Wampas Baby Stars (1932) 🇺🇸

February 16, 2022

Fifteen Screen Debs Are Elected 1932 Baby Stars By Wampas

Number of girls picked by press-agent group as “Most likely to succeed” is largest in history, the usual number being only thirteen — most, but not all, have already shown public what they can do.

by Madge Tennant

The Wampas (“short” for Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) — that potent organization of publicity boys who break the stars’ divorces to the public as gently as possible — has made its eleventh annual choice of Baby Stars. If these follow precedent, more than half will achieve outstanding positions on the screen; from three to five will actually win stardom.

The traditional number of thirteen becomes fifteen this year, owing to a triple tie among freelance players. For the first time in Wampas history, five of the Baby Stars are not attached to any studio. Each of the remaining ten, however, represents one of the ten major studios.

The lucky fifteen are:

  1. Lona Andre (Paramount)
  2. Lilian Bond (Freelance)
  3. Mary Carlisle (M-G-M)
  4. June Clyde (Freelance)
  5. Patricia Ellis (Warner Brothers)
  6. Ruth Hall (Goldwyn)
  7. Eleanor Holm (First National)
  8. Evalyn Knapp (Freelance)
  9. Dorothy Layton (Freelance)
  10. Boots Mallory (Fox)
  11. Toshia Mori (Columbia)
  12. Ginger Rogers (Freelance)
  13. Marian Shockley (Educational)
  14. Gloria Stuart (Universal)
  15. Dorothy Wilson (RKO)

Of the fifteen, eight are blondes, six are brunettes, and one (Lilian Bond) has flaming red hair. They come from such diverse parts of the United States as Boston (Mary Carlisle), Missouri (Evalyn Knapp), New Orleans (Boots Mallory), California (Gloria Stuart), Florida (Ruth Hall) and New York City (Eleanor Holm). One, Lilian Bond, is from London, and Toshia Mori was born in Japan, though educated in Los Angeles. The youngest is Patricia Ellis, 16; their average age, however, is 22.

All of them have fulfilled the Wampas requirement of “being under contract or in training for more than three months,” although four of them — Patricia Ellis, Eleanor Holm, Lona Andre and Boots Mallory — had not yet appeared on the screen when the elections were held. Since then, Boots has appeared in “Handle With Care” and Patricia is in George Arliss’ picture, “The King’s Vacation.”

Four college girls appear in the group: Marian Shockley (University of Missouri), Gloria Stuart (University of California), Ruth Hall (Florida State College) and Evalyn Knapp (University of Kansas) — who, by the way, is a holdover Baby Star from last year, because a back injury interrupted her career during most of 1932. Boots Mallory was a Follies girl. Dorothy Wilson has proved the Cinderella story true by stepping into leading rôles from a stenographer’s job at RKO. Lona Andre was one of the runners-up in the “Panther Woman” contest. Among those who came close to being elected Baby Stars (and who may, of course, become more famous than any of the winners) are Gail PatrickJean Parker, Irene Ware, Julie Haydon, Claudia Dell, Maria Alba and Lillian Miles, who was originally chosen as Columbia’s Baby Star, instead of Toshia Mori. The little Japanese girl creates a stir in The Bitter Tea of General Yen and, moreover, is under contract to Columbia, it was discovered, while Miss Miles has returned to the stage.

Instead of taking their bows at a Frolic, with all the formality and fussy gowns of society buds, the Baby Stars this year are making a personal appearance tour of local theatres.

The Lucky Fifteen

Top to bottom, then left to right, Toshia Mori, who won the place originally voted to Lillian Miles, the platinum blonde immediately below her; Gloria Stuart; Lilian Bond; Dorothy Wilson; Marian Shockley; June Clyde; Eleanor Holm; Dorothy Layton; Ruth Hall; Patricia Ellis; Mary Carlisle; Evalyn Knapp; Ginger Rogers; Lona Andre; and Boots Mallory.

Source: Movie Classic MagazineFebruary 1932