I was researching Charles Ray's 1928 play Yen in the Cleveland Plain Dealer archives overnight (What, who isn't?) and I found a few articles reporting a promotional gimmick Ray was using to draw interest in his play and himself.
“I’m just wondering if any Clevelander can name 45 of my pictures,” Ray said, referring to his stalled movie career. The actor says he's appeared in 64 movies total, but doesn't expect any Clevelander can spout off the entire list.
The prize pays $25 with a $10 second prize going to the runner-up and five additional prizes of two tickets each to go and watch Ray star in Yen, which he also wrote, at the Little Theater.
A few days later a Miss Ruth Babcock was announced as winner, astounding Ray by naming 70 films that he had appeared in.
“I thought I had only been in 64 films, but these fans know more about me than I do myself,” said Ray.
Ray supposedly spent the previous day wading through 350 total entries. A check for $25 was mailed to Miss Babcock, along with a bonus prize of a box to the show Friday night and invitation from Ray for her to invite seven of her friends to join her.
The IMDb credits Charles Ray with 173 screen credits, 145 of which were dated prior to 1928. While Miss Babcock astounded Charles Ray, she wasn't even halfway to the complete tally!
Ray's co-star in Yen was Helen Twelvetrees, which helps explain why I'm digging into this stuff!
- “Four More Days to Enter Ray’s Title Contest.” Cleveland Plain Dealer. 10 Feb 1928, 21.
- “List of 70 Ray Pictures Wins Prize of $25.” Cleveland Plain Dealer. 15 Feb 1928, 20.