Anita Louise: Veteran Baby Star


Today is the birthday of Anita Louise (Anita Louise Fremault, 1915-1970).

Anita Louise began as a child actress in the early 1920s, briefly on Broadway but also almost immediately in films, normally in melodramas. In 1931, somewhat unusually for someone who’d been in films for almost a decade she was made one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars, an honor that usually was bestowed upon “promising newcomers”. One feels that it was her great beauty that stood her in good stead throughout her career.

She doesn’t fit into my usual content streams (i.e., she wasn’t in vaudeville or wasn’t a great stage ham) but I felt I should give her a shout-out today, as she figures in a great many old films I love and/or have written about. These include The Floradora Girl with Marion Davies (1930)the hilarious Everything’s Rose with Robert Woolsey (1931), Judge Priest with Will Rogers (1934), the all-star Max Reinhardt Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935), Anthony Adverse (1936), Marie Antoinette with Norma Shearer (1938), The Little Princess with Shirley Temple (1939), the all-star spook comedy The Gorilla (1939), the ahead-of-its-time melodrama parody The Villain Still Pursued Her (1940), and Blondie’s Big Moment with Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake (1947). In the forties, her film roles got smaller and the vehicles less prestigious. Throughout the 50s and 60s she worked frequently in television. Her last role was a guest shot on The Mod Squad in 1970.

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