Hollywood Gossip And A Word From Binnie Barnes – 1944 – Past Daily Weekend Pop Chronicles
Hollywood in wartime – despite shortages in the labor force, with many actors joining up for service, there was still a thriving industry, cranking out a wide range of films for sheer entertainment or sheer propaganda. This syndicated radio series, Hollywood Preview, sponsored by the clothing company Koret of California features the usual menu of gossip and information as well as the promotion of upcoming features. In this episode the news features a report that Clark Gable was returning to civilian life after his stint in the service. Gable was reported to be immediately back at work on two features tentatively titled, Strange Adventure and Ulysses Homecoming.
The feature film getting promotion is RKO’s Spanish Main, starring Paul Henried and Maureen O’Hara. Being interviewed is Binnie Barnes, who plays the female pirate, Anne Bonney. Filming had just finished and the movie was slated for release in 1945.
Some information on Binnie Barnes, for those of you not familiar (via IMDB):
British-born actress who appeared in both British and American films, but who found her greatest success in Hollywood second leads. After a variety of jobs, including nurse, chorus girl and milkmaid, Barnes entered vaudeville. She appeared in more than a score of short comedies with comedian Stanley Lupino before making her feature bow in 1931. Two years later she achieved prominence as one of the half-dozen wives of the King in The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933). The following year she moved to Hollywood and began a career as the smart-aleck pal of the lead or as the angry “other woman.” Barnes also played numerous leading roles, but spent most of the 1930s and 40s in strong supporting parts. In 1940 she married football star (and later producer) M.J. Frankovich and after the war, they moved to Italy and appeared in several films there and elsewhere in Europe. She retired from films in 1954, but returned for a few roles in the late 60s and early 70s. She worked busily with numerous charities until her death in 1998.
So if you were curious as to what Hollywood gossip was like during World War 2, this is probably one of the less sensational examples, but one of the more prevalent ones. Unlike gossip of late, gossip several decades ago went for long periods where hysteria and tawdry were few and far between. Not that it matters.