Phyllis Welch (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸
Phyllis Welch started on her New York stage career with one hundred dollars in her purse, and a million dollars worth of self confidence.
Her decision to take acting seriously was sudden.
Up until the time Phyllis realized that she really wanted to be an actress, she taught dancing to select little groups organized by the Junior League of Toledo, Ohio.
But this was hard on the disposition.
And so it came about that one summer, when her parents were traveling in Europe, Phyllis went to the Cleveland Playhouse, where she promoted herself a job in stock.
Then the family returned.
Sought Stage Career
Phyllis was firm in her plea that she be permitted to go to New York. She met with no protests save the reminder that New York took money and one hundred dollars definitely was not enough.
But undaunted, she packed her bags, and bought a bus ticket.
She arrived in New York none the worse for her journey.
A good breakfast put her in a better frame of mind. This having been completed, she made her way to the nearest telephone book and looked under the letter A for agents.
Now looking under the letter A for agents is a good way to confuse one’s mind, as Phyllis soon found out. And so she shut her eyes, pointed her finger, and let fate do the rest.
It was with some difficulty she located the office building. Naturally, with no appointment, she was asked to wait.
Finally the doors opened and a small, brisk little man entered. He had an appointment, but he, too, had to wait.
Phyllis felt him looking at her.
Finally, he spoke.
“Looking for a job?”
“How tall are you?”
“Five foot, three.”
“I’m Ernest Truex,” he said. “You’re just the girl I’ve been looking for.”
“But don’t you want to know if I’ve had any acting experience? Don’t you want to know if I’m a good actress?” she stuttered.
“We’ll find that out tomorrow,” he said.
And that’s how Phyllis Welch introduced herself to Broadway. She played with Ernest Truex in Prodigal Father, for an entire season.
From that moment on, she never had an idle moment. Play after play, by some of the finest organizations in the city, including the Theatre Guild, numbered her prominently among their casts.
But Phyllis, always on the lookout for new fields to conquer, thought of radio.
With this in mind she attended the broadcast of one of the leading programs, and being “somebody” in the world of the theatre, was given a seat near the microphone.
The hour arrived for the broadcast — but the leading lady was absent.
Now, radio broadcasts, like the air mail, must go on — on schedule.
The program director stamped across the stage. His eyes fell upon Phyllis.
“Here, you, read this,” he commanded.
Too startled to disobey, Phyllis Welch read.
That is how she came to the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer officials who had her sign a long-term contract.
Phyllis Welch is petite, with dark brown eyes and light brown hair.
Strangely enough she was born on Hollywood Avenue, in Toledo, Ohio. Her birthday is July 16.
Collection: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1937)