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Manage episode 297789749 series 2495790
From the first, MGM wanted Ann Sothern to play Maisie. She began in Hollywood as an extra in 1927. "Maisie and I were just together - I just understood her," Sothern, born Harriette Arlene Lake, said after several of the films made her a star. Throughout the 1930s and '40s, Ann Sothern and Lucille Ball, like many performers in Hollywood, had not one but two careers - one in motion pictures and one on radio. Ann had started in radio as early as 1935, appearing on such variety shows as Rudy Vallee's "The Fleishman Hour" and Bing Crosby's Kraft Music Hall. She also did dramatic parts on "Woodbury Playhouse," "Screen Guild Theatre," and the biggest anthology of them all, Lux Radio Theatre. Throughout the 1940s, the Maisie pictures continued to be released every couple of years. "Your pictures pay for our mistakes," Arthur B. Mayer told her. "And you'll just keep making Maisies as long as you do that." In July, 1945, Ann took Maisie to radio in a half-hour weekly radio for CBS.