Jeanne Crain is born in Barstow, California, 1925. The year 1949 was a banner one for the actress, appearing in The Fan, Pinky and—her best movie—A Letter to Three Wives. Though never one of Hollywood’s great actresses, she nonetheless acquitted herself well in Pinky, portraying a black woman passing for white. For the Elia Kazan-directed drama, Crain earned her only Oscar nomination. She got her start in movies when she won the title of Miss Camera Girl of 1942 in Florida and was signed by Fox. A small role in The Gang’s All Here (1943) led to 22 more films for the studio, mostly as the girl-next-door type. Her last film under contract with them was Vicki (1953). “I loved being at the studio,” said the actress, who left Fox in 1953 after filming Vicki. “After all, I started at 15, and I grew up there. But there comes a time when an actress stays too long in the same place. People get used to having you around, and they can't think of you in a different light.” In the years that followed, she made a handful of films at Warner Bros. and Universal. Crain made her final film—Skyjacked—in 1972.
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In this colorful, silent little treat, California's Apple Valley Inn is host to Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and crew on location for Douglas Sirk’s There’s Always Tomorrow (1956). Additional amateur footage documents the Beverly Hills wedding of Ann Blyth and various celebrities like Jeanne Crain, Jack Benny and Irene Dunne arriving at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Singer and actress Ethel Waters (above left, with Jeanne Crain in Pinky) dies of heart disease in Chatsworth, California, 1977. Her mother, Louise Anderson, gave birth to Ethel when Louise was just 12 years old, having been raped at knifepoint by a man named John Waters. Ethel was raised by maternal grandmother Sally Anderson, but assumed her father's surname. Highlights of her movie career include Cabin in the Sky (1943), The Member of the Wedding (1952) and Pinky (1949), for which she bacame the second African-American actress (after Hattie McDaniel in Gone With the Wind) to be nominated for an Oscar.