I remember as a kid sitting down on Saturday night to watch a local program called Adventure Theater. It played great old movies like Robin Hood, The Exile, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Ivanhoe. It was a treat to see these films from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s. One of the frequent actors on the program was Douglas Fairbanks Jr. In memory of that and to have some fun, lets play true or false with the man.
Q1 – In the days of silent films, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (1883-1939) was the king of dramatic actors. He surged across American motion picture screens performing dangerous stunts such as jumping from one high balcony to another or swinging by a rope from an old pirate ship. Fairbanks was an expert swordsman and handler of guns, a fine athlete, and managed to win the hand of the leading lady with perfect manners in almost every film he made.
False – Well, actually that is very true but that description belongs to Douglas Fairbanks Sr. our target’s father. I have watched a few of those silent films that the man truly was a marvel.
Q2 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was born in New York City, the only child of actor Douglas Fairbanks and his first wife, Anna Beth Sully. His parents divorced when he was nine years old, and both remarried. He lived with his mother in New York, California, Paris and London.
True – Yep, that is our guy, and for the record he is no less amazing than his father.
Q3 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was a war hero?
True – For his part in planning the amphibious assault on Southern France, Lieutenant Commander Fairbanks was awarded the United States Navy’s Legion of Merit with bronze V (for valor), the Italian War Cross for Military Valor, the French Légion d’honneur, the Croix de guerre with Palm, and the British Distinguished Service Cross. Fairbanks was also awarded the Silver Star for valor displayed while serving on U.S. PT boats. Fairbanks stayed in the US Naval Reserve after the war and ultimately retired as a Captain in 1954.
Q4 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was married to Joan Crawford?
True – His first notable relationship was with the actress Joan Crawford, whom he began to date seriously during the filming of Our Modern Maidens. Fairbanks and Crawford married on June 3, 1929 at St. Malachi in New York City. Fairbanks was only 19, and Crawford was four years older.
Q5 – Fairbanks has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame?
False – Fairbanks has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, one for television and, one for radio. In 1969 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Best Dressed List.
Q6 – Douglas FairBanks Jr. was buried with his dad.
True – On the morning of May 7, 2000, Fairbanks died at the age of 90 of a heart attack and was interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, in the same tomb as his father.
There you have it. A short but look at the life and times of one of Hollywood’s best. If you want to know more about the Fairbanks Family Museum Website.
This Week’s Podcast:
On the podcast this week we have a tribute to Douglas Fairbanks. We also have a listener’s story all the way from Inverness, Scotland. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.
May 04 – Fairbanks Special – (RAS284)
May 11 – Suspense – (RAS285)
May 18 – Three listeners tales revisited – (RAS286)
May 25 – The Horror Express #16
June 01 – (RAS287)