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This Day in WWII 12 January 1940 - 1945

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GoodyearAd-Jan1943.jpgGoodyear Ad - January 1943

 

1940: At the height of the cold weather spell in Europe, 50° of frost is reported in some places.

 

1940: Soviet bombers raid cities in Finland.

 

Gloria%20Grahame1.jpg *Gloria Grahame

 

1941: Recruiting of Norwegians for the 'Nordland' Regiment of the 5th SS Motorised Division 'Wiking' begins.

 

Gloria%20Grahame2.jpg Gloria Grahame

 

1942: Hitler orders Admiral Otto Ciliax, who commands the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the cruiser Prinz Eugen at Brest, to prepare to return to Germany. The new German battleship Tirpitz, sister ship of the Bismarck is ordered to Norway.

 

1942: Field Marshal von Leeb, C-in-C of Army Group North, requests permission to withdraw his forces south of Lake Ilmen behind the river Lovat, as the 2nd Corps at Demyansk is in serious danger of being cut off. Hitler refuses von Leebs request who resigns in protest. His place as C-in-C of Army Group North is taken up by Field Marshal von Kuechler.

 

Gloria%20Grahame3.jpg Gloria Grahame

 

1942: British capture Sollum.

 

1942: Japanese enter Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaya.

 

Gloria%20Grahame4.jpg Gloria Grahame

 

1943: The Red Army begins an offensive to restore the land communications with the encircled city of Leningrad. The Germans abandon a 300 miles salient in Caucasus and withdraw towards the Kuban Bridgehead. The Red Army gains several more streets in the bloody battle for Stalingrad.

 

1943: Gen. Leclerc drives the last Germans troops out of the Fezzan in Southern Libya with his Free French forces from Chad.

 

USRubberCompanyAd-Jan1944.jpg U.S. Rubber Company Ad - January 1944

 

1944: Churchill and de Gaulle meet for talks at Marrakesh.

 

Gloria%20Grahame5.jpg Gloria Grahame

 

1945: The German 'Nordwind' offensive is stopped 13 miles from Strasbourg. British and U.S. forces link up in the Laroche area.

 

1945: General Heinrichs is appointed to the post of the commander of Finnish defense forces.

 

1945: Koniev's 1st Ukrainian Front launches a major winter offensive from its bridgehead across the Vistula at Baranov in southern Poland.

 

Gloria%20Grahame6.jpg Gloria Grahame

**Gloria Hallward was born on November 28, 1923, in Los Angeles, California. She was the daughter of Michael Hallward, an architect, and Jean MacDougall, an actress whose stage name was Jean Grahame. Her mother later became her acting coach. Descended from royalty--King Edward III through her father's side--she was bred for acting at an early age. By the time Gloria was a teenager she had little interest in school; she quit Hollywood High School just short of graduation to join a touring show called "Good Night Ladies". Later she appeared in a couple of Broadway plays, where she was spotted by MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer in 1944. He was impressed enough to offer her a contract with MGM at $250 a week. Her first role was that of Sally Murfin in "Blonde Fever" (1944), but it was a few years later that her role as Violet in "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) set her apart from other actresses. She played the part of the the local temptress who sets her sights on James Stewart, and was done for Columbia while she was on loanout from MGM. Although Gloria was extremely talented and sexy, MGM felt she didn't fit its rigid star pattern and sold her contract to RKO. After appearances in such films as "It Happened in Brooklyn" (1947) and "Song of the Thin Man" (1947), Gloria hit paydirt as Ginny Tremaine in "Crossfire" (1947) for RKO. This was the film that would shoot her into superstardom. She was nominated for an Academy Award but lost out to Celeste Holm for "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947). After another stellar performance in "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952), Gloria was nominated for yet another Oscar in "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952), in which she played Rosemary Bartlow, the wife of a novelist turned screenwriter, opposite Dick Powell. Her performance was absolutely outstanding, and this time she took home the Oscar. The film itself won four additional awards, making it the year's most honored movie. That same year saw her star in "Macao" (1952) and "Sudden Fear" (1952), both very well received.

Gloria%20Grahame7.jpg Gloria Grahame

The 1950's was a wonderful decade for Gloria, as she appeared in several more hits, including the epic musical "Oklahoma!" (1955). Then, as with many other performers, her career slowed. She made "Odds Against Tomorrow" (1959), her last film until "Ride Beyond Vengeance" (1966). She suffered through another paucity of roles until she landed a part in "The Todd Killings" (1971). Gloria was not idle during this period, however. She went back to stage work and did guest appearances on TV. She ultimately made it back to the screen, but the films were not particularly well received (or up to her previous standards). Her last two films were "Melvin and Howard" (1980) and "The Nesting" (1981). Gloria Grahame, one of Hollywood's most serious and skilled actresses, contracted cancer and died in New York City on October 5, 1981, at the age of 57. She was, without a doubt, one of the finest actresses ever to grace the screen. She did, indeed, remind legions of fans of the girl next door.

 

TRIVIA:

Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Spouse:

Anthony Ray (13 May 1960 - 4 May 1974) (divorced) 2 children

Cy Howard (15 August 1954 - 31 October 1957) (divorced) 1 child

Nicholas Ray (1 June 1948 - 14 August 1952) (divorced) 1 child

Stanley Clements (29 August 1945 - 1 June 1948) (divorced)

Gloria was descended from royalty. Her father's family descended from King Edward III through John of Gaunt; her mother's, from the Scottish Kings of the Hebrides.

Gloria's children: Timothy Ray, born 12 November 1948; Marianna Paulette Howard, born 1 October 1956; Anthony Ray Jr., born 30 April 1963; James Ray, born 21 September 1965.

In real life, she was nearsighted and often wore glasses.

Tone-deaf, she sang without dubbing in only one film, Oklahoma! (1955), where her songs were edited together from recordings made almost literally note by note.

Unhappy with the tilt of her upper lip, she often stuffed cotton along her gumline to straighten it out. The effect was cosmetically less than flattering and made it difficult for her to speak. A leading man, after kissing her, ended up with a mouth full of cotton.

Her unusual 1960 marriage to former stepson Anthony Ray made a great Hollywood scandal and led to a bitter child custody battle with former husbands.

Her film output totaled 39 feature films, 4 TV-movies and 2 miniseries.

USRubberCompanyAd-Jan1945.jpg U.S. Rubber Company Ad - January 1945

 

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