Well, it turns out that at least some of you know a lot about Tyrone Power. We also suspect a lot more of you do but just aren’t saying. In any case, the classic movie guys are heartened.
Congrats to readers The Lady Eve (for nailing correct answers to all of the questions in our Tyrone Power Quiz) and to Le (who came very close). We know because they were generous enough to write in their answers. How did you do?
To find out, please check out the answers (below) to the first five questions in our Quiz, published on Aug. 21. We’ll finish up the final five in a future blog. Stay tuned.
Question: Power began his movie career at this prominent Hollywood studio, and was considered the protege of the studio’s mogul. Identify from the following the studio and its boss: 1) Monogram Pictures, Herbert Yates; 2) MGM, Louis B.Mayer; 3) Warner Bros., Jack Warner; or 4) 20th Century Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck.
Answer: 4) Zanuck and Fox. It almost didn’t turn out that way. While viewing the screen test of a 23-year-old Power, then a $60-per-week aspiring stage actor, Zanuck barked: “Take it off. He looks like a monkey.” The actor sported long eyebrows and hair that grew low on his forehead. Zanuck’s then wife, Virginia, made a suggestion: “shave his eyebrows.” They did and the “monkey” was converted into a star. True story.
Question: Which of Power’s movies was later remade by Bill Murray? 1) 1936’s Ladies in Love; 2) 1940’s The Mark of Zorro; 3) 1948’s The Luck of the Irish; or 4) 1946’s The Razor’s Edge?
Answer: 4) The Razor’s Edge. Yup, hard as it is to believe today, Bill Murray recreated Power’s role, as Larry Darrell, the young man who goes off to find himself, in 1984’s version of the film based on the Somerset Maugham novel. Both Power and Murray were in their thirties when taking on the role. Murray was fresh off the huge Columbia Pictures sci-fi comedy hit, Ghostbusters, and was hot at the time. Columbia couldn’t say “no” to his decision to go in a different direction. Perhaps they should have.
Question: Power married three times. His first wife went professionally by just one name. Who was she? 1) Cher; 2) Annabella; 3) Charo; 4) Bjork; or 5) Falconetti.
Answer: 2) Annabella. She was seven years older than Power, born in Paris in 1907 as Suzanne Georgette Charpentier. She married three times. Power was her last husband, from 1939 to 1948. It was felt that she qualified for the short list of European actresses who could make Hollywood films, a list that more notably included Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Marlene Dietrich. Although she never achieved comparable fame, Annabella did appear in some 50 titles in Hollywood and Europe. She remained friends with Power after their divorce, and visited him while he was making his final film. She died in her late 80’s, nearly double the years allotted to Power. She’s pictured below with Power and his frequent co-star Loretta Young.
Question: In which branch of the military did Power serve in World War II? 1) the Navy as a sailor; 2) Marines as a pilot; 3) Army as an infantryman; 4) or the Coast Guard as a customs inspector?
Answer: 2) Marines as a pilot. Power was genuinely courageous, flying in the Pacific Theater including transporting supplies into and the wounded from Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Question: Which of the following did NOT have an affair with Power? 1) Joan Blondell; 2) Judy Garland; 3) Lana Turner (seen in the photo atop this blog) ; 4) Loretta Young?
Answer: Certainly 1) Joan Blondell and, we believe, 4) Loretta Young. Our reader correspondent The Lady Eve suspects Young may have been involved in the action, but we believe she saved her offscreen hijinks for Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. By the way, Blondell was Power’s costar in his most interesting outing, the 1947 film noir Nightmare Alley.