Geneva Mitchell Profile

Geneva Mitchell
Geneva Mitchell
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3 February 08 is born in Medarysville, Indiana. Her mother, Verna Ethel Mitchell, will be a Ziegfeld showgirl in 1917-1918/1918-1919. She has an older brother, Clifford.
12 July – 28 August 20 the blue-eyed brunette begins a run in the musical comedy The Girl in the Spotlight at the Knickerbocker Theater in New York. Also in the cast are Hal Skelly, Eddie Dowling, Nat Carr, and Mary Milburn.
27 September 20 The Girl in the Spotlight is presented in Boston at the Tremont Theatre with the composer, Victor Herbert, in the composer’s chair
2-4 December 20 travels with the The Girl in the Spotlight to Indianapolis, where it will play at the English Theater
1 February 21 is hired by Ziegfeld for his Midnight Frolic
21 June – 1 October 21 performs in Ziegfeld Follies of 1921
Early 22 is understudy to Marilyn Miller in Sally
5 March 22 elopes with Robert S. Savage, 21, currently a student at Milford Academy School, having dropped out of Yale in February because of an entrance condition that made him ineligible for athletics. The service is performed by Reverend Leslie Briggs in the parsonage of the First Congregational Church in Milford, Connecticut. The groom is attended by a fellow student, Wallace Cornell Works of Milford; the bride, by fellow Ziegfeld chorus girl Lillian Avers. She gives her age as 17. The groom, a former resident of Bridgeport, says he will finish his education; she returns to the Follies.
fellow students say Savage has the penchant for writing poetry and is often called “The Wild West” poet by them
9 March 22 her husband invites the press to his Biltmore Hotel suite for an interview: “Boys, I’m married.” While he is talking to reporters, she darts into the room, shakes her bobbed hair, giggles and runs out when she realizes what is going on.
“It began when Frolic opened. It was in the pogo stick race. Geneva was wearing a Y on her sweater, and that night she won. I went again the next night, and she slipped or something. Anyway, she lost, and I felt terribly sorry for her — you understand. I was with some friends who knew her, and so I met her."
With extraordinary broad shoulders, backed up against a door in a hotel room lavishly ornamented with pictures of her, he continues: "Since then I've been to Sally 12 times and 10 times to the Frolic. I’m still going. You can tell the world that I'm crazy about that girl,” pointing to a life-size enlargement of a photograph of her that was taken by Edward Thayer Monroe. He calls the photo his Madonna, and he sent a copy to his mother in California. On a dresser are reams of proof from a Bridgeport publisher who is bringing out this month a volume of the youthful bridegroom’s verse to be entitled The First Road’s Turning, alluding to his March 23 birthday when he turns 21. Included are poems of Culver Military Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, the Milford School, Yale, ranch life in Texas, and poems of golden tresses and raven locks.
Savage’s father, a millionaire steel manufacturer, died 10 years ago. He founded John A. Savage Company in Duluth, Minnesota. The firm is now headed by John A. Jr. Another brother, William D., former fullback/quarterback on Ted Coy’s famous Yale team, is currently in the firm of Guggenheim Brothers, 120 Broadway. Brother Joseph F. Savage, of Cincinnati, is vice president of the family firm. Mrs. Savage, the mother, is at her winter home in La Jolla, California, with her two daughters, Helen and Alice. A third daughter, Mary, was married a year ago in Paris and lives there. The family, until a few years ago occupied an apartment at 450 Riverside Drive.
Savage says he is awaiting word from his mother as to her attitude toward his marriage. If Mother approves, it’s back to school and athletics for him, and for his bride, the stage. If Mum does not approve, he does not know what he’ll do.
"You know how it is," the poet and athlete explained apologetically. "Most people think you're crazy if you marry a Follies girl. Mother is not well, and the only thing bothering me is how she'll take it. I’ve been in touch with my brothers and they say they'll stick by me. We were brought up so strictly — well, I'm sending mother this picture and I think it'll be all right when she sees it." He picked from the dresser an almost Quaker-like, demure, photograph of his bride. Across the top in a childishly round script were the words: "To my dear husband Bob."
"She made me promise," Savage confessed, "that I wouldn't let the family interfere with her career. She's to keep right on. I don't like it, but she wants to. I want to go back to school and go to college. The family's having a conclave now. I'll do whatever they decide."
her husband continues to court the press: "Geneva Mitchell is her real name and her stage name, and she is the most wonderful girl that could possibly be. Her real age and her stage age is 17. She has been on the stage two years, first in the Follies, then in Sally and now in the Frolic. You can see from the stubs that I go to the Frolic every time I can. It's been only ten times so far and I can't go tonight. But you can tell anybody who might want to see me that I'll be there Saturday night sure.”
"We've known each other about five months. We met after the theatre one night. I've seen her 12 times in Sally and 10 times—but I told you that. I know there is a prejudice against the stage, but I can't see where I've done anything wrong, marrying the girl I love better than anything in the world. And I know my folks are going to do the right thing."
12 March 22 Savage’s mother refuses her approval of the marriage
14 March 22 her grandfather, S.W. Rice, says that her mother would probably start action to have the marriage annulled because both are underage. Rice also confirmed a report that the couple separated last Saturday night and the next day Savage started for La Juanita, California. "It's a mystery to us why Geneva ever married,” said Mr. Rice. "The day after they were married, an uncle of hers accompanied her to young Savage's apartment in his hotel for dinner where she told him she didn't think she cared enough for him to live with him.” Savage saw her back to her grandfather’s apartment, where she has been making her home since the marriage, and when they reached the door she gave him back the wedding ring, declaring she didn’t want it any longer.
“When she went up to Milford she merely told me she was going up for a visit. I did not know she was going to get married. She has stayed here at home ever since the wedding. We are dreadfully upset to hear about it because of her youth and not knowing her own mind and her mother hurried on from Chicago as soon as she heard the news.
“When Geneva told us about it, I told her, ‘If you love him, stick to him,’ but she said she didn’t even like him and wanted to be free.”
Savage’s brother Edward lives next door to her and her grandfather. It has been reported Edward is paying for his brother’s education and allowance. Maybe the disruption of that sent him West.
15 March 22 her mother says: “Geneva is too young to know her own mind. She hasn’t decided yet what she will do or what she wants to do. If she has decided she has made a mistake, I will take steps to have the marriage annulled. I believe that can be done. Besides, my daughter and young Savage are under age. We probably will decide on our action today. I think she married before she knew what she was doing.”
she says: “Yes, I gave the wedding ring back to my husband. I don’t know why. I don’t know if I love him well enough to stay married to him. Mother, grandfather, a lawyer and I are going to talk over the entire matter as soon as I have time to think it all over. Then we will decide what is best to be done.”
16 March 22 says the next time she marries, it will be for love and she will take her mother into her confidence—and the engagement will be at least one hear. Millionaires are not necessarily barred.
21 March 22 she only wants her freedom, not his millions
28 March 22 her lawyer, Henry M. Showers, of 52 Broadway, is drawing up the papers. Savage’s mother threatens to disown him. His lawyer is Emery R. Buckner of Root, Clarke, Buckner and Howard.
May 22 resides with her grandfather at 307 West 98th Street
30 May 22 is fired from Sally. She retains Max Halperin as counsel in connection with newspaper stories about a party in Boston two weeks ago at which, it was said, two girls of The Last Waltz company were beaten and mistreated by men in the party. She says she is going to present the case first to Ziegfeld and ask that she be reinstated in her place in the chorus and that following her interview with the producer she would decide upon what legal action she would take.
She rented the house from Benjamin Kabatzinck, Boston art dealer and friend of Marilyn Miller. He leases his home to visiting theatrical celebrities when Sally comes to Boston.
She said false reports of the party presented her in an unfavorable light. The only disturbance at the party according to her was when one of the girls, who had been drinking, became hysterical and made such a disturbance that she had to be gagged with a handkerchief and carried to a taxicab. The car to which she was taken turned out to be a private car and two men drove off with her and a companion. The first thing they knew about any trouble was the next day when a police inspector came to ask what had happened. Then she heard that the two girls had been taken to a hospital. She told the inspector what had happened and he was “perfectly satisfied with our story.”
She denied that she wore pajamas at the party. “It was a Japanese sort of thing, which I had worn to the costume ball at the Copley Plaza a few days before.”
7 October 22 brings suit in Supreme Court for annulment. She gives her age at the time of marriage as 17 years, 1 month, and 2 days and asks for the annulment on grounds that the ceremony was performed upon misrepresentation and she was not old enough o marry with out her mother’s consent. She and her mother appear before Justice Tierney. Her attorney presents a letter written to her by Savage in school stating that he had procured a license and had sworn “lies to all answers requiring lies, and it doesn't matter in the long run, because once the local minister seals our hands Sunday, no one can ever separate us without our consent." She and her mother give their address as 9 Pomander Walk.
She says: “We’ve been separated so long. I guess it’s better to have our marriage annulled. I guess that’s what I want.”
1 January 23 photographed in Alaskan garb of a man of the North, Robert Savage returns to New York. Following his blighted romance, he went to Alaska for a time. His fortune of $25,000 had been spent along Broadway in three days, and his family had declined to aid him. Cured of his money madness, he is determined to make his own way in the world.
7 January 23 Savage is now in Hollywood looking for job in pictures
23 January 23 the day before her annulment, she outlines the type of lover who approaches the chorus girl’s ideal. Cake-eaters have been crossed off the lists in the dressing rooms, and instead, she says, were the names of bright young fellows from the provinces—ambitious country boys who come to the city to carve big futures for themselves. “The city boy throws on the dog and is a good meal ticket when he has it. He will spend his last nickel for a taxicab or for a package of flowers and then borrow two-bits from a friend to buy himself a hot-beef sandwich. Then too, he lacks ambition—his one thought is pleasure. He may be good while he lasts, but lacks the physical sturdiness. He is pale, anemic and baldheaded at 30. He fails to sleep before midnight. Chorus girls are not the mercenary creatures they are painted. She is giving up a millionaire for love and a career. We are just honest working girls with the same matrimonial ambitions of other girls. But we are more wise to the ways of the world than most girls. And we know the difference between a four-flusher and a dependable youth with ambition. When it comes to honest-to-goodness devotion, the country boy with big town ways wins all the time.”
10 February 23 she “didn't go to Switzerland for the winter sports,” so says the caption to the photo of her taken in a one-piece bathing suit, on ice skates, on a frozen lake in Chicago, where she braved the elements
1 October 23 after a 10-day courtship, she marries Jack Hayes, Cleveland theatrical publicity man
4 November 23 is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the Parkway Theater in the cast of A Smart Song and Dance Revue, presented by Ernest Evans and His Girls. The revue is part of a super-program that includes the film Main Street. The Parkway Concert Orchestra under the leadership of George Cervenka and the Kimball Organ played by Irene Dunk are features of every performance.
8 November 23 Ernest Evans of vaudeville note has completed the music book and lyrics for a new revue he calls Ripples of 1924, which has placed in rehearsals for a premiere on Christmas Day. The new attraction will play a short tour of the legitimate theaters and then be given a berth on Broadway. The members of the company now appearing with him in a miniature Ripples at the Parkway Theater will be prominently cast. The delightful soprano voice of Emily Clark will share prominently in the piece as will the graceful dancing of Geneva Mitchell
7 June 26 her ex-husband Robert Savage slashes his wrists over Clara Bow. Last week the two went to get a marriage license but arrive too late. Later Bow says she made the trip with Savage just to humor him. Bow says Savage is “a very nice boy—just a little impulsive and a trifle too temperamental. About all I can say of Savage is that as a lover he is a very good poet.”
Savage says that to this day wherever he goes he is continually searching the faces of the pretty women he sees for some signs of a resemblance to his beloved Geneva. It was because he thought he saw such a resemblance in Clara Bow that he became so enamored of the film actress. Mr. Savage got his first glimpse of Clara Bow's piquant face when he saw her on the screen at a movie theater. He turned to the college chums who sat beside him and exclaimed: "That's the girl of my dreams! She's another Geneva Mitchell—and I'm going to marry her." When his friends looked and laughed their incredulity at this statement, he snaps back at them with this: "You don't believe it? Well, I'll tell you what I'll do just to make it a sporting proposition—I'll bet you $100 that I can win her promise to marry me within a week after our first meeting."
The next morning Savage boarded a train bound for Hollywood. His friend, Frank Gay, the motion picture director, was at the station to meet him and through Gay's help he quickly arranged for an introduction to Clara Bow. And then the love race that Mr. Savage thought could be triumphantly ended within a week was on. The fact that Miss Bow was reported engaged to Gilbert Roland, the film actor, did not bother Savage in the least. This was to be a courtship that would leave all other contenders gasping for breath, no matter how secure the hold any one of them might have on the movie star's heart.
12 December 26 Louella Parsons spots her stepping out at the Club New Yorker with actor/director Lowell Sherman
25 January – 14 May 27 is on Broadway in the musical comedy Yours Truly
22 November 27 – 19 May 28 appears on Broadway in the musical comedy Take the Air
10 September 28 plays the ingénue lead opposite Will Mahoney in Gene Buck’s musical comedy, Take the Air, which starts its second season at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. It is now in rehearsal after a layoff since May, when it ended thirty-one weeks' run in New York. Earlier, she replaced Louise Brooks in Yours Truly.
29 September 29 is in Hollywood and will star in the Richard Barthelmess film Son of the Gods, to be filmed partly in Technicolor
1 October 29 she, Ruth Metzger, and Janet Chandler are under contract at Warner Brothers. The trio, wearing bathing suits, is photographed turning the first shovel of earth for the new swimming pool at the El Vaquero Saddle Club, where they are members.
13 November 29 Louella Parsons sights her, Alberta Vaughn, and Mrs. Cecil de Mille lunching at the Town House
8 April 30 says she favors strong, silent men. The "hey-hey" and "let's make whoopee" type she regards with marked disfavor.
6 May 30 "It used to be every chorus girls ambition to get into the Follies," says she. "Now, every Follies girl wants a chance to be in pictures."
29 October 30 Clara Bow, by a straight run of three, wins the billiard championship at Paramount Studios. Runners up are Charlie Ruggles, Geneva Mitchell, and Rosita Moreno. The games were played between scenes of Bow’s current film, Her Wedding Night.
29 November 31 always thinks that the next year will be better than the current one. She is just about to embark on her 4th year in Hollywood. "I can't see any reason for taking a pessimistic look on life no matter what happens. I think I have had my share of tough breaks during the last three years— and a few good ones. But I have never let it get me down when things weren't going right. Every job I ever have gone after has been with all the confidence in the world. And believe me, that helps a lot. If a director sees that you really expect a certain part, the chances are pretty much in your favor if you are at all suited to it. Of course, that doesn't always hold, but who wants to get every job she goes after? We wouldn't have any time to rest if we were that lucky."
There is a long-term contact awaiting her any time she gets ready to put her name on it. Mack Sennett, who still is a pretty good judge of feminine screen possibilities, saw her a few weeks ago and signed her for the feminine lead in one of his comedies. And she did so well that he has offered her a long-term contract. But she can't make up her mind whether she wants to follow a dramatic or comedy career. She always has leaned toward drama in the past.
18 June 32 renewed activity of racketeer-kidnapers directed against residents of the motion picture colony were revealed today by her. She notified police she believed her brother, Clifford R. Mitchell, 23, had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom. She said her brother had disappeared mysteriously last Saturday, and that he had telephoned Monday two days after his disappearance that he was being held captive and would be killed unless she paid money for his release. "My brother told me that he had no money and that he was being held captive and would be "taken for a ride" until I gave his kidnapers some cash. He didn't name any amount. That's the last I heard from him or of him." Some of her friends said they had received anonymous telephone calls with the information that Mitchell would be released when his ransom was paid.
31 July 32 guests at the Frolics last Saturday night were treated to a little free entertainment. Helene Costello, looking very lovely and accompanied by John Barrymore Colt and Mary Duncan, took a table at the Frolics. A few minutes later Lowell Sherman with Geneva Mitchell in tow sat down at the very next table. Helene took one look at her former husband and called over the head waiter. "Kindly give us another table," she asked, before Mr. Sherman could catch his breath. The management, embarrassed, was unable to find another table. Finally, the head waiter prevailed upon another party to change places with Miss Costello.
24 January 33 is expected to become Lowell Sherman’s fourth wife
13 February 33 accompanies Sherman to Sebastian’s Cotton Club
23 May 33 she and Lowell Sherman are still that way about each other. They were glimpsed having a tete a tete supper at Sardi's at 1 a.m.
3 November 33 is attendance to hear Gus Arnheim and his band play to a mob at the Beverly Wilshire. She’s with Lowell Sherman and a bad case of laryngitis.
17 November 33 lunches with Sherman at the Brown Derby
18 January 34 Louella reports: “Sally Blane, all done up in orchids, celebrating Russ Columbo's birthday with him at the Beverly Wilshire; Spencer Tracy, Loretta Young, Lowell Sherman and his current flame, Geneva Mitchell, with the John Waynes at the birthday celebration.”
19 February 34 is out with Lowell Sherman again, this time at the Gold Room at Beverly Wilshire
10 May 34 gives a beauty hint to newspaper readers: “I prefer this treatment to any powder base: Moisten the nose slightly with warm water and gently massage it with one finger until it is nearly dry—then apply the powder. This is quite a delicate process, for if the skin is a bit too moist there are splotches of powder, and if too dry, the powder comes off. But if successfully done, the result is pleasing.”
June 34 signs with Columbia
3 August 34 Forgetting the newest romances and divorces, filmland gossips can talk of nothing but the dramatic slaying of John Dillinger. Discussion of the case on a Columbia studio set brought a curious revelation from her. She displayed an almost obliterated scar on her arm and confided it was an old bullet wound. Seems as she lived in Chicago during her girlhood. Playing on the street one day, she had the bad luck to get right in the middle of an attempted assassination of Joe Colosimo, old-time underworld biggie. As so often happens to innocent bystanders, she stopped one of the bullets.
30 August 34 is photographed with a pitchfork that is really a mulberry tree in disguise. It is used at perfume factories for pitching roses from wagons. The implement comes from a French nursery where the trees are grown, cut and peeled, tied into this shape and then dried in an oven to temper the wood.
15 October 34 rumors that she and Lowell Sherman were married secretly were denied today by both
5 November 34 demonstrates reducing exercises for the abdomen for the Lois Leeds column
29 December 34 Lowell Sherman dies at age 47. He suffered for the past year from laryngitis, which all but robbed him of his voice. He suddenly was taken seriously ill yesterday and was rushed to the hospital from the Pathe studio, where he was directing an all-color picture. His physician, Dr. C. D. Cass, said the actor-director's resistance was so low that when he contracted pneumonia; death came quickly.
1 January 35 Louella writes: “The sympathy of all of Hollywood goes out to Lowell Sherman's mother, whose devotion to him is one of Hollywood's famous stories. Lowell married three times and on each occasion came home to live with his mother who had made him so comfortable and who had understood him so well he missed her. I asked him a few weeks ago if there was any truth in the report that he and Geneva Mitchell were planning to elope. ‘No truth,’ he said, ‘although Geneva is a grand girl, I don't believe I shall marry again. Mother makes me too comfortable.’ Sympathy also goes out to Geneva, who was devoted to Lowell up to the moment of his sad and unexpected death.”
6 January 35 attending the opening of the new Santa Anita race track, she wears a newly created style that matches the surroundings of her favorite sport, horse racing. Her jockey hat is black and white with an elongated bill, worn smartly over one eye. The trim is in black patent leather with a tuft of the same material decorating the top.
35 takes the witness stand on behalf of the late Lowell Sherman’s business manager in a suit against the Sherman estate. The resulting hullabaloo barely dies down when she is back in court, this time accused of forcing her agent, George H. Talbot, into duping the authorities with a publicity hoax. Reportedly, Talbot had concocted a false holdup stunt merely to get his client into the newspapers. The unfortunate agent was sentenced to pay a fine or spend 100 days in jail and although Mitchell herself was acquitted for lack of evidence, the judge pointedly suggested that she pay Talbot's fine.
17 October 35 returns to Hollywood from Yuma, where she married financier Harry J. Bryant. The honeymoon was postponed because she is due to begin work on new picture
20 October 35 "It's just black, sticky gum. But, oh, what damage it could do to your car," so says G. F. Olsen, manager process laboratories of General Petroleum Corporation, to her, feature player of Columbia Pictures production Gobs of Trouble. She and other Columbia players, pay a visit to one of the big refineries where Mobilgas is produced, and they learn a lot of interesting things about modern, high-grade gasoline as applied to motor cars.
16 September 40 poses again for the popular Lois Leeds column, with exercise being the subject
46 makes her last film, a short. She retires due to health problems.
12 March 49 dies at her home in Inglewood, California. Funeral services are set for Monday.
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