The Invisible Woman

1940

Eccentric Professor Gibbs, brilliant but impractical, invents an invisibility machine and advertises for a guinea pig. What he gets is 	Kitty Carroll, an attractive, adventurous model, who thinks being invisible would help her settle a few scores. Complications arise when three comic gangsters steal the machine to use on their boss. But they fail to reckon with the Revenge of the Invisible Woman!

Cast:
Virginia Bruce .... Kitty Carroll
John Barrymore .... Professor Gibbs
John Howard .... Richard Russell
Charles Ruggles .... George
Oskar Homolka .... 'Blackie' Cole
Edward Brophy .... Bill
Donald MacBride .... Foghorn
Margaret Hamilton .... Mrs. Jackson
Shemp Howard .... Frankie/'Hammerhead'
Anne Nagel .... Jean
Kathryn Adams .... Peggy
Maria Montez .... Marie
Charles Lane .... Mr. Growley
Mary Gordon .... Mrs. Bates
Thurston Hall .... Hudson
Eddie Conrad .... Hernandez

Virginia Bruce

Helen Virginia Briggs was born on 29 September 1910 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The daughter of a golf-champion mother and insurance broker father, American actress Virginia Bruce entered films as a bit player and chorus dancer. ; The Pale-eyed blonde is easily recognizable as one of Jeanette MacDonald's ladies in waiting in The Love Parade (1929) and as a "Goldwyn Girl" (along with Betty Grable) in Whoopee (1931). She appeared in many leading Hollywood roles during the 30's to mid-40's, though often in "B" entries as well. A native of Minnesota, she grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and came to California to attend college. Was one of the 20 original 'Goldwyn Girls', along with Lucille Ball, Ann Dvorak, Paulette Goddard and Betty Grable. Her attractive blond good looks gave her an entry into films, and following a few extra roles and bit parts began to make serious inroads as a leading woman in secondary films and as the "other" woman in more prestigious productions. She married screen legend John Gilbert, then in his decline .. Subsequently she was married to director J. Walter Ruben and to Turkish producer/director 'Ali Ipar', for whom she appeared in some Turkish films all but unseen in America. Hollywood opportunities diminished as she got older but she made the most of her title role in The Invisible Woman (1941), carrying virtually her entire part in this sci-fi satire with only her voice, and she gamely withstood third billing to Abbott and Costello in Pardon My Sarong (1942); but it was clear that her starring days were numbered. Bruce enjoyed solid secondary parts in such films as Night Has 1000 Eyes (1948), and was quite effective as Kim Novak's mother in her last film, Strangers When We Meet. Virginia made a few enjoyable talk-show and stage appearances in the 1960s, but all but disappeared from the scene in the 1970s. She died 24 February 1982 in Woodland Hills, California of cancer.

Anne Nagel

see web page

Kathryn Adams

Kathryn Adams Doty was born in New Ulm, Minnesota, on15 July 1920, the daughter of Reverend Christian Hohn, pastor of that city’s German Methodist church. In 1939, she left Minnesota for a career in the movies under the name of Kathryn Adams. After leaving acting, to marry and raise three children with Hugh Beaumont of “Leave It To Beaver” fame, Kathryn Doty taught school, earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, became a licensed psychologist, and after retirement returned to her first love—writing. She has written a multicultural curriculum for the Oakwood Elementary School in Moorpark, California, and has had a number of magazine stories for children published. She returned to Minnesota in 1977, where she lives with her husband, Fred Doty. Between them, they have seven children, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Maria Montez

Maria Montez, also known as The Carribean Cyclone, was born Maria Africa Vidal de Santo Silas, on June 6, 1917 Barahona, Dominican Republic, one of ten children of Ysidoro Gracia, the Spanish consul in the Dominican Republic, and Teresa, the daughter of political refugees. She is christened at the cathedral where the entombed remains of Christopher Columbus are said to be buried. Her father is appointed to the Spanish consulship in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In Ireland she joins a local amateur theatre group then marries wealthy Irishman William G. McFeeters, an officer in the British Army, at 17. She makes her home with McFeeters on his family estate in Ireland. Whenever he's away on military duty, she flees to London or Paris in search of excitement. She then goes goes to New York where the home of a Bavarian duke and duchess becomes her headquarters. When her husband departs for New York, she meets him at the dock and explains her intention to not renew their marital relationship. At age 21, she stages a meeting with George J. Schaefer, president of RKO, who arranges a screen test for her in the meantime, a Universal talent scout offers her a contract, and she accepts. Maria's unusual beauty landed her a contract with Universal. For her stage name, Maria chose the last name of Montez in honor of dancer Lola Montez, a favorite of Maria's father. Her first film was THE INVISIBLE WOMAN in 1941. Five more movies with five more bit roles followed including THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET. Soon thereafter, she reinvented herself. Carefully recultivating the Spanish accent she'd lost after moving to America (she was the daughter of a Dominican Republic diplomat) and decking herself out in jewels, exotic costumes and a loyal retinue, Montez became the exotic, tempestuous Latino leading lady of many a Technicolor escapist epic. Maria convincing portrayed haughty Arabian princesses, jungle goddesses and highborn gypsies in such delightful nonsense as Arabian Nights (1942), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1942), Cobra Woman (1944) and Gypsy Wildcat (1945). A 24-hour-a-day star, Ms. Montez was famous for her spectacular entrances at nightclubs and social functions; once, when her arrival at the Universal commissary failed to attract notice, she turned her heel and left the room, returning moments later with a huge entourage and accompanying loud noises. Her acting skills may not have been appreciated by some critics, but the public didn't seem to mind. They loved Maria and the dangers she faced in these cheaply made adventure flicks. Each desert film attracted droves of Montez fans to the box-office. As the Depression eased and the war ended, fans became bored with her films. After her Hollywood career faded, she moved to Europe with her second husband Jean-Pierre Aumont. She appeared in a number of German, French, and Italian productions. Her final film was a German movie entitled SCHATTEN UBER NEAPAL (CAMORRA) in 1951. On September 7 of that year, Maria Montez suffered a heart attack and drowned in the bathtub of her Paris mansion. She was only 34 and had appeared in only 27 movies. But her legacy lives on in the colorful characterizations that she left on film. She is still a much loved figure in movie history. Measurements: 36-25-36 1/2 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Margaret Hamilton

Also Known As: Margaret Brainard Hamilton born on December 9, 1902 in Cleveland, OH. A kindergarten teacher in her native Cleveland, Margaret Hamilton began her acting career there in community theatre and with the prestigious Cleveland Playhouse. In 1933, Hamilton was invited to repeat her stage role of the sarcastic daughter-in-law in the Broadway play Another Language for the MGM film version. Though only in her early '30s, the gloriously unpretty Hamilton subsequently played dozens of busybodies, gossips, old maids, and housekeepers in films bearing such titles as Hat, Coat and Glove (1934), Way Down East (1935) and These Three (1936). She proved an excellent foil for such comedians as W.C. Fields (in 1940's My Little Chickadee) and Harold Lloyd (in 1946's The Sin of Harold Diddlebock). Her most famous film assignment was the dual role of Elvira Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West in the imperishable 1939 gem The Wizard of Oz. She nearly quit from Wizard of Oz, The (1939) after a December 1938 accident in which she was severely burned when her green copper makeup caught fire during the appearing/disappearing scene in Munchkinland. She was off the film for more than a month. It is ironic that her performance as the Wicked Witch of the West in Wizard of Oz, The (1939) was so scary to children, because her first job was as a kindergarten teacher. She loved and doted upon children all her life. Until the day she died, she had children recognizing her and coming up to her to ask why she was so mean to Dorothy. Margaret Hamilton was the kindergarten teacher of five-year-old William Windom, until she threw him out for rambunctious behavior. Her legendary role as the Wicked Witch of the West was ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's villains list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains. She played several smaller but no less impressive roles at 20th Century-Fox, including the first-scene plot motivator in People Will Talk (1951) and Carrie Nation in Wabash Avenue (1950). She alternated her film work with stage assignments in the 1950s and 1960s, frequently returning to her home base at the Cleveland Playhouse. Achieving "icon" status in the 1970s by virtue of The Wizard of Oz, Hamilton sometimes found herself being cast for "camp" effect (e.g. Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud), but also enjoyed some of her best-ever parts, including the role of professorial occult expert in the 1972 TV movie The Night Strangler. Despite her menacing demeanor, Hamilton was a gentle, soft-spoken woman; she was especially fond of children, and showed up regularly on such PBS programs as Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. In the 1970s, Margaret Hamilton added another sharply etched portrayal to her gallery of characters as general-store proprietor Cora on a popular series of Maxwell House coffee commercials, one of which ran during a telecast of The Wizard of Oz! She often signed her autographs with the notation of WWW (Wicked Witch of the West). She gave her most noted recollection of her role in Wizard of Oz, The (1939) by writing the Preface to the book "The Making of The Wizard of Oz" by Aljean Harmetz. Margaret welcomed pen-pal fans to visit her at her Gramercy Park building in New York City that was also occupied by James Cagney and now boasts Jimmy Fallon as one of its tennants. Margaret died on May 16, 1985 in Salisbury, CT. She was cremated and her ashes spread on her Dutchess County, New York estate.