Joan Leslie: “At one point, I was beginning to look more like a secure, mature American woman”

Former screen actress Joan Leslie, one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age and highly popular during the wartime years, passed away in Los Angeles at age 90 on October 12, 2015.

I first met Joan Leslie in 1999 at her Los Feliz home, in the hills near Griffith Park, after being introduced to her by her two-time film director Vincent Sherman (1906-2006). She talked about her early years in films, stardom, her co-stars, her directors and about her happy life after films.

At an incredibly young age of 15, Miss Leslie appeared in her breakthrough film, the film noir classic “High Sierra” (1941, the first film where she was credited as Joan Leslie) starring Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart, with Bogart playing ‘Mad Dog’ Roy Earle, a tough guy who falls in love with Velma, a seemingly sweet and naïve teenager, a character portrayed by Miss Leslie. As Roy Earle is about to find out later, to his own dismay, she is not as naïve as he first thought she was.

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Joan Leslie in the early 1940s. Photograph: Marvin Paige Motion Picture and Television Archive

Although only a supporting role in Raoul Walsh’s screen classic, Velma turned out to be a wonderful character for the young and ambitious Joan Leslie (b. Joan Brodel in Detroit, Michigan on January 26, 1925) who started her show business career in the 1930s with her elder sisters Betty and Mary Brodel as a vaudeville trio, an act known as The Brodel Sisters, until she caught the attention of an MGM talent scout and was given a six month contract at the studio, earning her $ 200 a week, with George Cukor’s “Camille” (1937) as her screen debut.

Do you still remember appearing in “Camille”?

Yes, I do. Playing Robert Taylor’s little sister opposite Greta Garbo in “Camille” – I was only 11 – it was like a dream come true. I always wanted to be in pictures, I hoped to play Joan of Arc one day. It was remarkable the way MGM spent money to make it perfect. I was a minor, for the children they had a schoolhouse on the lot with a teacher under contract. I was in school with Mickey Rooney and Freddie Bartholomew.

You appeared in films for nearly two decades and in 1950 you married William Caldwell, an eminent Los Angeles obstetrician. Later you almost entirely gave up acting altogether after your twin girls Patrice and Ellen were born. Was that an easy decision to make?

When I married, I knew that would be the most important thing in my life. The only way to make a successful marriage, is to put it first, you have to invest yourself into marriage. And if it’s with the right person, it’s very much worth it. You have to close a door before you can open another one, sometimes it’s hard to close that door. When you had a colorful life as an actress, it’s not easy to say that, and to mean it as well – I had a very colorful life – there’s nothing quite like it. But my husband was a doctor, that’s a very engrossing field as well, a very meaningful part of life in the world today. I’m so proud of him and I respect him so much, and he respects me for what I have accomplished in my career. I stopped making films altogether when my two girls, my twins, were born. When they went to school, I had a little bit more free time and I did some television and commercials and a picture now and then, but I’m saying no to everything now. Nobody is asking me to get back to work, and I don’t think there’s anything I’d really like to do. I’ve always liked to play a certain kind of part as I was a certain kind of person, and I don’t find that very much anymore. The business has changed so much.

The trailer of “High Sierra” (1941)

Looking back, “High Sierra” certainly became one of your landmark films, didn’t it?

After “Camille”, I worked in all the different studios and when I did a part out at Warner Bros., they decided that I was contract material. They tested me for a contract, I sang and danced, did a couple of scenes and they signed me up. I was very happy about that. They said, ‘We’ll groom you and change your diction, so that you don’t have a Midwestern accent anymore.’ Within two weeks I was tested for “High Sierra” which really started my career. Wasn’t that a wonderful break for a young actress! Humphrey Bogart played this criminal in hiding, and I was the crippled girl. His character just met me by accident, was very taken with me obviously and wanted the operation done to fix my foot. That was such a good role – and I was only 15! I wish I had more such roles when I was older, I could have done more with them. Perhaps I was too young at that time to realize how precious such roles were, but I was lucky to just get through it. From then on, it all went very fast. A week after finishing “High Sierra”, I enrolled in “The Wagons Roll at Night” [1941, playing Humphrey Bogart’s sister], then after a few days’ rest I was cast in “The Great Mr. Nobody” [1941]. The day I finished that picture, I started a short called “Alice in Movieland” and while I was doing that, Warner Bros. gave me a new Buick for my 16th birthday when I began working on “Sergeant York” [1941], playing Gary Cooper’s girlfriend. I then played female leading roles with James Cagney in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” [1942] and at age 18, I was Fred Astaire youngest co-star in “The Sky Is the Limit” [1943]. He even complimented me by saying, ‘You can dance better than Ginger [Rogers].’ (Laughs.)

Both Gary Cooper and James Cagney won Academy Awards as Best Actor for their roles, didn’t they?

Yes, they did. I was never nominated, but I don’t feel I did anything up that calibre. And although Warner Bros. certainly had plans with me, times were changing. Television was coming in, that was a big threat. And after “High Sierra,” I was so lucky to be reunited with Ida Lupino in Vincent Sherman’s fascinating “The Hard Way” [1942], telling the gripping story of Ida Lupino who pushes me in a show business career. I played her younger sister.

The Hard Way poster 01That was one of your best films ever, wasn’t it? Powerful story, beautifully acted and directed. And you were only 17 at the time?

[Director] Vincent Sherman was such a surprising man, so making that film was an enormous delight. He had a very youthful attitude. I had made a handful of pictures by then, not all with overly mature directors, but they all seemed rather severe, awesome, stately. But to me, Vincent had a new approach on everything, he was enthusiastic about the picture and also about me being in it: that’s an attitude he brought to the set every day. And that makes it very delightful to work, instead of hearing things like ‘Well, let’s see how we can get this on film,’ you know. He was interested in the dramatic aspects of the story and putting it on interestingly, and that was very fascinating. I was pleased to get the part, which was very interesting, it showed growth and change, so to me it was a treasured role. Working with Ida [Lupino] was also a joy, she was such a wonderful performer, and we all responded to Vincent. At the end of a take, he didn’t have to say, ‘Very good, he would say Print it!’ But he kept that smile that he gets, thinking ‘I got what I wanted,’ which was very nice.

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Bette Davis and filmmaker Vincent Sherman on the set of “Mr. Skeffington” (1944). He was one of Joan Leslie’s favorite directors. Photograph: Vincent Sherman

Two of your next pictures turned out to be instrumental in promoting to buy war bonds, “Thank Your Lucky Stars” [1943] and “Hollywood Canteen” [1944], both all-star pictures, while you also worked at the Hollywood Canteen to entertain the soldiers. The idea of the Canteen was conceived by Bette Davis and John Garfield and it was supported by the entire film industry, wasn’t it?

That’s right. I worked at the Hollywood Canteen every Tuesday. Each studio had one night of the week, Warner Bros. took Tuesdays. Bette Davis was very often down there, you saw Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Marlène Dietrich, they all dropped in, they did their act and they’d sit around and talk with the boys. We’d pass out sandwiches, bring coffee, do the dishes or sometimes just talk. Quite often, we danced with the soldiers. When I was working on “Rhapsody in Blue” [1945], I had some very dramatic hairdos with upswing, going against the way my hair was done usually, and I was dancing once with a boy who’d spin me across the floor. We were having a wonderful time until the pins started to come out, they dropped all over the floor and my hair was coming down (laughs). We had a lot of fun, the boys laughed, they were scattered all around to pick up the hair pins and helping to put myself together again. My sisters would come with me, they helped to entertain, it was an all-out effort, we were proud and very happy to do that.

Bette Davis (1908-1989) and John Garfield (1913-1952). Photograph: Marvin Paige Motion Picture and Television Archive

Was the atmosphere in the actual Hollywood Canteen the same as in the film?

I think better, although now, I don’t remember exactly how it was in the picture. The Canteen was not a fancy room, it was just a café made over, a very plain structure. Sometimes the boys would be lined up for blocks. Then they made an announcement, ‘You guys have all been in here an hour and a half now, so you go on out the back door because we have to bring in some more fellows tonight,’ or something like that. It also happened that I was asked to come over on other nights if they didn’t have enough girls, or to have some pictures taken, or for autographs. Bette was very persuasive, she got Warner Bros. to donate a lot of money to the Canteen, including from the premieres of films. She was the driving force behind it, she co-chaired it together with John Garfield.

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The Hollywood Canteen, located in Hollywood near Cahuenga and Sunset Boulevard. Postcard: Longworth Photo (from the collection of Leo Verswijver)

The film “Hollywood Canteen” had an impressive cast with a lot of stars playing themselves or appearing in cameos and walk-ons, with Robert Hutton as a G.I. who is on sick leave and can spend a few nights at the Canteen before returning to active duty. When he enters, he happens to be the millionth guest to enjoy the hospitality of the Canteen, earning him a prize, which is a date with you.

He could have anything that he possibly wanted in Hollywood. In the plot he only wants a date with Joan Leslie and so, there’s a scene when Bette calls me on the phone and says, ‘Joan, will you come down to the Canteen, I got a special favor to ask you.’ So I come over and she says, ‘Joan, I’m so glad you could come, there’s a boy here, he’s the millionth guest of the Canteen and he could have anything he wants, but all he wants is a date with you. Will you do it?’ That was her line, and I was supposed to say, ‘Oh sure, where is he? What are we going to go,’ and things like that. But she was having trouble concentrating, she was also working on another picture with a very dramatic and demanding role. So at one point, she said, ‘Oh, cut! This is terrible. I just can’t play myself, I don’t know how, I can’t be natural playing myself! But if you give me a cigarette or a drink or a gun, I’ll play anything you want me to!’ (Laughs.) She had a great sense of humor, even about herself.

Sergeant York 01You often worked with prestigious leading co-stars, including Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Fred Astaire. How were you treated on the set?

In most cases, people were very supportive and the directors were very good. But I was so much younger than everybody else that I didn’t have the advantage of feeling like a chum. As I look back, it amazes me that neither was I in awe, I never said, ‘I can’t do this because this person is so famous and so wonderful, I’ll be scared to death.’ No, once I got up there and did the scene, I had every right to be there and I had to do the best I could because they were doing the best they could too. When you talk about working with the best, I’ll always remember Jimmy Cagney. What a creative, dynamic person he was. Howard Hawks, who directed “Sergeant York”, was also very good. He had ways of telling you how to sit, how to look, what you should be emphasizing; we rehearsed and rehearsed, until we said, ‘Don’t you think we should start making some takes?’ I think the production department must have gone mad, because if you didn’t have a take already in the can as they say, by 9:15, they’d say, ‘Well, what’s wrong? What’s holding you up?’ But nobody could say that to Howard Hawks: if he didn’t want to shoot anything till the afternoon, that would be fine. Cooper would do anything Hawks said, but he knew his craft and his capabilities too.

What about Michael Curtiz?

Working with Michael Curtiz on “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was really wonderful, he was so happy with everything. With Jimmy Cagney and the whole creative atmosphere, that made it very easy. Another Curtiz film however, called “This Is the Army” [1943], that was a terror; the script was non-existent, it was just a little plot thrown together to keep the musical numbers in a sort of a routine, and even though he had character actors like George Murphy and Ronald Reagan, it was very shallow. He was yelling and screaming at everyone, very critical and very tough on everybody.

By the time you made the Gershwin biography “Rhapsody in Blue” [1945] and appeared in Busby Berkeley’s “Cinderella Jones” [1946], both with Robert Alda, television was already coming in. What was the effect of that?

They started to make a lot of cheaper films and I was very unhappy with that. The last couple of pictures I had made, like “Cinderella Jones”, were terrible. I know Robert Alda didn’t like it, but Busby Berkeley was directing it and there we were – all under contract. It’s a big decision to say no to a big studio. But as TV was there already, they didn’t know what to do, they didn’t know what was coming next. Television in your home would be a very attractive competition, so they had either to make the pictures cheaper, or make them better, something they never had to think of before. In the end, they adjusted, of course.

What about the studio contracts at the time?

Sometimes they’d tear up your contract and give you better terms, but they still had all the rights to say, ‘You’re through, and we have no obligation to you’ and then you’d be out there in the cold.’ So I decided to sue Warner Bros. for freedom from my contract. The main reason why I did this, was that I wanted to have a say about the roles I had. It was a very risky thing to do and I don’t think I would do it again, because there are other ways to fight their power and their strength over you. But it was a sad time: I did alienate myself, I had to alienate myself from everyone at Warner Bros., I was not supposed to contact anybody, cause I was suing them on a basis that a contract you sign when you are a minor, needs to be reaffirmed once you become a major at 21: maybe you don’t want to be under contract anymore, maybe someone talked you into it as a minor – that’s the premise. Of course, I was happy to be under contract, but nevertheless, under some circumstances I should have had the right to reconsider at 21. However, they had a whole body of attorneys and they won a round, then I’d appeal and I won a round, and then finally it went to the District Court of Appeal and they won the decision 5 to 4. This decision was made on the basis that most contracts that are signed with a minor, can be re-examined when you become 21, except in three categories: if you are an actor/actress, a jockey or a prize-fighter (laughs).

The impact of trying to renegotiate your contract on your career was huge, wasn’t it? Were you sort of blacklisted?

You know, after appearing in my latest films for Warner Bros., “Janie Gets Married” [1946, a sequel to “Janie” made two years before with Joyce Reynolds in the title role] and “Two Guys from Milwaukee” [1946, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in cameos], I was ranked number one in the ‘Future Star’ poll of motion picture exhibitors [Yvonne De Carlo was number 9, Robert Mitchum ranked number 10]. So at that time, the future was still bright. I started working for various studios on a free-lance basis and made films such as Nicholas Ray’s “Born to Be Bad” [1950], with Joan Fontaine playing an unscrupulous woman who got what she wanted by manipulating everyone, including the character I played. But then I made films at Republic, an indication that I started to appear in less rewarding films than the ones I was involved in in the 1940s. It became difficult for me to get leading roles in first-rate pictures and years later, I speculated that the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ among the industry’s executives that prevented me from working at other studios during and after the trial, definitely had its effect. They were made to think that I would be ‘difficult to work with… a troublemaker’. But in the end, it might not have made a difference. After my marriage to William Caldwell in 1950 and the birth of our daughters, I had other goals in my life: instead of being a screen actress, I wanted to be a full-time mother for our children.

May I ask you what you are doing right now?

Right now, I’m in the process of refiling all my career scripts and contracts and as I look over all the stills I got, I feel I could have done a little bit more, maybe I could have gotten around to playing Joan of Arc after all (laughs), but I’m really happy where I am now. It’s a very tough business, very competitive. I certainly wasn’t aware of that when I started at Warner Bros. at age 15. People were very nice to me. I honestly think if they didn’t handle me carefully, I might have burst into tears, or run of the set or something because I was so young. They were getting the quality from me that they wanted: the young, innocent and sweet girl-next-door. It was during the war and that’s what they wanted to project on the screen. Sometimes they refer to me as ‘the ever sweet Joan Leslie’, which of course I don’t particularly like, I was merely being myself in the 1940s, that’s what it really was. It’s a little too sweet for now, that’s for sure (laughs). But it’s what the studio wanted then.

The theatrical trailer of “Born to Be Bad” (1950)

How would you like to be remembered in film encyclopedias? Certainly more than just ‘sweet’?

Well, I hope so. Vincent Sherman once told me, ‘You had so much talent, you’ve been so surprising to me that at your age, you could do what you did.’ Perhaps my career wasn’t handled quite right or in a way that it could flower as it might have, but I couldn’t wish any more than that, I’m a very modest person. I saw “Born to be Bad” the other day and I liked it very much, it’s the kind of thing I should have done more, so at one point, I was beginning to look more like a secure, mature American woman, not just the little girl-next-door, but one who could handle a profession, a romantic entanglement and make it interesting too.

Los Angeles, California
April 16, 1999

FILMS

CAMILLE (1937) DIR George Cukor SCR Zoë Akins, Frances Marion, James Hilton (novel by Alexandre Dumas) CAM William Daniels, Karl Freund ED Margaret Booth MUS Herbert Stothart CAST Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Jessie Ralph, Joan Brodel (Marie Jeanette)

MEN WITH WINGS (1938) DIR – PROD William A. Wellman SCR Robert Carson CAM W. Howard Greene ED Thomas Scott MUS Boris Morros CAST Fred MacMurray, Ray Milland, Louise Campbell, Andy Devine, Lynne Overman, Porter Hall, Joan Brodel (Patricia, age 11)

NANCY DREW, REPORTER (1939) DIR William Clemens SCR Kenneth Gamet CAM Arthur Edeson ED Frank Dewar MUS Heinz Roemheld CAST Bonita Granville, John Litel, Frank Thomas, Jr., Mary Lee, Dickie Jones, Joan Brodel (Mayme)

LOVE AFFAIR (1939) DIR Leo McCarey SCR Delmer Daves, Donald Ogden Stewart (story by Leo McCarey, Mildred Cram) CAM Rudolph Maté ED Edward Dmytryk, George Hively MUS Roy Webb CAST Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman, Astrid Allwyn, Joan Brodel (Autograph seeker)

WINTER CARNIVAL (1939) DIR Charles F. Riesner SCR Lester Cole, Budd Schulberg, Maurice Rapf (story by Corey Ford) CAM Merritt Gerstad ED Otho Lovering, Dorothy Spencer MUS Werner Janssen CAST Ann Sheridan, Richard Carlson, Helen Parrish, James Corner, Alan Baldwin, Joan Brodel (Betsy Philips)

TWO THOROUGHBREDS (1939) DIR Jack Hively PROD Cliff Reid SCR Joseph A. Fields, Jerry Cady (story by Joseph A. Fields) CAM Frank L. Redman ED Theron Warth MUS Roy Webb CAST Jimmy Lydon, Joan Brodel (Wendy Conway), Arthur Hohl, J. M. Kerrigan, Marjorie Main, Selmer Jackson

HIGH SCHOOL (1940) DIR George Nichols, Jr. SCR Jack Jungmeyer, Edith Skouras, Harold Tarshis CAM Lucien Androit ED Harry Reynolds MUS Samuel Kaylin CAST Jane Withers, Joe E Brown, Lloyd Corrigan, Claire Du Brey, Lynne Roberts, Joan Brodel (Patsy)

YOUNG AS YOU FEEL (1940) DIR Malcolm St. Clair SCR Joseph Hoffman, Stanley Rauh (play by Lewis Beach) CAM Charles Clarke ED Harry Reynolds MUS Samuel Kaylin CAST Jed Prouty, Spring Byington, Joan Valerie, Russell Gleason, Ken Howell, Joan Brodel

STAR DUST (1940) DIR Walter Lang SCR Robert Ellis, Helen Logan (story by Jesse Malo, Keneth Earl, Ivan Kahn) CAM Peverell Marley ED Robert Simpson MUS David Buttolph CAST Linda Darnell, John Payne, Roland Young, Charlotte Greenwood, William Gargan, Mary Brodel, Joan Brodel (College Girls)

MILITARY ACADEMY (1940) DIR D. Ross Lederman PROD Wallace MacDonald SCR Karl Brown, David Silverstein (story by Richard English) CAM Allen G. Siegler ED Gene Milford CAST Tommy Kelly, Bobby Jordan, David Holt, Jackie Searl, Don Beddoe, Joan Brodel (Marjorie Blake)

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940) DIR Alfred Hitchcock SCR Joan Harrison, Charles Bennett CAM Rudolph Maté ED Dorothy Spencer MUS Alfred Newman CAST Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Basserman, Joan Brodel (Jones’s sister)

LADDIE (1940) DIR Jack Hively PROD Cliff Reid SCR Bert Granet, Jerry Cady (novel by Gene Stratton-Porter) CAM Harry Wild ED George Hively MUS Roy Webb CAST Tim Holt, Virginia Gilmore, Joan Carroll, Spring Byington, Robert Barrat, Joan Brodel (Shelley Stanton)

HIGH SIERRA (1941) DIR Raoul Walsh SCR John Huston, W. R. Burnett (novel by W. R. Burnett) CAM Tony Gaudio ED Jack Killifer MUS Arthur Lange CAST Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy, Joan Leslie (Velma), Henry Hull

THE GREAT MR. NOBODY (1941) DIR Ben Stoloff SCR Ben Markson, Kenneth Gamet (story by Harold Titus) CAM Arthur Todd ED Rudi Fehr MUS Adolph Deutsch CAST Eddie Albert, Joan Leslie (Mary), Alan Hale, William Lundigan, John Titel, Charles Trowbridge

THE WAGONS ROLL AT NIGHT (1941) DIR Ray Enright SCR Barry Trivers, Fred Niblo, Jr. (novel by Francis Wallace) CAM Sid Hickox ED Frederick Richards MUS Heinz Roemheld CAST Humphrey Bogart, Sylvia Sidney, Eddie Albert, Joan Leslie (Mary Coster), Sig Rumann, Cliff Clark

THIEVES FALL OUT (1941) DIR Ray Enright SCR Charles Grayson, Ben Markson (play by Irving Gaumont, Jack Sobel) CAM Sid Hickox ED Clarence Kolster MUS Heinz Roemheld CAST Eddie Albert, Joan Leslie (Mary Matthews), Jane Darwell, Alan Hale, William T. Orr, John Litel

SERGEANT YORK (1941) DIR Howard Hawks PROD Jesse L. Lasky, Hal B Wallis SCR Abem Finkel, Harry Chandlee, Howard Koch, John Huston CAM Sol Polito ED William Holmes MUS Max Steiner CAST Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie (Gracie Williams), George Tobias, Stanley Ridges, Margaret Wycherly

THE MALE ANIMAL (1942) DIR Elliott Nugent PROD Hal B. Wallis SCR Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein (play by Elliott Nugent, James Thurber) CAM Arthur Edeson ED Thomas Richards MUS Heinz Roemheld CAST Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, Jack Carson, Joan Leslie (Patricia Stanley), Eugene Pallette, Herbert Anderson

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) DIR Michael Curtiz PROD Jack L. Warner SCR Robert Buckner, Edmund Joseph (story by Robert Buckner) CAM James Wong Howe ED George Amy MUS Leo F. Forbstein CAST James, Joan Leslie (Mary), Walter Huston, Richard Whorf, George Tobias, Irene Manning

THE HARD WAY (1942) DIR Vincent Sherman PROD Jerry Wald SCR Daniel Fuchs, Peter Viertel CAM James Wong Howe ED Don Siegel MUS Heinz Roemheld CAST Ida Lupino, Joan Leslie (Katherine Chernen), Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, Gladys George, Faye Emerson

THIS IS THE ARMY (1943) DIR Michael Curtiz PROD Jack L. Warner, Hal B. Wallis SCR Casey Robinson, Capt Claude Binyon CAM Bert Glennon ED George Amy MUS Irving Berlin CAST George Murphy, Joan Leslie (Eileen Dibble), George Tobias, Alan Hale, Charles Butterworth, Dolores Costello

THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS (1943) DIR David Butler PROD Mark Hellinger SCR Norman Panama, Melvin Frank, James V. Kern (story by Everett Freeman, Arthur Schwartz) CAM Arthur Edeson ED Irene Morra MUS Heinz Roemheld CAST Joan Leslie (Pat Dixton), Humphrey Bogart, Eddie Cantor, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Dennis Morgan, Ann Sheridan, Dinah Shore, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale, George Tobias, Edward Everett Horton, S.Z. Sakall

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT (1943) DIR Edward H. Griffith PROD David Hempstead SCR Frank Fenton, Lynn Root CAM Russell Metty ED Roland Gross MUS Leigh Harline CAST Fred Astaire), Joan Leslie (Joan Manion), Robert Benchley, Robert Ryan, Elizabeth Patterson, Marjorie Gateson

HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN (1944) DIR – SCR Delmer Daves PROD Walter Gottlieb CAM Bert Glennon ED Christian Nyby MUS Leo F. Forbstein Running time 124 min CAST Robert Hutton, Joan Leslie (Herself), The Andrews Sisters, Jack Benny, Joe E. Brown, Eddie Cantor, Jack Carson, Dane Clark, Joan Crawford, Helmut Dantine, Bette Davis, John Garfield, Sydney Greenstreet, Alan Hale, Paul Henreid, Peter Lorre, Ida Lupino, Dennis Morgan, Janis Paige, Eleanor Parker, Joyce Reynolds, Roy Rogers, S.Z. Sakall, Jane Wyman, Diana Barrymore, Julie Bishop, Dorothy Malone

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? (1945) DIR Gregory Ratoff PROD William Perlberg SCR Morrie Ryskind (story by Morrie Ryskind, Sig Hersig) CAM Leon Shamroy ED J. Watson Webb MUS David Raskin CAST Fred MacMurray, Joan Leslie (Sally), June Haver, Gene Sheldon, Anthony Quinn, Carlos Ramirez

RHAPOSODY IN BLUE (1945) DIR Irving Rapper PROD Jesse L. Lasky SCR Howard Koch, Elliot Paul (story by Sonya Levien) CAM Sol Polito, Merritt Gerstad, Ernest Haller, James Leicester, Roy Davidson, Willard Van Enger ED Folmer Blangsted MUS George Gershwin CAST Robert Alda, Joan Leslie (Julie Adams), Alexis Smith, Charles Coburn, Julie Bishop, Albert Basserman

TOO YOUNG TO KNOW (1945) DIR Frederick De Cordova PROD William Jacobs SCR Joe Pagano (story by Harlan Ware) CAM Carl Guthrie ED Folmer Blangsted MUS H. Roemheld CAST Joan Leslie (Sally Sawyer), Robert Hutton, Dolores Moran, Harry Davenport, Rosemary De Camp, Barbara Brown

CINDERELLA JONES (1946) DIR Busby Berkeley PROD Alex Gottlieb SCR Charles Hoffman (story by Philip Wylle) CAM Sol Polito ED George Amy MUS Frederick Hollander CAST Joan Leslie (Judy Jones), Robert Alda, S. Z. Sakall, Edward Everett Horton, Julie Bishop, William Prince

JANIE GETS MARRIED (1946) DIR Vincent Sherman PROD Alex Gottlieb SCR Agnes Christine Johnston (characters created by Josephine Bentham, Herschel V. Williams, Jr. in the stage play ‘Janie’) CAM Carl Guthrie ED Christian Nyby MUS Frederick Hollander CAST Joan Leslie (Janie), Robert Hutton, Edward Arnold, Ann Harding, Dorothy Malone, Hattie McDaniel

TWO GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE (1946) DIR David Butler PROD Alex Gottlieb SCR Charles Hoffman, I. A. L. Diamond CAM Arthur Edeson ED Irene Morra MUS Leonid Raab CAST Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, Joan Leslie (Connie Reed), Janis Paige, S. Z. Sakall, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart

REPEAT PERFORMANCES (1947) DIR Alfred Werker PROD Aubrey Schenck SCR Walter Bullock (novel by William O’Farrell) CAM Lew W. O’Connell ED Louis H Sackin MUS George Antheil CAST Louis Hayward, Joan Leslie (Sheila Page), Richard Basehart, Virginia Field, Tom Conway, Natalie Schafer

NORTHWEST STAMPEDE (1948) DIR – PROD Albert S. Rogell SCR Art Arthur, Lillie Hayward (also story, suggested by ‘Wild Horse Roundup’ by Jean Muir) CAM John W. Boyle ED Philip Cahn MUS Paul Sawtell CAST Joan Leslie (Chris Johnson), James Craig, Jack Oakie, Chill Wills, Victor Kilian, Stanley Andrews

THE SKIPPER SURPRISED HIS WIFE (1950) DIR Elliott Nugent PROD William H. Wright SCR Dorothy Kingsley (based on an article by Commander W. J. Lederer) CAM Harold Lipstein ED Irvine Warburton MUS Bronislau Kaper CAST Robert Walker, Joan Leslie (Daphne Lattimer), Edward Arnold), Spring Byington, Leon Ames, Jan Sterling

BORN TO BE BAD (1950) DIR Nicholas Ray PROD Robert Sparks SCR Edith Sommer (novel by Anne Parrish) CAM Nicholas Musuraca ED Frederic Knudtson MUS Frederick Hollander CAST Joan Fontaine, Robert Ryan, Zachary Scott, Joan Leslie (Donna), Mel Ferrer, Harold Vermilyea

MAN IN THE SADDLE (1951) DIR – PROD William Berke SCR Richard Landau, Dwight Babcock (story by Rupert Hughes) CAM Jack Greenhalgh ED Phil Cahn MUS Darrell Calker CAST Randolph Scott, Joan Leslie (Laure Bidwell), Ellen Drew, Alexander Knox, Richard Rober, John Russell

HELLGATE (1952) DIR Charles Marquis Warren PROD John C. Champion SCR Charles Marquis Warren (story by Charles Marquis Warren, John C. Champion) CAM Ernest W Miller ED Elmo Williams MUS Paul Dunlap CAST Sterling Hayden, Joan Leslie (Ellen Hanley), Ward Bond, Jim Arness, Marshall Bradford, Peter Coe

THE TOUGHEST MAN IN ARIZONA (1952) DIR R. G. Springsteen PROD Sidney Picker SCR John K. Butler CAM Reggie Lanning ED Richard L. Van Enger MUS R. Dale Butts CAST Vaughn Monroe, Joan Leslie (Mary Kimber), Edgar Buchanan, Victor Jory, Jean Parker, Henry Morgan

THE WOMAN THEY ALMOST LYNCHED (1953) DIR Allan Dwan PROD Herbert J. Yates SCR Steve Fisher (story by Michael Fessier) CAM Reggie Lanning ED Fred Allen MUS Stanley Wilson CAST John Lund, Brian Donlevy, Audrey Totter, Joan Leslie (Sally Maris), Ben Cooper, James Brown

FLIGHT NURSE (Republic, 1953) DIR Allan Dwan PROD Herbert J. Yates SCR Alan Le May CAM Reggie Lanning ED FrED Allen MUS Victor Young CAST Joan Leslie (Lt Polly Davis), Forrest Tucker, Arthur Franz, Jeff Donnell, Ben Cooper, James Holden

JUBILEE TRAIL (1954) DIR – PROD Joseph Kane SCR Bruce Manning (novel by Gwen Bristow) CAM Jack Marta ED Richard L. Van Enger MUS Victor Young CAST Vera Ralston, Joan Leslie (Garnet), Forrest Tucker, John Russell, Ray Middleton, Pat O’Brien

HELL’S OUTPOST (1955) DIR – PROD Joseph Kane SCR Kenneth Gamet (novel by Luke Short) CAM Jack Marta ED Richard L. Van Enger MUS R. Dale Butts CAST Rod Cameron, Joan Leslie (Sarah Moffit), John Russell, Chill Wills, Jim Davis, Kristine Miller

THE REVOLT OF MAMIE STOVER (1956) DIR Raoul Walsh PROD Buddy Adler SCR Sydney Boehm (novel by William Bradford Huie) CAM Leo Tover ED Louis Loeffler MUS Hugo Friedhofer CAST Jane Russell, Richard Egan, Joan Leslie (Annalee), Agnes Moorehead, Jorja Curtright, Michael Pate

TV MOVIES

THE KEEGANS (1976) DIR John Badham CAST Adam Roarke, Spencer Mulligan, Heather Menzies, Tom Clany, Joan Leslie (Mary Keegan), Priscilla Pointer

CHARLEY HANNAH (1986) DIR Peter H. Hunt CAST Robert Conrad, Shane Conrad, Joan Leslie (Sandy Hannah), Red West

TURN BACK THE CLOCK (1989) DIR Larry Elikann CAST Connie Sellecca, David Dukes, Gene Barry, Joan Leslie (Party Guest)

FIRE IN THE DARK (1991) DIR David Hugh Jones CAST Olympia Dukakis, Lindsay Wagner, Jean Stapleton, Joan Leslie (Ruthie), Edward Herrmann