Since we recently were looking at films of the Forties, and since we mentioned the Bing Crosby hit Welcome Stranger, we thought we’d tell you more about Joan Caulfield, one of the most popular young stars of the mid decade. Joan logged a modest movie career (about 15 features in all including Welcome Stranger) comprising an eclectic mix of titles with top-level costars.

Caulfield actually had two careers — the short one in films and a longer one on tv. Since her last film in 1955 — Jean Negulesco’s The Rains of Ranchipur with Lana Turner, Richard Burton and Fred MacMurray (what a strange cast!) — Joan was strictly a creature of the televison.

Although largely forgotten today, Caulfield was a big star — one with above-the-title billing — during much of the Forties. And, if she (above) looks the epitome of the Forties-era fashion model, well, that’s exactly what she was before arriving in Hollywood in 1945. (She died of cancer in 1991 at age 69.)

Joe feels it would be well for “stars” of today to remember the New Jersey-born Beatrice Joan Caulfield, and realize that their stardom might be as fleeting as hers. Be that as it may, Caulfield racked up some interesting romances and a marriage along the way that ruffled the feathers of one established star.

Let’s see if you can figure it all this out by taking our Joan Caulfield Quiz.  As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow.  Here we go:

1) Question: Caulfield created at least a mini-sensation in her time by romancing her most famous leading man.  Who was he?  a) Fred Astaire; b) William Holden; c) Claude Rains; or d) Bing Crosby.

2) Question:  The Catcher in the Rye‘s J. D. Salinger was such fan of Joan’s that he named his famous novel’s chief character, Holden Caulfield, after seeing the actress’ name on a movie marquee.  a) True; or b) False?

3) Question:  Actress Jean Arthur and Caulfield shared a very personal bond.  What is it about? a) Both had to overcome terrific shyness to become movie stars; b) They shared a husband; c) They got along well and really liked each other; or d) None of the above.

4) Question:  Caulfield was justifiably renowned for her good looks onscreen, but offscreen she was regarded as — frankly — something of a dummy.  a) True; or b) False?

5) Question: Which of the following tv series is Caulfield most remembered for?  a) Murder, She Wrote; b) My Favorite Husband; c) Sally or d) Bonanza.

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