Paramount kept a lot of people working during the Depression, including my father, who worked in the photography studio, developing the stars' black & white photo prints that were autographed and issued by the studios. It was quite a publicity machine. He also ended up with a bit part in "The Great Waltz" after being a part of the hired cavalry run by Richard von Opel for the western movie genre. After WWII, he went into a "proper" career like so many other vets, moving out of Hollywoodland and into the real world.
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