Movie star mystery photo

Los Angeles Times file photo

Our mystery guest on the left (Arthur Shields–or is it?) has more than 80 credits on imdb and more than 20 credits on on ibdb. The mystery woman (Maureen Delany) has less than 25 credits on imdb and more than 20 credits on ibdb.


Los Angeles Times file photo

Here’s our mystery guest, but in a trick shot. This is from a play rather than one of his many films. The mystery woman, alas, is unidentified on the back of the photo, but I’ve narrowed her identity down to just a few actresses. Update: I suspect this is Eileen Crowe, but I’m not positive.

Los Angeles Times file photo

Yet another shot of our mystery guest. Several have guessed his identity: Alexa Foreman, Rance Ryan, Richard Heft and Michael Ryerson. Congratulations!  This photo is from a production of Sean O’Casey’s "The Plough and the Stars."

Los Angeles Times file photo

More folks have guessed our mystery guest: Herb Nichols, Claire Lockhart and redheaded555. This is Shields with Radha in "The River."

Yes, as nearly everyone has guessed (including Arye Michael Bender), this is Arthur Shields. Several folks wondered whether the top photo is actually Shields.

Here’s what I know. When we published the photo in 1938, we said it was Shields and Maureen Delany. The information written on the back of the photo in pencil says: "Maureen Delany Arthur Shields The Far Off Hills Abbey Theatre. Biltmore Theatre Ends Apr. 9th."


Here’s the 1938 cast list of "The Far Off Hills." If this fellow isn’t Shields, he must be someone else in this list. Any ideas?

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Stage. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Movie star mystery photo

  1. Rinky Dink says:

    Marjorie Main?


  2. Rinky Dink says:

    Walter Brennan?


  3. Arye Michael Bender says:

    Marie Dressler?


  4. Gregory Moore says:

    Roland Young, maybe? I’m not feeling terribly confident this time….


  5. Gary Hertzberg says:

    Ma and Pa Kettle before they retired to the farm.


  6. JJ says:

    Is it Barry Fitzgerald?


  7. MIKE SCANLON says:

    This has to be Barry Fitzgerald.


  8. Waldo Lydecker says:

    Two of the photos definitely identify him as Arthur Shields. The first one doesn’t look like Shields at all.


  9. Arye Michael Bender says:

    Both Barry and Arthur were blessed with good hair. That’s one reason I doubt the earliest picture is either of the Irish brothers. One doesn’t, in those pre-plug days, go from having tiny hair to good hair without a rug or chemo.


  10. Arye Michael Bender says:

    Incidental question: The background flat seen in the first, (probably not Shields) photo, I’ve seen before in other mysteries. Was this a tiny studio the paper used for visiting celebrities? Just curious.


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