Wednesday, May 28, 2008

June Gittelson a/k/a June Bryde

June Gittelson was an actress who appeared in movies mostly in the 1930s. In features, she was in supporting roles, but in comedy shorts, her roles were more substantial.

Ms. Gittelson was a big heavy woman, and was subjected to typecasting in comedic roles. She never minded it - she admitted so in an interview. She knew she was not 'leading lady' material, and was happy to work in whatever roles were assigned to her. Her characters were invariably the "fat girl", "fat girl singer", "big woman", "fat party guest", etc. Most of her screen appearances were not credited at the time, but rather she was identified later by movie fans who knew her name and recognized her.

She was a 'lost supporting player' in The Three Stooges comedies for many years, until I located another supporting player, Maxine Gates. During my initial phone call with Ms. Gates, she mentioned one of her friends also worked with the Stooges - June Thale (which was her married name). I told her I didn't know that name, and then she said "I think her name was Gittelson at the time of her movie years". She gave me June's phone number, and when I called, she was very happy to hear from a fan who remembered and appreciated her movie work.

Ms. Gittelson told me that much later in her career, she changed her professional name to June Bryde, which was suggested by one of her brothers. Her family name had become well-known in business in Los Angeles, and she didn't want to 'make it' in the movies just because of her name. (I thought this was somewhat odd, because she'd already been using her family name for several years).

I didn't have any photos of June at the time, so she kindly provided two - a portrait and a scene still from an unidentified comedy.

Below is a photo I bought a few years ago, a posed still with June and Curly, from a Three Stooges comedy.


nonsportsnut said...

The photo above is from the 1937 Stooges short "The Sitter Downers".

Frank Reighter

Bill Cappello said...

Thanks, Frank. My memory sometimes isn't as good as I'd like it to be, so I didn't want to chance making a mistake. Thanks again.

Suldog said...

One of my favorite comic actresses.