This Day in Ann Dvorak History: Warner Bros. Plays Nice (Kind Of)
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 48
In February 1933, Ann Dvorak and Leslie Fenton had finished traipsing around Europe & Africa, and were taking the slow boat back to Los Angeles from Italy. They had been MIA since July of the previous year after abruptly departing, leaving Hollywood and Ann’s Warner Bros. contract behind. As Ann and Leslie were taking in the sights, her studio had been trying to figure out what do about her. They had recently shelled out $40,000 to Howard Hughes for her contract, and while they were incensed (and baffled) by her actions, they needed to recoup that cost and were not about to let her go. They assumed she would have to return eventually and decided to follow business as usual, which included exercising her options as they came up.
On February 17, Warner Bros. exercised an option which extended Ann’s contract and raised her rate to $325 a week, which was $75 more than when she took off. Not too shabby for a 21-year-old during the country’s worst economic climate. They sent the notice to Ann’s recently appointed agent, Myron Selznick, to a hotel in Naples, Italy (the couple’s last known whereabouts), and to 3339 Troy Drive, the address the studio had on file that was also the residence of Leslie Fenton’s mother.
In light of Ann’s departure, Warner Bros. seemed to be behaving in a fairly level-headed manner. Only time would tell how they would act once the boat docked.