Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Life And Times Of Timmy Revealed

The very first thing everyone needs to realize is that I had brunch with JJ and we talked about Shimmy/Timmy for ten minutes. Everyone here has had a month to dissect every last inch of this story, and so I will attempt to fill in as much detail as possible, but a ten minute conversation might not be enough to satisfy each and every one of your cravings. I have added a narrative to it so that is more fun to read and easier to see how it happened. With all the hard work everyone did, I didn’t want the write up to be sterile.

I really appreciate how everyone worked on this so hard and loved all of the e-mails I received from so many of you describing how Timmy/Shimmy made you look at Old Hollywood in a new light or how it made you look at it for the very first time. Old Hollywood has the best stories, and some of the best characters. I do have one more big blind from that brunch with JJ and also have some old Hollywood stories I can turn into blinds that are much easier to solve.

People say that Timmy/Shimmy couldn’t happen today, but I think it could happen even more easily today. There would be more rumors of course and the internet and people like all of you would make it very difficult, but advances in technology are such that it would be much easier to pull off.

Back in the day when this happened, the press backed off and didn’t report everything they knew. JJ told me that only about ten people know the whole story. I didn’t ask him to name them, but the number doesn’t seem that far off. Could it be more? Sure. I don’t know, and don’t know how anyone can count because 95% of the people who would know are dead.

When this event happened, there was no television. There was only radio and film shorts which were shown only before other films. Stars were not routinely followed and privacy was the norm. Unless a star was a big star or had huge publicity behind them, chances are you would never recognize the person standing next to you in line as an A list actress.

Ultimately this is a story about luck, a parent’s love for their child, fame and compassion.

What made this whole thing possible though was the work of one man who loved his daughter very much and wanted her to succeed. He wanted to give her everything. He especially wanted to give here everything he could because she had been really sick, and although doing better now, he was very afraid of a relapse. His daughter was always getting sick throughout her life and was constantly breaking bones in her legs and feet. She had at least one known trip to a mental institution following a nervous breakdown and therefore he always did his best to take care of his beloved daughter.

One night, this father went to see a show that a friend of his owned and the friend wanted to sell a piece of the show. The father went, not expecting much but was entranced by what he saw in the performance of a very young actress and decided he had to meet this wonderful woman. When the father went backstage to introduce himself, he discovered that the enchanting actress was actually a man. He further learned that this man had the uncanny knack of being able to mimic almost anyone within a few minutes of meeting them. An idea began to form in our father’s mind, but at that point it was just an idea.

A few weeks went by and our father’s daughter was complaining she wasn’t feeling well and would have to drop out of a film on which she was supposed to begin shooting. His daughter had to drop out of several films because of illness, but wondered if something could be done about it.

The father tracked down our mimic/actor aka Timmy and talked to the actor about possibly becoming an actress rather than the actor he was. It’s not known what was said by the father or if he revealed his whole plan at that time, but what our actor did was start doing shows as a woman with the help of the father. The father knew every theatre owner in the country and got them to take on this new talent and that of course the father would owe the owner a favor in the future.

The father wanted Timmy to play a variety of different women and not just concentrate on one look or style, but wanted Timmy to try and get an idea of the many different characters and personalities a woman would be asked to portray. Timmy would be one name one week and then another name the next.





In early 1934, our father got Timmy a screen test as a woman. He wanted to see if what he saw in Timmy live translated onto the screen. Timmy was amazing as a woman and had Timmy mimic several different women including Shimmy. He was amazing. They even looked a great deal alike when they were dressed similarly. The only problem our father could see, was the nose. Something had to be done about the nose.

From that point forward, Timmy became a woman when in public. He put Timmy in a house that one of his mistresses lived in and JJ’s future wife. Often Timmy would spend time with Shimmy, usually as a man but sometimes as a woman, especially when he visited her on set. Timmy who could mimic someone after five minutes of knowing them was like Shimmy’s twin after spending hour and hours conversing and spending two or three days at a time at her home.

The first real test came in a film called The Gay Divorcee which starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In what could be explained as a joke if it went awry, Timmy made his first appearance as Shimmy. Timmy did one scene which was a group scene, but it’s unknown if it made it into the film. After spending time with Shimmy, Timmy knew that Shimmy was sick. She would have good days and bad, and also for some reason was always breaking bones which everyone knew and expected from her. Breaking a nose wasn’t a big deal at all. It would just be intentional.




Over the next two years, whenever Shimmy was sick, instead of having to call in sick or not even being able to do a film, Timmy would step in. It really wasn’t that hard. People were used to Shimmy being ill and looking unusual. Remember Shimmy was never a very healthy woman in the very best of circumstances, very rarely a lead, and Timmy was so good that each would seamlessly slip in and out as needed.

In 1935 Metropolitan was made and Timmy met the man he would call his friend and lover for a few years as well as confidant. Cesar Romero played opposite Timmy/Shimmy and perhaps saw something in his own personality because he quietly confronted Shimmy. If he had confronted Timmy, Timmy may very well have let it all out of the bag. Shimmy on the other hand explained how she needed help sometimes with work and everything in her life. Her appeal must have worked, because Timmy and Cesar became very close when introduced. I don’t know if Cesar and Timmy went out as two men or as a man and a woman.

In 1936, My Man Godfrey was filmed and for much of that film and the next three done, the majority of the work was done by Shimmy, although Timmy did contribute to each.

In 1937 Shimmy looked at all the commitments she had lined up and knew she couldn’t do it without Timmy. Timmy agreed to help as much as possible but wanted to see if he could make it as a man in film because he was allegedly a little jealous at the attention Shimmy received for My Man Godfrey. While filming In Old Chicago, Shimmy got very sick again very suddenly and at that point the filming was too far along to stop. It’s at this point that more people became aware of Shimmy/Timmy although as I said it’s possible they had been letting people in on the secret prior to this. The director and producer both became aware of the situation and became very accommodating to letting Timmy take every shot that wasn’t a close-up, but in the end even gave him several of those as well. Both Timmy and Shimmy are in the film.






Over the course of the year the acting Timmy did was in direct correlation to how Shimmy was feeling.

When it came to Academy Awards time, Shimmy was nominated and decided to bring Timmy with her. Timmy at that time had moved out of the house he had been living in and had a place of his own although he did share it with a male lover. In those days, the Academy Awards were broadcast on radio and the winners were known in advance. In one instance, the LA Times even published the names of the winners before the broadcast. That year though, the Academy Awards were delayed by a week due to flooding like LA had never seen before and during that time Shimmy broke her ankle and was also very ill. She decided she wasn’t going to attend, and Timmy decided that he wasn’t going also as he hadn’t really wanted to go. His body was breaking out in hives because of the stress of award season and Shimmy’s insistence that he accompany her everywhere and as a man and her delight in thinking of it as one big game while he was afraid people would find out about him, the fact he was gay and ruin him. There was no way he was going to the Academy Awards alone.

At this point, this all becomes pure speculation. Timmy did have a ticket to the Awards and it is believed that his male lover at the time really was start struck and wanted to go. He knew the story and knew for sure that Shimmy and Timmy wouldn’t be there. He went to the awards ceremony and when the winner was announced knew that no one would be there to pick it up, decided to pick it up himself. You would like to think he gave it to Timmy or Shimmy, but as far as we know he didn’t, if in fact it was him who picked it up. There was no award found in Timmy’s possessions when he died. There are two versions of what the Academy did after. One is that Shimmy never got her award and the other is that the Academy gave her another two weeks later.

Timmy’s hives wouldn’t go away and although he spent a great deal of time with Shimmy as she got more and more ill, he never acted again as Shimmy, and in fact all of his roles in later years he wore a tremendous amount of makeup as his hives would sometimes return.

When Shimmy went back to New York in a valiant effort to get medical treatment for her cancer, Timmy said goodbye to someone who was a part of him in more ways than one. Shimmy died a few weeks later, and Timmy went on with his life and as far as I know never mentioned it to anyone again.




There is a rumor that Shimmy's father tried to recreate this scenario again in 1949 when he cast his daughter Barbara opposite his wife in one play and one play only. No one is really sure if it was his daughter although she did win a Theatre World Award for her performance. William Brady, the father that made all this possible died just ten days after the play opened.

Shimmy-Alice Brady
Timmy-Arthur Blake

412 comments:

1 – 200 of 412   Newer›   Newest»
Dschingis said...

now we know
:-)

Lady said...

AMAZING...WELL DONE EVERYBODY AND THANKS EL!

Brainy said...

Bravo.

Brava.

Now who gets the cut on the tell-all bio (and pic) that will emerge?

Domestic Chicky said...

Wow...Just wow.

Joy said...

Wow

Jolara said...

DANG!!! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!! Great work everyone.

daniel said...

yeayyy!!!

gillian said...

DP: You totally called it!

jlb said...

:) Thank you for sharing as always ent. That's an amazing story.

StandingBear said...

Dire Potatoe!!!!!

VERY well done!!!!!

chinacatsue said...

WOW!! I love it. Thank you Ent-- looking forward to the next one!

Twisted Sister said...

Dire Potatoe and the rest of you who worked on the AB angle - CONGRATS on the great job you all did.

WOW. This story was well worth the wait. I'll be anxious to see the next one.

Bryn said...

That was awesome. Thanks for the many hours of entertainment.

ManDJO said...

Well, I guess that explains it! Good job guys!

claire said...

Congrats to all those who guessed it! Some of you really nailed the details.

I am so glad this is over.

dawn said...

Okay, now I feel bad that I speculated Brady Sr's motive was greed! lol

Excellent work everyone, and thanks so much to you all, and to Ent especially for sharing this. this is the most fun I've had in a long time!

gracee mae said...

Wow! Great work everyone!

(where's the scar?)

Lisa said...

Wow. What an amazing story.

Katherine said...

Yeah, I am curious as to where the scar is...

aanders1 said...

Positively amazing. And worth the wait.

Kory said...

Thanks to Pinky for finding this early on:


For her portrayal of Mrs. Molly O'Leary in 1937's In Old Chicago, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Strangely, Brady's statuette was swiped by a male impostor who came onstage to accept the award on the absent actress' behalf. It has never been recovered, and the imposter was never tracked down.

That was just too weird and made me believe it was her.

balis006 said...

ahhhhhh! What a great story. Thanks Enty and thanks to all who did such good research!

iaintnobody said...

BRAVO!!!!!

Myrlin said...

So...where's the scar, and in what scene from "In Old Chicago" is it visible?

Alex Morrison said...

Wow, that's incredible.

Anonymous said...

LOVED IT! LOVED IT!

Twisted Sister said...

Agreed, Koby - Pinky - great job with that find!

Miachase said...

That was wonderful! Congrats to everyone and thank you EL!!!

captivagrl said...

thanks ENT! really great work everyone!.....can't wait for the next one....

Natasha said...

de-lurking here!
wow, this story is truly fantastic. it put chills down my spine.

anna marie said...

congratulations, everybody!
i hate to say it but the revelation makes me sad, almost, in kind of a selfish way and a not-selfish way. i just feel such compassion for alice brady and her father... it would be awful to see a dream go unfulfilled due to illness.

great job everybody! and thanks for the literally, hours, of entertainment :)

Pinky said...

Aw Kory thanks, but I think someone else found that first.

Is the scar the nose job?

brendalove@gmail.com said...

*standing ovation*

ENT, you're tops!

ManDJO said...

Well, I guess I(along with many others i'm sure) am going to have to get these movies.

bramblewitch said...

Thanks ENT and everyone. Not only was this fun, it was exciting. Great detective work from you all, and a great story.

Cooper's Mom said...

First off, what a great story, well worth the wait. secondly congrats to all who guessed it (my hat goes off to DP especially)

i think it's soo great that we've all come together on this and were so excited.

well now we know, thanks so much Ent for this great time you've provided for us and cant wait for the next one!

Christine said...

There are still some holes in the story, though: (1) Alice supposedly won more than one award for In Old Chicago (2) Arthur was 22 years younger than Alice, and (3) why didn't Arthur Blake ever write a tell-all? He could have made millions.

BUT WHO CARES?? Well done, everyone!!

There are still a few people alive (ie, Gloria Stuart) who might be able to confirm/deny it. I wonder if anyone will publicly comment.

GOSSIPGODDESSES DISH said...

Congrats to Dire Potato!

WHO IS JJ? WHO WAS HIS WIFE?

dawn said...

I didn't post this because I didn't think it was significant at the time, but on the weekend, I found an old article from a French publication about Alice Brady. I don't understand French that well, so I had to wait till the next day to get my daughter who is fluent in French to translate it for me.

The beginning of the article talked about how Alice had shown interest in the theatre, but her father tried to discourage her, and wanted her to focus on singing/opera instead. I think it went on to say that Alice took it upon herself to pursue a career in theatre despite her father's wishes. Once she had started her life on the stage as an actress and her father found out, he decided to give her his full support.

Maybe he was discouraging her from acting because of her health issues? In light of the reveal, this makes sense now.

Helena said...

His OSCAR!!! Nooo! Someone STOLE TIMMY'S OSCAR!! I was so hoping someone on Arthur's side had done the noble thing and pretended to swipe the Oscar, so that Alice got one and Arthur got the other, but someone just STOLE it!

Arthur Blake/Alice Brady. Really, truly TWO AB's. Same initials and all!

DirePotatoe!!! It really **was** Arthur Blake! You called it!

Wow, thanks Ent. This is amazing.

Wow, you guys. What a crazy ride, huh? I'm going to go to charitynavigator.org and find an AIDS reaserch or GLBT organization to make a donation to, in memory of Arthur Blake.....

Bryn said...

3:01 posted a comment as me. I didn't post that. How did that happen?

simone said...

This was absolutely brilliant Ent! Thank you so much for this fun Historical Hollywood BI.

*bows*

Natasha said...

dawn, post the article, i can translate.

gillian said...

Is the scar the indentation underneath his or her lower lip? Looked like a shallow dimple?

miamimookie said...

WOWWWWWWWWW!!!

unbelievable, everybody!!! *applauds diligent boadies*

enty, you are beyond amazing. i was glued to the edge of my seat on this one, and watched from the sidelines as everyone's INCREDIBLE research made heads or tails out of the blind.

i just had to come out of my lurking status and declare my incessant and undying love. you rock!!!

xoxo,
mookie

ljvedder said...

I think the "scar" is the skin irritation problem that Arthur Blake had. You can see it on his forehead in his cast pictures on google images. You can also see it pretty easily on the neck of Timmy as Alice Brady in the picture that ENT put on the reveal the one right below the Cesar Romero pic.

Nice job to the whoever first guessed Arthur Blake and kept pushing the theory. Way to go!

EmilyR said...

Christine, I just read an article from a former assistant to Mr. Blake. He said Timmy DID write a draft of an autobiography but it was set aside and never completed.

This story is fantastic. I just moved In Old Chicago to the top on my queue. It sounds like most of the Timmy shots will not be close-ups, so I wonder if I'll be able to spot anything.
Arthur Blake looks so decidely unfeminine, I don't see how it could have worked, although I guess he might have appeared "slight" when he was much younger.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely incredible. Left me speechless....

Couple of questions: in Lullaby of Broadway was that the *real* Alice Brady? Or was it Arthur Blake as AB.

Secondly, I'm another one who wants to know about the scar!

Either way it was really spooky. What a mesmerising story, thank you so much!

And a huge congratulations to everyone who worked on this-I actually gasped when I saw the picture of William Brady. You should all become detectives, the level of researc was astounding.

Kamie said...

The AB train left the station, with me on the bench, waving at it. BRAVO!!!! To all that stayed with the AB train. Great job to all the time and effort that was put in the research. I look forward to the next one.

Julie said...

i seriously was calling my mother all day who was refreshing the page to see the reveal!!!!!!
My ex boyfriend went to Pratt Institute and has a degree in Industrial Design, just like Arther Blake had! I knew I'd heard his name before for Timmy/Shimmy. haha

how great :D

GoGoLola said...

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!! This has been incredible. I can just add my kudos to those of you who worked this out! A shout out to Ed who posted all that great research on Alice's career, and her absences, etc.

Team Alice!

melster said...

Well I might have called Dire Potatoe a tosser but credit where credit is due he got it right.

Wow I'm so glad ENT revealed this totally and didn't cop out.

Kinsey said...

DirePotato is truly a BI pimp.

Vix said...

Fantastic! AB & AB

I've followed from the start and was so impressed with the standard of the comments from most people that I became totally addicted (like the rest!)

It's great the finally hear the answer but I am sorry that it's all over. Well done all you amature sleuths, some of you should go pro!

Anonymous said...

BRAVO EVERYBODY!!!

I am so glad that the motive here was love and not shame and greed as I suggested. What a fantastic story. Now I want to learn all about Arthur Blake. :)

S Thornton said...

her illness and the age difference explains her 10 year (1923-1933) absence from movies. How incredible.

Twisted Sister said...

Gogolola, you're right - BIG shout out to Ed!!!

And to Blind Guy for duct taping his boobies and putting on his wife's bra for the sake of research - something we'll never let him forget.

GOSSIPGODDESSES DISH said...

Again, who is JJ and his wife?

How much of Timmy is in Old Chicago? How much was Shimmy? If the director and producer knew how was it kept quiet all these years? Does EL have any independent proof what JJ says is true?

Amy said...

Arthur Blake is in this film linked below, "Port of New York" (which coincidentally stars Lynne Clark, the actual female actress and apparently not the cross-dresser Lynne Clark. Though the lead actress looks like a man to me, too). To me, he looks too large to have played Alice Brady's roles, but sometimes men in drag look smaller than when they're dressed as men. Check it out for yourself. Go to the third "Port of New York" link on the menu and then Arthur Blake's in at about 9:30. The detectives visit a bar where he's performing. He looks big to me. Otherwise, bravo, awesome, I've had tons of obsessive fun!

http://tesla.liketelevision.com/liketelevision/tuner.php?channel=829&format=movie&theme=guide

RivkahChaya said...

"Yeah, I am curious as to where the scar is..."

Ent said that since AB's bones were known to be fragile, it would be easy to break her nose. I think this means that either people were told her nose was broken, or it really was DELIBERATELY broken (maybe Sherwood Schwartz was one of the ten in on it, and was trying to hint at it when he had a football hit Marcia Brady in the nose*), so that when AB showed up a few weeks later with a different nose, people would think it was due to healing badly. Which really does happen, and back when plastic surgery was a shameful secret, stars used to "accidentally" break their noses a lot.

So the "scar" isn't literal-- it's the change in the nose. Unless, of course, Arthur Blake really did break his nose once, in an incident unrelated to the Brady situation, and it looked like it had been broken, so a manufactured nose-breaking had to be set up for AB. Though, I guess the lump a lot of people who have had nose breaks develop could be considered a scar.

*kidding

Nina said...

Well, Ent, you are the man for keeping us all on the edge of our seats with such a juicy bi. And congrads to someone named Angela who was the first to name Alice Brady, way early in the game.

p.s. I totally skipped class cause I couldn't wait to find out. lol

jenner said...

Helena said...
I'm going to go to charitynavigator.org and find an AIDS reaserch or GLBT organization to make a donation to, in memory of Arthur Blake.....


That is so awesome, for real, that made me shed a tear LOL

This was amazing. I only commented once or twice during this whole thing, but read all your research diligently. This was amazing, you guys were amazing.

Thank you, ENT. This was fabulous. I seriously have ANOTHER tear in my eye (DAMN I'm a geek LOL!)

WELL DONE! :D

S said...

Thank you Enty - you're a rockstar!

Keep 'em coming. All of 'em.

S.

More arthur blake here: http://www.queermusicheritage.us/drag-blake.html

Lori said...

I feel like I've just had great sex. Someone pass me a cigarette.

Great work, all. Best blind item ever. I'm glad it's over now so that I can start on my new reading list, thanks to this, which will take me about ten years to get through.

I've loved this.

ChenoFan said...

now where's that poster who insisted that it would be revealed that Fulton Burley was Timmy?

Myrlin said...

And what did they do about the nose? Obviously, Alice Brady had a nose job--but if anything, her post-surgery nose looks less like Arthur Blake's than before. Sorry to rain on everyone's celebration, but pics of the scar or I'm not buying this.

dimes said...

Wow, what a story!

Kim said...

There are a few things I don't get...
In the original blind it says "At that time there was no CGI, and makeup could only do so much. Timmy the award winning actress was having trouble finding work because of his condition and so he saw his career slowly work its way back down the ladder over the course of three or four years."
But the reveal says
"Timmy’s hives wouldn’t go away and although he spent a great deal of time with Shimmy as she got more and more ill, ** he never acted again as Shimmy**, and in fact all of his roles in later years he wore a tremendous amount of makeup as his hives would sometimes return."
The wording in the original blind says that he did do more work as Shimmy/Alice???

Also....
The original blind says"When it came to the very big award, the one with all the television viewers, Timmy won again".
Yet the reveal says "When this event happened, there was no television."???? huh?

Another thing I don't get is that the original blind made it seem that Shimmy didn't really exist, it was just Timmy in drag. But the reality is that Shimmy did exist (Alice) and Timmy just substituted for her now and again. The original blind says "Timmy was actually a man when they were honoring him with awards as an actress". No, Timmy was a man who subbed in for an actual actress who was the person being awarded.

Not trying to be a spoil sport here, I love Ent's blog, I am just a little puzzled here.

dash said...

METROPOLITAN will be on Fox Movie Channel a couple times over the next few weeks for people who want to check it out. Comcast has it listed as the 90's movie with the same name but Fox Movies web site has it listed as the 1935 movie.

ThaRealestGyrl said...

GREAT STORY! I KNOW JJ HAS MORE LIKE THIS!


I'm going to look at My Man Godfrey thoroughly this time.

My Man Godfrey: http://tesla.liketelevision.com/liketelevision/tuner.php?channel=956&format=movie&theme=guide

S Thornton said...

Port of New York was 10 years after Brady's death and 12 years after In Old Chicago. 10 years can change a person's looks. And by then Blake was into his own career.

L said...

Congrats,DP....very well done! You are amazing.

And thanks to everyone else for such fantastic research. I tried to research on my own also and this has made me really want to watch again those old movies I love. (And now I will be watching again to hopefully see something that makes me go...HMMMMMMMMMMM)

ChenoFan said...

Kim said:

"The original blind says"When it came to the very big award, the one with all the television viewers, Timmy won again".
Yet the reveal says "When this event happened, there was no television."???? huh?"

It doesn't mean that the particular year she won the award the show was televised, just that it's THE big award show that gets the most TV viewers.

Gossip Monger said...

I am humbled by this story.

I feel awful that I thought greed was the motivating force. I guess that is my Irish in me- always looking for the person who is trying to screw people over.

I am happy the true story is one of a father’s love for his daughter and wow- what Author Blake did for them.

Amazing.

Thanks again EL.

Now back to my book about Wm Haines...

Ice Angel said...

Kind of interesting...found this on his IMDB listing...

Other works
Released an LP record "The Satirical Impressions of Arthur Blake" TRACKS: 1. Introduction - Arthur Blake, Noel Coward 2. Zazu Pitts, Sophie Tucker 3. Raymond Burr, Peter Lorre, Barbara Stanwyck, Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis 4. Eleanor Roosevelt 5. Bette Davis 6. Jimmy Stewart, Hedda Hopper, Edward G. Robinson, Mae West 7. Katherine Hepburn, Ethel Barrymore, Frank Morgan, Lionel Barrymore 8. Peter Lorre, Orson Welles, Clifton Webb, Louella Parsons 9. Louella Parsons, Jimmy Stewart, Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, Noel Coward, Mae West, Ethel Barrymore, Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson

dawn said...

Natasha said...

dawn, post the article, i can translate.


Natasha, I found the article by doing a google search for her name, and by wading deeper and deeper into the pages, and clicking on anything that looked interesting. Unfortunately, I did it on my daughter's computer and she's back at school now, so I can't look back in my history to find it. I'll be talking to her later tonight though, and I'll ask her to look.

I just did a quick check of google again now to see if I can find it, and I'm up to page 33 of Brady links, and no luck yet. I do remember though that the page I found was a .jpg scan of the article, because I tried to copy and paste the text, and couldn't.

Tammy said...

Where's the scar that would be so visible he couldn't be both Timmy/Shimmy without everyone knowing. One of the clues was Katharine Hepburn adored Timmy-where's that connection??

Mike said...

This was a lot of fun and congratulations to everyone...

Am I the only one who is a little disappointed?

Basically in the end we found out that Arthur Blake was a stand in for Alice Brady. With him filling in for long shots and a some close ups. While it is quite interesting, its not that shocking. I've worked on a bunch of films where a body double was used in lieu of the star in several scenes.

It would have been more interesting to find out that Arthur had portrayed alice in an entire film, or even the majority of a film, but in the end, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Yes we got it right!! Thats awesome that it also explains the mysterious circumstances under which the award was accepted! Amazing! I'm glad to say I was on Team Alice Brady!

Anonymous said...

One more thing, the pictures that people found of Alice Brady-are they actually of her then?

This one, for instance got the most attention, and I just wanted to get it clear in my own mind that it was really her!

http://silent-movies.com/Ladies/Brady/Brady05.jpg

I'm still bowled over by this story, what a totally selfless thing to do on the part of Arthur Blake.

oklahoma.1234 said...

wonderful....

Congrats to Angela for first saying Alice Brady, but big super-congrats to Dire Potatoe for adding info and putting the pieces together so that I agreed with the entire scenario (between my Josephine Hull and Margaret Rutherford certainties). Very good for you, Dire. Nobody gets to mash you, after all.

I now understand "when musicals were still popular." It means musicals are not popular now in 2007, but there was a time when they were still popular and that's when this story starts.

I want to know what awards Alice Brady won for "In Old Chicago" prior to the Oscar. Or is that one of the red herrings?

I want to see this now as a big splashy movie musical along the lines of "Victor/Victoria."

And I want to thank everyone for giving me many many laughs along the way. This was a wonderful experience.

Sorry if this turns out to be a double or triple post. My computer is not co-operating with me right now and I keep having to rewrite and resend this.

Eve said...

Bravo, Ent. Beautiful story. Thanks for the two-week ride! :)

Lipstick Mystic said...

Fantastic reveal, ENT! Thank you!

Gee, I really feel sad and touched now....about Alice Brady, who must have been very talented both as an actress and performer but who was so deeply troubled, and about Arthur Blake, who really was a gentlemen to the end by honoring Alice's memory and remaining mum about it all (even if he did work on a screenplay or memoir at one point, he put it aside.)

Imagine having your career so oddly linked to a famous, notable actress, stepping into rescue her over and over again like a knight in shining armor, but never really being able to tell people what you did because that would mean you'd betray her - or betray her memory, which would probably be even worse after her death from cancer.

Big applause for both Alice AND Arthur....and Daddy William, too, who went to such huge lengths to protect his daughter from her troubles.

And on a similar note....I also feel sad about Kay Kendall and Judy Holliday. Two effervescent talents I've only recently gotten to know through this blind -- and who left the world all too soon. (Big feet or not! :)

LM

Beth said...

Way to go, Dire Potatoe! We Sucksters are so proud of you!

Awesome blind, Enty. Thanks for the entertainment!

oklahoma.1234 said...

On that tribute page to Arthur Blake, his dresser-assistant tells us that Arthur used to love to tell his friends amusing stories about Hollywood people he had known. Don't you think at some point (after that third or fourth "martooni"), he would have told this fabulously delicious story a time or two?---and then it would have spread all over the show biz world like wildfire?

Dire Potatoe, now please do some sleuthing and tell us who William Brady's mistress was.

Pamela said...

Ent and all the Researchers!

WOW!!!!! I have enjoyed this so much, and have been just amazed at the amount of research. Thanks to DP, Twisted Sister, etal....truly, this kept me going!

Keep them coming, please!

Pam

Grace said...

Last night when someone posted the link of the photo (shown in the reveal with the quotes "You say peanuts"), that one photo convinced me that Alice Brady was a man (well, now we know it was her double). All that research and for me it boiled down to that one photo.

Wow.

farygica said...

WOW! Great, great great!!

This was worth the wait and truly the best time I have ever had with a BI.

Now I am going through withdrawls, seriously. For weeks, this has been the first thing that I looked at in the morning and the last thing I looked at before I went to bed. How sad I am that it's over. Is that wrong of me? :-)

jamie everett said...

wow is right. This was all too fascinating to me. Good work. I want to know who jj is too...

oh and I would really like to see this kinda research done on say Natalie Wood? you guys are good. and this was very entertaining! thanks all

melster said...

There is a google video just above the pic of arthur blake whaich won't play on my pc - what is it ?

Calla said...

Mike said...

"Am I the only one who is a little disappointed?...Basically in the end we found out that Arthur Blake was a stand in for Alice Brady. With him filling in for long shots and a some close ups. While it is quite interesting, its not that shocking."

I feel the same way, Mike. The BI was written to make it seem MUCH more sensational than it actually ended up being.

David said...

I don't see a lot of musicals on Arthur Blake's list at IMDb.

Nor do I see a scar. Alice Brady was very short -- you can see right from that clip from The Gay Divorcee that she's shorter than everyone in the room. Ginger was 5'4" and Alice was shorter.

How tall was Arthur Blake again?

I continue to believe that this is all a fairytale, but it was entertaining for a few weeks.

:)

april said...

Wow! Goose Pimple Galore!
Concrats to Angela and Dire Potatoe! Bloody well done!

The J.F. Drake Memorial LRC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grace said...

I found this on http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.queermusicheritage.us/DRAG/Blake-Arthur/RUSSELL.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.queermusicheritage.us/drag-blake.html&h=352&w=345&sz=24&hl=en&start=1&tbnid=jdChrmE1chU8XM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=118&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522arthur%2Bblake%2522%2B%26gbv%3D2%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den

by Blake's confidant, Jon Perdue:

" first met Arthur Blake when I went to Provincetown in 1976. He was doing his act in a local club where I got a job as a cocktail waiter. Shortly after his dresser quit and I was asked if I would like the job. It sounded like fun to me, so I ended up backstage helping Arthur in and out of his costumes and setting up his dressing room nightly. Quickly I became his chauffeur, secretary, confidant and close friend. I typed his autobiography as he dictated it to me. He had a fascinating life, and unfortunately his book was never published. He completed the first draft while I was with him and then put it aside and never finished it before his death.

Arthur lived in Provincetown, MA with his lover, Irving Cohen. I don't remember how long they were together, but it was probably 30 or 40 years."

eileen said...

Congratulations everyone! I say we have a party at DP's house. That way we can meet in person and give each other high fives.

Saffron said...

Thanks ENT! This is a fantastic story! You kept me entertained for many hours and this would make a tremendous movie. Sadly, we all know that Hollywood lacks creativity, and prefers to redo oldies for a quick buck.

Lady said...

You know, Arthur Blake really wasn't slight at all. In pictures he is taller than the other men that he is photographed with and quite portly too.

That said, in the 'In Old Chicago' trailer Alice Brady is quite rounded too (well, I think it's Alice ;-) ), compared to the slenderness of her youth.

If anybody wants to see more pictures of Arthur Blake, albeit past the Alice Brady era, here's a link.

http://www.queermusicheritage.us/drag-blake.html

Calla said...

Melster,
The google video doesn't work for me either. I looked at the source code, and I think it's missing the identifying info for the video...it says:

src="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId="

(seems like there should be something after the "docID=").

Chris said...

Congratulations to all the researchers. This has kept me entertained for weeks and now I have a great list of books about Old Hollywood to read.

eileen said...

oh and David, I'm with ya. This is all a little too far fetched for me but I had a great time anyway.

Lady said...

david - As a singer back then he was probably an uncredited chorus member.

jamie said...

I just added 3 Alice Brady films to my Netflix queue. This has been absolutely fascinating.

Great job you guys.

melster said...

Thanks calla - glad I'm not the only one. Can anyone else play it and perhaps post a link ??

Tim said...

there is something wrong here, i'm sad to say. the reveal is almost too close to the guess. then there's the scar, the retrospectively misleading clues in the original BI, the age difference (and why exactly did everyone just accept the idea that a young man can play an older woman so easily). it is a beatiful story, but no proof is given in the end. not saying it couldn't all be true, but I would certainly love to sit down with William Mann for a bit and discuss his opinion on this, especially the Katherine Hepburn adored Timmy part and the William Haines' protege part.

still, great adventure and it sounds possible in the final story, though unlikely. it's just that the original clues don't fit in exactly the places where the guess had problems. and the no proof thing. sorry to be so negative, but i feel like i had a lot of emotional energy invested in this (yes, i am gay!!).

any comments? and please don't hate me for saying what many must be thinking.

oklahoma.1234 said...

We still need to know what Arthur Blake's earliest movie credits were and under what name? I really want to know what bit parts or what choruses he was in. I would like to see his pre-1936 credits if they exist on IMDb.

ENT...do you know under what name Timmy first worked when he came to Hollywood? Was it always Arthur Blake?

And why in the world did you reference Topeka in the original BI? Do you realize how much grief that gave me?

And PLEASE tell me what awards Alice Brady won for "In Old Chicago" prior to the Oscar.

scottdammit420 said...

To the tune of "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne:

"All aboard! Hahaha

Brady! but that's how it goes
Millions of people thinking it's Kay
Maybe it's not too late
To learn who is Shimmy, and forget who's a dame

Hidden scars not fooling
Life's a Blind Item game
I'm goin' off the rails on the Brady train
I'm goin' off the rails on the Brady train

I've listened to Chenofan,
I've listened to Dimes
I've rode on the Townbike
And obey'd Twisted's rules
When Timmy played poor old Alice
The media bought it and awarded the role

Dire Potatoe's still screaming
"Shimmy is this man..."
I'm goin' off the rails on the Brady train
I'm goin' off the rails on the Brady train

I know that Timmy's really Arthur Blake
You could see those boobs were fake, yeah, yeah

Stars of the old films,
Their secrets are incredibly fun
All those sex scandles,
Made Mandjo numb
Crazy, we just cannot bear
Wait till Christmas?-- ENT, that wouldn't be fair!"

Great job everyone. Your next assigment: track down a tall, bearded guy with a bad kidney, last seen hiding in a cave in Afghanistan.

David said...

And is that supposed to be Arthur Blake in the Busby Berkeley movie?

Not bloody likely. Busby liked his girls to actually be girls.

And the red herrings might be called misinformation. Arthur Blake died of a heart attack, nothing related to AIDS.

It's a tall, tall tale, and I'm mostly surprised that I gave into it for this long. If Arthur was Alice, he could have made a fortune on a book or screenplay, long after Mr. William Brady was dead.

EmilyR said...

Grace, I don't think we can know for sure if that photo of Alice is actually Arthur. Though it certainly looks like a man, it does not seem to look like the Arthur Blake photos I've been looking at for the last hour.

And Mike, I agree. I've thoroughly enjoyed this, but the trip was better than the destination. Arthur Blake was a stand-in for Alice Brady in a couple of films. yay!

Pinky said...

According to one website Arthur Blake did write a very interesting autobiography that was never published. Wouldn't you love to get a copy of that!

alosha said...

add me to... ok, not the doubters but...

I just don't get why there is so much difference between the original blind and this reveal. I don't understand.

on one hand, this story actually sounds very plausible when you look at their histories.

on the other hand, for all any of us know, ENT is a master storyteller - not just with this, but in general.

David said...

Arthur was born in 1914.

23 years old when playing Alice Brady playing the part of old Mrs. O'Leary in In Old Chicago.

Hmm... do we believe that?

We don't.

EmilyR said...

It would be easier at 23 than if he were her age, after he got chunky. Old age makeup is not hard to do, especially for distance shots.

RivkahChaya said...

Yeah, Alice Blake's stand-in at one point was a man-- that's what it boils down to.

Although, the idea that Blake did drag before becoming Alice Brady finally explains one thing. In the OP, it says that Timmy went on for the lead actress and stole the show; I kept wondering how a man who wasn't prepared to go on in drag, mananged it at the last minute. This show must have been some kind of drag show-- Blake was expecting to go on as a woman, just not the lead, and the audience was expecting to see a man in drag, so no one was terribly upset. And since drag performers are usually referred to as "she," and "actress" when performing, it was legitimate to refer to the lead "actress" that Blake replaced.

The truth seems more believable than what my mind concocted.

And as to Blake not having a complete filmography-- it was typical just to list the main players in film credits until the 1950s, and it wasn't until the late 1980s that every single person, from the entire chorus, to all their assistants, to the caterer began to be listed in the credits. Most filmographies of people who worked before 1940 are incomplete. In fact, it was several decades before films were saved. Usually after a film's run was finished, the footage was "recycled"; ie, the prints were destroyed so the silver nitrate could be salvaged and reused.

kelsey said...

amazing. thanks for the wild ride enty. can't wait for more old hollywood BI's! =)

Gary said...

First, THANKS ENT! Such a great way to bring all of us together around the story. We've become a village!

What's amazing to me is how this story must have really twisted people's heads around who knew about it at the time. Darryl Zanuck knew? What a laugh he must have had - and what a risk. And leading men who kissed him/her? Who knows what they thought. It would be interesting though to see what Arthur Blake's unpublished autobiography said about it . . .

Give us another one ENT! And props to Dire P!

Nina said...

The original blind read like it was just about one person.
Man performed on stage
then for some reason did it as a woman
Man as woman found acclaim as female actress and won awards.
Not man was a stand-in for an actress and performed in her place.

The way I originally read it would have been more titillating. But whatever, it was still fun.

melster said...

Dire Potatoe I have said my piece above but my congrats go to identifying Arthur Blake and that alone.

Alice Brady was first mentioned on CDaN at 1.06 pm on August 29th, 38 minutes after ENT's first post. Your 'official' guess came 8 days later on September 6th after your going through a Josephine Hull stage.

So like I say congrats on Arthur Blake but you did not come up with Alice Brady and shouldn't take that away from others.

David said...

Here's the cast list of Gold Diggers of 1935.

If Arthur Blake was in this movie (as a man), don't you think he'd be credited as "uncredited"?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026421/

The blind item and the reveal do not match, but it doesn't matter, it's all baloney.

Something A.C. Lyles heard, or maybe Mickey Rooney, and it's just been repeated here.

For instance, at what point was Arthur a roommate of J.J.'s wife? Who's the wife?

Where's the scar? How do you know he died of AIDS?

And on and on. No proof, for a not very fulfilling story anyway.

If Arthur was the stand in for Alice in a couple of scenes from her movies, woohoo.

Yes, I'm annoyed.

dawn said...

After rereading this several times to make sure I had the facts clear, there's one part that I can't wrap my head around, and that's the whole thing about the nose. Ent says that the noses of Brady and Blake were too different, so the solution was to break her nose. Besides the fact that it seems kinda cruel, the problem I have with this is that when comparing a young Alice Brady to her older pictures, the nose in her older pictures is clearly thinner than it originally was, whereas Blake's nose looks quite broad and masculine.

Can anyone help me reconcile this?

Janele said...

I would like to go on record and officially aplogize to the family of any woman I said looked like man. I didn't meant to offend anyone. ;-)

Tim said...

shenanigans!

David said...

If the original blind item turned out to be true, that a man impersonating a woman won an Oscar, now THAT would be a great story.

As it is, it's more believable, and more mundane, and still probably untrue.

Dire Potatoe said...

Hey melster...WTF?
Who gives a freakin damn?

princessj1987 said...

Wow. that was amazing and not nearly as creepy as I thought it would be.

David said...

EL doesn't know it, but the real actor impersonating an actress was Kay Kendall!

I can tell from the pictures...

;)

phildil said...

that was wonderful. old hollywood is sooooooooo interesting and really scandalous!!!! Great job!!

Dire Potatoe said...

Well, one thing I know I found about Arthur while I was researching the hell out of him, is that he seemed quite the guy. Entertainer, friend, comedian, supporter of causes. While reading about him I kept wishing I could invite him over for a beer to watch the game (not that he'd actually go for that, but I'm not the "dress up" kinda guy).

That part is totally validated, and for that, I hope he's smiling down.

Here's to Arthur.

Kay said...

Bravo everyone! This was fantastic. I can't wait for the next big BI!

Thanks Ent!

David said...

Dawn, Alice Brady clearly got a nose job when she got to Hollywood.

Her nose, and Arthur's, are nothing alike.

Plus, she was tiny and he was medium tall.

P.S. NyahNyah to all of you who thought there were two Alice's, one from silents and one from talkies.

It's all Alice Brady, a very talented lady, who appeared in all sorts of parts, and died of cancer at a young age.

Did she have stand-ins? I'm sure.

Stephe9 said...

I'm still not ruling out Kay Kendall. JUST KIDDING!

Leslie said...

Yup. I believe a guy can stand in for an actress. I see it all the time when I watch Power Rangers, and if I had a body double, I'd want a guy - tighter hips, no bra flab.

But Alice Brady is sending in a guy every week or so to do her job, and no one - except Cesar Romero - is the wiser? There are twins in my son's first grade class, and I can tell them apart.

Of course, this is still Hollywood, where people are so busy looking in their own mirrors that they might actually NOT look too closely at an older woman.

But, as others have mentioned, the other awards appear to be lacking. And it isn't so much that an academy award-winning actress was a guy as it is that an academy award-winning actress had a ghost-actress. Like that chick in Flashdance who did the dancing (and, again, I spotted the wig from the back of the theater, so that wasn't a big surprise).

However, looking at the pix of Blake, he totally could pass for Bette Davis. And he was in All About Eve, wasn't he?

Kar said...

Excellent! Thanks to everyone for a great read and an interesting mystery to tune into everyday.

Anonymous said...

Just in - WOW - congrats to all the Alice Brady team - I was never truly 100% convinced AB was the answer, mainly because I thought the whole impersonating angle was too mucking fuch.

WOW guys - great research. Great fun!

sugaree said...

Ent, I'm gonna be blunt--I just don't believe it. The final story is so different from the original blind item in every way. I think when you printed this blind item, you had no Timmy, but you didn't know how big this was going to get. When it blew up, you just picked the neatest story from the comments on your blog and went with it.

Give us some proof--for example, some contemporary accounts of Alice Brady's multiple broken bones would be a start. And when was Alice Brady's mental breakdown?

dimes said...

If you'd like to hear Arthur Blake doing some of his impersonations, a fan has posted quicktime clips of his first album here.

Click on the "large scans" link and move your mouse over the photo to see the list of people he's impersonating.

Pinky said...

Enty, I forgot to thank you for so much fun.

Sugaree, a lot of people thought that about ZX/DS too. Also remember that EL is just recounting a story that someone told him. By the way, you had the funniest line I've ever seen on the board, "It's my theory, and I'm going to love it and squeeze it and call it George." Thanks for that, I get a daily chuckle remembering it.

budford said...

It was fun but kinda like spending the night with Phil. Unsatisfying.
Boy I would really love to see the two screen shots from Old Chicago that appear to be two different people including the one with the scar. But Im just being a pain in the ass who just came off of strike.

oddoneout said...

wow - i am so disappointed. the original post just doesn't match the reveal. like many of you, i'm starting to think there was never really a good story to begin with...

dimes said...

Sugaree, there's a reference to Alice Brady in a book published in 2000 about the playwright Eugene O'Neill. It includes this comment:

In addition to the troubles provided by the weak plays she was in, she had brittle bones and often broke a finger or an arm.

It's on page 44.

Dire Potatoe said...

okay, wait a fuckng minute.
I read it again. and I read the original blind. None of the inconsistencies I was grappling with were addressed.

A STAND IN? WE WASTED ALL THIS DAMN TIME FOR A STAND IN?????
HE DIDN'T ACT THE WHOLE THING EXCEPT FOR A COUPLE OF SCENES??????
Okay, so I figured out the name of a man who stood in front of a camera in a dress. Who fucking cares????
And this EntL guy makes up all this shit and practically rewrites everyone's description of what happened with small parts put in and it's a STAND IN>?

Dire is refililng his glass and getting very very angry.

Visman said...

I love this story. How does the new love/right part-right time angle fit in?

Missanonymous said...

Yeah... I was sucked in by this story just like the rest of you. I started off strong on the KK train, then jumped to the 2 AB theory. After comments that the reveal would be long and complicated, I became skeptical and begain loosing interest.

I feel like ENT picked the best theory from the board and went with it. I want to see the scar! So much doesn't fit and it sees like the 'red herring' bit is just a license to make the story fit. This is the last BI I will spend time on here. Adios Amigos! Job well done to those of you imaginative enough to give ENT a way out of this mess he created.

dimes said...

Dire, the only way I could make sense of the original BI was if Timmy was a temp.

Which, apparently, he was in a way.

Congratulations on coming up with Arthur Blake - never in a million years would I have ID'd him as the doppelganger.

Dire Potatoe said...

wELL, good on ya then Dimes. Cause I smell a rat lawyer with an overactive fictional imagination. I mean, really. Read all this crap again, knowing that it's a COUPLE OF SCENES.

I figured out a puzzle made by EntL NOT a puzzle of old hollywood.

I feel dirty. and had.

Pinky said...

Wait - does that mean Alice was just Alice in Young Mr. Lincoln and Zenobia? So, she got better for a bit before she died? Or were those shot the same year? Anyone?

Caroline said...

What an amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing it EL.

Dire Potatoe said...

It's a man in a dress in front of a camera for a couple of minutes.

What is amazing about it again? Save for Arthur Blake who helped out and did a job in a very altruistic way.

sugaree said...

I'm glad you love George as much as I do.

Okay, there's proof about the brittle bones. I can't believe you're in google book search too. I just went there and found William A. Brady's 1935 autobiography "Showman," but it's not entirely searchable.

Melinda said...

I love ENT's blind items and have been following this since the beginning. However, I don't buy it. I wish I weren't so cynical, but my BS meter went off like crazy while reading the reveal. I suck, I know. :(

oklahoma.1234 said...

OK, now that this has been solved, can you brainy guys figure out who Mr. Cranky is? I love his snarky reviews, and I've been told he's a well-known critic, but I would have no idea of figuring out who he is.

Go at it.

budford said...

Dimes,
yea, well right now I could break her bones. She was apparently a huge pain in the ass, but she was NOT an actress who won an award who was really a man. At best, in this scenario, she was a male fill in for an actress who won best actress and no one knows with scene won the award. So maybe she was a pain in the ass actress who won a best actress for being the best actress among others who might actually win for a scene that the stunt double did.

Pass the bottle.

dimes said...

Dire, I don't think it was just a couple of scenes. If he started subbing for her on The Gay Divorcee in '34, we're talking about 20 movies made between then and Young Mr Lincoln in 1939.

As Alice's illness became more severe, who knows how much of the screen time was actually Blake standing in for her?

Norma Desmond said...

Lurker here, posting to say that I agree with our fearless leader Dire Potatoe. If you'll pardon my saying so, this is a bunch of utter bullcrap. It makes Perez Hilton look like Tom Brokaw.

No matter how you try to qualify or adjust your answer in the coming days, as you should know from reading the comments here over the past couple of weeks, your readers are not stupid. You blew it.

Sayonara, Mr. Entertainment Lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Fantastic work on everyone's guess for AB (and AB Timmy)! I guess those pics were really all Alice that explains why I didn't see a difference, and I am quite happy to see that the story about Alice's father was true. I can't believe that this was completely figured out completely by you all!

oddoneout said...

dire potatoe, as the man who figured out this "blind item," i'm inclined to believe your latest theory! it seems that this fairly insignificant story got way too hyped up. it increased CDAN traffic, but (i'm sorry to say) decreased Ent's credibility.

Lianne said...

This doesn't make sense. Alice Brady in the clip ENT posted was tiny - like someone said, the shortest person in the scene. A picture of Arthur Brady with 3 other people, that was on his page which someone above posted the link to, shows 2 people shorter than him. So were they both 5" tall or something? I mean, he might have been wearing lifts in his shoes (Sylvester Stallone does this), but still... I would dearly love for ENT to put up a post explaining the inconsistencies, etc that others have mentioned. I love old Hollywood and I dearly wanted this to be true (I really do like this site a lot, and tend to think that most of the blinds he puts up are true), but this doesn't feel right.

Dire Potatoe said...

Oh sure. Let's LEAVE IT TO THE IMAGINATION. If I weren't enjoying my drink so much right now, I'd go back and start pasting in the CRAP "red herrings" that Ent craftily placed in the blind to mislead us.

Sure. Late in the filming of IOChic, the director "let Timmy take every shot that wasn't a close-up, but in the end even gave him several of those as well." For gods sake. This is NOT the role we were expecting and he was a STAND IN. WHO CARES.

*drinks

David said...

I've got all those movies on DVD right in my apartment, I own the movies, and I'm telling you, it's all Alice (at least, every scene where she says a line or appears full body).

Arthur Blake's nose cannot be seen.

Entertainment Lawyer may not actually be a lawyer, but if he was, he knows this would never stand up as evidence of any kind.

It's complete hogwash, and demeans Alice (and Arthur, frankly) to repeat it.

Dire Potatoe said...

For fucks sake.
Alice was 5'7"
Arthur was 5'8"

They made people stand in holes back then.

I know who I'd like to put in a hole...

David said...

Alice isn't 5'7".

I don't know where you got that, but she is tiny.

budford said...

Like Lana's nail, where's the scene from the award winning movie with the scar that matches the scar of Timmy.

Let's just call - no wait, let's all pitch in $10.00 to buy another free meal for JJ to clarify things.

Calla said...

Ok, I just listened to some of the audio recordings of Arthur Brady's impressions, and they don't sound all that great to me. He sounds a lot like a guy imitating women's (and men's) voices...and not very convincingly. I'm not really buying the premise that his impressions were so amazingly dead on. In fact, the Bette Davis/Marilyn Monroe impression is cringeworthy!!

Calla said...

Arthur Blake's impressions, I meant. ;) Here's one w/Bette Davis & Marilyn Monroe:

http://www.queermusicheritage.us/DRAG/Blake-Arthur/blake5.mp3

Dire Potatoe said...

Some hardworking person posted it at some time.

I also read somewhere she was 5'2" but I discredited it. I guess it doesn't really fucking matter now, does it?

Because she could have been a fire-breating midget and Blake could have been Moses Malone and EntL would find a way to make it "INTERESTING."

Missanonymous said...

One more thought before I go... Arthur Blake was a great impressionist. His characters, however, were CHARACATURES of actresses, not realistic portrayals. There is no way to mistake him for a woman.

LCDCOMPM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChenoFan said...

you are all forgetting the disclaimer at the bottom of the page:

"Crazy Days and Nights is a gossip site. The site publishes rumors, conjecture, and fiction. In addition to accurately reported information, certain situations, characters and events portrayed in the Blog are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. "

David said...

I'm done spending any more energy on this.

I admit, I was captivated by the original story, but I now believe that it is a Hollywood myth, repeated by someone to this blog's author, who repeated it to us without having any real facts at his disposal (nor do I believe that he rented any movie and saw a "scar.")

Alice Brady had a great career without the help of a male impersonator, and Arthur Blake truly died of a heart attack at age 70.

Nice to meet some of you.

Ciao.

Angela said...

Yeah, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!!!!!! It was a very difficult blind item but we broke it... How should I deliver my acceptance speech?

Next: try to find ten straight actors in Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

The best way I can describe this blind item is like magic. You always use an item to distract your audience, like a sob story to distract the fact that no questions were answered. I mean... Hepburn? Haines? AIDS? A-Lister? Roommate? Who's the JJ?
The original BI made it seem that this actor made flute luck out of playing a woman one night and turned it into a career of playing a full time academy award actress, who I might add, only worked a few times after "her" win. But in this reveal, "he" quit RIGHT after the award, if you look at Arthur's work, he was working for YEARS. And plus, if people started finding out about it on the set, it would be more than "10 people" right? I'm sure a fellow actress would be quite pissed, or a fellow actor quite skeezed out and blow the whistle.

I once said how crazy would it be if William Brady paid an actor be his daughter. I wasn't even sure if believed it myself

Beth said...

dire potatoe said:

Because she could have been a fire-breating midget and Blake could have been Moses Malone and EntL would find a way to make it "INTERESTING."


ROFLMAO! I lurve DP when he's tetchy!

nomdeplume said...

Total bullshit!!!! I'm w/ David, Tim, sugaree and the others. The "reveal" was crafted from posts, doesn't match the original blind in so many ways and there are far too many holes. Much more believable is that my sleuthing has uncovered this "lawyer's" identity: Tommy Flanagan yeah yeah that's the ticket!

budford said...

Hi Cheno,

Yea I get the disclaimer. All I would like is a reveal that spends half as much time weaving the fiction into something we can swallow - and we know he can do it - and I think we we're owed instead of spending time on Oscar the Arthur Blake. A little more effort would be appreciated.

Miachase said...

finally got ahold of my dad, and he said the book I brought up (he brought up) is that same story with no names!!! Love it!

Dana said...

Hahahaha, ETL you are such a freaking loser. What are you, some puny college drop out sitting in your Moms basement with too much spare time? Everybody sees right through your phony story and where is the scar? You are one sick freak playing with people and deserve to get this website shut down. F*ck you.

Chris said...

ENT, you still owe us one important explanation:

Please tell us about the scar!!

Miachase said...

the seceret of mayble east lake, is the book, out of print maybe 10 years

EmilyR said...

lol! Damn, Dana. Didn't people have fun figuring it out?

Miachase, can you link to you other post about the book? I missed it the first time around.

Dana said...

You are all foolish and grossly naive if you believe this... THE DISCLAIMER SAYS MOST THINGS ARE FICTION! Get a life, most female film stars of that time looked masculine...

Dire Potatoe said...

Open letter to ENTL
Look, I cracked your case, and so did about a zillion other people who just didn’t post it here. You can suck it, ya know? Because you basically pulled this one out of your ass.

1. This is a MINOR and common occurrence in film. Timmy was a STAND IN. There’s no Hollywood glamour here.
2. Who the fuck is JJ to be alive now and have a wife of 20 in 1933? That STILL is unanswered and does NOT hold water. Unless you so cleverly combined the Js in Lawrence J. Quirk and James Quirk. Wasn’t that just a hoot?
3. Are you implying that a SCAR is a NOSE? If so, please hold your face over here so I can punch your scar.
4. This story was about Timmy, right? Arthur was not SLIGHTLY built and his hair was DARK. HE HAD HAIR ON HIS BODY. He put on weight in his later years, but no, he was not the fictionalized nymph fawn you wrote about.
5. Where, perchance, did you investigate and discover the ins and outs of Arthur’s earliest career? He has no living relatives. I’m sure your IMAGINATION helped you to determine that he just didn’t fit in as a kid.
6. Please share the date, title and role for which Arthur impersonated the lead actress.
7. In your answer, you invent Mr. Brady as the driving force for Arthur to take roles as a woman. In your blind, it’s all Arthur. So which would you like it to be? It sounds better as a story for Mr. Brady to be taking care of his daughter, doesn’t it? No wonder you picked THAT invention instead of the first one. Great improvement and edit.
8. His relationship with Cesar Romero lasted for MANY years. I suppose 3 is many. In 1939, you suppose that Arthur’s “new found love” is the reason for his grand performance. Nice ambiguation. Yep. We all thought you meant Cesar, but NO.
9. TIMMY WAS CAST IN ANOTHER ROLE. Nice work, asshole. CAST doesn’t mean shit, huh? Timmy was “incredible” in this role, huh? Standing in for Alice near the end of production?
10. WHAT AWARDS DID TIMMY WIN REGULARLY? This does NOT say Alice, or the actress won them. It says Timmy. Did they specifically take out the scenes that Timmy was in and give him “regular awards” for those? Your little disclaimer after it does nothing to discredit the fact that you said TIMMY won the awards. This is perhaps the most disappointing part of your fiction.
11. Now wait, Timmy had broken up with Cesar, right? So Cesar was NOT the closeted star Timmy was “in love with.”
12. TIMMY the award winning actress was having trouble finding work because of HIS condition. Not Alice’s condition. This is a blatant LIE in the blind.
13. One role. No, it’s about your ass. And how well you talk out of it.

Go back to sticking your greasy fingers up starlet’s skirts, cause that’s what you do best. I won’t be around to watch.
Lovingly yours,
DirePotatoe.

Dana said...

Its not very fun or funny to lie about somebody's sexuality, someone who can't defend themselves because they are all dead. Why do you think he revealed this? Why didn't he reveal the Milli f*cking Vanilla item? He's a cold a hole who knows nobody can prove him wrong on this one because it happened so long ago, but anybody can tell he made this shit up...its obvious.

budford said...

I wasn't expecting bombshells or non-fiction even but its just SO LAME.

I was never on the AB train but if I was I would be so pissed at the LAMENESS and lack of detail and cohesion.

Dana said...

Direpotatoe, right on!!

ENTL is a freaking fraud, hey all you naive people who believe this fake lawyer...THE GUY WHO SOLVED THIS BLIND DOESNT EVEN BELIEVE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER! Man, this is all a pony show.

GoGoLola said...

I would just like to take this moment to offer my humblest, most sincere apologies to Maggie McNamara, wherever-she-may-be-God-rest-her-sweet-feminine-soul, for even for one minute believing that she was anything other than a poor, mentally unbalanced
W-O-M-A-N who lived a lonely life and died a tragic, self-inflicted death.

I will watch Three Coins in the Fountain 5X as penance...

Miachase said...

I hope this is a true story, but I am gonna read this book. Sorry, but...EL, did you get this story from a friend or this book? ok, don't want to drag this on, but I am wondering, so sorry!!!!!!!!!!!

budford said...

Maybe Shimmy wrote the blind and Timmy wrote the reveal. They look alike, but the quality is just not the same.

RivkahChaya said...

Oh, come on, assuming this is true, it's probably not the only example of a woman having a male stand-in, and it's certainly not the only example of a lookalike being brought in to finish a film for an ill or dead performer. It was done with Jean Harlow in Saratoga, and, of all things, Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 from Outer Space.

It's still common to overdub films, and not use the sound that was recorded along with the footage. It's always possible that Arthur Blake may have doubled for Brady in the footage, and Brady still provided the voice.

I believe the scenario in the reveal is entirely plausible, which is to say, not that shocking.

ellebee said...

Well I don't believe the whole Alice/Arthur story for a second BUT I had fun with all the research of old Hollywood.

budford said...

I'll nominate Danny Kaye as my dumbest pick but at least he fit the clues.

Miachase said...

riv,Exactly!!!! say it like it is!

Visman said...

ok budford... that was funny

Dire Potatoe said...

Kudos to Budford and Gogogla up there. Good ones.

I'm debating whether to walk away or to haunt his fucking blog and post shit in all the comments for at least two days. I mean, he took two days from me. I should return the favor, no?

Maybe a little, "Ent is a donkeyfucking fraud and my guess for the actress with the coke addicted dog is...YOUCAN FUCKOFF."

Repeated a few times over a few of his posts, it could have an impact, no?

afpepper said...

I've been following since the beginning via the Pop Candy website. I've not posted before and, I have to admit, I never really was on the Alice train but it was fun and interesting and I learned a whole lot I didn't know before about old Hollywood.

I thought I'd cruise ebay and see if there were any of the books that were mentioned on here (this is, of course, if everything hasn't been bought up by you all!). I ran across a photo of CONWAY TEARLE and ALICE BRADY and my 7 year old asked, is that 2 men or a man and a woman? I darned near choked on my beer!

Anyway, thanks for a great distraction while my hubby was out of town for 2 weeks on a hunting trip!

Annie

Claudiasfix said...

BULLSHIT. If the inconsistencies and blatant contradictions are not enough, just remember:

"certain situations, characters and events portrayed in the Blog are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Information on this site may contain errors or inaccuracies; the Blog’s proprietor does not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of the site's content."

Perhaps a better use of all the amazing research and sleuthing talents many of you displayed would be to OUT this fraud. Surely there's someone working in IT out there who might take up the gauntlet for poor old dead defamed Alice & Arthur? It's so wrong that people would think it's OK to trash them for no reason other than a liar's fantasy.

Miachase said...

come on DR, you were right, so was Angela, just be happy!

Curioussue said...

Well, it wasn't as big a deal as we were led to believe, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the hours of research and really learned alot about old Hollywood, so thanks for that.

Guess I will always love a good secret!

Thanks everyone who made it such fun.

Miachase said...

Afpepper, love my whit !!!! Read this for a while, but her bringing it up made me come out and I said stuff! Ok, that's it....kinda

EmilyR said...

It would only serve to annoy the other readers, DP

Everyone with a drink in one hand might want to stop typing with the other.

Murphyzlaws said...

Go Dire
GO Dire
Go Dire
Go Dire..........

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