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New Hollywood Canteen Book

New Hollywood Canteen Book

Authors Lisa Mitchell and Bruce Torrence finished penning their new book, “The Hollywood Canteen” and had it released in June 2012.  Opened on October 3, 1943, the Hollywood Canteen was for the benefit of servicemen during World War II.  It was founded by Bette Davis and John Garfield and with the assistance of Dr. Jules Stein, the Canteen became one of the most popular places in Hollywood during the war.





Millionth Man

The millionth serviceman to visit the Hollywood Canteen was Sgt. Carl Bell, of Rising Star, Texas.  Greeted at the front door by several gorgeous movie stars (Marlene Dietrich, Lana Turner, just to name a couple), Sgt.Bell was escorted in to a hero’s welcome.  Kissed by Lana Turner and sung to by Jimmy Durante, Bell was also given a bag of gifts.



Of all the Canteen activities, dancing was one of the favorites.  Servicemen were able to dance with such beautiful stars as Bunny Waters. Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamar and Joan Leslie. Every so often, a “Tag Dance” was called which meant a serviceman could “cut in” on another serviceman and take his place dancing with a hostess.





Unquestionably, the entertainment at the Hollywood Canteen was the best Hollywood had to offer.  Each night, there were two floor show featuring such entertainers as Mickey Rooney, Bob Hope, Red Skelton and Dinah Shore.

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