Reprise: Bette Davis, John Garfield, Marlene Dietrich, and the Hollywood Canteen

Bette Davis and John Garfield decided something had to be done for the enlisted men who passed through Southern California…

They secured a building at 1451 Cahuenga Boulevard and opened a USO club to be staffed by movies stars and entertainers. That’s Dezi Arnaz:

That’s co-founder Bette Davis preparing to slice a formidable cake:

John Garfield on the Canteen’s 1st birthday:

Bette reviewing photos with Bob Hope and Marlene Dietrich – I see John Ford, Clark Gable…

A separate post could be written about Marlene Dietrich’s war efforts, but for now, Dietrich serves coffee:

And dances with a French sailor:


  1. Pingback: Links 8.10.12 « Speakeasy

  2. love your blog! if this was tumblr I would basically have to reblog everything you do. as it is I hope the occasional link w preview pic is a-ok with you. love to share great stuff

  3. What a great collection of photos, Vickie. I can only imagine the excitement of how those soldiers and sailors must have felt walking into the Hollywood Canteen knowing that he might see–OR EVEN GET TO DANCE WITH!– a genuine movie star.

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  5. Jen

    The Canteen is probably one of the best things Hollywood has ever done. And you are right, Dietrich is a tale in her own rightโ€”I caught a documentary about her war efforts several years ago, and it increased my respect and affection for her a great deal.

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  7. Pingback: Happy Birthday Desi Arnaz | waldina

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  9. aubrey

    I suppose since Bette Davis was in the sentence, I read it as “formidable chic”.

    My eyes hurt. Yet Thanksgiving calls: I have nearly 8 pounds of potatoes to peel. Holiday KP duty for me!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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