Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Golden Age of Musicals: From the 1930s: Alice White
Alice White, attended Roanoke College in Virginia and then took a secretarial course at Hollywood High School. After leaving school she became a secretary and "script girl" for director Josef Von Sternberg. Soon after she worked for Charlie Chaplin, who decided to place her in front of the camera.
She was often compared with Clara Bow, playing mostly flappers and gold diggers, she attracted the attention of the director and producer Mervyn LeRoy who saw potential in her. Her first sound films included Show Girl (1928) and Show Girl in Hollywood (1930), both released by Warner Brothers and both based on novels by J. P. McEvoy. In these two films, White performed as "Dixie Dugan".Al Jolson (and his wife Ruby Keeler), Noah Beery (with his son), Walter Pidgeon, and Loretta Young make a cameo appearance in this film in the final reel, which was photographed in Technicolor. All four of these actors were big stars for Warner Bros. in 1930 but only four of them (Jolson, Keeler, Pidgeon, and Young) maintained their popularity beyond the early talkie period. Soundtracks:
"I've Got My Eye on You"
"Hang Onto a Rainbow"
"There's a Tear for Every Smile in Hollywood"
"Merrily We Roll Along"
In October 1929, McAvoy started the comic strip Dixie Dugan with the character Dixie having a "helmet" hairstyle and appearance similar to actress Louise Brooks. She left films in 1931 to improve her acting abilities. She made her final film appearance in, Flamingo Road (1949).