Dick Powell, unknown date
 
Dick Powell on Wikipedia
Dick Powell on the Internet Movie Database
www.dickpowell.net
 
 
 
Dick Powell with Joan Blondell
Forecourt Ceremony held on Wednesday, February 10, 1937
 
Born: Richard Ewing Powell, November 14, 1904, in Mountain View, Arkansas
Age at the time of the ceremony: 32
Died: January 2, 1963, in West Los Angeles, California, age 58
 
Dick Powell was one of the top film musical stars of the early sound period, appearing in 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade. He is almost more noteworthy for switching gears to play detective Philip Marlow in Murder My Sweet, and later, becoming a director and television producer.

Born in northern Arkansas, the Powell family moved to Little Rock when Richard was ten. Here, he indulged in his musical gifts by singing in the church chior and forming a (dance) band. After atending Little Rock College, 21 year-old Powell went on tour with the Royal Peacock Band, the Charlie Davis Orchestra, got married, got divorced, and began making records — all before the start of the sound era.

Moving to Pittsburgh, where Powell served as Master of Ceremonies at the Enright and the Stanley theaters. In 1930, Warner Bros. bought the record label Powell had been recording with. Warner execs took a look at their new assets, and offered Powell a film contract in 1932. His first film was in a supporting role as a bandleader in Blessed Event (1932).

Powell was given hefty supporting parts in several comedies, in one of which, 42nd Street (1933) starring Warner Baxter, Powell sang a few songs, and captured the heart of America. Even before 42nd Street was released, Warners put Powell in Gold Diggers of 1933 as the male star (Diggers played the Chinese in June, 1933), and it was here that Powell met Joan Blondell (they would marry each other in 1936).

When Powell's film On The Avenue opened at the Chinese in February, 1937, he and Blondell were asked to make their impressions in the forecourt. Despite the fact that Powell wrote "Thanks a Million" on his block, and Blondell wrote "Thanks Two Million" on the block next to his, photos show that Blondell made her instription first.

Knowing that changes were in the air, Powell kept at his young man routine through the war years, but in 1944, he was able to convince director Edward Dmytryk to cast him as Philip Marlow in their adaptation of Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, called Murder, My Sweet. Joan Blondell must not have cared for the new Dick Powell — they divorced in 1944.

But despite his new tough-guy image, he mustn't have changed all that much — he married June Allyson in 1945, and they remained married until his death. Powell starred in the noirs Cornered (1945), Johnny O'Clock (1947), Pitfall (1948), and Cry Danger (1951). In the late 1940s, Powell starred in the NBC radio show Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

Powell temed up with Charles Boyer, David Niven, Joel McCrea (who dropped out), and Ida Lupino to found Four Star Television, which landed several shows on network schedules, including The Dick Powell Show, and (go figure) The June Allyson Show. Powell lept into the director's chair, helming Split Second with Stephen McNally (1953), The Conqueror with John Wayne (1956), You Can't Run Away from It with June Allyson (1956), The Enemy Below with Robert Mitchum (1957), and The Hunters with Robert Mitchum (1958)

Powell was diagnosed with cancer of the neck and chest in late 1962. He died in the following January, at the age of 58. Later, his widow June Allyson, confirmed that Powell had died of lung cancer as a result of being a chain-smoker.
 
 
Caption TK
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Dick Powell / Joan Blondell Forecourt ceremony, Wednesday, February 10, 1937. Joan Blondell looks on as Dick Powell has his foot imprinted by cement artist Jean Klossner.
 
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