Thanksgiving in Hollywood, 1931


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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7 Responses to “Thanksgiving in Hollywood, 1931”

  1. Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving, Allan. Where do you get all these fascinating tidbits? Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

  2. w.k. mccauley says:

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Allan. I remember our couple of shared Thanksgivings with great fondness. All the best,

  3. Melissa says:

    Nice article; very interesting! Hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable and that your long weekend is both restful and fun!
    Thanks Melissa, I wish the same to you.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Allan! Most appreciative for all the interesting information you provide on varied aspects of Hollywood. Anne- Marie.
    Thank you. — Allan

  5. Harry Martin says:

    Any idea where Robert Montgomery’s daughter is at?
    No, I couldnt find an obit.

  6. kathleen campbell says:

    What did the Keaton boys grow up to do? Did they follow their parents into the “biz”?
    Not sure, if anyone knows please leave a comment.

  7. w.k. mccauley says:

    Keaton’s two sons–James and Robert. James died two years ago; Robert is still living. One of them collected automobiles, and I don’t think either ever worked in the entertainment industry–though I could be mistaken

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