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Joan Leslie’s fresh good looks and innocent demeanour often led to her being cast in forces sweetheart and girl-next-door roles.
But by the mid-1940s she had proved that she could play anything, from comedy (The Male Animal, 1942, with Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland), to heavy drama (The Hard Way) and musicals (This Is the Army).
The case was bitterly contested and dragged on for two years, during which time she was unable to work.
Although Joan Leslie finally won, she found that the big studios had lost interest.
When their father lost his job during the depression, the three sisters, billed as the Three Brodels, became vaudeville performers to help support the family, singing, dancing and performing sketches in theatres across the eastern US and Canada.
“Wherever we were playing we’d take a house and the kids would go to the local school,” she said.
In 1936, aged 11, she was picked by George Cukor to make her (uncredited) Hollywood debut in his melodrama Camille, playing Robert Taylor’s young sister opposite Greta Garbo.Joan Agnes Theresa Sadie Brodel was born into a devout Roman Catholic family in Detroit on January 26 1925.Her father was a bank clerk and her mother a pianist who encouraged her children, Joan and her two older sisters, Betty and Mary, to play musical instruments.As well as appearing in numerous wartime films, Joan Leslie was a big contributor to the war effort, touring defence plants and army bases.She was a regular at the Hollywood Canteen, where GIs home on leave could meet the stars, and in 1944 starred in a morale-boosting film (Hollywood Canteen) in which homesick “soldier” Robert Hutton loses his heart to film star Joan Leslie, playing herself.
A brass tripod, supposed to be Roman, was exhumed on it by the plough, and two caverns on it, one of them 40 feet long and 5 feet high, are believed to have been formed by mining operations in the reign of James V. The quasi-town stands on broken ground, traversed by a romantic brook, adjacent to the Glasgow, Uddingstone, and Motherwell branch of the Caledonian railway, within ½ mile of the Clyde's left bank, 3¾ miles SE of Glasgow; extends slightly into Rutherglen parish; consists of a cluster of five villages-Silverbanks, furthest W; then Cambuslang proper; then Kirkhill, the original village; then the hamlet of Lightburn; and lastly that of Dalton.