Hello, everybody.  Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, engaging today in one of our favorite pastimes — catching up on reader email. It’s been a while, and some delicious missives have been piling up.  So, let’s get down to business.

In response to our Oct. 26 tribute to George and Gracie (Burns and Allen — America’s  All-Time Favorite Comedy Couple), ClassicBecky writes:

I’m happy to say for once that I was too young to experience George and Gracie on radio or TV — I was around during their TV years, but as a toddler.  However, I’ve seen so many of their shows and heard their radio days, and I just love them.  Wonderful couple, and smart show-biz professionals.  I enjoyed your well-done tribute to G&G!

Thanks, Becky.

Here’s an interesting inquiry about Deanna Durbin, a classic movie figure of seemingly endless fascination about whom we have written much. In response to our March 23 blog, Dianna Durbin Quiz — The Answers, JC asks:

Does anyone know what happened to her daughter, Jessica Jackson? Apparently, Jessica left France at 19, with Deanna’s blessing, to live in LA, and reportedly worked at The Ambassador Hotel at the rental car desk. Nothing beyond that tidbit, and just a snippet of her son attending medical school in Paris. Why is it that children of famous, and talented, stars end up virtually disappearing? Thanks for any clues on this.

Our research shows that Jessica Louise Jackson is Durbin’s first child, the product of her four-year marriage (1945-1949) to Felix Jackson.  She was born in 1946, so she’s now in her mid-Sixties. Don’t know much more about her but perhaps Mark, one of our readers and a super-informed Durban fan, might help out here.

Mark was the inspiration for our Nov. 10, 2011 blog — Need To Know Deanna Durbin — A Reader Authoritatively Tells All.  Mark, are you out there?

In our Oct. 18 blog, Jimmy Stewart — Better As He Got Older?, we speculated that the actor matured markedly onscreen in part because of his World War II experience. Readerman agrees:

Stewart absolutely did his best work in the 50s.  Better directors and the war experience changed his performances, gave them deeper effect.  One not mentioned is “Anatomy of a Murder.” Along with “Vertigo,” these are my favorite (Stewart) roles.

Yes, we too enjoyed Stewart’s standout performance as a cagey defense lawyer in director Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder.  One silly scene from the movie that stands out shows the actor trying to out-hip none other than Duke Ellington at the piano. It wasn’t one of Stewart’s stronger screen moments.

Readerman also weighs in re our Oct. 12 blog, Rita Hayworth — There Will Never Be Another:

Hayworth was a fine actress, but I never thought her among the most beautiful. I was more attracted to Olivia de Havilland in “The Strawberry Blonde” and even Jean Arthur in “Only Angels Have Wings.” But Hayworth was a knockout as a blond in “The Lady from Shanghai.”  Her story is a sad one, another gal cursed by beauty and taken advantage of by Hollywood.

Finally, this from Mike Sheridan in answer to our “name the married couple” challenge, A Pair of Sterling Silver Stars, published on Oct. 22.

 Always thought Sterling Hayden was under appreciated. He was a tough guy and his roles related that. He reminds me of a bigger Robert Stack and I thought his role (as a corrupt police official) in “The Godfather” was outstanding. He also was the lead in “Manhandled” opposite “the beautiful one,” Dottie Lamour.

The girl is harder to guess. I’ll wait and check back.

No need to wait.  Reader Renata got it right, identifying the couple as: Madeleine Carroll and Sterling Hayden.


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