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The 1950's produced some of America's earliest and best stars and idols. From Lucille Ball to Elvis, the decade spawned some unforgettable characters. Many of them would become the greatest stars of the twentieth century. * * * * * * Lucille Ball, the greatest known comedian woman of the 1950's, was born Lucille Desiree Ball. She was born in Jamestown, New York, on August 6, 1911. Her father's name was Henry Dunnell Ball and her mother's name was Desiree ( DeDe) Evelyn Hunt. Her father died of typhoid fever when she was just 4 years old. Lucille started her career in modeling as the Chesterfield Girl. Then she came to Hollywood in 1933 as the Goldwyn Girl. She met her future husband, Desi Arnaz, on the set of "Too Many Girls" in 1940 and they were married that year. They started the famous "I Love Lucy" show in 1951 and continued until their divorce in 1960. They had two children together, Lucy and Desi Jr. Then in 1962 she married Gary Morton and this marriage lasted until her death. She died in 1989 on April 26th of heart conditions. Before her death she starred in many movies and television shows. Some of these include: "Forever Darling," 1956; "The Long, Long Trailer," 1954; "The Magic Carpet," 1951; "A Women of Distinction," 1950; "Fancy Pants," 1950; and "The Fuller Brush Girl," 1950. She also starred in television shows, including "My Favorite Husband" on CBS, 1948-1951 and the "I Love Lucy" show, 1951-1957. Lucy wasn't just a 50's star but she was most popular in the 50's. * * * * * * We all know Debbie Reynolds from the movies where she played Tammy, a hick girl with lots of spirit. These included "Tammy and the Doctor" or "Tammy and the Bachelor". She is known as the leading lady of the 1950's and 1960's. The most famous musical, "Singing in the Rain", was Reynolds major picture of the century. She was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso Texas on April 1, 1932. Her family moved to Burbank, California in the 1940's. When Debbie turned 16, she entered a contest and won the title of Miss Burbank, 1948. Jack Warner gave her the screen name Debbie when she signed a contract for Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers dropped her after two small parts and MGM took her over. Debbie married Eddie Fisher in 1955 and gave birth to the now actress Carrie Frances Fisher in 1956. Then she gave birth to a son in 1958 named Todd. Eddie Fisher and Debbie divorced in 1959. She then remarried to Harry Karl in 1960. She has regained her fame and continues to act even now. * * * * * * Judy Garland once quoted, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe, we'd like each other a little bit more." Judy was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She was named after her father Frank and mother Ethel. She had three older sisters and Frances was nicknamed "Baby". Judy started show business when she was two years old with her sisters in a theater her dad owned. Judy made a total of forty three movies and five were shorts, meaning she had no contract. Judy married David Rose on July 28, 1941, then divorced him in 1944. They had no children. She married again to Vincenete Minnelli in 1945 and gave birth to Liza Minnelli. She soon divorced Minnelli and married Sid Luft. She gave birth to a boy and girl named Joey Luft and Lorna Luft. She divorced Luft when Joey was seven years old. She then married Mark Herron and was married 4 years until she married Mickey Dean until her death on June 22, 1969. Two weeks after her forty seventh birthday, she accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills, although some people believe she died of anorexia. Others say she died of liver damage from hepatitis. * * * * * * Doris Day's real name is Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff. She was born April 3, 1924 in Cincinnati, Ohio to a German Catholic family. She had two brothers, Richard, who died before she was born, and Paul, who was a few years older than her. When Doris turned eight, her folks split up and she lived with her mother. When she was twelve, she was in a dance act with Jerry Doherty, with whom she won $500 dollars in a talent competition. When she went home from Hollywood, she was in a terrible car crash that almost ended her dance career at age fourteen. At age sixteen, she discovered she could sing and she changed her goal in life. She began singing with the Bob Crosby band and later went on to the Les Brown Band. In this band she met her husband, Al Jordan, who turned out to be violent. They divorced, after the birth of her son Terry, in 1942. She went to entertain troops in 1946, and met George Weidler, whom she later married. That lasted only eight months. She started acting in 1948, and met Marty Melcher and married him on her twenty-seventh birthday. In 1958, Doris' brother Paul died and around that time Marty made her sign film contract she didn't want to sign. This led to Doris' nervous exhaustion and by the time Marty died in 1968, Doris was way in debt. She married for the fourth time to Barry Comedan in 1976 and since their divorce in 1980, she has devoted her life to animals. She is the founder of the Doris Day Pet Foundation and finds homes for millions of animals each year. She also engineers the Spayed Day, USA for peoples pets. She also received Awards or nominations during the 1950's of the following: in 1951 she got the Gold Medal Award as Best Actress for Lullaby of Broadway. 1953 she received the AA Award for Best Song "Secret Love". 1958 she got another AA nomination and the Golden Award for favorite actress. * * * * * * "Oh Gable has enemies all right, but they all like him," said David O. Selznick. Clark Gable was born William Clark Gable in Cadiz, Ohio, on February 1, 1901. Little did people know, he would become the "King of Hollywood". When Gable was ten months old, his mother died. Even after his mothers death, his father William Sr., an oil driller, remarried to Jennie Dunlap. She mothered him like no other and added to his fame by pushing him to his goals. Gable married Josephine Dillon, a former Broadway actress, Gable being 22 and Dillion being 37. Loretta Young and Gable started a love affair on a set in Alaska and they secretly married. Young became pregnant and had a baby girl who never saw her father, except once, when she was 15. He died on November 16, 1960, of natural causes. * * * * * * We all know Marilyn Monroe's story. She was a beautiful actress with a dream body and a tragic addiction to drugs. She was a very lonely child who craved for affection but did not receive it in her family. She searched for this and later found it in Hollywood. She was born Norma Jeane Baker Mortenson on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. Norma Jean's father was not present at her birth and her mother gave her up to foster parents. When Norma got sick she took her back and lived with her until she had a mental breakdown and was admitted. Norma was shoved off on relatives after the orphanage didn't want her. She was five and one half feet tall, and weighed one hundred eighteen lbs. She was blonde and blue eyed and her measurements were 37-23-37, although they seem to change. The dress makers claim she was 35-22-35 and other sources say 37-23-36. She married Jim Dougherty at the age of sixteen to escape family life. She started her career as a model. She was a brunette until she dyed her hair blonde for a shampoo commercial and stuck to it. She was working on a movie when she died, but because she died, it was never finished. Marilyn acting spanned sixteen years and twenty-nine films, twenty-three of which were made in the 1950's. On August fifth she was found dead in Brentwood, California in her apartment. She overdosed on sleeping pills. She was married to Jimmy Dougherty, Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller during her life. * * * * * * Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5,1908 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Her parents divorced when she was just a child and she was raised, along with her sisters, by her mother, Ruthie. Bette, as she was called, demanded attention from birth, which later led to her career in acting by her pushy ways. She was not known for having sex appeal, but was known for scary characters and her amazing eyes. She had many love affairs and four unhappy marriages. She married Harmon "Ham" Nelson for seven years, then divorced. She married Arthur Farnsworth for three years until he died. Then she married William Grant Sherry for five years and had a daughter, Barbara Davis Sherry. Then she married Gary Merrill for ten years. They adopted two children who were severely retarded and then they were divorced. Her career was first in her life, love last. * * * * * * "Joan Crawford, as much as I dislike the lady, is a star," said Humphrey Bogart. Joan Crawford loved being a star and acted like one. She was well-to-do, but graceful and lady-like. Her parents separated before she was born. She was born Lucille Fay LeSuer on March 23,1908 in San Antonio, Texas. By the time she was sixteen, she had known three fathers. She began acting in theaters owned by her stepfather and this led to her later Hollywood dream. She starred with Bette Davis in "What ever Happened to Baby Jane?" and other films that made her glamour shine. She adopted four children and gave the world to them. She was devoted to Christian Science and vodka after seeing a photo of herself she didn't appreciate. On May 10, 1977 Joan died of cancer in - some say New York some say France. She was 69 years old. * * * * * * Humphrey Bogart, a US film actor, lived to be fifty eight years old. He was an international cult figure as the romantic, tough, "loner." Such films he has stared in are: "The Maltese Falcon"(1941), "Casablanca"(1943), and "The African Queen" in 1952. For the latter movie, he received an Academy Award. Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born on January 23, 1899, he died in New York. He was expelled from Yale for having disciplinary problems. He later joined the Navy and fought during W.W.I. During a shelling, it paralyzed his tight-set upper lip. After the end of the war, he had met an old family who was a friend in the show business and he started acting. Bogart had starred in twenty-eight films between 1936-1940, in which he played the gangster or villain character. Some of his 1950's movies include: "In A Lonely Place", "Caine", "Muting", "Sabrina", and "Barefoot Contessa". Humphrey Bogart had married four wives: Helen Menken, Mary Philips, Mary Methot, and Lauren Bacall. Bogart got cancer to the esophagus and died in his sleep on January 14, 1957. * * * * * * Audrey Hepburn was a Brittish actress who started in films such as "Funny Face" (1957), "My Fair Lady" (1964), "Wait Until Dark" (1968), and "Robin and Marian" (1976). Before Audrey came to Hollywood, she starred in minor British films in the early 1950's. She joined the Felix Aylumer's acting class in the early 1950's. Miss Audrey was a graceful, slender, long legged women who became a model. When she did become an actress, she played innocent, childlike characters. She developed a different style from the more ample women stars in the 1950's. She was born on May 4, 1929, near Brussels, Belgium. Audrey was the daughter of the English banker and Dutch baroness, and was sent to London for an all girls school after her parents got a divorce. She was living with her mother when WWII broke out. They stayed in a Nazi-occupied town and went to a public school and ballet ttraining at Arnhem Convensorory. She recieved an Academy Award for "Roman Holiday" and a Tony award for the Broadway production, "Ondie (Katz)." * * * * * * Roy Schere Junior, also known as Rock Hudson, lived from 1925 to 1985. Hudson was a star in the 1950's to the mid 1960's. He was the leading 1950's star on the Universal lot after he starred in the movie "Magnificent Obsessions". He had made many melodramas, starred in movies with Dorris Day, and had a successful TV series in the 1970's. Hudson worked as a mail carrier, a Navy airplane mechanic in World War II, along with other odd jobs. He later agreed to go into acting when he had a pestering agent. Hudson was then coached in acting, dancing, fencing, and riding. His good looks and his height helped out his career. Rock Hudson was nominated for an Oscar for his movie "The Giant" in 1958. He also became the Star of the Year for Look magazine (Katz, 584). * * * * * * Cary Grant, adopted name Archibald Leach, was a British born American actor and an American citizen in 1942. He ran away at the age of thirteen. His family was poverty-stricken, and he later joined the traveling acrobatic troupe as a song and dance man. He sometimes did juggling. Cary came to New York in 1920 and decided to stay because he liked it so much. Later on, he goes back to England to do musical comedies. Grant had a witty, debonair personality, for which he was popular for more then three decades. Grant was at first described as a romantic character, but he changed his style to a witty, casual, debonair man who lived in an upside down world. He had four wives: Virginia Cherrill, Barbra Hutton, Betsy Drak, and Dvan Cannon. He had one child. When he got a divorce, former servants stated Cary Grant was a LSD user and he was a child abuser. In the1970's, he received an Academy Award for staying in the business and his personality. His first film debut, "This Is the Night"(1932), "She Done Him Wrong" (1933) , "Bringing Up Baby" (1937), "Philadelphia Story" (1940), "Suspicious" (1941) , "Notorious" (1946), "To catch a Thief" (1955), and "North by Northwest" (1959).Cary Grant retired in 1966 and owned a large cosmetic firm (Katz, 499). * * * * * * Grace Kelly was an actress. She lived from November 12, 1928, to1982. She was the daughter of a former Cover Girl and wealthy industrialist. She debuted as a star at the age of 10 in a Philadelphia production. She attended Raven Hall and Steven's School, and she moved to New York to become an actress and model. She first started out in little parts in New York, but soon Hollywood called her. She was in co-staring parts, but one year later, in 1952, she was in leading roles. She was in the movie, "To Catch A Thief," in 1955, where she met and fell in love with Rainier III, the ruler of Monaco. They were married that same year. She retired from the show business many years ago, although there were rumors of her coming and doing films, but it didn't happen. She helps out with running the coutry, watching her childern, and hosting/going to charites. Some movies she started in movies are "Fourteen Hours"(1951), "Dial M for Murder"(1954), and "High Society" (1956) (Katz, 469). * * * * * * Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular entertainers of the twentieth century and an early pioneer of rock-and-roll music. Most poular in the late 1950's, his sound and style blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time. With his pelvic thrusts, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture. Elvis was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Vernon and Gladys Presley. He grew up an only child; his twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn. Presley listened to gospel music in his Pentecostal church, as well as country-and- western music. At the age of ten, he won a talent contest for his rendition "Old Shep," written by country singer Red Foley. Later in his life, he listen to R&B music. In 1948, his family moved to Nashville, Tennessee (Stanley, 18). In 1953, while recording some songs as a birthday gift for his mother at a Memphis, Tennessee, studio, Presley impressed the studio manager with his musical style, influenced by black American music, and his outstanding range of tones. This experience led to recordings with Sun Records. In 1956, at age 21, he recorded his first songs for RCA, including "Heartbreak Hotel". He followed with the double-sided single record "Hound Dog"/"Don't Be Cruel" (1956) and "All Shook Up" (1957) (Elvisography, 1). Between 1956 and 1958, Presley starred in four motion pictures, all of which featured his soundtracks: Love Me Tender (1956), Jailhouse Rock (1957), Loving You (1957), and King Creole (1958). From 1958 to 1960, Elvis served in the armed forces. Presley's career continued until his death on August 16, 1977 (Tamerius, ). Known as "the King", Elvis Presley fused sounds of country music with black rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll style. His unprecedented performances helped make Presley one of the first mass idols of United States popular culture. He inspired countless musical artists (A Mile in His Shoes, 1). * * * * * * The 1950's were socially turbulent years. Many movie and musical stars emerged to become sex symbols, or racy characters. These stars are worthy of memory. 000000000Bibliography00000000 Katz, Ephraim (1979). The Film Encyclopedia. New York: Harper and Row. "Elvis Presley's Graceland: Elvisography." http://www.elvis-presley.com/HTML/home.html (6 April1999). "A Mile In His Shoes." 1998. http://wsrv.clas.virginia.edu/~acs5d/elvis.html (13 April 1999). Stanley, David E. (1994). The Elvis Encyclopedia. Santa Monica: General Publishing Group. Tamerius, Steve and Fred Worth (1988). Elvis: His Life From A to Z. Avenel: Wings Books. (the following incomplete bibliographies were done by Jessica) Lucille Ball: wysiwyg://41/http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/6066/lucyfaq.html page 1 and http://www.zianet.com/jjohnson/ball.htm page 2-5 Debbie Reynolds: http://www.lifetimetv.com/onair/intimate/port9507.html page 1 by intimate portraits and wysiwyg://229/http://www.zianet.com/jjohnson/reynolds.htm page 3 -5 Judy Garland http://www.zianet.com/jjohnson/bio.htm page 1-7 By Jim Johnson Doris Day http://www.netlink.co.uk/users/funkin/dorisday/award.html Page 1 and 5 Clark Gable http://cinema.paradiso.no/biografi/clark_gable/index.html Page 1-3 Marilyn Monroe http://www.tombtown.com/bios/marilyn.htm page 1-2 By Vrt and http://www.mbnet.fi/~visavo/film.html page 1-2 By Filmography Bette Davis wysiwyg://29/http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Bungalow/3740/bio.html Page 2-5 By Geocities wysiwyg://23/http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Bungalow/3740/films-tv.h tml Page1-5 Joan Crawford http://members.aol.com/HarlowGold/joancrawford.html/ Page 1-10 and http://us.imdb.com/Bio?Crawford,+Joan Page 1-4 By Ed Stephan

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