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Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Past chats with our guests.

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charlestranberg
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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby charlestranberg » November 5th, 2013, 6:12 pm

This has been a really interesting interview! One more question from me, please. You grew up in a show business family with your dad and brother (Steven) as actors. Did you ever think of pursuing an acting career? and did your father & mother either encourage or discourage their children from going into acting? Thank you!

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby Professional Tourist » November 5th, 2013, 7:30 pm

MargaretTalbot wrote:Thank you for your question about whether my Dad was active during the golden age of radio, and for sending the link to "The Unexpected." To tell you the truth, I didn't look very deeply into the radio stuff, but I am fairly sure he did radio guest spots in the late 40s, especially.

Well, if you never heard those two programs before, I hope you'll enjoy. Your father is the star. :) I found a little more information on Mr. Talbot's radio work at RadioGOLDINdex. Here's another program from 1954, Inheritance where he appears in three episodes, "The Lewis and Clark Expedition," "The Texas Rangers," and "Rails To The Pacific":

https://archive.org/details/InheritanceOTR

MargaretTalbot wrote:I know that in the early 40s, when he was appearing on Broadway in a long-running show called "Separate Rooms" [. . .] he had his own radio show, "Hollywood Footlights," where he played Judy Garland and Cab Calloway, among others, dished Hollywood gossip and interviewed movie people who were visiting New York. We had a pile of 45s of those shows in our garage at one point, and sadly, I have no idea what happened to them.

What a treasure those transcription discs would have been! The show is probably lost now. . .I've found some references to it, but no episodes.

Mr. Talbot had quite a good voice for radio.

Cheers. :)

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » November 5th, 2013, 8:55 pm

Thank you so much for all your wonderful responses, Ms Talbot!
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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby MargaretTalbot » November 5th, 2013, 9:47 pm

Okay, I'll avoid the Me-Network in the interest of future productivity!
You asked whether it was a fluke that none of my siblings or I went into acting as adults. That's an interesting question. My parents did give us two messages that probably worked against it. One was how important education was, and getting a good education seemed like a goal at cross purposes to a life in show biz. (It needn't be--look at people like Emma Watson, Brown undergrad!--but it's true that it isn't easy to combine them.) The other was: do what you love, if at all possible. My Dad certainly loved acting; my Mom loved his love of it. My brothers and I loved writing and reporting; my sister loved medicine. Speaking for myself, I was also motivated by what I didn't have: stage presence and top drawer looks. It's hard enough to make it as an actor when you have both; if you don't have either, why bother?

I'll skip to the question about the 42nd Street Special, because I love that story and you raise some interesting issues about it. (I tell the story in some detail in the book, for those who might want to know more.) It was, as you suggest, at once a spectacular junket dreamed up by a publicity genius, a political statement and for those aboard, a madcap, sexy adventure. For complex reasons, the Warner brothers had decided to get behind FDR and the New Deal in a big way--it was a bit of a surprise since most of the studio heads were conservative and Republican at the time. So they packed a glittering train with some of their brightest stars--Bette Davis, my Dad, a bevy of lovely chorines, Tom Mix AND his horse, and many others--equipped it with a Malibu beach car complete with sand and sun lamps, and sent it across country to FDR's 1933 inauguration as a herald of hope in the future. GE was a sponsor, which was rather strange, too--it allied the company so closely with the New Deal. But, at the time, being allied with hope of some kind was perhaps the most powerful factor. Along the way, there were many stops where huge crowds swarmed the station, giving my father his first real sense of how powerful a hold movies and movie people had gained over the American imagination. As one journalist who covered the 42nd Street Special wrote at the time: "We Americans must find some hat rack to which we can hang our national affection...With Big Business turning its naughty face in the drawer and turning out to be a boring, lead-headed princess, there is nothing left for us to idealize except the clan of pretty boys and girls who live on the rhinestone shore of Hollywood."

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby MargaretTalbot » November 5th, 2013, 9:48 pm

Thank you so much, Professional Tourist, for these leads on my Dad's radio days. I really appreciate it.

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby MargaretTalbot » November 5th, 2013, 9:50 pm

Thank you so much, Professional Tourist, for those leads on my Dad's radio days. I really appreciate it.

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby MargaretTalbot » November 5th, 2013, 10:05 pm

I've really, really enjoyed chatting with all of you.
And, my apologies to Erik, who sent a great question about my Dad's role as Lex Luthor. I had written an answer but somehow failed to post it.
Anyway, what I was going to say is: thank you. My Dad was indeed the first Lex Luthor on screen. He played the role with a very uncomfortable bald cap, and a lot of sincerity, because he figured it wasn't fair to the kids in the audience to camp it up or play it with a smirk. In fact, he played it so straight that I wondered when I saw it whether it was too straight an interpretation of Luthor's villainy--not quite unhinged enough. But I could be persuaded otherwise, and you sound like you know whereof you speak!
As to how he got the part: I'm not really sure, but he did throw himself into those late 40s comic book serials with enthusiasm--he did a number of them, including Batman and Robin, in which he played Commissioner Gordon. He liked Kirk Allyn, the actor who played Superman a lot, in part because they both cooked, unusual for men in those days, and they exchanged recipes on the set.

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby MargaretTalbot » November 5th, 2013, 10:09 pm

And to Charles:
I'm glad you enjoyed the discussion. I'm looking forward to yours now that I've joined the Oasis.
(P.S. Am figuring my answer to the question about my siblings and I eschewing acting careers answers yours as well. )

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby Vienna » November 6th, 2013, 3:41 am

I've just listened to Mr. Talbot in the radio show,CARGO UNKNOWN and enjoyed it. He had a great radio voice.
It only runs 15 minutes but had a good plot - he plays a deep sea diver!

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Re: Welcome to Margaret Talbot, Our Guest on 11/4 & 11/5

Postby moira finnie » November 6th, 2013, 8:02 am

Thank you for your entertaining and insightful replies to our queries, Margaret. You are very welcome to visit our site and post whenever you would like in the future. Many thanks to all those who participated.

As requested by Margaret Talbot, this thread is now closed, though she has said she will look forward to returning to post here again.
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