Thursday, August 30, 2007

Timmy Clarifications And Hints

Because I write these quickly, and don't always proofread them, as regular readers know, sometimes things aren't always clear or I miss a word or two. Most of the time it's not worth going back and editing because the incorrect grammar or missing word doesn't really help find the answer, but in this case it might make a difference.

#1 I meant to say the events happened within a 50 year time frame as opposed to happening within the past 50 years. To help you out more I will say that Timmy died between 1980-1985 so you need to go back 50 years from that date.

#2 Combined between Timmy AND his female persona they were in over 100 movies.

#3 It wasn't actually Blockbuster that I got the movie on Sunday. I said Blockbuster to just indicate that I rented the film at a video store. I actually went to a place that has older films, BUT, I didn't use their name more to protect my own identity for when this is solved/revealed because there aren't that many people renting this particular film.

#4 Remember that Timmy was under a great deal of pressure even back then about his biography as a woman. People wanted to know where she was from, etc. Timmy provided information and it wasn't as easy to check on stories and timelines for reporters then, and so whatever an actress said about their past was generally just accepted and is reflected on the "official" biography for Timmy as an actress. The story Timmy gave is the one still in use.

#5 Timmy had a relationship with the closeted A list actor, but it didn't continue until Timmy's death.

#6 The post was reposted on several sites and was guessed correctly on at least 3 of them. I won't say if anyone has guessed correctly on my site.

#7 This item will be revealed. Probably at Christmas when I do the July-December updates and reveals.

#8 Why does the date of death of the "actress" matter? If she is in fact even listed as deceased.


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Anonymous said...

I think that one thing everybody has to keep in mind is that Timmy lied about his past when he posed as a woman. That means that the only thing that we can trust in the actress' bio is that she started in theatre. Date and age of birth automatically go out the window because these were lies. These facts were based on a baby girl being born, which obviously never happened.

Unknown said...

I thought we'd already eliminated Kay Kendall because of what was posted earlier about this incident:

"It came as a surprise to read once about the very "lady like' Kay Kendall causing quite a flurry once in a rather smart clothing boutique in Chelsea. Apparently she went in to try on dresses and without any inhibition stripped off in full view of other shoppers changing into several of them to twirl round "modelling" them for Rex Harrison. Apparently both shop assistants and shoppers were quite stunned at this perfomance"

Unknown said...

I was considering Judy until I came across an unbelievably comprehensive site about her that includes the FBI investigations done during the Red Scare, and chronology of her entire life.

It's fascinating, but after reading there I don't see any way it could be her -

captivagrl said...

i'll go for judy holliday if we can name the A list closeted previous co-star.."A" list..timmy was cast the lead opposite him before the award winning role

YahMoBThere said...

Dimes, that's a great find and it would probably rule her out. They were such major homophobes back then they surely would have unearthed it.

RagDoll said...

You know, I thought about the "Marie Dressler is too old" thing for a while, too....

I think I settled on the fact that, since "Marie Dressler" doesn't really exist, Timmy would have been able to make up an age for the character. The REAL Timmy, the actual GUY inside the "Marie Dressler Costume" could be MUCH younger(and thinner) than "Marie Dressler" Timmy is pretty much the most ass-kicking amazing actor to ever live, if this is true, though....

Remember now, her early years as a performer are a made-up story...made up by Timmy! Because, as we know, during "Marie Dressler's" early career "timeframe" Timmy was just a school kid(in real life). Timmy has decided to "play Marie Dressler" as much older, is what I think.

Timmy may have depended upon the fact that "corroborating witnesses" (AKA actors who worked with the so-called "Marie Dressler") would be impossible for an L.A.-based entertainment reporter to track down if they were two-bit players in minuscule traveling theater productions. He "invented' every single thing about "Marie Dressler's" background. It was a character study for him. He spent years hopping around from backwater town to backwater town perfecting his "Marie Dressler" act.

One last thing to check out.....

watch this clip and see if this ain't a dude:

It is, right? This *has* to be a freakin' GUY, man!

Unknown said...

but isn't the principle of the thing that timmy splendidly played a woman? i think that somebody who was manifestly masculine would be too easy, almost.

i am over-thinking this, but it is so fun; i just wish i knew the answer!

Olive Oï said...

Calla, what's the source for the Chelsea boutique incident ?

ATP said...

There is so much amazing work being done here, and I'm afraid some of it is getting buried. Last night, someone posted a paper from Glasgow University that detailed a lot of Kay Kendall info. Included in that paper were quotes from an article in a British magazine with remembrances of Kay as a girl, written by her father and grandmother. These could have been faked, except for the fact that Kay's father was a star of British vaudeville, so had some fame in England.

Also, she was a contract player for a British studio, and was only loaned to an American studio for Les Girls, so couldn't have roomed with JJ's wife.

claire said...

I read the item again. It seems that "she" did not have a long career. Am I wrong? If not that should eliminate many people.

ATP said...

As for Vivien Leigh, she won two Best Actress Academy Awards 14 years apart. I seriously doubt it's her based on that fact alone.

Miss X said...

Even with the Chelsea boutique incident, which could be a fake report, I'm still voting for Kay.

She won a Golden Globe for the Les Girls. That is the award.

And she died at 32. That leaves plenty of time for Timmy the man to have a career.

Kay started her career at 18 and it lasted 14 years. She only had 2 more movies after Les Girls.

Timmy with his pale features and slight build could have appeared younger as his female persona.

Miss X said...

Allison, I concede. Good work!

Who is it, then?

I still believe it's someone very feminine looking.

merrick said...

In reading the bi for about the 1000th time, it seems that there is a clue in the last paragraph and then again in #3 .. the film iteself was awarding winning and obscure .. seeing how ent said that he rented this awarding winning film .. and no one else is renting this particular film at a store that seems to specialize in old films .. just another angle we should try .. search for the film first with many awards ...from 1957 to say 1965 ..

Unknown said...

The problem with Marie is that she recorded with Edison Records in 1909 and 1910. That is something that can't be faked and Timmy would have been to young at that point.

Unknown said...

I think it's funny that the only person on the best supporting actress winner list for an academy award who was actually in a movie with Martha Vickers is Dorothy Malone - who it clearly is NOT. This sucks.

__-__=__ said...

Remember the part about the room mates? I bet that's in the bio about Shelly Winter. There was lots of old, old dirt in that book. I don't have it on hand........

YahMoBThere said...

Kay Kendall came from a famous family of entertainers and started working as a teen. I don't think it could be her.

captivagrl said...

i,m taking another look at susan hayward..could the early photos from ny be a sister?

YahMoBThere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olive Oï said...

Susan Hayward has no apparent stage production credit. Timmy Girl's fake resume should include her stage career prior to her arrival in Hollywood - that's the only detail from her bio that we can be 100% sure of.

b said...

Whoever cam up with JOSEPHINE HULL is a genius - that's an excellent guess.... and explains why "timmy" couldn't come back in later years as a woman because he killed her! Quietly killing off Josephine would prevent her from being invited to any retrospectives and also would end any more investigation into her history.... everything fits well - the early marriage to a deceased actor's brother (allowed for name change).... started on the stage.... the age might be faked - she might have added years to her life - if the age was correct for Timmy the male he was in his 90s when he passed away

She also starred with Cary Grant (rumored bisexual) in Arsenic and Old Lace.

Text from her wiki page:

"Josephine Hull (January 3, 1886 - March 12, 1957) was an Academy Award and Golden Globe winning American actress.

She had a successful 50-year career on stage before taking some of her best roles to film.

Hull was born Josephine Sherwood in Newtonville, Massachusetts. She attended the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston) and Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

[edit] Career

Hull made her stage debut in stock in 1905, and after some years as a chorus girl and touring stock player, she married actor Shelley Hull (younger brother of the more well-known actor Henry Hull) in 1910. When her husband died, quite a young man, in 1919, the actress retired until 1923, when she returned under the name Josephine Hull.

Hull was a stage success in Craig's Wife (1926), and in Daisy Mayme (1926), a role which was written especially for her. Through the 1920s she continued working in the theater, and in the 1930s had three Broadway hits in You Can't Take It With You (1936), Arsenic and Old Lace (1941), and Harvey (1944).

Her last Broadway play was one of her greatest successes, starring in Solid Gold Cadillac (1954-55) which was later made into a film with the much younger Judy Holliday.

Hull made a total of five films. She brought her two best stage roles to film in Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) playing a homicidal aunt, and in Harvey (1950) as the batty sister of a man whose friend is an invisible rabbit, for which she won the 1950 Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared on a number of television dramas in the early 1950s.

Hull made one more film, The Lady from Texas (1951), and appeared in a TV version of Arsenic and Old Lace in 1949, before retiring. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1957, at the age of 71.

Hull had her first major stage success in George Kelly's Pulitzer-winning Craig's Wife in 1926. Kelly wrote a role especially for her in his next play, Daisy Mayme, which also was staged in 1926. She continued working in New York theater throughout the 1920s. In the 30s, Hull scored in three great Broadway hits, as a batty matriarch in You Can't Take It With You (1936), as a dotty, charming but homicidal little old lady in Arsenic and Old Lace (1941), and in "Harvey" (1944). The plays all had long runs, and took up ten years of Hull's career.

Hull only made five films, beginning with two 1932 Fox features, After Tomorrow (recreating her stage role) and The Careless Lady. She missed out on recreating her You Can't Take It With You role in 1938, as she was still onstage with the show (Spring Byington filled in onscreen). But Hull and Canadian-born Jean Adair did play the Brewster sisters in the 1944 film Arsenic and Old Lace (starring Cary Grant), and Hull was in the screen version of Harvey as well, playing Jimmy Stewart's sister. It is for that role that she won her 1950 Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.

Variety said that Hull, as "the slightly balmy aunt who wants to have Elwood committed, is immense, socking the comedy for every bit of its worth."

Hull made only one more film, The Lady from Texas (1951); she had also appeared in the CBS-TV version of Arsenic and Old Lace in 1949, with Ruth McDevitt (an actress who often succeeded Hull in her Broadway roles) as her sister.

Moving to The Bronx, Hull had been retired for some years before her death in 1957, aged 71, from a cerebral hemorrhage."

KMG852 said...

Viven Leigh is a bad guess. She was married and had a daughter before she started acting. She left her first husband for Laurence Olivier.

captivagrl said...

susan hayward arrived in hollywood to test for scarlet and was dubbed apromising new commer with no resume

Unknown said...

I think our best clue is that "The post was reposted on several sites and was guessed correctly on at least 3 of them." That should narrow down our list of potential people. Is there some way other than google to figure out the 'several sites' it was posted on? Because all you can come up w/on Google is two sites, one of them being a really unreliable source in my opinion.

ATP said...

This Susan Hayward site explains the lack of early credits: her agent gave her a new name when she signed with Warner Brothers in the late '30s.

I don't think it is her because she was nominated for 4 Oscars for numerous leading roles before she finally won for "I Want to Live." Also, she had twin boys early in her career, in between two movies. Plus, her career, while not super-long, still spanned a longer time frame than She-Timmy probably would have.

Unknown said...

I like the Hull guess except that she only made five films and she has a grave site. I guess that could be faked.

With only five films, "Timmy" would have had to been in 95ish, which doesn't sound right since he didn't go back to movies, but to the stage.

Unknown said...

I really don't think it's Josephine Hull...I found an article in the LA Times archive with the details of her death - the hospital she was in, the memorial service location, etc. "Stage star Josephine Hull, 71, died today in St. Barnabas Hospital of a cerebral hemorrhage. ... Her last Broadway appearance was in "The Solid Gold Cadillac" from which she withdrew in May 1954 following a stroke."

claire said...

Timmy starred with her lover (whom never married)around the time of award winning film. That would rule Hull out because Carey Grant was married several times.

Unknown said...

This can't be Josephine Hull. She went to Radcliffe (used to be the women's arm of Harvard University, now all integrated into Harvard College). Some of her diaries from the 1920s are here and Radcliffe has record of her attending here.

Unfortunately, not Timmy /= Josephine Hull.

claire said...

I think we have ruled out all Oscar winners. Someone have a Golden Globes List handy?

Kory said...

Something, I would like to add about Josephine Hull. I grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts and I saw that JH was born in Newtonville, MA. I immediately thought it was a fake city. Newton borders Brookline and there is no such city as Newtonville. I looked it up in Wikipedia and it said that Newtonville is a village in Newton. Really? I never heard of it. Who says that they are from a village of a city? To me, it was just an odd fact.

If you want to take a look at all the best actress and best supporting actress Oscar winners, check this out:

It's montages of them all.

Dana Lauren said...

You guys are spending so much time on this. Im just curious, why do you believe the EL? What has he proved or said that makes you think he is even a real lawyer and not an elaborate fiction writer having fun gaining the attention?

captivagrl said...

just wondering..were there separate awards for musicals?

Unknown said...

Kory - I'm in Watertown, and Newtonville is the area between Watertown and Newton crossing over the pike.

Just a heads up for you. :-)

YahMoBThere said...

Claire, this is only from 1944 to 1970 and I only listed the ones who were not already listed as Oscar winners:

Agnes Moorehead
Angela Lansbury
Rosalind Russell
Ellen Corby
Deborah Kerr
Betty Hutton
Spring Byington
Susan Kohner
Hermoine Gingold
Elsa Lanchester
Marisa Pavan
Jan Sterling
Katy Jurado
Geraldine Page
Leslie Caron
Samantha Eggar
Ruth Gordon
Aimee Anouk
Jocelyn Lagarde
Edith Evans
Carol Channing
Joanne Woodward
Genevieve Bujold
Goldie Hawn

Unknown said...

Let's talk Gloria Grahame.

Actress bio says she was born as Gloria Hallward in LA, a descendant of Edward III (sounds like classic studio PR fiction) who learned the craft from her acting coach mother (who would surely have been in on any subterfuge).

Dropped out of high school to join touring show. Appeared in a couple of Broadway plays, where she was noticed by Louis B Mayer (maybe in her 'understudy' performance?)

Mayer offers her an MGM contract. She has a couple of small roles, gets notice as the fatale who tempts Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life.

She doesn't fit in at MGM, so Mayer sells her contract to RKO (at which Martha Vickers was under contract). After a couple of small roles, she hits paydirt as the female lead in Crossfire.

Stars getting great supporting roles in Gentleman's Agreement (nominated for AA, lost to Celeste Holm) and, in 1952, The Greatest Show on Earth (opposite the never-married Lawrence Tierney). That same year, she films The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won the Best Supporting AA in 1953.

Starts getting a reputation as being "difficult", and film roles dry up. Last major film role was in 1959, did stage work and sporadic one-off guest roles on TV for the next decade. Gets minor parts in 5 movies between 1970-1980. In 1981, is staying with her friend Peter Turner in the UK when she collapsed during a play rehearsal, flies back to NY and dies shortly thereafter.

In 1948, marries 2nd husband, the bisexual Nicholas Ray. Has one son, Timmy. Divorces Ray in 1952. Marries Cy Howard in 1954, divorces him in 1957. Marries her former stepson, Anthony Ray (!?) in 1960. Stays married to him for 14 years, imdb says 2 children.

Disliked the appearance of her upper lip, which she would stuff with cotton until finally having plastic surgery.

(BTW, I'm from MA and went to Newton High School, which is in Newtonville. Amy, what you're talking about is Newton Corner.)

Pinky said...

LOL - guys, Dana thinks we're spending too much time on this, and I concede, Dana, we're rabid! The question is, why do you care so much? Step away from the blog and get on with your life as we try to solve the best B.I. of all time!

YahMoBThere said...

The northeast could be northeast Asia, too. Have we discounted the actress from Japan?

Kory said...

Amy and Dimes,

OK I concede. I seriously have never heard anyone refer to Newton as Newtonville and I am a native Bostonian. I have been to Newton only a hand full of times (they have a nice mall and movie theater as I remember). I always went east, not west as I was a young alcoholic looking for a party.

YahMoBThere said...

And now you' old alcoholic looking for a party? ;-)

claire said...

@ Twisted Sister

Thanks! I hope this is real and because we spent way to much effort on this. I mean it does sound just like "Tootsie"

@ Dimes

The problem with Gloria is she worked well into the 80's.

Unknown said...

[OT] No problem, Kory - you have the same kind of thing where you live - Coolidge Corner, Brookline Village, Beaconsfield etc. [/OT]

Kory said...

Oh I agree 100% that I am spending too much time on this and it might not be real. I realize that. I don't honestly think that it will be revealed either. Not one juicy BI has ever been revealed, just the stuff we already knew and thought that we knew.

But big friggin' deal! I can't tell you how much I've learned about old Hollywood in the past few days and now there are several movies that I want to see. So in the end, I think that it is worth it.

Pinky said...

Guys guys guys!! Enty gave us a hint! Thanks for the suggestion, Kory!

There seems to be a very popular guess that everyone is making and one website made it their official guess. However, if you read the blind you realize this popular guess makes no sense. Timmy the actress gave up acting very soon after winning the award, so when you look at IMDB and see an actress worked for many years after her win, the guess doesn't make any sense despite the fact that everything else fits. It's easy to make up biographies, but you can't hide the fact that this actress who is a popular guess was in so many movies after her win.

YahMoBThere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynne said...

About Marie Dressler looking like a guy: she was OLD, not masculine. We're all gonna sag like that someday, ladies. Also, she was a big gal: there's no way a slight dude could have faked those fish-belly arms.

I still keep going back to Kay Kendall. Her film resume is just too good. She got good supporting/leading parts before her breakout hit, Les Girls. In one of the earlier parts, she worked with Dirk Bogarde. His imdb profile seems to openly acknowlege his gayness, but I'm sure it was a secret when he had A-list, heartthrob status.

As for her brother dying in 1995, he may NOT have been her male alter ego. And, her "marriage" to Rex Harrison (gay) may have been one friend helping another friend out with a "death alibi." Kay was in a movie with Rex Harrison, too.

It's going to be a looong time till December when Enty reveals this.

Unknown said...

Gloria died in 1981, when she was 57.

If you look at her filmography on imdb, what she did in the 60's amounts to one shot roles on TV shows like The Outer Limits, The Fugitive, Burke's Law, etc. Nothing you'd make enough money to live on, especially if you had kids. Her stardom was behind her by then.

Just a thought...

Lynne said...

Also, I have my doubts about Josephine Hull. You don't have to go to a specialy rental place to get Harvey or Arsenic and Old Lace. I've rented both at Blockbuster/Hollywood Video. Les Girls, maybe not so much.

claire said...

@ Dimes

Sorry, I saw where she had something released in 1984. But even though her look fits she won in 1953 and still filmed movies until 1959. I need to read this thing again because I have run out of people.....

claire said...

@ lynne

I noticed the same thing with Dirk. I decided to start looking through actors that never married but I still am still stuck on the fact that IMBD lists her cousin Jack Cardin who is also in the industry. She is the best guess though.

It looks like he is alive maybe we should ask him!

Unknown said...

The reason I ruled out Kay Kendall is because she was the daughter and granddaughter of vaudevillians who were well known in the UK at the time.

She didn't go through the Hollywood studio system, she was a Rank UK actress. And I couldn't find any references to working in theater in the US.

Unknown said...

Kay is a geat guess becasue she only made two movies after winning the GG for Les Girls, but I think her biography/background/death is too verifiable. Plus there's even a Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund.

YahMoBThere said...

"nadiakotsev said...

What do u mean about not being sure if Timmy returned to film as a woman?"

Nadia, I just went back to look for something. I'm so sorry I didn't reply to this, the thread is moving so quickly I must have missed it, and now I don't know what the heck I was talking about.

Oh, I know. The way EL wrote the blind saying that Timmy didn't return to movies as a woman because it would have been too obvious that both people had the same skin condition makes me wonder if Timmy DID return to film as a man - even with the stage work he was doing.

katespades said...

there is something incredibly masculine looking about Gloria Grahame's hands/legs/feet:

captivagrl said...

has anyone considered that timmy-timothy- may be the actor's name? i'm going backwards to take a look in stage and film...there shoud be a big gap in his career.also i still think topeka is a clue

curious_cailyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I'm finally buying into the Kay Kendall theory after watching a clip of her playing the trumpet on YouTube:

If that's a woman, she's super awkward. Her hips look a funny shape (like they're padded), and her movements don't look quite right for a woman. Plus she can't fake playing a trumpet for the life of her!!! lol.

Molly said...

Everyone had hips like that in the 50s, because of the girdles. They cinched in the waist and poofed out the hips, plus that is not a very flattering dress.

gillian said...

Calla said...

I thought we'd already eliminated Kay Kendall because of what was posted earlier about this incident:

"It came as a surprise to read once about the very "lady like' Kay Kendall causing quite a flurry once in a rather smart clothing boutique in Chelsea. Apparently she went in to try on dresses and without any inhibition stripped off in full view of other shoppers changing into several of them to twirl round "modelling" them for Rex Harrison. Apparently both shop assistants and shoppers were quite stunned at this perfomance"

nathalie said...

Calla, what's the source for the Chelsea boutique incident ?

Delurking to say that it sounds like a reference from "Quant by Quant", the autobio of Mary Quant (pub in '65) page 71: "...Kay took her clothes off. it didn't take long. She had no bra, no knickers. She was completely naked underneath the dress she was wearing. It was a bit disconcerting for Alexander [Quant's boyfriend, later husband]..."

Unless she made a habit of it : )
Anyway, facinatin' reading people. I've done absolutely no work today.

Unknown said...

Just a thought concerning Gloria Grahame: in the original post, EL uses the "legends of Hollywood" illustration, which some people seem to think might have something to do with the closeted A-list actor. The bottom of the illustration is the chariot race from "Ben-Hur". Stephen Boyd, who is rumored to have been gay, was of course the villain in the race. He appeared with Gloria Grahame in "The Man Who Never Was." I think they had one scene together. I have no idea if this is significant, but there it is.

curious_cailyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YahMoBThere said...

Richard, I think the two photo's above the poster are clues and Timmy may even be in them. Do you recognize anyone? The bottom one almost looks like it's from a Bugsby Berkley musical.

YahMoBThere said...

Holy canolli, where did that 'g' come from? It's Busby, not

Countervail said...

RE: Carol Channing

I can absolutely confirm she's a woman. I was working in a theater in Pittsburgh when her Dolly tour came through. I snuck backstage with a friend to see if we could see her and as we casually strolled past her dressing room door she was putting on the infamous red sequined dress. Well let's just say, since she didn't seem fond of undergarments, that it was like a caucasion version of a National Geographic spread with her mammaries swinging down to her hips. She would have to roll them up to actually put them in a bra.

Unknown said...

As for the source of the "Chelsea" incident, you'll have to ask ... if you do a search for "chelsea" on this page, you'll come to her entry regarding this incident. I was simply reposting what she posted, as a reminder.

Unknown said...

regarding the photos in the original blind item...did you see that "chickenrotini" found one of the photos online?

Unknown said...

random comment - I was looking for the Timmy and topeka reference and found a link. Robert Wilke was both in a 1945 film named "The Topeka Terror" and in some Lassie episodes. Hello, Timmy?

YahMoBThere said...

Calla, thanks for the reminder and the link.

A quick look at Pecos Bill shows a Bob Nolan who was born in New Brunswick, Canada, which is in the northeast. He never married, and died in 1980, but it's not him and neither are the other cast members. Unless he was in the play. I wonder if that was just a random photo.

Unknown said...

My hunch is that the Busby Berkeley type photo is the cast of the play in which Timmy played the female lead. The photo may not be of that cast, but I think it's of a production of that show. I looked at the "source" encoding for the blog, to see if the photo's id could yield any clues, but it was no dice.

The Busby Berkely photo is placed after the text block having to do with Timmy's stage triumph as a woman, and that suggests to me that it's a real clue, not just an image included for its own sake. The "Legends of Hollywood" image is right after the block in which Timmy wins the award, so it may be less specifically important. I'm still trying to figure out how the first image, in the Western saloon, fits in with the text.

YahMoBThere said...

EL wrote:
"#1 I meant to say the events happened within a 50 year time frame as opposed to happening within the past 50 years. To help you out more I will say that Timmy died between 1980-1985 so you need to go back 50 years from that date."

So if we go back 50 years from his death, we're at 1930 - 1935, and it took him a few years to get the role that won him the award, so I'm thinking this means the award was won in the 1940's sometime?

YahMoBThere said...

Interesting. Richard, you're GOOD!! That gives us more to chew on.

Unknown said...

Is the photo of the palm-tree lined street a photo of Sunset Boulevard? If so, could that be a clue?

Anonymous said...

Hi, been reading CDAN for ages, and this has got me really intrigued!

With reference to Calla's post above-about Sunset Boulevard-I've just had a look at the IMDB page for the movie Sunset Blvd:

Could one of the cast members of the film be Timmy/Woman?


Unknown said...

Here's a description of the musical called "The Harvey Girls," and note the name of one of the songs:

"When America headed west, so did Fred Harvey's restaurant chain...and so did a lot of demure young waitresses who didn't know how wild the frontier was! Judy Garland and Ray Bolger star in this delightful musical that features "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." John Hodiak, Angela Lansbury co-star."

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I'm way out-it's late, and I'm being driven crazy trying to think who this could be!

Unknown said...

Check out these pictures, one of Nils Asther from IMDb and one of Alice Brady from Wikipedia. They could pass for brother and sister...OR...
Also, it's interesting how Alice has her neck covered (re: the Adam's apple comments).

Anyone else see a resemblance?

Unknown said...

What's weird about the Nils Asther imdb photos is that he doesn't look the same in any two of them. Odd.

If the photos are a clue and the Sunset Blvd shot is a still from the movie (the lighting looks about right), could the closeted A lister have been William Holden?

Unknown said...

I posted this comment on the other thread by mistake. Sorry.

I forgot all about the first photo. I'm on the East Coast, so I have no idea what street it is, but can anyone identify the model year of the car? Looks to me like about 1953, but I'm no expert. But that may be helpful in pinning down a year for Timmy's heyday.

Unknown said...

I looked at Alice Brady's photos on this page:

and came to the conclusion that the nose is too different. They both have widow's peaks, though! Also, she shows her neck a lot in the pics on the above-referenced page.

Kory said...

Calla said...

Is the photo of the palm-tree lined street a photo of Sunset Boulevard? If so, could that be a clue?

I have only lived in Cali since 2000 and Sunset Blvd. has never looked remotely close to that in the last 7 years. That's not saying that it didn't back in 1940's & 50's. To find a street with perfectly planted trees and palm trees like that today, you would have to be in Beverly Hills. Now that I think about it, I have not been on Sunset Blvd., past Doheny, so it is a possibility (BH starts at Doheny).

Unknown said...

My guess for Timmy is Donald Novis. He was a bit actor and singer in many films from 1929-1937 (including some for Paramount), then has a mysterious 6-year gap with no credits. AJ Lyles has been with Paramount since 1928.

Donald Novis was an actor singer with a gorgeous tenor voice. If you check out this piece of film of Novis singing in a 1934 short called "The Policy Girl", Novis is almost too pretty to be a man.

The image that Enty posted on his original BI that was found by someone clever here is of The Golden Horseshoe Saloon live theater review, which Novis participated in from 1955 - 1964. Ent says Timmy went back to theater as a man, and this fits, especially in light of Enty using this pic as part of his BI.

This is the page that lists the cast of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon and where Novis' info can be found.

What did Novis do from 1937 until 1944, when he had a gap in film credits? His death is listed as 1966, but I can find absolutely nothing to corroborate that or that gives a reason of death.

Could Novis be Timmy?

Unknown said...

Well, I found his obituary. The headline reads "Donald Novis, Radio Singer of '30s, Dies," and the date was Jul 24, 1966. He retired after giving more than 11,000 shows at the Golden Horshoe at Disneyland. He had a wife and two daughters.

I'm sorry I'm so obsessed with this that I actually bought a pass to download 25 articles from the LA Times.

Unknown said...


I trust you haven't exhausted your 25 articles yet... I don't know what the LAT archives search interface is like, but is there a way you can search for theatrical reviews from, say, 1930-1940, that rave about a female understudy unexpectedly giving a terrific performance somewhere? EL said that Timmmy's turn as a female lead was favorably reviewed; of course, it may not have been in the LAT, but from the context of the BI, it appears that it was when Timmy was a contract player in Hollywood, so it was probably a production in the LA Times' market. Anyway, if you feel like it, and it seems practical, it might be worth a try.

Unknown said...

Well, funny you should mention that ... I have already done what I consider an "exhaustive" search for just that. That was my original reason for buying the access. I have tried every combo of "understudy" "actress" "ovation", etc. etc. and haven't found anything that really matches. You can do a search yourself if you want, it's just that you can't view the article unless you pay. Some of the articles have abstracts, others don't. The abstracts aren't always very useful, though. Let me know if you find anything you want me to look at. Chances are, though, that I've already seen it and it wasn't any good... :P

Unknown said...

One thing that the blind possibly reveals is that Enty got his start at Paramount in the legal department, perhaps?

"I don't remember the first time I met JJ. It just seemed like from the first day I started at my first position he was there."

AJ Lyles has been at Paramount since 1928, mostly in a publicity capacity,

Unknown said...

Well, you're way ahead of me! I'll poke around the LAT search site, but it sounds like you've pretty much exhausted this approach. Back to the drawing board...

Unknown said...

I should rephrase that...I found some articles that matched my searches (and had headlines that looked like good possibilities), but when I looked at the actual content of the articles, they were dead-ends.

I'm afraid that if it's there anywhere, it's buried in one of those "hollywood news" round-ups that has little blurbs about several different things.

delcodave said...

I am obsessed. I admit it. In fact, my friends who are movies buffs like me got immediate calls from me and we have been emailing and playing phone tag for 2 days now non stop. We've kinda come up with a timeline starting at 1900 and ending at 1985 and filling in as much info as possible in the gaps. This truly is the best BI ever. The only BI that can top this is to hear that someone REALLY big faked their own death and are living somewhere in Iowa (Andy Kauffman, show yourself!...)

I've done some searches. Nothing major, as everyone else has really done a phenominal job at this. And every time I do a search, someone beats me to it. Its great, isnt it?

There are a few things that stand out for me. The mention that combined total of credits of female Timmy and male Timmy is over 100. That's a lot of credits and really needs to be taken into consideration when doing the IMBD searches

Secondly, there is the line that the A-list gay actor that Timmy starred opposite and dated for awhile was closeted AT THE TIME. This leads me to believe that the A-list actor has since been outed, either voluntarily, by the press, or posthumously. I think this is a good clue and one worth keeping in mind.

I did a search tonight on male actors who died between 1981-1985. I came up with 5 that were listed as single throughout life, whose death is unspecified or listed as heart attack, and who had a lapse in career between 1947-1955 (or around there) and had a decent amount of credits.

If anyone wants to explore further (keeping in mind bios can be fudged a little), I give you:

Richard Haydn, Grant Williams, Richard Deacon, Joe E. Ross and Alan Webb

Unknown said...


Have you tried the term 'understudy' in your search?

Unknown said...

I tried "understudy" and "actress" (together) for the period 01/01/1930-12/31/1940. I got 50 hits, none of which looked terribly promising. I think you're right - if the LAT had anything at all about Timmy's performance, it was a brief blurb in a general showbiz column. And we don't even know if EL is talking about something published in the Times. Looks like a dead end. It was a good idea, though.

Unknown said...

Here's one that looked promising.

Unknown said...

Could be... I missed that one.

Unknown said...

I just looked at that's about a guy named "Nestor Paiva, efficient stage manager of Galt Bell's original production of "The Drunkard," now in its third year at the Theatre Mart, stands ready at any and all times to play any part in the show at a moment's notice. That is, all except little Julia, the drunkard's daughter."

This has to be the third or fourth article I've found on "The Drunkard!!!" UGH. :p It must've been BIG at the time. ;) Anyway, it also has a picture of Nestor Paiva ... he looks like he's got a severely receding hairline ... hard to tell much else with the poor quality of the scan.

Unknown said...

Forgive me for asking, because I'm sure that you already looked. I found "Talented Girl Understudies Leading Role" from Mar 11, 1931. Dead end, right? Thanks for indulging me...

Unknown said...

No problem...feel free to ask about any of them you find! This one was about a girl named Anne Sawyer who understudies the leading part in "Once in a Lifetime." It reports that she is rumored to be the next member of the "Once in a LIfetime" company to be garnered by Universal. I guess it didn't pan out, though, because I looked at the cast for that movie, and there was no Anne Sawyer in it.

Unknown said...

Judy Holliday was a member of "The Revuers" from 1938-1944. This is the same time period during which Donald Novis has no credits. She was in "Winged Victory" with George Reeves in 1944, "Adams Rib" with Spencer Tracy in 1949 and won multiple awards (Golden Globe and Oscar) for "Born Yesterday" in 1950.

Unknown said...

I dunno...Judy Holliday had a pretty impressive decolletage ...

Unknown said...

I agree. But what about the voice? No one has addressed the issue of his/her voice. Maybe her distinctive voice was a necessity to cover the fact that she was a man?

Unknown said...

Her story on IMDB sounds pretty fantastical - as if it's the plot to a movie and not a life. There are no real facts to back it up, nor any names given. Her pattern of coming to Hollywood and then returning to the stage seems to make sense. I wonder if there are any understudy Judy Holliday articles out there?

Unknown said...

Look at the list of film roles that she turned down after 1950. Why?

Unknown said...

Judy's boobage looks real to me. Surely Timmy wouldn't have undergone a sex change, right? Her skin looks pretty nice, too.

Unknown said...

All of the pictures that I've seen look like studio pictures used for publicity purposes. I don't think that they would use pictures with blemishd skin. However, I don't see a scar, either.

AlishaK said...

Some things:

-there's no reason there couldn't be a marriage at some point in female Timmy's history. A short marriage that ended in divorce could be part of a fabricated bio.

-I think it says combined, Timmy did more than 100 films AND stage roles, so looking for someone with a long list at IMDB could be unhelpful.

-Alternately, if male-Timmy was in the background or had very small speaking roles, some films could be uncredited on a site like IMDB.

-The fact that sites have guessed correctly is probably our biggest fact to go on.

-Also, the scar. We have to find the scar.

Unknown said...

Google "Cyrus K. Holliday" and see what comes up.

Unknown said...

Well, well, well Moses. Aren't you the clever one!

Unknown said...

There is way too much substantiated biographical information about Judy Holliday for it to be her.

Also can't be Kay Kendall... she died of leukimia and there is a Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund that awards grants for research on aspects of leukaemia and for relevant studies on related haematological malignancies.
There are is a biography written about KK as well.

We need to find someone with a very sketchy and unverifiable bio.

AlishaK said...

But that's not a marriage one could easily forge or lie about, and she had a son (thought he could be adopted?). The Cyrus Holliday reference is certainly a good one, but I just can't see it.

Also, she did theatre for six years before going to Hollywood -- the BI says Timmy only did it as a woman for two or so, doesn't it?

captivagrl said...

we think the key hint is the A listed closeted actor "she" shared the lead with in the film just prior to the big role with all the awards...who were A list actors in the closet that NEVER married..has to be short list..?

captivagrl said...

not very many lead A list actors in this time frame single til death. we are making a list. it's not easy...

Unknown said...

ent says:
#3."I actually went to a place that has older films, BUT, I didn't use their name more to protect my own identity for when this is solved/revealed because there aren't that many people renting this particular film."

He also states that even knowing it is hard to see and believe. And its a movie. So that makes it much harder sresearching in photos, since they are old, grainy and too exchangable in the way that fashion , haircuts and stuff were not so different like they are today.

Another help could be researching the other sites that posted this blind. Maybe there are some great hints there, or the solution.

remember the BI is about the movie

Two more bits:
ent is a little bit older than you assume.
knowing jj since starting out, is not working for paramount, but for a firm wich worked for paramount. so you get your assignments from there.

Unknown said...

Also, if you see the examples in Brazil, Thailand or even SF where you can´t tell a man if your live would depend on it, you know how much will pictures help here.

Ent said:
He was very rarely the lead, but in memorable role he was cast as the lead opposite a very closeted A list at the time actor who also remained single for his entire life. The two began a relationship which was always kept quiet but lasted for many years. Shortly after Timmy was cast as the (memorable) lead, he was cast in another role which is the subject of the blind.

Then he says:
During award season, Timmy began winning regularly for his role.

Winning regularly for his role may imply a regular role, like a (TV)series or something. Or regularly that he won everything you can win in one (award)season.

And then, a particular season comes up and ent said: This award season was a blessing because it honored Timmy for his work.

Ent also said: timmy´s old cast photos can still be found online. Thats a huge giveaway, i think.

turlie said...

Okay, I've been working on spread sheet on this for the past two days!!!

Now I know everyone has dropped Kay Kendall of their lists and ruled her out. But! I own Les Girls and Sexy Beast - I watched both tonight and well there is one scene where Kay's brother Cavan is dancing on the patio. Cavan and Kay have simlar moves and more importantly the same physique and reaction times to another actor talking to them.

I don't think we should remove Kay from the list.

I am still working on my list but this is what I have so far...I put Kay back on the list because, well i don't want to rule her out yet....even though Rex died in 1990.

Alice Brady
Anna Magnani
Anne Baxter
Ethel Barrymore
Gertrude Berg
Janet Gaynor
Josephine Hull
Judy Holliday
Kay Kendall
Margaret Rutherford
Marie Dressler

jamie everett said...

First, i love this site and so intrigued by this BI. I know for a fact though IMDB is not correct. it does not list that I was in the 40 Year Old Virgin nor, that I was case #24 on Deal or No Deal and other work. So I would not count on IMDB. However, i do believe it is Kay Kendall....too much of it makes sense too me. and I cant wait till Christmas!! ....

YahMoBThere said...

Hey Jamie, people are posting about that now, over on this thread:

Please come join us there!

Not Signed said...

Hi, I'm Ryan. new to the board and COMPLETELY engrossed in this story and have just spent the last 3 HOURS reading all of your research! Don't know if you guys realize how much work you have done, it takes THAT long to read all of it!!

With your research these re the women of most interest to me.

Judy Holliday
Joseephine Hull
Kay Kendall
Alice Brady

Alice seems too old to me, but that is soley a gut instinct and I would also think that EL would reference silent films in one way or another.

As far as Judy Holliday, I keep thinking of a quote from Grey Gardens when Little Edie talks about Max Gordon. She says "You've heard of him haven't you? Discovered Judy Holliday. Said I was much funnier."

Where would Judy Holliday have been "discovered"? A clue might be in there.

Robert said...

Checked a book, "They Had Faces Then", published in the '70s and about '30s actresses, and Alice's bio info all seems to indicate she's the same actress all along. Differences in photos from different decades isn't that unusual; lots of actresses changed their looks over the years with cosmetic and/or surgical methods. I'm not convinced Alice is Timmy.

Unknown said...

I have solved it.

Merry Christmas!

This is it:

Col Tim McCoy went from Western Movies to being Marie Dressler and afterwards

going on tour with the circus show.

Here are the scars, also you will find more resemblance (chin deviation to the right

and more) depending on the pictures.

Here is Marie Dressler´s pic with the best visible scar

Here is Tim McCoy scar
magnify the last picture here:

Also some pictures in his circus life or some posters of his movies show the

caricatural "scar"
here Slides 64,65,66,67

Confirming Ents version about what Timmy did later in life:

With the demise of the Rough Riders, Tim McCoy's time as a screen hero was over. In

later years, he would do a few 'guest' appearance roles, such as playing the cavalry

troop leader in the AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS (1956) epic. He also hosted a

TV series in the early 1950s where he commented about the Indians, sign language,

the Old West, etc.

For several years around the late 1950s, McCoy was the star attraction with the

Carson Barnes Circus, and you'll find more info later in these webpages.

And for many years (approximately 1962-1974), he was part owner and toured with the

Tommy Scott Caravan and Wild West Show (Johnny Mack Brown, Sunset Carson and Al

'Fuzzy' St. John also headlined the Scott show).


Unknown said...

Dschingis, it can't be. look at their respective resumes. he would have had to put on weight and drop it again to make movies as both people in the same year! also his date of death does not fall within the 80-85 time period. sorry.

Jon said...

Where do we stand on Judy Holliday? Has she beeen ruled out? I know someone who knew her in Brooklyn. Said she had quite the skin condition that needed to be covered up - though I think she was referring to acne scars. Judy has the personality EL speaks of, also the B'way credits starting in the 40's and the short film career after Born Yesterday. Death by breast cancer. Since her son is still alive, I doubt it's her, but stillllll....

Jon said...

From Entertainment Lawyer:

"One night the lead actress was unable to perform and there was no understudy. A sold out audience was going to be sent home unless something was done.

Enter Timmy. With the audience none the wiser, Timmy performed the entire two hour show as the lead actress and received a standing ovation. He was brilliant and there was even a review in the paper which talked about this understudy who was even better than the regular actress.

As good as Timmy was, it was only for one night, and he went back to his regular role the next night. Timmy was excited about the possibilities the night before had held though and the response he received was never far from his mind."

From Judy Holliday website:

When Jean Arthur pulled out of Garson Kanin's stage comedy, Born Yesterday, only days before the scheduled Philadelphia opening, an astonished Judy, whose work had been admired by Kanin and by Broadway producer Max Gordon, was beckoned to step into the starring role of Billie Dawn. The scene that ensued when Judy arrived in Philadelphia became the stuff of show-business legend: unknown actress, three days to learn a formidable part, scalding black coffee, tears of exhaustion, mercifully little time for reasonable terror.

After the curtain, the audience in Philadelphia was beside itself. When they finally stopped applauding, they continued to sit in the theater as though to savor the experience. As the put-upon mistress of a tyrannical capitalist, Judy created one of the most memorable and hilarious characterizations in the history of theater comedy. The pantomimic gin-rummy scene in which she organized and reorganized her cards in the frenetic tempo of a Chaplin assembly line, her chorine walk unlike the walk of any chorine, the voice like helium escaping from a balloon imploring her junk-dealer/lover to do her a "favor" and "drop dead," were pure Holliday einfall. And she became a Broadway star.

Jon said...

Cohn didn't want to cast Judy Holliday in the film version of Born Yesterday... He admired her stage work, but he could not imagine that movie audiences, accustomed to another "look" in women, would accept Holliday's "Slavic, somewhat embattled appearance."

Slavic? Embattled?

So Cohn had her do a screen test, a picture actually, with Spencer Tracy (a "technically-single" closeted A-List actor). That movie, "Adam's Rib," cemented her status as a force to be reckoned with onscreen and removed Cohn as a barrier to her starring in "Born Yesterday" the following year.

Unknown said...

Back in those days, tuberculosis wasn't an uncommon ailment. She/He could have explained a high-neck collar or scarf around the neck away as hiding a TB scar or maybe hiding a thyroid (goiter) problem or even a tracheotomy scar. Thus hiding the adam's apple.

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