Canada Day is right around the corner (July 1st) and as my friend and fellow blogger Jessica from Chronically Vintage eloquently states:
We Canadians, in general, aren’t overly boisterous about our patriotism, but it runs as deep as the great oceans that flank our mighty nation.
I 100% agree and just like Jessica it’s one of my favorite days as well. I just love getting together with friends and family and enjoy some BBQ and some fireworks and celebrating the wonderful land we live in.
I am also proud to share with you today several (but not all) Vintage Actors and Actresses that you might never have been aware were from Canada but were quite successful in the early years of Hollywood. So lets take a peak shall we?
Fay Wray – Born on a ranch near Cardston in the province of Alberta, Canada.
Fay is known as one of the first “Scream Queens” and is most noted for playing the female lead in King Kong.
Interesting Fact: Two days after her death (at the tender age of 96), the lights of the Empire State Building were extinguished for 15 minutes in her memory (Source).
Jack Carson– Carman, Manitoba
Carson was one of the most popular character actors during the “golden age of Hollywood”, with a film career spanning the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Though he was primarily used in supporting roles for comic relief, his work in films such as Mildred Pierce (1945) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) displayed his mastery of “straight” dramatic actor roles as well. He worked for RKO and MGM, but most of his memorable work was for Warner Brothers. His trademark character was the wisecracking know-it-all, typically and inevitably undone by his own smug cockiness (Source).
Deanna Durban (see a post I did on Deanna HERE)-Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ruby Keeler -Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Ruby was a Canadian-born American actress, dancer and singer most famous for her on-screen coupling with Dick Powell in a string of successful early musicals at Warner Brothers, particularly 42nd Street (1933). From 1928 to 1940, she was married to singer Al Jolson. She retired from show business in the 1940s, but made a widely publicized comeback on Broadway in 1971 (Source).
Glen Ford -Quebec City, Quebec
Glen was an actor from Hollywood’s Golden Era with a career that lasted over 50 years. Despite his versatility, Ford was best known for playing ordinary men in unusual circumstances.
Ford’s breakthrough role was in 1946, starring alongside Rita Hayworth in the noir classic Gilda.
Mary Pickford (see a post I did on Mary HERE) -Toronto, Ontario
Barbara Kent -Gadsby, Alberta
After Barbara won the Miss Hollywood Pageant in 1925, she began her Hollywood career in 1925 in a small role for Universal Studios. A brunette who stood less than five feet tall, Kent became popular as a comedienne opposite such stars as Reginald Denny, and also made a strong impression as the heroine, pitted against Greta Garbo’s femme fatale in Flesh and the Devil (1926).
She attracted attention in the 1927 film No Man’s Law by swimming nude; she wore a flesh-colored bathing suit in scenes that were considered very daring at the time (Source).
Over the next few years, she remained popular and received critical praise for her role in the 1933 film version of Oliver Twist.
Walter Pidgeon -Saint John, New Brunswick
Walter starred in many films, including Mrs. Miniver, The Bad and the Beautiful, Forbidden Planet, Advise & Consent,Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Funny Girl and Harry in Your Pocket and was noted for having a wonderful singing voice (which he used in many Technicolour Musicals) (Source).
Lastly I think it’s good to end this post with the woman who is often referred to as “The First Movie Star”…Florence Lawrence from Hamilton, Ontario.
Florence was also the first film actor to be named publicly. At the height of her fame in the 1910s, she was known as “The Biograph Girl”, “The Imp Girl”, and “The Girl of a Thousand Faces”. She appeared in almost 300 films for various motion picture companies (Source).
So Friends, have you heard of a few of these actors and actresses? And if so did you know they were from Canada?
Happy Canada Day!