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Lois January Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (15)  | Salary (6)

Overview (4)

Born in McAllen, Texas, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (Alzheimer's disease)
Birth NameLaura Lois January
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in McAllen, Texas, Lois January trained as a dancer almost from infancy. Her mother believed that Lois and her younger brother were talented enough as dancers to make it in the movies, and she took the two children to Los Angeles for a short period to check out employment opportunities for child dancers and performers. Though she returned to Texas, the family eventually moved to California, settling in Los Angeles, and Lois not only continued her dancing but began taking acting lessons in school. After graduating high school Lois joined a touring dance troupe, and when the group broke up in 1931, she focused most of her efforts toward acting rather than dancing. She began appearing in plays at the famed Pasadena Playhouse, where she was spotted by a Universal Pictures executive, who offered her a contract. She got some small parts in several Universal "B" pictures, then the studio loaned her out to Columbia Pictures, where she made several appearances in that studio's comedy shorts, and she also made a string of ultra-cheap "B" westerns for such independent producers as Willis Kent and Sam Katzman. After her contract at Universal was up, she signed with Republic Pictures and made more westerns, appearing with such staples of the genre as Johnny Mack Brown and Bob Steele. She had a small part in the classic The Wizard of Oz (1939) as a manicurist doing Dorothy's nails in the city of Oz. After completing that film she journeyed to New York and appeared on Broadway in "Yokel Boy". When that play's run was completed, she got an engagement singing at the world-famous Rainbow Room. Throughout the 1940s she alternated between nightclub engagements and stage work. Eventually she was offered her own radio show, and took it. She appeared in her last film in 1961, but in the late 1960s and early 1970s she made a spate of TV guest-starring roles. She died in Los Angeles in August of 2006 of Alzheimer's Disease.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Trivia (6)

During WWII she had her own radio program as the voice of "The Revelry Girl" who woke the GI's up with up-to-date news.
Resourceful, redheaded, Texas-born "B" western heroine trained in dance from age 2 and discovered by Universal. She appeared in about a dozen 1930s oaters starring such established cowboy heroes as Johnny Mack Brown, Bob Steele and Tim McCoy.
After her film career was for the most part over, she played the unbilled part of the Emerald City manicurist in "The Merry Old Land of Oz" segment of The Wizard of Oz (1939).
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Lois was working in nightclubs and such Broadway musicals as "Yokel Boy" (1939) and "High Kickers" (1941).
Later came back to 1960s and 1970s TV in bit or guest parts on such shows as My Three Sons (1960) and Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969), and was seen frequently at western conventions in later years.
According to Variety, she is survived by a daughter.

Personal Quotes (15)

[Texas is] near the border. A few feet south and I would have been a Mexican! It was a one-horse town then - but a resort town now! My mother wanted to be out here in California. We went for a visit, returned to Texas, then the family moved to California.
Noel Madison was in the now-cult film The Pace That Kills (1935) with me. The working title, 'The Pace That Kills,' was a better name. Of course, at Universal, Junior Laemmle [Carl Laemmle Jr.] chased me. He was a little skunk. I hated him. You just take it in stride. Lucille Lund also had trouble with him - she asked me how I handled it, and I told her about joking with them.
[on her contract with Universal] That's how I got the role in the Reb Russell western, Arizona Bad Man (1935). Universal farmed me out. They did those westerns on the backlot, way up in the hills of Canoga Park. I worked with the same cowboys over and over. They'd keep calling me back to do another picture.
Being from Texas, I knew horses. I loved them and I was not afraid of them. However, in one of the movies - either with Fred Scott or Johnny Mack Brown - I was not able to handle a great white horse. I rode fast in front of a posse. I was supposed to pull the horse up at the door and get off. I couldn't make that horse stop! Because of time and budgets, you could only do one or two takes. I halfway slid off - it could have been a bad accident, but luckily I never had one.
Universal taught you everything - I was in a lot of their big movies, but only in small parts. I never looked at showbiz as a career. I never thought of it as a business. I had fun, fun, fun; otherwise, I could have gone further. But I enjoyed what I was doing. I didn't drink, smoke or fool around. I lived with my family - they were supportive of me in every way.
Bob Steele wouldn't let me come and see him when he was dying. He had emphysema and didn't look well. His wife said, "He just looks terrible". I'd see him at parties, on the Universal lot, wherever, over the years.
Like Reb Russell, Johnny Mack Brown used to be a big football star before he made movies. Johnny Mack was such a sweet guy - he loved being a western star - he was always the perfect gentleman. We were shooting a picture and he told the director, "Why not have Lois in this scene where she will show up better?" He was building me up. I remained friends with his wife after he passed away.
I still get a lot of mail because of my part in The Wizard of Oz (1939). In fact, I get more mail from that than from the westerns. We had no idea it would go like this when we made it. Judy Garland hated the commissary at MGM. So, she and I went to the Culver City Hotel, which was just across the street from Metro, and we'd sit in a cute little restaurant there. A few years ago, there was an Oz Film Fair held at the same hotel. I was on that movie for three months!
Betty Grable was with me in some [short subjects]. She had a pushy mother - something I did not have.
[on Skull and Crown (1935)] I didn't like the film, but I loved that dog, Rin Tin Tin Jr.. He was so beautiful. And I did enjoy making the movie; I had fun. I didn't have a steady agent, and you gotta have a good agent working for you. To me, it was all fun and games.
Fred Scott was an opera singer. He was a wonderful guy - such a doll. We loved to sing together. I got to sing in Moonlight on the Range (1937), and he wanted me to do more singing, but on the other picture [The Roaming Cowboy (1937)] I didn't get to sing at all. I would get up before sunrise - and work into the dusk.
The western stars were all normal, nice, wonderful guys. Those cowboys were just good, fun-loving guys. I like the feel of westerns; it felt like I was still back in Texas.
[asked about her favorite westerns] I don't usually have favorites, but if I had to choose, I'd pick two: Border Caballero (1936) because I played a dance hall girl and I liked the story, and Moonlight on the Range (1937) because I got to sing on film.
I loved Tim McCoy; he was a very nice man and I liked working with him, but he was quite old even then! Tim had a thing for me. He really liked me. He was the first actor who invited me to his beautiful home, and I was crushed about that. I didn't play that game, so I was hurt. Noel Madison was another one - he tried to get me in his hotel room. I thought he was so nice, but he wanted that. Again, it crushed me. The casting couch is not a dream, it's real - I learned how to handle it. I'd kid with them and stay friends. You could tease them and get their mind off it!
[on Charles King] He was fun, but I went home after work and didn't socialize with any of these people.

Salary (6)

By Candlelight (1933) $200 /week
Let's Be Ritzy (1934) $200 /week
Embarrassing Moments (1934) $200 /week
The Human Side (1934) $200 /week
Life Returns (1935) $200 /week
The Affair of Susan (1935) $200 /week

See also

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