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I was called to [Louis B. Mayer
]'s office to discuss a long-term contract he wanted me to sign. He told me he had been impressed by my work at other studios and that he felt I would be an asset to MGM. He peered at me over his glasses and suggested I tell him about myself. I started by saying I came from New Brunswick. "That's in Canada", I added. "I know where New Brunswick is", said Mayer ...
heard him singing at a party while appearing with an amateur company in Boston and got him an agent. Walter was more interested in acting, however, and joined E.E. Clive
's repertory stage company where he worked on his craft. Thanks also to Astaire, the deep baritone auditioned for and became the singing partner for singer/entertainer Elsie Janis
which toured for six months in the ...