A Walk Down Memory Lane: 1943 Group Photo from MGM

This is a promotional photo of many of the actors under contract with MGM at the time of the studio’s 20th birthday party:

mgm-1943-promo-photo-of-contracted-actors-singers

Recognize anyone?

1st Row: James Stewart, Margaret Sullivan, Lucille Ball, Hedy Lamarr, Katharine Hepburn, Louis B. Mayer, Greer Garson, Irene Dunne, Susan Peters, Ginny Simms, Lionel Barrymore.

2nd Row: Harry James, Brian Donlevy, Red Skelton, Mickey Rooney, William Powell, Wallace Beery, Spencer Tracy, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Taylor, Pierre Aumont, Lewis Stone, Gene Kelly, Jackie Jenkins.

3rd Row: Tommy Dorsey, George Murphy, Jean Rogers, James Craig, Donna Reed, Van Johnson, Fay Bainter, Marsha Hunt, Ruth Hussey, Marjorie Main, Robert Benchley.

4th Row: Dame May Whitty, Reginald Owen, Keenan Wynn, Diana Lewis, Marilyn Maxwell, Esther Williams, Ann Richards, Marta Linden, Lee Bowman, Richard Carlson, Mary Astor.

5th Row: Blanche Ring, Sara Haden, Fay Holden, Bert Lahr, Frances Gifford, June Allyson, Richard Whorf, Frances Rafferty, Spring Byington, Connie Gilchrist, Gladys Cooper.

6th Row: Ben Blue, Chill Wills, Keye Luke, Barry Nelson, Desi Arnaz, Henry O’Neill, Bob Crosby, Rags Ragland.

Hope this brought back some great memories.

~Ana

A Tribute to My Aunt Betty by Ana Livingston

This is a tribute to my Aunt Betty; a consummate pianist and all-around lovely lady who never compromised in her desire to live by her craft alone.

I remember she and my uncle, an incredible chef and business owner, ran a high-end dinner club in Marina del Rey back in the time when rubbing elbows with the likes of John Wayne or The Rat Pack was just a typical Saturday night.

My Aunt Betty. A screen capture from the 1958 classic “The Young Lions”.

The photo I’ve included is a VHS screen capture from the movie entitled “The Young Lions“.  It’s an old 1958 war classic starring Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Maximilian Schell, as well as other notable names.  That’s her happily playing while gazing towards the singing gentleman on the piano bench to her right: Dean Martin.

So, she was sometimes an unbilled pianist at a movie studio, amongst other things, all in addition to entertaining in their club.  And the one gig she rarely missed in all her years was Sunday morning service at their local church.

I remember there used to be this beautiful black and white framed glamor photo of my aunt that graced my grandmother’s foyer.  As a young, wided-eyed girl, I’d stare at it often and dream of the wondrous life she must have led.

My aunt is older now and long since retired, yet she’s still the lovely, warm-hearted soul she’s always been.  I’ve heard ever since I was a young girl that I “look just like Aunt Betty”.  What a wonderful, wonderful compliment.

~Ana

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