Beryl Wallace, The Fallen Star

Beryl Wallace, The Fallen Star

The beautiful, Beryl Wallace was only a kid, when she set her sights on becoming a dancer, full-time. She was the oldest of 9 children and her parents had immigrated to New Jersey, from Austria. They were poor, but Beryl had stars in her eyes. In her teens, she saw an open audition-call for Broadway, chorus girls. By 1928, Beryl was in New York City, on the Broadway stage. This particular 1928 Broadway production, was unlike any others. Not only did it tout, “the most beautiful girls in the world”, but Earl Carroll’s “Vanities” was the first play, on Broadway, to feature full nudity…risqué, right!? Well, Earl Carroll fell in love with the beautiful, young Beryl. Carroll took Beryl to Hollywood to perform at his newly, opened club…aptly titled, “The Earl Carroll Theatre”. The club was lavishly, decorated…(Donald Trump would have been proud).The facade of the building adorned, what was to become one of Hollywood’s most famous landmarks: a 20-foot, high neon facial portrait of, (guess who?) Beryl Wallace. In 1934, Beryl made a quiet big-screen debut, that was uncredited. She continued receiving bit-parts, but did find some adoration in B-movie, Westerns with Roy Rogers and Richard Dix. Beryl made 21 films, in 10 years, but her primary work was honoring her job, as top performer at Earl Carroll’s Theatre. During WWII, Beryl showed off her American pride & singing pipes, on a radio show exclusively, for the troops. She also hosted a half-hour, entertaining television program, on NBC. Sadly, Beryl and Earl Carroll’s story is cut short. The two perished, in an airline crash: “On June 17, 1948, while en route from Los Angeles to New York City, Beryl Wallace and Earl Carroll died in the crash of United Airlines Flight 624 in Aristes, Pennsylvania.” They were interred together in the Garden of Memory at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Beryl Wallace may have just gone on to be “another pretty face”, or she could’ve hit it big, in the movies. Unfortunately, we will never know. Earl Carroll’s neon portrait of Beryl was re-created and can be seen today, at Universal City, as part of the collection of historic neon signs from the Museum of Neon Art. The portrait that is posted with this entry is by, Henry Clive and appeared on the cover of The American Weekly, 3 days after Beryl died.


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