Friday, November 25, 2005

Myrna Loy

Myrna Loy addressed the role of Hollywood's treatment of actors playing non-whites in the movies in her autobiography, Being and Becoming (with James Kotsilibas-Davis; Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; New York; 1987; page 52):
. . . But these exotica started to predominate [in roles given to Loy]. My bit as a mulatto in The Heart of Maryland led to a role that I'm very much ashamed of. Zanuck wrote Ham and Eggs at the Front, a blackface parody of What Price Glory? casting me as a spy. How could I ever have put on blackface? When I think of it now, it horrifies me. Well, our awareness broadens, thank God! It was a tasteless slapstick comedy that I mercifully recall very little about.
Fox borrowed me and expanded my capacity for exotica. I played my first Chinese part, under the direction of Howard Hawks, in A Girl in Every Port. With the structure around my eyes, it turned out, makeup could make me look Oriental. It seems strange of a redhead from Montana, but that part of my face, at least, is easily adapted. they just whitened my upper lids, accented the natural line, and I got away with it. So what do they do back at Warners? They cast me as a Chinese in The Crimson City, with Anna May Wong. Up against her, of course, I looked about Chinese as Raggedy Ann.
Miss Maven is glad that Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy and Frankenstein's Monster haven't gotten together to complain about how THEY'RE treated in Hollywood!
If THEY ever get ticked off, Maven suspects that that Halloween will be a run on wolf's bane, silver bullets and . . . .
Hey . . . just where DO you get Egyptian amulets for protection?!?!?
If you would like contact Miss Maven, you can reach her at


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