Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Pin-Up Girl, Joan Leslie

Unlike some of the 1940's movie stars, Joan Leslie is difficult to characterize.  Although she was often cast as the sweet young woman, this redhead was up to the challenge of meatier roles. Not the Rita Hayworth vamp or the girl-next door June Allyson, but a character unto herself. She was a triple threat with her acting, singing and dancing ability, but never seemed to dominate a film like some of the other stars of that era. Maybe it was her petite size (5'4").
Joan began her singing career in vaudeville at the age of nine.  Despite her experience, the studio dubbed her voice (Sally Sweetland) in almost all her movie appearances.  She did manage to make the vocal cut on A Lot in Common in The Sky's the Limit. While Fred Astaire is a doddering 44-years-old in this film, Joan turned eighteen during the filming. The following clip is of Fred and Joan dancing to an instrumental version of This Could be My Shining Hour.

You may also remember Joan as James Cagney's sweetheart in Yankee Doodle Dandy.

During the war years, she was a regular at the Hollywood Canteen performing for servicemen. She was a print model and appeared on many movie magazine covers.  A real pin-up girl of the of the few that was actually near the age of many of the young soldiers.
If you're looking for a happy ending for a Hollywood star, Joan would be your example. She married a doctor in 1950 and had twin daughters. After her daughters were grown, she returned to the public eye with appearance in various television shows.

Nice to see that good girls can come out on top in the game of life.  For some reason, this picture epitomizes Joan Leslie...look at the glint in her eye.  This guy is getting nowhere.
Dennis Morgan gets a "No Sale."

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