Theda Bara and Mae Murray Speak!

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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bobfells
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Theda Bara and Mae Murray Speak!

Unread post by bobfells » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:23 pm

I never know what I'll discover when checking out variety show broadcasts from the 1930s. Here are two cases in point where Silent Film Queens Theda Bara and Mae Murray turn up on the Texaco Star Theater in late 1939. I have a hunch they may have done the bit as a favor to host Ken Murray, who seemed to know everybody in Hollywood and took home movies of them. Tom Mix and Lillian Gish show up on other Texaco broadcasts.

First, I excerpted this segment from the Texaco show of November 8, 1939. The woman comic you'll hear is Iran Ryan, later famous as "Granny" on TV's "Beverly Hillbillies" in the 1960s. The young man who asks Theda a question about A FOOL THERE WAS is singer Kenny Baker. Things get weird when Murray asks Theda to star in their version of CLEOPATRA!
Enjoy:
[audio http://oldhollywoodincolor.files.wordpr ... 6-1939.mp3" target="_blank]
Image

Ken Murray welcomes Mae Murray (yes, there are jokes about their last names) on the December 6, 1939 broadcast of Texaco. Irene Ryan and Kenny Baker are on hand again and I must admit that Kenny gets in a good joke about the Ziegfeld Follies. As with Theda Bara, the cast pays tribute to Mae Murray by performing their version of THE MERRY WIDOW. I have excerpted only Mae's part of the show:
[audio http://oldhollywoodincolor.files.wordpr ... 6-1938.mp3" target="_blank]
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Rollo Treadway
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Re: Theda Bara and Mae Murray Speak!

Unread post by Rollo Treadway » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:28 am

Thanks for this. That makes at least two extant radio appearances by Theda Bara - the other being this 1936 clip where she talks with W. S. Van Dyke:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVBLHr4iwVM

Does anyone know if she did any acting appearances on radio, as she implies in that interview? When she talks about considering movie scripts for a comeback role, I could not help but being reminded of poor Norma Desmond (no similarity implied otherwise).

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FrankFay
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Re: Theda Bara and Mae Murray Speak!

Unread post by FrankFay » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:00 am

I suspect her talk of a comeback was just wishful thinking- I think she was quite content with her social life as Mrs Brabin. speaking of which, I've never quite understood why Brabin's career ended in the early 30's. What I've seen of his talkie work is smooth and fluid with a definite visual flair- STAGE MOTHER especially. He and Theda must have had a good source of income to live comfortably for the next 20+ years.
Eric Stott

salus
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Re: Theda Bara and Mae Murray Speak!

Unread post by salus » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:44 pm

Mae Murray sounds like she had a great acting voice and Theda Bara sounds like she has a British accent.

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FrankFay
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Re: Theda Bara and Mae Murray Speak!

Unread post by FrankFay » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:02 pm

salus wrote:Mae Murray sounds like she had a great acting voice and Theda Bara sounds like she has a British accent.

Bara came from an upper middle class family and no doubt took some pains to speak well. She was also married to a Brit (director Charles Brabin) and absorbed some of his accent.
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entredeuxguerres
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Re: Theda Bara and Mae Murray Speak!

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:02 pm

salus wrote:Theda Bara sounds like she has a British accent.
"Kansas City British" one film writer called it...the imaginary dialect of Southampton & Newport. Widely taught & practiced in H'wood, most beautifully, in my opinion, by Ruth Chatterton. So what if, for most, it was an acquired art...I still love it.

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