Thursday, October 15, 2015
R.I.P. Joan Leslie - The Girl Next Door
he expected Joan’s private life to be just as sweet and squeaky clean as her screen persona. And then when she had the nerve to defy him, he, in effect, grounded her—by making sure that no other studio would hire her. Joan ultimately got the last laugh by leaving show business in the 1950s and enjoying a successful marriage.
Joan’s hard work paid off with her first leading lady role in "The Great Mr. Nobody" (1941), an amusing B co-starring Eddie Albert as an accident-prone reporter. Warners thought they worked so well together that they were paired up two more times, in "The Wagons Roll at Night" (1941) and "Thieves Fall Out" (1941).
Also successful was "The Male Animal" (1942), the film version of James Thurber’s topical stage comedy that used football and campus politics to parody government. Joan played Olivia de Havilland’s kid sister whose biggest concern is keeping a hulking quarterback (Don DeFore) away from the campus vamp, nicknamed “Hot Garters.” Joan’s role was small and undemanding.