There’s our couple in happier days.
John Ireland married his second wife, actress Joanne Dru, in the summer of 1949, and they became one of Hollywood’s more interesting onscreen couples.
They had appeared together in several big pictures — 1948’s Red River, and 1949’s She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and All The King’s Men –– and over the ensuing eight years of the union, found themselves involved in co-production to a limited extent. (That’s Ireland below left in Red River.)
Perhaps that factored in on the sad fact that when the divorce came in 1957, Dru and Ireland faced stiff financial difficulties. (For more on Dru, see last week’s Monday Quiz.) As you’ll soon see, there were more factors at play leading to their divorce.
Ok, on the answers to our John Ireland Quiz.
1) Question: Born in Vancouver in 1914, Ireland is considered the first Canadian-American actor to be nominated for an Academy Award. For which one of the following pictures? a) 1949’s All The King’s Men; b) 1957’s Gunfight at the O.K. Corral; c) 1975’s Farewell My Lovely; or 1955’s Queen Bee.
Answer: (a) For his role as the reporter in All The King’s Men, Ireland was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar.
2) Queston 2: Ireland’s marriage to which one of the following actresses made the couple duo of a Hollywood power couple? a) Ida Lupino; b) Jeanne Crain; c) Susan Haward; or d) Joanne Dru.
Answer: As noted above, the answer is (d).
3) Question: Ireland engendered scandal sheet headlines in the Fifties because: a) of his extra-marital romance with Joan Crawford; b) his preference for much younger actresses; c) his considerable financial difficulties; or d) his drinking problem.
Answer: The word is that the (a) the Dru-Ireland union foundered on his affair with Joan Crawford, his costar in 1955’s Queen Bee. But (b) the scandal sheets had a field day with Ireland’s imagined or real dalliances with much younger actresses — Natalie Wood, Sue Lyon and Tuesday Weld.
4) Question: In his later years, Ireland professionally deployed a skill he developed during his long career. What was it? a) He became an accountant; b) He became a pro wrestler for a short period; c) He became a chef/restaurateur; or d) He opened an acting school.
Answer: c) Ireland was a pretty good cook, and in his later years opened his own restaurant (Ireland’s) in Santa Barbara. The restaurant didn’t make it and bankruptcy was declared in 1977.
5) Question: In addition to being a busy actor, Ireland was also a director of some note. a) True; or b) False.
Answer: b) False. Ireland did direct some of Roger Corman’s productions and some tv projects. But he is remembered today for his acting, not his directing.