The Most Thrilled Girl in Hollywood

11 Aug

August 11, 1936

Louela O. Parsons
Los Angeles Times

Sally Eilers is the most thrilled girl in Hollywood over winning the women’s doubles title with Josephine Cruikshank in the West Side Tennis Club’s first annual tournament; club members, headed by Errol Flynn, Frank Shields and Michael Bartlett, campaigning for less eccentric court attire. We’re with them 100 percent as long as they don’t bar Nigel “Willie” Bruce’s battered felt hat and John Cromwell’s pipe.

Here’s sexy silent and early talkies star, Sally Eilers. Her first husband was Hoot Gibson , who can be seen having a hoot in this Dodge City Premier photo featuring Errol. Her second husband was Harry Joe Brown, who produced both Captain Blood and Son of Captain Blood. In fact, Harry Joe Brown may have been the prime person responsible for Jack Warner’s selection of Errol as Captain Blood.

And here is the 1934 U. S. Tennis Team – Caroline Babcock, Alice Marble, Josephine Cruikshank, and Sarah Palfrey – as they boarded the steamship Bremen to return to the U.S. after defeating the United Kingdom team at Wimbledon. Josephine Cruikshank is third from the left. Alice Marble, another tennis friend of Errol’s (who won 18 Grand Slam Championships!) is second from the left.

Josephine Cruikshank a regular at the Los Angeles Tennis Club where the Pacific Southwest Championships as well as the Motion Picture tournaments were played. Other players at the club included Mickey Rooney, Rudy Vallee, Ozzie Nelson, Sam Yorty and Bing Crosby. Errol asked Josephine to be his partner in the Motion Picture championship final in 1937.

— Tim


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  1. Bob Schaffer

    August 11, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    The article is dated 1936. The second paragraph refers to an event in 1939 Dodge City. The 1936 date must refer to the first paragraph only.

  2. Paula

    August 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, GT. Any idea what is meant by “eccentric court attire”? And why they would want it to be less so? The lady’s outfit is pretty modest.

    • Gentleman Tim

      August 13, 2020 at 6:00 am

      Hey hey Paula! I suspect but don’t know for sure that some of the West Side T.C. members may have come to the tournament in comical garb, not in the traditional tennis white outfits required by most upscale tennis clubs in those days.

      For example, John Cromwell – well known for his pipe smoker – may have puffed on his pipe while playing?


      • Paula

        August 15, 2020 at 5:21 am

        Got it. Thanks, GT. I was just curious.