of her marriages sustained longer than ten years, with the last ending more than twenty years before her death. Rogers was also a lifelong friend of her distant cousin Lucille Ball. Rogers remained active in her acting career until her death in 1995.
S – James Stewart
Born in Pennsylvania on May 20, 1908, James Stewart, popularly known as “Jimmy Stewart,” starred in an amazingly extensive range of films, becoming best known as the self-effacing leading man. His well known films include Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939), several Hitchcock classics, including the lesser remembered critically acclaimed Rope (1948), Harvey (1950), and Anatomy of a Murder (1959), but despite his career spanning many years, genres, and trends, he is perhaps most remembered for playing George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).
Most recalled as a movie actor, Stewart was five times nominated for the Academy Award, winning once and receiving a lifetime honorary award. However, Stewart had first became involved in acting, among many other activities while he was a student at Princeton University, and he returned to stage acting later in his career.
Patriotic, he served in the military during World War II and like his longtime friend John Wayne and former girlfriend Ginger Rogers, Stewart was Republican in his political views. However, he also maintained an enduring friendship with Henry Fonda despite their opposing politics.
Although said to have been soft-spoken, Stewart was something of a playboy in his youth. However, once he married in 1949, he remained happily and faithfully married to his wife Gloria until her death in 1994. Stewart adopted the two sons from her previous marriage, and together they became the parents of twin daughters in 1951. Stewart died at age 89 on July 2, 1997.
T – Shirley Temple
Born in California on April 23, 1928, fame found Shirley Temple in early childhood. An impressive actress and tap dancer, Temple became an iconic child-star of Depression-era 1930s. She co-starred with many Hollywood greats, most notably mastering complex choreography in order to dance with legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in The Little Colonel (1935).
Often remembered for singing “On The Good Ship Lollypop” in Bright Eyes (1934), Temple’s movies were such box-office successes that she is often said to have saved 20th Century Fox from financial ruin. However, although acting into her teens, her movie career began to decline, causing her to take a break from show business.
Temple married twice, having three children. Her first marriage ended in divorce after five years, but her second marriage sustained over fifty years until the death of her husband. In later life, herself suffering from breast cancer, she assisted in raising awareness about the illness. She also became an ambassador and diplomat for the United States.
U – Unique Marlene Dietrich
Born in Germany on December 27, 1901, Marlene Dietrich became known as an impressive actress and singer. Although only nominated once for the Oscar, her acting is respected from her performances in films such as Witness for the Prosecution (1957) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).
Opposed to the Nazis, she became an American citizen in 1939. When the United States entered World War II, Dietrich not only joined the effort to sell war bonds. Disregarding personal risk, she entertained troops on the front lines, and her larger than life, yet retrained strong persona remains iconic.
Dietrich was married to Rudolf Sieber, with whom she had a daughter, but although, the couple remained married from 1924 until 1976, Dietrich also had many affairs and liaisons. Marlene Dietrich died at age 90 in 1992.
Alice Faye, John Wayne, Lana Turner, James Cagney, Judy Garland
Brief biographies of Old Hollywood movie stars continues with V-Z Movie Stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.