She was one of the biggest stars of the 1930s.
She could sing and dance, and lit up the screen in many Warners musicals. She was the personification of the wisecracking working woman who had been around the block a few times, a perfect best friend of many a leading man.
Joan Blondell’s career began a house on fire. After a brief period on the Broadway stage, she migrated to Hollywood and appeared in literally dozens of movies during the 1930’s. The pace slowed considerably in the following decade, but her career clicked into a robust second act later on thanks in good part to some plummy roles in solid films and the many tv roles she played.
Blondell remains the embodiment of the saucy, blowsy, salty, independent woman onscreen. She was at least some of that offscreen as well, compiling an interesting personal and marital life. So how much do you know about Joan Blondell?
Let’s get to our Monday Quiz to find out. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Before her movie career began, Blondell appeared on the Broadway stage with an actor who became one of classic Hollywood’s biggest stars. Who is he? a) Clark Gable; b) Ralph Bellamy; c) James Cagney; or d) Humphrey Bogart.
2) Question: Just how many movies did Blondell actually make in Hollywood in the 1930’s? a) More than 50; b) 24; c) 42; or d) 12.
3) Question: How many movies did Blondell make in the 1940’s? a) five; b) a dozen; c) 20; or d) 13.
4) Question: Blondell later in her career had a substantial supporting role in one of the most bizarre film noir thrillers ever made. Can you identify the title of the picture and the name of its star?
5) Question: What did Blondell and actress June Allyson have in common? a) Both were Republicans; b) Both were eminently likable offscreen; c) The same husband; or d) None of the above.
6) Question: What did Blondell and Elizabeth Taylor have in common? a) The same husband; b) A salty way with the English language; c) Both were sexpots; d) None of the above.
7) Question: Who was Blondell’s most frequent male costar in musicals? a) George Raft; b) James Cagney; c) Dick Powell; or d) Donald O’Connor.
8) Question: In 1957, Blondell appeared in the supporting role as “Violet” with which one of the following Hollywood sex symbols in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? a) Marilyn Monroe; b) Elizabeth Taylor; c) Barbara Payton; or d) Jayne Mansfield.
9) Question: In 1952, Blondell was nominated for an Oscar in the best supporting actress category for her work in a drama for which the female lead was nominated for a best actress Oscar. Can you name the movie, and identify the leading actress?
10) Question: Blondell’s standard screen role as a blowsy blond was eventually taken over by which one of the following? a) Veronica Lake; b) Ginger Rogers; c) Lana Turner; or d) Jean Harlow.
By the way, Friday’s mystery man was Dennis Morgan.