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January 31, 2010



Super job! Thanks again for the great work.
Lance Moody

diarmid mogg

Good to know you liked it, Lance! I plan to post a few non-tragic stories next -- no suicides, murders or alcoholism for a while!


I'm a HUGE fan of your blog. I read your latest, and it just broke my heart. I knew that she passed away and that a fire had killed her two children and her grandmother, but I didn't the backstory. I hope you write more. And even if they are tragic stories, they're true stories nonetheless. That's how life is sometimes. But I think your blog is great. I don't see anything else like it. The people you write are famous once again through your blog. So I look forward to your next ones.

diarmid mogg

Thats really great to hear, Luis -- youre very kind indeed. Also, its always good to know someone out there is reading all this stuff!

Barry Rivadue

Fascinating research that you do--and it's invaluable in keeping such history alive.

Magnus Sandberg

I am a reader from Sweden who got the link from DVD savant month's (maybe years?) ago. I love this blog and I just wanted to tell you that. I only follow two blogs, a friends, and yours. /Best regards, Magnus

diarmid mogg

Thanks - that's pretty cool! Except now I feel guilty for not posting more regularly than once a month!

Magnus Sandberg

Please keep things as they are


I'm impressed with the depth and sensitivity with which The Unsung Joe has profiled these peripheral cinematic figures. Some were quite pleased with their 10 seconds of fame, it seems, while others were driven to misery by not achieving stardom.

I took particular interest in your profile of Beverly Wills, as I remember seeing her in reruns of "I Married Joan" in the early '80s. It may be an oversimplification to blame Beverly's alcoholism (and thus, her early death) on her mother's inflated expectations for her, but no doubt that was a contributor to her unhappiness.

In the story of her final day, you mentioned that she "TV-tested for a role in a pilot for The John MacIver Show and got the part." The star (actually "John McGiver") ultimately had his show picked up, for the 1964-65 season, as "Many Happy Returns." We can only speculate if this show would have marked an upturn in Beverly's career.


Like Howard, I'm impressed with the depth of research on this blog. I found nothing like this level of detail anywhere else. You're now one of my "favorites". Thanks for the good work.

Hollywood Girl

I stumbled on your blog today and absolutely love it. I'd just watched a movie with Joan on TCM and also remember watching her on I Married Joan. Out of curiousity I looked her up on Wikipedia and it mentioned her daughter. I knew nothing about her family history and ultimately it led to your blog. I was shocked to read about the fire and the entire "backstory" of how it happened. Clearly, Beverly bore the brunt of Joan's stage mother ambitions. A true tragedy, all the way around. Thanks so much for the research and beautifully written/respectful account of their lives on the edge of fame and fortune.

diarmid mogg

Thanks very much indeed. It's good to know this stuff hits its mark, however occasionally!


Just discovered your blog and will be adding you to the links on mine. Great job, as everyone else has said. I recently rediscovered I MARRIED JOAN on the local HOT (History of Television) network (it's almost exclusively public domain stuff, I've found) and was looking for info on the net about Davis and daughter. Very, very sad to learn the details of the fire. A heartbreaking end for all involved. :(

diarmid mogg

I'm very glad to have been of service, Hal. Thanks very much!

Tom Degan

Fifty-three years ago today, comedian Lou Costello died suddenly at the age of fifty-two. Here is one of my favorite scenes from all of the Abbot and Costello films. Lou dances with the great Joan Davis to Strauss's Blue Danube. Sadly, both of these gifted comic actors would die young - within a year of each other - vicitms of heart heart disease. Joan would not live to see her fifty-third birthday.


Debora Sanfilippo

Hi, Beverly Wills had a relationship with James Dean during summer 1951. It's in many of Dean's bios with her own accounts about their attachment. It was said that he thought about marrying her. Dean's hellraising behaviour and jealousy and Beverly' family opposition put an end to all.

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