Sunday, January 16, 2011

Seperated at Birth

Recently, I was watching that great Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins film, Old Acquaintance (1943) and I was shocked to see an Ann Sheridan doppelganger in the role of Deirdre Drake. Well, of course, it wasn't Sheridan. It was a Dolores Moran.

Moran had a short and mostly undistinguished career as a Warner's contract player. She had credited appearences in nine film between 1943 and 1954. In fact, she had the second female lead in the first classic film I ever saw (at age 11 on the old AMC channel in 1994) - Count the Hours (1953) starring Teresa Wright and Macdonald Carey.

Dolores Moran Ann Sheridan

Moran, in Old Acquaintance, is pretty good. It's a role that does not require too much depth of emotion or technique. She handles her scenes with Davis especially well. She holds her own which is a compliment because Davis gives a very realistic and undated performance. But, like so many other pretty and moderatley talented young women she dissapeared from the screen. After all, if Warner's wanted a blonde Ann Sheridan, they would just dye Sheridan's hair.

But, lest you were worried, she did not meet a tragic end a la Gail Russell (a cautionary tale of Hollywood if there ever was one). She made a good marriage and settled into wife and motherhood dying in 1982 from cancer.

PS - Old Acquaintance was directed by Vincent Sherman who appears on the commentary for the film. I own several films directed by Sherman and on each that include his commentary he admits to making love with his leading lady. His descriptions of how his relationships with Davis and Joan Crawford come about are hilarious. True stories? Who knows. . .

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