Hollywood folk join forces in attack on holiday turkeys
Premieres, parties and sports vie for attention of Thanksgiving merrymakers
By Marshall Kester
Los Angeles Times
November 29, 1936
Theresa and Tom Turkey certainly took a beating under the carving hands of prominent film folk on Thursday. Abetted by tart cranberry sauce and tasty chestnut dressing, the roast gobblers sacrificed all that the idols of the world might wear a series of benign, well-fed expressions.
Thanksgiving dinners this year followed closely on the heels of a most busy, appetite-inducing twenty four hours. The highly successful Lloyds of London premiere and The Helpers party Wednesday night, together with exciting USC-UCLA pigskin parade on Thursday, were incentive for many ladle gatherings. Now we are in the midst of tapering off for a week on turkey has—something the Pilgrims didn’t anticipate.
Lovely Jeanette MacDonald and her mother, Mrs. Anna MacDonald, held forth in their Hancock Park home with plenty of turkey and trimmings for Mr. and Mrs. John Mack Brown, Dr. Lawrence Singleton, Mrs. Lela Rogers, Ginger Rogers, Mary Brian, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hargreaves (Helen Ferguson), Virginia Reid, Grace Adele Newell, Georges Jomier, Robert Marlow, and her fiancé, Gene Raymond.
Anita Louise and her mother, Mrs. Ann Beresford, have leased the Rod La Rocque mansion in Hollywood. Here they co-hostessed a Thanksgiving party for Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Walser, Mrs. Pauline Miller, David Blankenhorn, John Blankenhorn and George Blankenhorn, Thomas Beck, Eloise Lewis, Marie Rouse, Mr. And Mrs. Sheridan and Mr. Dryden.
Glenda Farrell turned on a fancy feast at her home for her family and a few close friends. Imbibing portions of the glorified fowl were Glenda’s father, Charles Farrell, Gene and Dick Farrell, Jerry Hopper, and the hostess’ young son, Tommy Farrell. Drew Eberson took Glenda to the football game before setting down to the turkey.
Sue and Chester Morris spread a real family dinner for their youngsters, Brooks and Cynthia; his mother and sister, Mrs. William Morris and Miss Willy Morris, and his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. Adrian Morris. Mr. and Mrs. Cedric Gibbons (Dolores Del Rio) enjoyed a quiet but thorough dinner with their mother, Mrs. J.L. Asunsolo.
Eloise and Pat O’Brien invited their respective families to come join their festive banquet and Brian Donlevy hosted a big dinner for his fiancée, Marjorie Lane; her mother, Mrs. E. W. Lane, and brothers Jack and Bob Lane. Mr. and Mrs. John Monk Saunders carved a golden-brown bird at a quiet dinner with their young daughter, Susan Cary Saunders. Doris Dudley’s turkey was shattered by Fritz Lang, her aunt and two cousins of Pasadena.
Down at Palm Springs, the Ralph Bellamy’s turned on the main course and all the extras for his father and mother, Mr. And Mrs. Rexford Bellamy, and sister and brother-in-law. Joby and Dick Arlen seated at their heavily laden board their young son Ricky; Dick’s sister, Mrs. Edward B. Lilly, Joby’s father and brother, Joseph Ralston and E. A. Ralston.
Marsha Hunt celebrated with a double incentive for the party. She had just completed her biggest picture at the same time her new home in Westwood was ready for occupancy. Guests on hand for a buffet supper, dancing and games were Eleanore Whitney, Mary Carlisle, June Martel, John Howard, Lee Bowman, Johnny Downs and Robert Cummings.
Well, the turkeys have had their day—at their own expense!
How Hollywood stars celebrated Thanksgiving in 1931
Hollywood’s basis for Thanksgiving sometimes ranged from gratitude to an indulgent fate for the renewal of an option to thanks for a new divorce. But whatever the individual cause for thanks. the favored of filmdom in 1931 joined the rest of the country in celebrating the Thanksgiving season.
Marlene Dietrich observed the holiday entertaining a few guests and, for the occasion, allowed little Maria to dine with the grown-ups. Others who celebrated quietly at home were Dolores Costello and John Barrymore who entertained Lionel Barrymore and Helene Costello; Kay Francis and her husband, Kenneth McKenna; Buster and Natalie Talmadge Keaton, their two sons, and Norma and Constance Talmadge; Vivian Duncan and Nils Asther and their new daughter, Evelyn. The Robert Montgomery’s, also assisted their young daughter (five-week old Martha who died at 14 months of spinal meningitis) in her first Thanksgiving, while the Reginald Denny’s also had their young son to initiate.
Ruth Chatterton and Ralph Forbes travelled to Arrowhead for the occasion. Marie Dressler, accompanied by her house guest, Lady Ravensdale, and Claire du Brey, drove to the desert and dined at the La Quinta Hotel. Wallace Beery spent Thanksgiving in New York, as did Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Clark Gable spent the holiday in the mountains. Jimmy Durante cooked his own turkey, decorating it with an original dressing, but declining to reveal the recipe.
Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels celebrated the day in San Francisco with the opening of Bebe’s play, The Last of Mrs. Cheney. Janet Gaynor was Europe-bound, accompanied by her husband, Lydell Peck and mother. Maurice Chevalier was joined by his wife, actress Yvonne Vallee, for his first Thanksgiving. Tallulah Bankhead arrived in town for formal dinner plans. Two new sets of newlyweds — June Collyer and Stuart Erwin and Carole Lombard and William Powell — observed the day at home.
Victor MacLaglen presided over a huge dining table which was a part of the Tuder furniture imported from England for his Flintridge home.
From several places across the country, the Will Rogers clan collected in time for turkey. Will, Jr. was home from Stanford, and Jimmy arrived from Roswell, New Mexico.
Wherever you are and whatever your plans, I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving.
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