Thursday, May 1, 2008


Actress Joy Page has passed away at the age of 83. She is best known for her first role, as Annina Brandel, the teenaged war bride in 'Casablanca' who almost did anything she had to in order to obtain exit visas for herself and her bridegroom.

- The Swamp Fox: Brother Against Brother (1959) TV episode .... Mary Videau
- The Swamp Fox: The Birth of the Swamp Fox (1959) TV episode .... Mary Videau
- Standoff (1958) TV episode .... Maria Vargas
- Border Affair (1957) TV episode .... Empress Carlotta
"Wagon Train"
- The Bill Tawnee Story (1958) TV episode .... Leeana
"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
- Rich Man, Poor Man (1957) TV episode (as Joy Paige) .... Maria
"Studio 57"
- This Land Is Mine (1956) TV episode
"Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre"
- This Land Is Mine (1956) TV episode .... Ellem Harlan
"Letter to Loretta"
- The Wise One (1956) TV episode .... Ellen
"Warner Brothers Presents"
- Explosion (1956) TV episode .... Florence Parker
"The Ford Television Theatre"
- Journey by Moonlight (1956) TV episode .... Marie
"Kings Row"
- Ellie (1955) TV episode .... Ellie "Racket Squad"
- The Case of the Matchmaker (1952) TV episode .... May Norton
"Your Show Time"
- Mademoiselle Fifi (1949) TV episode

Of those, the most interesting was her performance as the historical figure of Empress Carlotta in 'Cheyenne'. Many historic Old West figures passed through the Westerns of the fifties, mostly Doc Holliday or Billy the Kid or Jesse James, I would imagine. So having the fictional lead interact with the Empress of Mexico made for a nice change of pace.

Here's a plot description from the Classic TV Archive (as always, the link's to the left):

Cheyenne is in Mexico during the French occupation of the country in the 1860s. He meets and falls in love with the beautiful Princess Maria Felitzia. Her royal highness has just arrived from Europe to marry a man she has never met, General Dubeauchois, an officer in the French Army.

The wedding has been arranged as an affair of state and the princess has been led to believe that the General is a young, handsome and virile soldier.

She is horrified to discover that her future bridegroom is fat, middle-aged,and egotistical. In fact she'd much rather marry Cheyenne. But it is not to be. At the end of the episode Princess Maria sails back to the old world leaving Cheyenne broken-hearted standing on the dockside watching her ship sail away.
[Thanks, DWMcG!)

One of the necklaces worn by the Empress Carlotta would one day be reproduced and sold to the general public. (Unfortunately it appeared to be a monstrosity that only women could recognize.) Nearly a century after Empress Carlotta wore the jewelry, Mel Cooley's cousin sold a replica to Robert Petrie to be a gift for his wife Laura.
She hated it. Hilarity ensued.

So Joy Page's performance as the Empress Carlotta, and perhaps even the jewelry she wore in the "Border Affair" episode, links 'Cheyenne' to "Empress Carlotta's Necklace", an episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

Toby OB

1 comment:

Brent McKee said...

Step-daughter of Jack L. Warner, which is generally agreed to be the reason why she got the role in "Casablanca" and maybe why she got any work at all - most of her TV appearances were on Warner Brothers series.