Friday, July 9, 2010
Dick Powell, attended the former Little Rock College, before he started his entertainment career as a singer with the Charlie Davis Orchestra. He recorded several records with Davis and on his own in the late 1920s.
Powell moved to Pittsburgh, where he found success as the Master of Ceremonies at the Enright Theater and the Stanley Theater. In April 1930, Warner Bros, was impressed by Powell's singing and stage presence to offer him a film contract in 1932. He made his first film as a singing bandleader in Blessed Event. He went on to star in movie musicals such as 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames, Flirtation Walk, and On the Avenue, performing opposite Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell.
Powell wanted to expand his range but Warner Bros. wouldn't allow him to do so, although they did (mis)cast him in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935). This was to be Powell's only Shakespearean role and one he did not want to play, feeling that he was completely wrong for the part. Finally, reaching his forties and knowing that his young romantic leading man days were behind him he wanted the lead in Double Indemnity. He lost out to Fred MacMurray. Watching MacMurray’s success, fueled Powell’s to pursue films with greater range.
Powell's ranch-style house in Mandeville Canyon, Los Angeles, was used as the setting for the television show Hart to Hart. Robert Wagner, was a close friend of Powell's. Dick Powell also was a major television player with his own production company, Four Star, owning several network shows.
Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers sing "I'll String Along With You" in the movie "Twenty Million Sweethearts" (1934). Director: Ray Enright. Cast: Pat O'Brien, Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers. The film was remade in 1949, with Doris Day and Jack Carson as My Dream Is Yours. Agent Russell Edward 'Rush' Blake is able to promote the singing tenor waiter Buddy Clayton as a major radio star.