Movie About Famous Wyoming Actress Makes First Screen Debut
She was born in Shoshoni Wyoming July 19th, 1907. Isabel Jewell was raised in one of Wyoming smallest towns in what can literally be called the middle of nowhere, in the middle of nothing. She dreamed of becoming an actress.
Getting out of Shoshoni was not easy but she figured it out. Then figured out how to get to Chicago where she finally landed her first role in a play. It was a bit part. But she had a chance to make the audience laugh and she stole some scenes.
From there she took a chance on The Big Apple and Broadway, finally making it into a play that was such a success it was made into a movie. She traveled to Hollywood to play her stage character on screen.
Jewell's film debut was named Blessed Event (1932). She had been brought to Hollywood by Warner Brothers for the film version of Up Pops the Devil. Jewell gained other supporting roles, appearing in a variety of films in the early 1930s.
After a few uncredited bit parts on the silver screen she was handed a contract and here career was off. Some of her more famous films were Ceiling Zero, Marked Woman, A Tale of Two Cities, and Gone with the Wind.
But she was always the supporting actress with very few lines. She did star in a few small features, like this one hour feature you can watch in the video above.
Over time work faded for Isabel. After work drinking and drugs handed to her by Hollywood took their toll.
Jewell died in Los Angeles, California on April 5, 1972, aged 64, after taking an overdose of barbiturates. Her ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
Since there was not a headstone to remember her some in who had worked with her and some she had work for in Hollywood decided to get her a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. You can see that star at this link.
Back in Wyoming, present time, a locally produced full length movie was made about Isabel with local actors. It made it's first big screen debut in Casper Wyoming on Saturday the 18th at the Rialto Theater Casper.
The 3 leading ladies arrived by limo. Alex Trimble, (or as I affectionally call her, The Lady Alex) on the left, plays Isabel Jewell. Alex is joined by costars Mary Mcpherson and Adrianne Fazel, who portray Jewell's best friend and mother. Alex was the producer for the syndicated radio show Wake Up Wyoming while she made the story of Isabel.
Many residents from Shoshoni drove to Casper to see the theater debut. One resident said, "Because Shoshoni no longer has a movie theater."
Local filmmaker Dennis Rollins has been planning the film for more than two years and, with the help of a script from Pat Greiner of Casper.
After this first time on screen the movie now goes to various film festivals to see how it will do. It will not be seen on the big screen again any time soon. But at some point it will be available to the public.
Forgotten Ingenue boasts a cast and crew entirely of local Wyoming residents (although there is a special appearance by Criminal Minds and Elementary actor Eric Deskin), with most of the volunteers based out of Casper, where Rollins lives, although filming will take place throughout the state.
Below are some photos from the making of the movie.