|Joan Rice (1930-1997)|
Joan Rice passed away on January 1st 1997 - she was 66 years old. This blog is dedicated to her memory. So I thought I would begin this new year with an interesting piece about Joan from The Courier-Mail, an Australian newspaper based in Brisbane. It is dated Tuesday 6th February 1951. This was twelve days before it was formerly announced that Joan had been chosen to portray Maid Marian alongside Richard Todd as Robin Hood, in Walt Disney's second live-action feature The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952).
|'The Courier-Mail', Brisbane|
Below is a transcript of the article:
London February 5: Arthur Rank's experts acclaim a 21 year old waitress Joan Rice, as a future Jean Simmons. Joan last week received a two year Rank contract. It was an exciting coming-of-age for Joan was 21 last Saturday. She heard the news after the West End preview of "Blackmailed," the film that established her. She found her way to the screen by serving a coffee to a film extra. Joan plays an artists model on the run from a reform school. There is no glamour in the part. Until this opportunity came along she was earning £3.0.9d. and living in one room at Clapham. "Blackmailed" promoted her to £20 a week and a bachelor flat in St. James'.
|Joan Rice taken by Charles Trigg on October 11th 1950|
The back of the press picture (above) of Joan Rice taken by Charles Trigg on the 11th October 1950 reads:
“A new portrait of 19 year old Joan Rice who has the part of Alma, an artist’s model in ‘The Blackmailer’ [Blackmailed]. 'The Blackmailer', Harold Huth's independent production at Pinewood studios stars Fay Compton, Mai Zetterling, Dirk Bogarde, Robert Flemyng and Harold Huth with James Robertson Justice."
Also included on the back of the picture is a hand written note:
”Joan’s short ‘laffela ‘ evening dress the little cover-up ‘boleru’ was originally a jacket but Joan had it altered into a boleru as she felt that this looked more youthful.”
I think you will agree that this is yet another fascinating insight into the start of 'our' Joan's film career.
There are now over 74 pages on this blog about her life and career, please click here to see them.