Sunday, April 04, 2010
In memory of Priscilla Lane* here's a clip of her performing It Had To Be You from the 1939 film The Roaring Twenties; she also got to take a crack at My Melancholy Baby and I'm Just Wild About Harry in the film, and clips of these performances are also available on YouTube, but since this is my favourite song of the three there you go... Lane starred** in the film opposite James Cagney and Gladys George - who's seen in the above clip speaking to Lane's frequent co-star, Jeffrey Lynn.
Lane got her start in show business in the early 1930s as part of a singing quartet called the Lane Sisters, three of whom - Lola, Rosemary, and Priscilla - would each have a modicum of success on their own, while Leota did not; a fifth Lane sister, Martha, avoided show business altogether.
For all its early promise, Priscilla Lane's career in movies would essentially amount to a near-miss; although she appeared in such popular and well-received films as Four Daughters (plus its sequels Four Wives and Four Mothers), as well as Brother Rat***, Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace, and Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942) her recalcitrance with the studio meant she was soon being offered fewer and weaker parts, and her seven-year contract with Warner Bros. was suspended after only five. Lane's last movie role came in the 1948 film noir Bodyguard, opposite Lawrence Tierney; except for a talk show broadcast locally in Boston circa 1958, which she did for a year, it would be the end of her career.
*Who died of chronic heart failure brought on by lung cancer on this day in 1995, aged 79.
**And was even billed above the title!
***Most notable for the presences of future US President Ronald Reagan and his future ex-wife Jane Wyman.
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