Hold That Ghost

1941

Two bumbling service station attendants are left as the sole beneficiaries in a gangster's will. Their trip to claim their fortune is sidetracked when they are stranded in a haunted house along with several other strangers.

Cast:
Bud Abbott .... Chuck Murray
Lou Costello .... Ferdinand 'Ferdie' Jones
Richard Carlson .... Dr. Duncan 'Doc' Jackson
Joan Davis .... Camille Brewster
Mischa Auer .... Gregory (head waiter)
Evelyn Ankers .... Norma Lind
Marc Lawrence .... Charlie Smith
Shemp Howard .... Soda jerk
Russell Hicks .... Bannister (Moose's lawyer)
William B. Davidson .... Sidney 'Moose' Matson
Ted Lewis .... Himself
Laverne Andrews .... Herself
Maxene Andrews .... Herself
Patty Andrews .... Herself
Jeanne Blanche .... Pretty girl
Madge Crane .... Mrs. Giltedge
Edgar Dearing .... Irondome (fake detective)
Thurston Hall .... Alderman Birch
Harry Hayden .... Jenkins (druggist)
Hans Herbert .... Mobster
Kay Kay and Katya .... Themselves
Joseph La Cava .... Little Fink
Ted Lewis' Orchestra .... Themselves
Nestor Paiva .... Glum (gangster)
Milton Parsons .... Harry Hoskins (tour bus driver)
Edward Pawley .... High Collar (gangster)
Frank Richards .... Gunman
William Ruhl .... Gas station customer
Janet Shaw .... Alderman's girl
Don Terry .... Strangler

Joan Davis

Born Madonna Josephine Davis in Minnesota on June 29, 1907. Comedienne Joan Davis was the daughter of a Minnesota-based train dispatcher. Joan Davis began her show business career in vaudeville at age 3, singing and dancing at summer camps, amusement parks, and small-time vaudeville houses. By the late 1920s (with the acceptance of "talkies"), vaudeville was beginning to perish. In the summer of 1931, Davis married vaudeville veteran 'straight man' Si Wills, with whom she had become a comedy act; two years later their daughter Beverly was born. By the mid 1930s, Davis made her way to California in an attempt to break into films. She was almost immediately successful, securing a role in the Mack Sennett short Way Up Thar in 1935 co-starring several members of Buster Keaton's family. This led to her first feature film, Millions in the Air (1935). Without much success at RKO, Joan and her husband returned to vaudeville; she was rediscovered for pictures by 20th Century-Fox's Darryl F. Zanuck, who cast Joan in raucous Martha Raye-like slapstick roles in such films as Sonja Henie's Thin Ice (1937), the Ritz Bros.' Kentucky Moonshine (1938) and Alice Faye's Tail Spin (1939). In 1941, she became a regular on Rudy Vallee's radio program, and was memorably co-starred with Abbott and Costello in Hold That Ghost (1941). During the 1940s, Joan was top billed in several energetic "B" efforts like Kansas City Kitty (1944) and He Gets Her Man (1945), and was promoted to star of her own top-rated radio series for Sealtest dairy products. After her film career ended with the bottom-barrel Columbia farce Harem Girl, she switched to television. Davis started her own production company, which produced Davis's NBC comedy I Married Joan from 1952 through 1955. Somewhat surprising is that she hired ex-husband Si Wills to write for the series. Davis also cast her daughter Beverly Wills in the role of Joan's younger sister. After I Married Joan left the air in 1955, the wealthy Davis more or less retired. Joan Davis died May 24, 1961 in Palm Springs, CA of a sudden heart attack at the age of 53, shortly after completing the pilot film for a new TV series. Tragically, just two years later Davis's daughter Beverly Wills fell asleep smoking a cigarette; her Palm Springs home caught fire, killing her, her two sons, and Davis's mother.

Evelyn Ankers