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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Guess Who With Three Clues (34 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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arthur stead
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Very interesting, Feral!

Like S2000magician, I also really enjoy learning unusual facts about the various personalities' backgrounds.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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You're up, Bill.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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Bill???
Arthur Stead
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S2000magician
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Working on it.

Back in a bit with some clues.
arthur stead
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........ crickets .........
Arthur Stead
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S2000magician
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Sorry . . . really busy these last few days.

Why don't you do one, Arthur?
arthur stead
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OK. But you know what they say about all work & no play ... We need your sharp mind around here!

I was born at the turn of the century in a district of Berlin.

My father was a police lieutenant, while my mother was from an affluent family who owned a jewelry and clock-making firm.

At about age 11, I combined letters from my first two names to form a new name.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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I studied the violin and became interested in theater and poetry as a teenager.

A wrist injury curtailed my dreams of becoming a concert violinist, but by 1922, I had my first job, playing violin in a pit orchestra for silent films. Unfortunately, I was fired after only four weeks.
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arthur stead
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Many years later, my USO performances included playing a musical saw, and doing a mindreading act that my friend Orson Welles had taught me.
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S2000magician
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Harry Willard
arthur stead
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Not Willard the Wizard. (Side Note: During my performing days, I used my middle name: Willmore the Wizard).

My earliest professional stage appearances were in vaudeville-style revues.

My film debut came in 1923, and I continued to work on stage and in film throughout the 1920s.
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Feral Chorus
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Cary Grant?
Cliffg37
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Irving Berlin
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
arthur stead
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In 1930, I moved to the United States under contract to Paramount Pictures.
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S2000magician
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Joseph Dunninger
Mark Boody Illusionist
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John Calvert?
arthur stead
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Six years later, extravagant offers lured me away from Paramount to make my first color film for independent producer David O. Selznick, and to Britain for an Alexander Korda production. The latter made me one of the best paid film stars of the time.

While in London, I was approached by Nazi Party officials and offered lucrative contracts if I agreed to return to Germany as a foremost film star in the Third Reich. I refused their offers and applied for U.S. citizenship in 1937.
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Mark Boody Illusionist
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Marlene Dietrich?
arthur stead
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Well done, Mark! Marie Magdalene "Marlene" Dietrich is correct. When I looked her up, I was of course familiar with her singing and film career, but had no idea about some of the other very interesting details of her life.

There were several remaining clues:

While my films at that time performed decently at the box office, my vehicles were costly to produce and my public popularity had declined. American film exhibitors proclaimed me "box office poison" in May 1938.

In the late 1930s, I created a fund with Billy Wilder and several other exiles to help Jews and dissidents escape from Germany.

In December 1941, the U.S. entered World War II, and I became one of the first public figures to help sell war bonds. I toured the U.S. from January 1942 to September 1943 and reportedly sold more war bonds than any other star.

During two extended tours for the USO in 1944 and 1945, I performed for Allied troops in Algeria, Italy, the UK, France, and the Netherlands, then entered Germany with Generals James M. Gavin and George S. Patton. When asked why I had done this, in spite of the obvious danger of being within a few miles of German lines, I replied, "out of decency".

Billy Wilder later remarked that I was at the front lines more than Eisenhower. For my work on improving morale on the front lines during the war, I later received several honors from the United States, France, Belgium and Israel.

In the 1940s and ‘50s, I continued performing in motion pictures for directors such as Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, and Alfred Hitchcock. My last substantial film role was in a film directed by Stanley Kramer.

I employed Burt Bacharach as my musical arranger starting in the mid-1950s. Together, we refined my nightclub act and recorded four albums and several singles between 1957 and 1964.

In later years my health declined, and my show business career largely ended in 1975, when I fell from the stage and broke a thigh bone during a performance in Sydney, Australia.

I withdrew to an apartment in Paris, spending the final 13 years of my life mostly bedridden, allowing only a select few—including family and employees—to enter the apartment.

On 6 May 1992, I died of kidney failure at age 90. My funeral was a requiem mass conducted at the Roman Catholic church of La Madeleine in Paris. The funeral service was attended by approximately 1,500 mourners in the church itself—including several ambassadors from Germany, Russia, the US, the UK and other countries—with thousands more outside. My closed coffin, draped in the French flag, rested beneath the altar and was adorned with a simple bouquet of white wildflowers and roses from the French President François Mitterrand. Three medals, including France's Legion of Honour and the U.S. Medal of Freedom, were displayed at the foot of the coffin, military style, for a ceremony symbolizing the sense of duty I embodied in my career, and in my personal fight against Nazism.

At my funeral the officiating priest remarked: "Everyone knew her life as an artist of film and song, and everyone knew her tough stands ... She lived like a soldier and would like to be buried like a soldier".

By coincidence, my picture was used in the Cannes Film Festival poster that year which was pasted up all over Paris.

OK Mark … your turn!
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arthur stead
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Just a quick interjection: A punctuation issue always drives me crazy, and perhaps you felas can help. (We may have discussed this once before on the Café, but I’ve forgotten the conclusion reached).

At the end of a sentence, if quotation marks are used, when does the period come before the end quote, and when does it come after the end quote?
Arthur Stead
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