"The kindest, most lovely woman in the world died an hour ago. Lela Rogers. Ginger's mother."
Ginger Rogers, star of RKO classic musicals with Fred Astaire, was a special guest star on one of Lucille Ball's post-I LOVE LUCY spin-offs in 1971. In 1937, Ginger and Lucy whipped out wisecracks as struggling New York City actresses who live in a women's theatrical boarding house. The RKO movie, STAGE DOOR, was an Oscar nominee for Best Picture. Ginger was a big star then on the RKO lot. Lucy was a screen newcomer. Here's a clip.
"Lela Rogers created the Hollywood Studio Club, a place where young actresses could live, and be safe from these rapist men. In those days, when you were raped, a girl never mentioned it."
Ginger Rogers had a big comedy hit with a project that marked Billy Wilder's first time as film director. The movie was THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR, a 1942 Paramount release.
Lela Rogers was an accomplished woman who was devoted to helping her daughter achieve a successful film career. According to Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers' mother helped a lot of other women, daughters of parents she never knew, by creating the Hollywood Studio Club. I'm so glad Taylor Negron shared that story.