A nod today to Hollywood star Constance Moore (1920-2005). Despite the fact that she had very little experience in live theatre, there is sort of a vaudeville flavor to many of Moore’s best known films, which is right up our alley. Just don’t mix her up with Constance Bennett and Colleen Moore!
Raised in Sioux City and Dallas, Moore started out as a big band singer and got a regular job singing on CBS radio. She broke into films as a bit player in 1937 but rapidly rose to featured roles. She’s W.C. Fields’ daughter in You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939). Then came Buck Rogers (1939) with Buster Crabbe; Charlie McCarthy, Detective (1939) with Edgar Bergen; Ma, He’s Making Eyes at Me (1940); Argentine Nights (1940) with the Ritz Brothers; Show Business (1944) with Eddie Cantor and George Murphy; Atlantic City (1944); Earl Carroll Vanities (1945); Earl Carroll Sketchbook (1946); and many others. Hit Parade of 1947 was her last movie, capping off a decade long film career.
Moore appeared in a single Broadway show, By Jupiter which ran 1942-43. During the Korean War, she embarked on a U.S.O. tour with Bob Hope and the Nicholas Brothers. In 1954 she embarked on a TV career that lasted about a dozen years, including stints as a regular on the shows Window on Main Street (1961-62), and The Young Marrieds (1965-66). Her last part was in a 1967 episode of My Three Sons.
To learn about the history of show business, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous,