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Craig Reynolds Profile

Craig Reynolds
Craig Reynolds
Photo of Craig Reynolds
(Harold Hugh Enfield)
15 July 07 is born in Anaheim, California. His parents are Oscar Davenport Enfield and Leila Maybelle Goold. His brothers are Rollin Oscar (born in 1906, he will become a math teacher) and John Willoughby (born in 1913).
7 March 26 marries Jean Robertson
21 February 36 he, the lad who attracted attention a while back by taking Mary Pickford for a ride on the back of a motorcycle, is such a practical joker that actresses are afraid to work with him on a picture. Patricia Ellis, who never turned down a Warner assignment before, actually refused to go into Murder in Sing Sing unless Reynolds would sign a written agreement not to pull any gags on her during production. He did, and, in return, she has promised to give a party for him at a Hollywood nightclub when the picture is over, and to let him do his worst.
13 March 36 Glenda Farrell and Craig Reynolds have that Elinor Glint in their eyes
11 November 36 actor Craig Reynolds in a dentist’s chair with a drill in his mouth, gurgled, waved his hands, and struggled to free himself. Dr. J. Vincent Hodge, the dentist was obdurate. Reynolds gurgled again, and with a final lunge, flung off the dentist and cried: “Your coat’s burning!” The dentist’s neck was singed, and Reynolds’ hands were blistered as he beat out the blaze, which was started by the sterilizing flame.
1 December 36 he and Gertrude Niesen drove all the way to Laguna without once looking at the ocean
11 December 36 as a gag, he sent Gertrude Niesen a corsage of scallions, and then she scared him nearly to death by threatening to wear them to the Trocadero
18 December 36 Gertrude Niesen says the reports of a merger with Craig Reynolds are the unkbay. His heartbeat is Roberta Roosevelt.
19 December 36 are he and Gertrude Niesen trying to set a record or something? He has dated her every day for 5 weeks.
20 December 36 has been set for the leading role in March or Die, drama of the Spanish Foreign Legion in Morocco
17 January 37 Harry Hirshfield, newspaperman, columnist, and cartoonist, has written a story of newspaper life, Get It First, which has been purchased for the screen. Craig Reynolds will play the leading role.
25 January 37 if students in the night course in psychology at Los Angeles Junior College will examine their classmates closely, they’ll identify one as Craig Reynolds of the films
8 February 37 is up and around but lost 10 lbs. in his battle with pneumonia
14 February 37 he and Patricia Ellis will have the leading roles in The Hobo and the Heiress, which will get underway as soon as he has recovered from influenza
3 March 37 spends a day and a half spanking Ann Sheridan for comedy purposes in Footloose Heiress
13 March 37 Jimmie Fidler reports that Craig Reynolds has a swell habit of sending “get well” telegrams to ailing friends and acquaintances
26 March 37 Gertrude Niesen planed to Hollywood from Chicago for a few hours, but there wasn’t much of a reunion with Craig Reynolds because he is working in a picture at Warners. Which is a touch break, because he has ignored the other Hollywood beauties since Gertrude went away.
11 April 37 after a long series of “heels” and heavy villains, he is getting a break as a romantic lead in The Footloose Heiress, a modern comedy. “I’ve become so used to being a meanie,” he says, “that I have to watch myself in love scenes with Ann Sheridan to keep myself from snarling and grabbing her in true villain style.” Widely experienced on the stage, he was always a leading man behind the footlight, but in his first film role he did too well as a heavy and has had a hard time getting himself un-typed.
24 April 37 while women are busy introducing new hats in Hollywood, the men are busy thinking up bright remarks about them. Although Lana Turner’s black Milan is very trig with its “Follow me, Lads,” streamers, Craig Reynolds calls her Bo Peep.
6 June 37 in Jimmie Fidler’s column: “Add guys with beautiful teeth: Craig Reynolds.”
7 June 37 Harrison Carroll answers San Francisco’s Dorothy Heyers’ question in his column: Yes, Craig Reynolds was the Hugh Enfield who played with Mary Pickford in her stage production of Coquette. Only a few cities saw this.
28 June 37 blames a black eye on a spider bite
19 July 37 doesn’t look as if the Gertrude Niesen-Craig Reynolds romance is cooling—not judging by the number of presents he gave her for her birthday
29 August 37 he and actress Marian Marsh are interviewed on their opinions of marriage. When asked, “If you could choose, would you say ‘I do!’ at the age of 18 or the age of 40?” He replies: “I tried it and failed, marrying at 18, but I still believe in early marriage. When told a psychologist says that marriage is a job for people with grown-up emotions, he says earnestly, “No! It’s a matter of learning to live. I was married before I was 18. My marriage cracked up, but I still believe in early marriages. I believe it was all my own fault that we failed to make a go of the marriage. Marriage, to my mind, should be a fifty-fifty proposition. When one person tries to take the lead and to have everything his or her way, with no regard for the ideas of the other, there is bound to be a split. In my case, I was too super-sensitive. I couldn’t bear to have an argument. As a child, if my mother and father got into an argument, or if one of my parents and one of my brothers disagreed, I used to go out of the room. Even if it was a discussion that was getting a bit hot, I couldn’t stand it. So when disagreements arose after we were married, I used to give in for the sake of peace. That was wrong. We took the wrong paths, we did the wrong things, we spent too much money, all because I wouldn’t argue…Things can be discussed sensibly and an agreement fair to both sides reached. I spent most of my life dodging trouble, I thought I hated argument, and I couldn’t bear to be bothered with discussion. I wanted desperately to be liked. Suddenly I awoke to the fact that I had no friends. I wanted friends terribly, and when I realized I hadn’t anyone I could really call my friend, I decided that I had better analyze myself and find out why not. Thinking things over, I decided that my way of agreeing politely and falling in with anyone’s plans, never advancing my own ideas, never doing anything I really cared to do, hadn’t worked. After this, I told myself to do as I please, speak my own mind, and see what happens! It worked. People were much nicer to me, and I felt happier and better. The root of that was sincerity. People recognize it. You don’t fool them.” Money, he believes, breaks up many youthful marriages. “In my case,” he went on, “we had very little. I earned $100 a month at first, and then it was $150. I had married a girl I knew at high school, who was the same age, and she decided what we should do with our money. She had no experience, and I know now that I should have put my foot down, said ‘no, we can’t afford this. We must use the money for rent—or for food, or dentist’s bills, or whatever. But I didn’t. I was afraid of arguments. People who marry should work things out together. They needn’t lose their tempers and throw things at each other, but the can look at each other’s views.”
27 September 37 has two fan clubs and appreciates them. “You’ve got a bunch of friends, most of whom you’ve never seen personally, pulling for you to succeed in this business, and you’ve got no idea how this helps. Not only the goodwill angle, but the practical things they do. They write fan letters, knowing that those mean to the studio’s eyes. When a picture of yours is playing, they’ll go in a body—and afterward, they’ll talk loudly enough about your performance to be sure the exhibitor will hear them. They’re loyal, and they’ll look for ways and means of helping you get places.” One club is called “Reynolds Rumpus.” He says that the letters he gets are usually serious and intelligent criticism rather than meaningless gush. When the president of his bigger fan club came to town, he was so impressed with her intelligence the he made her his secretary. She still is.
31 December 37 look alikes to columnist Jimmie Fidler, Edger Bergen (wearing a hat) and Craig Reynolds
the 1938 Matrimonial Derby, compiled by Paul Harrison, with the entry, claiming, odds and comment appearing in order in each instance: Tyrone Power and Janet Gaynor 20-1, No wise money on this one; Same: James Stewart and Rosalind Russell 12-1, Bridle Path to bridal path?; Ken Dolan and Frances Langford 3-1, Good chance over long distance; Craig Reynolds and Gertrude Niesen 10-1, Both shy of double harness; Wayne Morris and Priscilla Lane, 500-1 Engagement announced but reeks of publicity.
18 April 38 Reynolds, whose real name is Hugh Enfield, is the first member of the famous Enfield clan not to follow a scientific career. The family threw up its hands at his choice of an acting career, as they expected him to work with his uncle who invented the Enfield rifle. Although they have become reconciled to his going on stage, they agreed not to cause trouble, provided he change his name—thus the “Reynolds.”
16 April 39 “Anything for a laugh,” he says. He’s probably Hollywood’s champion “dare-taker,” will stand on his head on Hollywood and Vine or Broadway and 42nd, climb a 350-foot water tower, pull corks out of champagne bottles with his teeth, and perform an assortment of other hair-raising stunts, just for a laugh and a bet. He has won a considerable sum of money wagering with friends that he could do a “Steve Brodie.”
September/October 40 joins the Marines
28 November 41 he played a soldier’s role in Sons o’Guns, and is now a Marine private in Iceland
2 February 43 Craig (in-the-marines) Reynolds will make his next furlough memorable by signing up to “take future orders” from actress Barbara Pepper
March 43 is sent to a San Diego, California, hospital after serving in Iceland and later with the first troops at Guadalcanal
13 April 43 the first actor to be injured in action, he is penning a screen story based on military facts collected from other current war vets
20 April 43 actress Barbara Pepper takes out a marriage license to marry him. They will have two sons, Dennis and John.
24 April 43 marries actress Barbara Pepper in Los Angeles. It is a simple ceremony. Actress Evelyn Venable is matron of honor, and her husband, cameraman Hal Mohr, is best man. It is her first marriage and his second.
44 is discharged from the Marines
16-23 January 44 he and his wife are in the cast of a modern version of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, based on D. H. Lawrence’s famous novel, a three-act comedy-drama at the Geary Theater in San Francisco. Jack Linder and William B. David, the producers, have gathered a cast headed by stage and screen stars: Charlotte Wynters; Donald Kirk; Helen Holmes; Willis Claire; Sidney Melton; and seven others. The play is spicy and fast with many comedy situations. The central characters are typically English, well-bred, and liberal in their thoughts and expressions.
1 February 44 Louella Parsons reports that RKO signed Craig Reynolds to a contract. This leads her to wonder if they will buy his unpublished book I Came Back. And come back he did…with a Purple Heart and a semi-paralyzed leg from a bomb explosion on Guadalcanal.
8 March 44 Virginia Vale reports in her Star Dust column that the first Hollywood actor to don a uniform in WWII when he enlisted in the Marine Corps in September, 1940, will return to the screen as a result of a contract signed with RKO. After serving in more than 50 engagements in the European and South Pacific theaters of war he was awarded the Purple Heart and two presidential citations. Retired as a first lieutenant after being badly wounded, he can now walk with the aid of a brace and with scarcely a trace of a limp.
17 November 44 his son Dennis Michael Enfield is born
17 February 45 he gets a break at Monogram studio. He will have a part with Kay Francis and Bruce Cabot in Divorce. If he comes up to expectations, Jeffrey Bernard will give him the male lead opposite Kay in Allotment Wives. It took him a long time to recover from his injuries suffered in action on Guadalcanal. The Marine hero received a Purple Heart.
18 June 45 he is New York-bound for a Broadway-bound play, Black Limelight. It debuts in Boston.
December 45 under his real name of Hugh Enfield, he delivers Christmas packages for the Los Angeles post office. His wife says he refuses to sit home and do nothing. Columnist Louella Parsons asks why there isn’t some place for him in films.
26 October 46 his second child, John Hugh Enfield, is born
11 January 47 Louella Parsons writes that her old friend Warner Baxter is very kind and always has been. “He said he read the story about Craig Reynolds and Barbara Pepper in the column.” “I remembered Barbara Pepper,” said Warner, “and I asked for her in my picture Crime Doctor’s Vacation.” So now Barbara, who’s had rather a bad break and so has Craig (one of our number one heroes in the war) are finding the New Year starting better. This is Barbara’s first role since the birth of her second child last October. “Here’s wishing her good luck and Warner as well, who, for my money is a right guy.”
22 January 47 Winchell reports that Craig Reynolds, the first actor to enlist (and the first to get hit with a Purple Heart) gets so few roles these days he has to take odd jobs to balance the budget
29 August 47 he gets his first break in pictures since his discharge at Republic in The Fabulous Texan. Once third in popularity on the Warner Brother lot, he took a job as an ice-man to tide him over the bumps.
21 October 47 Mickey Rooney says he doesn’t know what his next picture will be, but he would like to direct films and act in them only occasionally. He has been directing tests for his friends and says the one he did for Craig Reynolds turned out very well.
10 March 49 Louella Parsons tells that after six years of standing by and encouraging Craig, Barbara has gone back to her mother with the boys and is working in a laundry to support them. Through the years, Craig became bitter, and her life as not happy.
12 March 49 he phones columnist Louella Parsons to tell her that he makes $250 a month driving a cab, $150 of which he turns over to Barbara for child support. He said her working in a laundry is of her own volition. Barbara is suing him for divorce.
17 October 49 suffers injuries when his motor scooter collides with a motorcycle. The motorcycle, piloted by Robert Earl Smith, 23 skidded into Reynolds’ scooter when its tires caught in car tracks.
22 October 49 dies in French Hospital, Los Angeles, from injuries suffered in a traffic accident on Monday
is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, in the Great Mausoleum, Iris Terrace, Columbarium of Sanctity, niche 24215
12 July 55 there’s a Movietown heart tug in the acting debut of his son, 10-year-old Dennis Enfield, in “Sam,” a Stage Seven telefilm. “I kept him away from acting as long as I could,” says Dennis’ mother, actress Barbara Pepper. “Now it’s obvious he inherited a flair for it.”
67 his son Dennis is a college student, and son Johnny is an aircraft plane worker, who is also in the Marine reserves
29 July 05 his son John is buried next to Barbara Pepper, John’s mother
Author: Cheryl Messina
Sources:
Appleton Post-Crescent, Atchison Daily Globe, Bucks County Courier Times, Middletown Times Herald, Nevada State Journal, Portland Press Herald, Reno Evening Gazette, Statesville Daily Record, Syracuse Herald Journal, The Charleston Daily Mail, The Charleston Gazette, The Chronicle Telegram, The Daily Tribune, The Frederick Post, The Lima News, The Lowell Sun, The Monessen Daily Independent, The Oakland Tribune, The Port Arthur News, The State Journal, The Syracuse Herald, The Wellsboro Agitator, The Zanesville Signal, www.IMDb.com, www.familysearch.org, www.ancestry.com
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Filmography