Monday, July 12, 2010
During the 1930s Joan Blondell with her huge blue eyes, blond hair and wise cracking personality, soon became a crowd favorite. She performed in more Warners films than any other actress, and called herself the "Warner's workhorse." The popularity of her films made a great contribution to the studio.
Blondell was paired with James Cagney in such films as Sinners' Holiday (1930) – the film version of Penny Arcade – and The Public Enemy (1931), and was one half of a gold-digging duo with Glenda Farrell in nine films. During the Great Depression, Blondell was one of the highest paid actress in the United States. Her performance of "Remember My Forgotten Man" in the Busby Berkeley production of Gold Diggers of 1933, in which she co-starred with Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers, became an anthem for the frustrations of the unemployed.
(Even though she was cast in many of the classic Warners musicals, she was not a singer, and in the Forgotten Man number, she mostly talked and acted her way through the song.) In 1937, she performed opposite Errol Flynn in The Perfect Specimen.
By the end of the decade, she had made nearly fifty films, leaving Warners in 1939.