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Category Archives: Actresses & Movies

Articles from March 1942

Oh joy, the new scanner has arrived. Unfortunately I am still learning it’s secrets, but at least its a start. I can finally start sharing some images from 1940’s magazines loaned to me by a wonderful reader. First this Magazine from March 1942 –

cover womans day magazine march 1942

What a sweet cover I can’t seem to find detail of it in the magazine, but she looks as if she has just had some bad news….

One of my favourite ads in this magazine is this one of Olviia de Havilland – love that hairstyle!

olivia de haviland cola ad 1940s 1942

I’ll share more ads on the tumblr blog and try and scan a few interesting articles for next time.


Saturday Night at the Movies with Carole Lombard 

My eldest son came home from university in Melbourne yesterday, which was exciting, as it’s been nearly a year since he left for the big smoke with his (now ex) girlfriend. Not quite as exciting as playing with kangaroos on the beach ( which you can see on my Instagram feed), but pretty cool.

Our exciting Saturday night tradition is pizza and a movie. Homemade pizza of course, which my husband usually makes, and a family movie, that I get to pick. The pizza was good, although made with white flour (no doubt in retaliation for a week of national loaf) which I regretted afterwards. The movie had no ill effects, and starred two of my favourite 30s actors, Carole Lombard and James Stewart. 


A last tribute to carol lombard, 1942

Newly weds Jane (Lombard) and John (Stewart)

“Made for each other” is set in 1938 and 1939, in prewar New York, a city then of around 7 1/2 million. The newly married couple live with his mother, and apparently neither women can cook or clean and need a maid to help them, which to me is the best part of the story! Worth a watch, it does get a little teary at one point, but gives great insight to how confident much of the world was before the war. You can find it on YouTube here.

I think Lombard was the definitive actresses of the screwball comedy genre, and she ranks among the American Film Institute’s greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema. 

CRol Lombard makes a comeback to comedy, 1940

CRol Lombard makes a comeback to comedy, 1940


 Apparently, she was also nice.

Why Carole Lombard is liked, 1938

Why Carole Lombard is liked, 1938

In 1939 she married Clark Gable, a second marriage for her and a third for him. Who knows if it would have lasted. In a ‘Sliding doors” type story, after surviving a car crash so severe it required she undergo plastic surgery, Lombard died in an aircraft crash in Nevada, while returning from a War Bond tour with her mother, on 16 January 1942. She was 33.

A last tribute to carol lombard, 1942

A last tribute to carol lombard, 1942

31 January 1942, We shall never forget Carol Lombard

31 January 1942, We shall never forget Carol Lombard

Her other wonderful movies include My Man Godfrey (1936) and Mr and Mrs Smith (1941). Enjoy!

The Latest Fashions from Hollywood, January 1942

Brights were big in 1942 – Peggy Moran exposes her midriff in a red ensemble featuring bright hibiscus flowers, and Arleen Wheelan wears a dress in a modern paisley fabric.



Claire Dodd wears a cute little floral playsuit, while  Nancy Kelly accessorizes her pale grey dress with a vibrant striped silk turban and matching handbag.


I love the white sandals – and if i had a midriff to show off, I would certainly wear the playsuit and the red outfit now. What about you?

40s Actress – Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop (August 30, 1914 – August 30, 2001) was an American film and television actress who appeared in over 80 films between 1923 and 1957.  Like many women, her part in WWII was that of boosting morale, which she did with her appearances at war fundraisers and ‘meet and greets’, as well as articles in women’s magazines (see below) and of boosting patriotism, which she did in her wartime movies.


Ms Bishop was born Jacqueline Wells and used her birth name for her career when she began as a child actress in 1923, until 1941 (around 50 films).  When offered a contract by Warner Bros. on the condition that she change her name (due to it’s association with ‘B-movies’) she settled on Julie Bishop, because it matched the monograms on her luggage (she had for a time been married to Walter Booth Brooks III, a writer). She made 16 films with Warners.

Here she is having a patriotic Christmas with some flyboys, c. 1943.

Image via

By 1943 Julie Bishop was working opposite Errol Flynn in ‘Northern Pursuit’, and Humphrey Bogart in ‘Action in the North Atlantic’, about American convoys under attack from U-Boats. She devoted much time to persuading the stars to appear in a wartime morale-booster, ‘Hollywood Canteen’ (1944).

While working on that project she met Major-General Clarence Arthur Shoop, a technical adviser on the film, who became her second husband in 1944. The best man was Howard Hughes. “Howard was nice to me,” she once said, “because I had an interest in aviation.” Ms bishop did actually obtain her pilot’s licence in 1956.

“Shoopy”  was a reconnaissance pilot during World War II, flying the first photographic mission over Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day. In 1945, he was Base Commander at Muroc Army Field. Later a two-star general, Shoop was a vice president of Hughes Aircraft Company and the head of flight testing for Howard Hughes, as well as Commander-in-Chief of the Air National Guard of California. The couple had a son, a physician and pilot, and a daughter, actress Pamela Susan Shoop, together.

After the war Ms Bishop was seen in ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ (1945), and appeared with John Wayne in ‘The Sands of Iwo Jima’ (1949, below). ‘The Big Land’ (1957) was her last film.

Image 1949

When ‘Shoopy’ died in 1968, Ms Bishop married William F. Bergin, and the marriage lasted until her death from pneumonia, on her 87th birthday, 2001.

40s Actress – Margaret Sullavan

Margaret Brooke Sullavan (May 16, 1909 – January 1, 1960) was an American stage and film actress whose career began in 1929.
She made her screen debut in 1933 in ‘Only Yesterday’ is a drama about a young woman who becomes pregnant by her boyfriend before he rushes off to fight in World War I.


This scene is towards the end of the film, with Margaret and Jimmy Butler as her son.

Ms Sullavan preferred working on the stage and made only 16 movies, four of which were opposite James Stewart in a popular partnership (“Shop around the corner’ from 1940 is wonderful), and many of her films were war themed.

‘The Mortal Storm’ (1940) was the last movie Ms Sullavan and Stewart ever did together.  Set in 1933 Nazi Germany, she played a young German girl engaged to a confirmed Nazi (Robert Young). When she realizes the true nature of his political views, she breaks the engagement and turns her attention to anti-Nazi Stewart. Later, trying to flee the Nazi regime, Sullavan and Stewart attempt to ski across the border to safety in Austria. In the attempt Sullavan is gunned down by the Nazis (under orders from her ex-fiance). Stewart, at her request, picks her up and skis into Austria so she can die in a free country.

In this seen Freya (Sullavan) pleads for information about her father from Fritz (Young) , one time friend and lover, now ideological automaton.

Image via

At home Ms Sullavan did her own bit for the war effort.  Here she is tending her own Victory Garden in 1943.

Image via

Ms. Sullavan was married several times (Henry Fonda was her first husband, for a period of two months). In later life, she struggled with deafness and associated depression. She passed away in 1960 of a suspected accidental overdose. She was 50 years old.

Joan Fontaine promotes Victory Gardens, 1943

Joan Fontaine promotes Victory Gardens, 1943


Joan Fontaine promotes Victory Gardens, 1943

Austerity is tops in Hollywood, 1942

Even Hollywood starlets embraced the wartime austerity measures.  Jean Parker planted her own victory garden, Joan Crawford donated her gowns to raise money, Judy Garland gave her fur coats to the Red Cross for the troops, and others simply dressed down and wore sports clothes, and less make-up.


Article from the Australian Women’s Weekly, November 1942.


Ethel Formby visits Australia, 1943

One of my favorite shows is a wonderful 1990s TV series featuring a time travelling TV repairman who finds himself in WWII London – Goodnight Sweetheart.  George Formby and his music feature quite a few times in the show, and Gary, the shows star, does not like him.  I tend to agree with Gary.  I’d much rather have seen George’s sister Ethel perform…..


Inspirational Women – Lorna Sydney Smith

Australian Opera singer Lorna Sydney Smith (later Baroness von Ronacher) was held as a hostage by the Nazis in Vienna while on tour, from 1939.  She was arrested six times during the war. She returned to Australia in 1947.

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