Ann Harding, date unknown.
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Ann Harding
Forecourt Ceremony held on Saturday, August 30, 1930
Born: Dorothy Walton Gatley, August 7, 1902, in San Antonio, Texas
Age at the time of the ceremony: 28
Died: September 1, 1981, in Sherman Oaks, California, age 79
Ann Harding was an up-and-coming M-G-M star at the time of her footprinting ceremony. She went on to have a considerable career in films, on stage, radio and television.

Born into an Army family, young Dorothy was schooled in East Orange New Jersey, then attended Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania. She broke into show business initially as a script reader. Ann made her Broadway debut in Like a King in 1921. By 1924, she became a regular player at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley Pennsylvania, where she was directed and tutored by Jasper Deeter.

Harding became a prominent player on the stages of Pittsburgh, where she acted with and married Harry Bannister in 1926. She played the lead character in the Broadway play The Trail of Mary Dugan in 1927, but it was not a success. However, she was well-known enough, and was signed to a contract to headline in films for Pathé. Her first film for them was Paris Bound with Fredric March (released in April 1929), followed by Her Private Affair co-starring with her husband Harry Bannister (released in September 1929).

With Pathé unproductive as they slid toward their fated merger with R-K-O, Harding was loaned out to other studios. For Sam Goldwyn, she co-starred with Ronald Coleman in Condemned (which played the Chinese in December 1929), then, brought back to Pathé for the comedy Holiday (released in July 1930) for which and she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. Harding was doing so well in films, and so grateful for her stage training, that she bought the Hedgerow Theatre and donated it to her acting mentor, Jasper Deeter. The Hedgerow Theatre is open today.

An interesting aspect of Ms. Harding's Forecourt ceremony is that Jean Klossner, the man who prepaired all of the cement blocks and finished them for posterity, had Harding sign a five dollar bill, as it was the only piece of paper he had on him. Klossner kept up the tradition, and for each celebrity he imprinted, he had them sign a dollar bill.

Harding then made The Girl of the Golden West (released in October 1930) with hubby Harry Bannister playing the heavy, for First-National and East Lynne with Clive Brook (released in March 1931) for Fox.

By now, Harding was enfolded into the R-K-O studio, starring in such films as: Devotion with Leslie Howard (released in September 1931), The Animal Kingdon again with Leslie Howard (released in December 1932), When Ladies Meet with Robert Montgomery (released in June 1933), The Right to Romance with Robert Young (released in November 1933), The Life of Vergie Winters with John Boles (released in June 1934), Biography of a Bachelor Girl with Robert Montgomery again (released in January 1935), The Flame Within with Herbert Marshall (released in May 1935), and Peter Ibbetson with Cary Cooper (released in November 1935).

After all this, Harding decided to give up the picture business. She was tired of playing the same part over and over. After co-starring with Walter Abel in The Witness Chair in 1936, Harding lit out, making a low-budget indie thriller, A Night of Terror with Basil Rathbone in 1937.

After that, Harding married conductor Hans Werner Janssen, moving to Baltimore where Janssen led the Symphony there. Janssen wanted to write music for films, so back to Hollywood they went, with Harding accepting second-string roles in a variety of films like, Mission to Moscow (released in May 1943), The Magnificent Yankee (released in December 1950) as well as The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (which played the Chinese in April 1956). She also appeared on early television shows such as Schlitz Playhouse, Lux Video Theatre, Studio 57, General Electric Theatre, and into the early 1960s.

Divorced from Janssen in 1962, Harding died in 1981 at the age of 79.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Ann Harding Forecourt block. Executed by Jean Klossner, Saturday, August 30, 1930. 60 x 44 inches overall.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Ann Harding Forecourt ceremony, Saturday, August 30, 1930. Harding's husband Harry Bannister stands to the left, while she is assisted in making her impressions by cement artist Jean Klossner on the right.
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