Episode List

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1961

1961
Carole Lombard
Born Jane Alice Peters, Carole Lombard learned from an early age that movie success was dependent upon box office. She got her first screen credit at age 12, but began her screen acting career in earnest as one of Mack Sennett's bathing beauties after finishing school four years later. As Carole was making a name for herself in the early 1930's, she was cast opposite some of Hollywood's A-list leading men, which would catapult her into the ranks of an A-lister. One of those leading men was 'Clark Gable'. Although having made only one picture together, Gable and Lombard would extend their ...
 
1961
Errol Flynn
A nearly breathless off-screen narrator and still photographs arranged chronologically take us through the life and career of Errol Flynn (1909-1959). This short film presents him as virile, athletic, and adventurous off screen as well as on. After his youth in Australia and the South Seas, a London screen test sends him to Hollywood. "Captain Blood" is his breakthrough role followed by other swashbuckling parts, often in movies with Olivia de Havilland and Alan Hale. His early death, the narrative suggests, cements his reputation as a Hollywood matinée idol.
 
1961
Fred MacMurray
A brief biography of actor Fred MacMurray: segments include his happy childhood, being discovered by a Broadway group called the California Collegians, and constantly switching between comedic and dramatic roles during his film career.
 
1961
Gloria Swanson
A brief biography of actress Gloria Swanson.
 
1961
Greer Garson
Born in Ireland, Greer Garson, known for her screen portrayals of beautiful yet extremely kind and humanistic characters, began her acting career on the London stage, where she was noticed by Louis B. Mayer who signed her to a Hollywood contract. Mayer insisted she not appear in any movie, but the right movie, hence the reason she sat idle for the first year of her contract until the movie Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) came along. A string of successful movies followed, including Blossoms in the Dust (1941), which would team her for the first time with who would become her frequent leading man, Walter Pidgeon. A subsequent collaboration with Pidgeon would become...
 
1961
James Cagney
James Cagney began his show business career as a dancer. But the movie The Public Enemy (1931) and its famous grapefruit scene with co-star Mae Clarke made Cagney a star as a tough guy women loved and men wanted to emulate. Despite his tough guy screen persona, Cagney was a soft spoken man who prided himself on keeping in good dancing shape. It would come in handy for his second Oscar nominated role as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), a role which was offered to him directly by the Cohan family and for which he did win the Oscar.
 
1961
John Wayne
The film uses an off-screen narrator and still photographs to breeze through John Wayne's film career. First, he's an extra after playing guard for USC's football team; Raoul Walsh gives him his first screen test and his breakthrough role is in John Ford's "Stagecoach." Then, we get a rapid recitation of starring roles along with photos of him with some of his co-stars -- in Westerns, war films, costume dramas, and a few comedies. By the early 1960's Wayne is an American icon, one of movies' biggest stars.
 
1961
Myrna Loy
Using photographs and an off-screen narrator, this breezy biography takes us quickly through Myrna Loy's film career and ends with a salute to her charity work for the United Nations and on behalf of children. She grows up on a Montana ranch and goes to private high school and art school in Los Angeles. Rudolph Valentino and his wife become her patrons (she's a sculptor) then help get her first movie roles. She's soon cast as a vamp, changes studios a couple of times, stars with Hollywood's most famous leading men, and plays a wife in her most enduring roles, as Nora ...
 
1961
Spencer Tracy
A brief biography of actor Spencer Tracy.
 
1961
Tom Mix
A look at the life and careers of Tom Mix (1880-1940), daredevil and Western-movie action star.
 
1961
W.C. Fields
Born William Claude Dukenfield, W.C. Fields started his professional career as a juggler, working the vaudeville circuit. But his ad-libbed comments on stage made him change the focus of his act to comedy. He starred on the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway for nine years before moving onto the silver screen. Despite initially working in D.W. Griffith movies, it was his roles in Mack Sennett comedies that Fields crafted the on-screen persona for which he is now known, which included mastering the art of physical comedy. He transferred his love of comedy from what is seen on the screen to what happened on set...
 
1961
William Powell
This entry in the Hollywood Hist-o-Rama series offers a brief biography of actor William Powell using voice-over narration and photos, including stills from films from throughout his career.
 

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