Janet Beecher (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸

January 08, 2022

Janet Beecher, famous character actress of Broadway and Hollywood, bears the name of one of the most famous families in American history. Born into a fine old Missouri family in Jefferson City on October 21, she is of the same family as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher.

With her father, Edward von Meysenburg, and mother, Janet passed her childhood traveling throughout Europe and spent long periods in such cosmopolitan centers as London, Paris and Berlin.

Talent as Artist

She received her education from private tutors and was especially proficient in painting. She made quite a name for herself in Paris art circles with her water-colors.

Returning to the United States at the age of 16, Miss Beecher obtained a job with a stock company and toured the nation for several years. She made her Broadway debut in “The Concert,” and subsequently appeared in many other plays.

She was brought to Hollywood, without the traditional screen test, for a role in “Gallant Lady.” Afterward came “The Last Gentleman,” “The Mighty Barnum,” “The President Vanishes,” “The Village Tale,” “Let’s Live Tonight,” “The Dark Angel,” “So Red the Rose,” Love Before Breakfast, and “I Give My Life.”

Signed by M-G-M

Later she was signed to a long-term contract by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appeared in “The Longest Night,” and “The Good Old Soak” with Wallace Beery. Another role was in The Thirteenth Chair with Dame May Whitty, Elissa Landi and Lewis Stone.

Miss Beecher is five feet nine inches tall, and weighs 145 pounds. Her eyes are greenish-blue and her hair has a distinct bluish tint which photographs white.

She is married to Wyndham Hoffman and has a son, Wyndham, Jr. She lives in Beverly Hills and is particularly proud of her fine library. Her favorite outdoor recreation is badminton. She has no superstitions, doesn’t follow her hunches without consulting others’ advice, doesn’t even have any pet aversions.

Miss Beecher laughs easily and entertains a philosophy that has stood her in good stead through an interesting career. Tolerance, she believes, is an asset of intelligence. Her love of simple living is demonstrated by the fact that she prefers the comparatively quiet existence of Hollywood to the excitement of New York.

Films Boon to Mankind

Loyal to the stage, convinced of its superb artistry, nevertheless she believes that the motion picture offers a greater boon to mankind, because it reaches the greater number. Like many of her colleagues in Hollywood whose careers were launched in the theater. Miss Beecher holds that there is room for both in the world of entertainment.

She is thoroughly convinced that the stage offers greater opportunity for personal triumph and food for the ego than the screen, but believes equally that the new film technique is rapidly eliminating that. In other words, Miss Beecher thinks that an actress who scores an unusual success in the theater, may get a more pronounced sensation of personal triumph than one who does the same thing on the screen.

On the other hand, she contends, the screen success reaches a tremendously greater audience and eventually rewards the player with a satisfaction that compensates for the thunder of applause.

Recently, Miss Beecher appeared in “Between Two Women”, “Big City” and “My Dear Miss Aldrich”.

Source: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937