Top Money-making Star, 1943: Betty Grable
During the 1930s and 1940s Betty Grable’s 42 films grossed more than $100 million. For ten consecutive years (1942–1951) she topped the Quigley’s Poll of box office stars, a feat only surpassed by Mary Pickford (thirteen consecutive years). In 1946 and 1947 Betty Grable was the highest salaried woman in America.
Highest Grossing Movies 1943
#3 The Song of Bernadette
A biographical drama, The Song of Bernadette starred Jennifer Jones. The novel the movie was based on spent thirteen weeks at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller chart. The film also featured (uncredited) Linda Darnell as the ‘Immaculate Conception’.
#2 For Whom the Bell Tolls
An epic war movie based on a novel by Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls starred Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. Set in the Spanish Civil War, the story depicts the fight against fascism. Vera Zorina was originally cast as the female lead – her look was truer to the novel’s character – but she was replaced by Ingrid Bergman, who featured in her first Technicolor film.
#1 This Is the Army
A musical comedy, This is the Army grossed $8,301,000 at the box office, over twice the amount grossed by Casablanca, which was released in the same year. Make of that what you will.
Notable Movie Debuts, 1943
Jeanne Crain in The Gang’s All Here a musical that starred Alice Faye and Carmen Miranda.
At the height of her stardom in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Crain was known as “Hollywood’s number one party girl”. She stated that she was invited to at least 200 parties a year.
On December 31, 1945, Crain married Paul Brinkman, a former contract player at RKO Pictures. He was also known as Paul Brooks. Brinkman later became an executive with an arms manufacturing company. Crain’s marriage to Brinkman was blighted by accusations of unfaithfulness on both sides. Nevertheless, the couple had seven children.
In the mid-1950s, Crain obtained an interlocutory divorce decree, alleging abuse. The couple reconciled on December 31, 1956. They remained married, but lived separately in Santa Barbara until Brinkman’s death in October 2003.