Photoplay (Jan-Jun 1929)

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Girl Wanted By Cal York Charlie Chaplin went to a Los Angeles fight recently. He saw Virginia Cherrill, a blonde Chicago visitor to the coast. He signed her immediately for his forthcoming comedy, "City Lights" JUST what does it take to be Charlie Chaplin's leading lady? If you can figure that out, you can be Mayor of Beverly Hills and dance the first seven dances with Clara Bow. For Charlie's leading women have been the sensation of Hollywood and, later, of the movie-mad world. Hollywood wakes up every morning, stretches, yawns and asks the clerk what the latest quotation is on Chariot's Lead, Preferred. There's no answer. Evidently, all a gal needs is a lot of luck, all good. Recently Chaplin saw a Chicago girl named Virginia Cherrill at a bo.x fight. Before you could say Waladek Sbyszko she was made leading woman of "City Lights," his new film. She probably didn't know a Kleig light from an assistant property man, but, P. S., she got the job. Of course, if you are a nut on hunches, believe in numerology and once played the Ouija board, you can go for the '"A" hunch. Look at the list. Edn-A, Lit-A, Georgi-A, Mern-A, and now Virgini-A. But let that go. Chaplin, himself, carried it further. HERE are the characteristics he wants in one of his leading women — Appeal, adaptability, ambition, amiability, and attractiveness. The ayes seem to have it. Where other stars hem, haw and figure, ChapHn picks his girls out of thin air. If he knew of thinner air, he would go to it. If you girls think you are all broken out with a rash of "IT," don't bother about a Chaplin job. He places physical appeal last in his list of qualifications. Hear the Little Grey Clown himself on the subject. "To be a leading lady for me," says Charlie, "a girl must have appeal, but not necessarily sex appeal. She must have youth, but not necessarily screen experience. "In fact, I prefer that she have no picture e.xperience. Without it, she has fewer faults to correct. She must be adaptable, too, in order to take direction. She should have some appreciation of music in order to be The very first scene of Charlie Chaplin and his new discovery, Virginia Cherrill. Charlie says his leading women must have appeal, adaptability, ambition, amiability and attractiveness. All A's — and Virginia fills the bill. Charlie's leading women last one picture and then depart. But they're famous isa •iU