Menu JTA Search

Critical Moments

Download PDF for this date

According to Dave Gould, a young man who directs and plans the dancing for the RKO musical pictures, only one girl out of every 4,000 has the slightest chance of becoming a chorus girl in a motion picture. Can you imagine the odds one has of becoming a leading player?

This hopeless percentage is arrived at by figuring that there are more than 2,000,000 girls in the United States of chorus girl age, (16 to 24) and that only 500 of them can possibly get before a camera in one year. The 500 figure represents the number of Hollywood chorus girls used last year, a season replete with musical pictures.

Mr. Gould, who seems filled with figures (some joke) says that between 4,000 and 5,000 girls invade Hollywood annually with no other desire than to become famous overnight. Of this number less than two per cent. ever find their names in the cast of characters and about eight per cent. finally land in the chorus. Most of the gals end up waiting on tables in restaurants. Some of them just wait.

Even these figures do not point out the true chances. As a matter of record there are some half a thousand very good looking girls in Hollywood of proven film ability. These ladies get first call and are used in most of the musical pictures that are made. Of course there are some replacements but only at the rate of about 100 new girls a year. All of which brings this piece down to a mathematical formula proving that the new girl barging into Hollywood with pleasing curves and hope in her heart has one chance in 20,000 to land any kind of an acting job.

To give this story more point it is but fair to tell you that Dave Gould is at the moment directing a picture called “The Gay Divorce.” He says that 3,000 girls tried out for the chorus, 100 were chosen and of this number ninety-eight were veteran performers.


It happened on a set on the RKO lot where Fred Astaire was making a picture. Walter Winchell had wandered over and met Mrs. Fred Astaire who was waiting for her talented husband to finish his work. Winchell and Mrs. Astaire sat down to spend the time of day and do a little talking. Unknowingly the seat they chose was located directly below a microphone. They talked about things and people for a few minutes when Winchell noticed that everyone had left the set. He became suspicious, turned around and saw that the recording booth was filled. Everyone was listening to what Winchell was saying to Mrs. Astaire. Of course his face was red.


Samuel Goldwyn announces through United Artists that “Romance In Moscow” will be one of his forthcoming feature pictures this season. Ann Sten, who Goldwyn believes will become a great American favorite, will play the leading role. The story has been written by Vicki Baum, the German novelist, and Eugene Lyons who was the United Press Russian correspondent for some years. Lyons did not like the manner in which Stalin conducted Russia and it is not suspected that “Romance In Moscow” will be any too friendly to the present Russian regime.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund