Where They Were Then, Being a Where Are They Now Column from 1949

Gloria Swanson 1930s Garbaty Tobacco CardPicking up from yesterday’s lengthier introduction ...

In Spring 1949 Bob Thomas of the Associated Press wrote a column in response to AP foreign affairs analyst DeWitt McKenzie who had asked what had happened to several of his old-time movie favorites.

Thomas’ column is so fact filled and light on filler that all I can do to make it clearer is offer up more white space between names. After his introduction he’s more or less published a list separated by commas and the occasional paragraph.

His findings:

Erich von Stroheim 1930 BAT Tobacco CardLeading off with yesterday’s teaser, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim are back in Hollywood to work in a movie together. While Thomas doesn’t name the film it can only be Sunset Blvd. (1950).

Also back to work: Sessue Hayakawa and Ramon Novarro.

Pola Negri and Mae Murray are said to be back in Hollywood, not to act, but each attempting to sell movie rights to their memoirs.

Beverly Bayne is on stage in New York while ex-husband Francis X. Bushman is working radio soap operas from Hollywood.

Billie Dove married socialite Robert Kenaston and they live in Hollywood (They divorced in 1970).

Bebe Daniels 1935 Careras Film Stars Tobacco CardBebe Daniels is back in England with husband Ben Lyon, 20th Century-Fox executive (Ben and Bebe were married until her death in 1971, at which time Ben remarried a widow found further down this list).

Charles Farrell operates the Palm Springs Racquet Club and former co-star Janet Gaynor has married designer Adrian and retired from film.

The following are all Hollywood local interior designers as of Spring ‘49: William Haines, Mary Miles Minter, Jetta Goudal and Gloria Stuart.

“Reginald Denny has made his hobby pay off; he runs a model airplane business” (I’ll say! Thanks to Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings for pointing that site out to me some time ago.).

Clara Kimball Young is retired and lives alone in a Hollywood bungalow.

Maurice Costello and daughter Helene live at the motion picture country home while Maurice occasionally takes on bit roles (According the IMDb he had last done so in 1945. Maurice Costello died in 1950). Other daughter Dolores Costello is now married to a Los Angeles doctor (That must be John Vruwink. They divorced in 1951).

Also doing bit work: Chester Conklin, Mae Marsh, Matt Moore, Tom Moore, Anna Q. Nilsson, Jack Mulhall, William Farnum, Alice White, Gertrude Michael.

Alice White and Jack Mulhall

Alice White and Jack Mulhall were the leads in 1930's SHOW GIRL IN HOLLYWOOD

Theda Bara is married to the director Charles Brabin (That one lasted until her death in 1955).

Corinne Griffith is married to Washington Redskins owner George Marshall (Divorced in 1958. Miss Griffith’s life continued to develop into a fascinating story).

Marian Nixon 1935 BAT Cinema Celebrities Tobacco CardMarion Nixon is married to director William A. Seiter (Until Seiter’s death in 1964. Nixon later married Ben Lyon, her fourth husband. Lyon died in 1979; Nixon in 1983).

Laura La Plante is married to MGM London official Irving Asher (La Plante it should be mentioned had been married to Seiter before Marion Nixon. The Asher match took better, lasting until his death in 1985. La Plante herself lived until 1996).

Ann Harding is married to conductor Werner Janssen (Divorced in 1963. Harding did not remarry).

Louise Fazenda is married to producer Hal Wallis (Until her death in 1962).

Clara Bow and Rex Bell are still married and live on a Nevada ranch (Until his death in 1962).

“Colleen Moore is wealthy and retired in Chicago.”

Rod La Rocque works in real estate in Hollywood.

Nils Asther is a civil service delivery clerk at a dollar an hour.

Nils Asther and Ann Harding 1937 John Sinclair Tobacco Card

Tim McCoy is doing TV Westerns (No, he wasn’t. According the the IMDb the only time McCoy ever showed up on television was as part of the 1972 Joel McCrea episode of “This Is Your Life.”).

Buster Keaton 1930s Ramses German Tobacco CardBuster Keaton is a gag man and actor for MGM.

Monte Blue does character parts for Warner Brothers.

Recently attempting comebacks: Ralph Graves and Sally Eilers (Graves appeared in four 1949 releases; Eilers one in 1950. Never another for either).

Norma Talmadge is married to a Las Vegas doctor; Constance Talmadge is married to a New York broker (Norma was married to Dr. Carvel James until her death in 1957; Constance to Walter Michael Giblin, her fourth and final husband, until his death in 1964. Third sister Natalie Talmadge isn’t mentioned by Thomas but she never remarried after her divorce from Buster Keaton in 1932).

Sue Carol 1929 Movie Land Keeno Game CardTaylor Holmes does character parts on stage and screen.

Sue Carol is an agent and married to Alan Ladd (Lasted until Ladd’s death in 1964).

That last one was supposed to be a bit of a showstopper as Carol and Ladd were the final names that Thomas listed.

Just a slice in time courtesy Bob Thomas, "Traces Trails of Film Stars," located in the Racine Journal-Times, April 12, 1949, page 19.

Back with something more, sometime soon.

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