Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Movietown Baby Grows Up

Thursday April 24: 7:00 p.m.

Movietown Baby Grows Up is a blithe reminiscence of Hollywood in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and the life of one family as seen through the eyes of the youngest child. It is the story of William A. Seiter, director of 131 films, his wife Marian Nixon, actress in 73 films, how they made their way to fame, and yet lead a normal family life in spite of governesses, glamorous parties, and famous friends. Movietown Baby Grows Up is a vivid scrapbook with pictures interspersed through the rambling adventures of daughter Jessica Seiter Niblo’s not-so-ordinary memories.

William A. Seiter started working in Hollywood in 1915 as a stunt double and bit player and quickly graduated to directing comedy shorts. He moved up to features in the 1920s, directing such comedy legends as Laurel & Hardy (“Sons of the Desert”), Abbott and Costello (“Little Giant”), the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields. He directed Shirley Temple in four features and Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in “Roberta,” and “You Were Never Lovelier” with Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire. He helmed scores of television productions and was one of the founding members of the Directors Guild of America. Marian Nixon, aka “the nicest girl in Hollywood,” began her movie career in 1923 with “Cupid's Fireman” when she was nineteen. She was one of those fortunate actresses who made the successful transition to the "talkie" era. Her final film was “Tango” in 1936.

Daughter, Jessica Seiter Niblo, who will speak at Crowell Library on Thursday, April 24, worked at MGM for nine years as a production coordinator and secretary to television executive David Gerber. In addition to being an author, Jessica is a generous fundraiser, providing educational opportunities and scholarships that have profoundly improved the lives of many young people. Don’t miss this special evening on the golden age of Hollywood!