Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rota Fortunae

The goddess Fortuna spins her wheel at random. Some get lucky, some don't. Above is a photo of two starlets signing contracts with 20th Century Fox on October 25th, 1951. The one on the left that bears a more than passing resemblance to Gloria Grahame is also named Gloria, Gloria Krieger. She will enjoy no success in movies, her IMDB listing containing only one entry: An appearance on Ed Sullivan in 1955 as herself, presumably to sing a song. Presumed because she was dropped by 20th Century in 1954 and signed with Columbia Records that year as a singer. Unfortunately for her, in the age of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Judy Garland, her style is of the Jeanette MacDonald operatic variety. She quickly vanishes from sight and beyond that appearance on the Sullivan show no more information can be found on her, even on the historic archival site from which I pulled this public domain picture. Whether it be movies or music she could never get that big break.

The wheel spins in a different direction for her photo op partner, also signing with 20th Century Fox that day and already with a couple of films and several radio shows under her belt at the tender age of eighteen. The girl signing with Gloria that day is Debra Paget who will go on to make movies with everyone from Jimmy Stewart to Elvis Presley. By the late fifties her career will start to slide. Not having the on-screen charisma the studios are looking for she will be dropped by 20th Century Fox and do odd work here and there before retiring at age 32. Later she will devote her life to a newfound Christianity and work with both the Trinity Broadcasting Network and Praise the Lord of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker infamy. She lives in Houston now, near her two sisters. She was married three times and divorced three times.

Of course, without knowing what became of Miss Krieger, we can never really be sure who got the better spin of the wheel after all?