Friday, February 15, 2008

Lenore Aubert

The first time I saw Lenore Aubert (pronounced "Oh-bear") in a movie, it was in "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". I immediately became attracted to her beauty and her accent, which I thought was sexy in itself. The entire output of Abbott and Costello feature movies were shown constantly on New York tv in the 1960s, and repeated often, so I got to see Ms. Aubert many times. And to my delight, she was also in another of their features, "Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer".

It wasn't until many years later, during the beginning of my autographed photo-collecting days, that I'd tried to get an address for her. I'd asked many other collectors, and some movie biographers, too, but none knew what had become of her. She seemed to have dropped off the planet.

About this time, I started to do my own research, perusing clippings folders at the NY Public Library, as well as browsing through any actors' directories for more information on favorite movie people, including Ms. Aubert. I did find one article which gave some information, but it was from 1947, and the few bits of what I thought would be useful, turned into dead ends.

I did call the two largest actors' unions, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). SAG had no address for her, not even an old one. But AFTRA referred me to their Pension Fund department, and while they had no address information, the person to whom I'd talked did give me Ms. Aubert's Social Security Number! (This was in about 1980, long before such things became extremely private). I held on to the number, but had given up in my quest to locate her.

Some years later, while on my job delivering parcels, I'd often passed a small Social Security Office, and one day decided to stop in and ask if they could/would tell me anything about Ms. Aubert. I gave her number to the front desk clerk, a young girl who wanted to be helpful. She ran the number through their computer system, and bingo! The record showed that Lenore was collecting benefits, and living in New York City. The clerk could not give me the address, but she did tell me that Lenore's name in their records was "Greene".

With that information, upon returning home, I looked in the Manhattan white pages, and found a few listings for "L. Greene". The first two I called were not Lenore, but the third was! However, she was less than friendly, not in an offensive way, but when I asked if I could talk to her about her movie career, she replied "I'm sorry, I cannot do that, I'm sorry." I told her I just wanted to let her know that she was remembered for her movies, thanked her for her time, and hung up.

Shortly after, I was contacted by Jim McPherson, who was the editor of the TV/Movies Magazine weekly, published by the Toronto (Canada) Sun newspaper. He'd heard of my success in locating in some of the "lost players" and asked about some of them. When I told him I'd recently located Lenore Aubert, he nearly melted away. She was on his "want list" for several years. After giving him all the contact information I had for her, he called her, and had better success than I did. He made arrangements to meet her at her apartment and interview her. This was in August 1987.

To thank me for putting him in contact with one of his all-time favorite actresses, Jim had her sign a photo to me. Due to several strokes she'd suffered in recent years, it took her about 10 minutes to inscribe the photo, according to Jim.

When Jim returned to Toronto, he wrote and published a two-part article about the lovely Ms. Aubert. It can be read here. And below is a photo Jim took, on the day of the interview.


14 comments:

Stephen Warde Anderson said...

Very grateful for the info on Lenore Aubert. I'm a big fan of hers. Particular like Catman of Paris and I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now , which was just on the Fox Movie Network. An artist, I exhibited a portrait of her in Chicago in a show called Haunted Heroines some years ago. Been thinking about painting her again for an upcoming museum portrait show. Your Lenore photo will come in handy. Thanks!

Lisa Arrow said...

I grew up enjoying Lenore's company; she was a frequent guest at my childhood home in NY from the time I was born. She was one of my mother's closest friends and was like an aunt to me. My mother, a runway model at the time, got Lenore into the modeling business after she left Hollywood. She was a gracious and lovely woman -- so glamorous, so kind. Her then husband was very fond of boating. I have special memories of my mother and I joining them on their boat for leisurely afternoons which would often include fishing, sunbathing, swimming, and sunset cocktails. As a teenager in Paris one summer, Lenore took me to lovely French restaurant for my 16th birthday...just the two of us. She was a dear, thoughtful person, and was very modest about her past life. Just as their portraits stand side-by-side in my living room "art gallery," I have every belief she and my mother are together again in heaven. Friends forever.

Ernesto A. Fernandez said...

Hi Bill I would like to thank you for creating this blog about lenore Aubert I have been a huge fan of her ever since abbott and costello meets frankenstein. I searched the web and could never find much information about her personal life until I came across this blog. I have been searching the web for a long time trying to find an autograph photo of her and I am happy to say that after a 10 year search I finally purchased one through ebay. I can tell you that an autograph picture of Lenore Aubert is very rare to find it appears that she didn't do much signing. I saw the article that stated she was married twice but there was no mention of children. Does anybody know if she ever had children?

Lisa Arrow said...

Ernesto,
To answer your question, Lenore never had any children. But she had an active social life filled with many friends who loved her. She and my mother were very close. As my mother was an only child, Lenore was like an aunt to me. She was a lovely person, inside and out.
I have a nice collection of personal letters and autographed photos from Lenore that she sent to my mother during their 50+ year friendship. You are correct; autographed photos of her can be hard to find.
~ Lisa

Anonymous said...

Neat ! I have found in my grandfathers things a "flicker" picture of her, that is a ribbed-surface plastic picture that changes when you shift it, it is a head shot and seemes as if she is saying something or pursing her lips as you tilt it, very pretty and sexy, I was wondering who she was, Thank you!

Frank said...

As someone pointed out, there is surprisingly little information on the internet about Lenore Aubert, and your blog probably contains the most detail to be found anywhere.

I checked findagrave.com, and there is no reference to a burial location for her. Perhaps someone who knew her will come along and post that information here so people so inclined can pay their respects.

Many people remember Lenore Aubert particularly fondly for her outstanding role in the classic film, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein." The other major female lead in that film (and perhaps last surviving participant at all), Jane Randolph, only recently passed away in 2009 at the age of 93.

Mark Myler said...

Lisa,
Referencing your comments from July, 2010, I had recently obtained 2-signed photos of Ms.Aubert that I'm having some difficulty in getting authenticated. With your permission, might I send you a couple of scans to look at? I would value your opinion greatly.
Thanks!

Jason said...

I just watched Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein for the first time with my boys last night. We all loved it and I especially loved Ms. Aubert. Thank you for sharing.

Lisa Arrow said...

Hello Mark,

So sorry for the long-delayed reply. I have not been back to this page in a long time. Perhaps you have authenticated the images by now. If not, I would be happy to take a look. How best to reach you?

Lisa Arrow

Luis Munoz said...

I recently purchased a set of cut autographs from a scrapbook belonging to a stuntman in early European film and Hollywood from the 20's until the 70's. In it was a 1" X 2.5" piece of scrapbook/ album page material in what appears to be black fountain pen signed as "Leonore Aubert." I saw that she used that name "Leonore" later in her career - any knowledge on that signing history. Very hard to find a variety of exemplars.

Luis Munoz said...

Last night I happened on a Hollywood Canteen letter for auction on E-bay. Lo and behold Lenore Aubert was first of the five signatures on the verso of the letter. 6 minutes left in the auction and I got the piece. Thrilled.

Steven Young said...

She and Lou Costello had great chemistry . . . The best of this starts at 8:25 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S47FCvn52Lg

John Coldwell said...
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John Coldwell said...

Bill,
I am blown away what you were able to do to track Ms Aubert down. The younger generation doesnt appreciate back then the only tools you had to track stars down was the phone the library and the mail service and resources were much harder to find. I am amazed and happy you were able to track her down.

Like you I am a big fan. growning up in the 1970's on Sunday Mornings our local ABC affiliate would play Abbott and Costello movies every Sunday. I never missed them and of course Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein was one of my favorites as also I loved the classic Universal Monsters. Like you I found Ms Aubert a very attractive and unqiue personality her and costello had the perfect chemistry for that movie. I am glad it all worked out and I definitely envy the opportunity you had.


I got into Autograph collecting in the late 1990's and I am happy the interview happened thanks to you so we all can share in it. Oddly enough my 2 boys now also Love Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstien and find her and the show just as interesting as we did.

Regards,

John Colwell