Hollywood Chess II


The November, 1948 Issue of Chess Review offer this intriguing bit of information:



Lyn Henderson (aka Mitzi Mayfair)

Southwest Woman Champion
   Mrs. Charles E. Henderson of Los Angeles, California, won the Southwest area championship in round 1 of our 1947 Women's Postal Chess Championship. In double-round competition with six others, from Oklahoma, Texas and California, she won all but one game, a draw with Mrs. Thelma F. Nelson of Pacific Palisades, California.
   Mrs. Henderson is better known to our postalites as Lyn Henderson, but is still better known to the world as the former Mitzi Mayfair of Broadway and Hollywood fame. The movie, "Four Jills in a Jeep," was based on experiences from her overseas tours during the last war, with Kay Francis, Carole Landis and Martha Raye.
   Lyn had been playing chess only three years when she started in the Women's Postal Championship. She took a few lessons from Herman Steiner because chess meant so much to her husband. She took them well, too; for, besides qualifying for the Women's Finals, she has three and a half points in the 1947-8 Golden Knights and has had a game published in our postal chess department.


from Duty, Honor, Applause 2004, by Gary L. Bloomfield, Stacie L. Shain, Arlen C. Davidson:
     "On a lighter note, Carole Landis and several other starlets had 
     toured North Africa in late 1942, entertaining the troops.  Landis 
     kept a daily journal of their experiences, and after returning to 
     Hollywood put everything together for a book.  In 1944  Fox made 
     the book into Four Jills in a Jeep, with Mitzi Mayfair, Kay Francis 
     and Martha Rae in a lighthearted re-creation of their trek from 
     England to the Dark Continent.  Othe guest stars included Jimmy 
     Dorsey and his band, George Jessel, Betty Grable, Carmen Miranda, 
     Dick Haymes, Alice Faye and Phil Silvers."

Scene from

Kay, Mitzi, Martha, and Carole in a scene from  Four Jills in a Jeep.

In September 1942, these 4 young ladies joined the USO tour as the "Feminine Theatrical Task Force".  According to Landis, "Kay introduced the show, Martha told jokes, Mitzi danced, and Carole sang (her specialty was the song Strip Polka)."
While Carole Landis' book, which not only recounted their tour but described what it was like for four women to travel together and perform for  soldiers, was serialized by the Saturday Evening Post and finally published, recieving rave reviews, the movie which was controlled by producers and such, was little more than fluff with scant connection to the book.  However, the movie was Mitzi Mayfair's only venture onto the silver screen (playing herself). She had been, and remained, a stage dancer.

On the left is a circa 1931 photo of Mitzi Mayfield with the Ziegfeld Follies where she performed from July 1, 1931 to November 21, 1931.

Other credits include the musical comedy, Take a Chance,  from November 26, 1932 to July 1, 1933 ; Calling All Stars,  from December 13, 1934 to January 12, 1935 ; The Show is On, from December 25, 1936 - July 17, 1937