Bryson, became a Earl Caroll Show girl, who began as a stand-in
for the famous motion picture and television star, Loretta Young.
Maggie, as is true of most Hollywood stand-ins, was used for the
tiring, tedious and time consuming work that high powered actresses
usually want to avoid.
not seen on the screen, a movie stand-in's role is a vital and
necessary element of the production. No matter the long grueling
hours, Maggie, as she came to be known, thought every minute of
it was great fun. There were many interesting side benefits that
went with the job. She had many opportunities to play Gin Rummy
with Bing Crosby, or dance with Bob Hope, and it was apparent
to everyone that James Stewart flirted with Maggie on any occasion
and used every ounce of his charm in an attempt to win her over.
Hope called Maggie "The Poor Man's Loretta Young", She
was called "The healthy Loretta", which was in reference
to her personality being 'nicer' than that of the star's. Eventually,
a films crew would call her "Loretta". It seemed easier.
Loretta Young's films, Maggie's own personal career, allowed for
European tours as a Soloist singer, for the London Palladium.
While on tour she enjoyed the surge of fans circling around her
for autographs. It was a bit of a 'mixed pleasantry'. Some fans
wanted Maggie's autograph, while some others believed she was
Loretta Young and so wanted 'hers'.
to her 'day job' she was featured in a Musical along with ten
of Hollywood's best known "Doubles'. The group toured the
United States, Canada and Europe for one year.
Maggie was married to famous set designer Frank Wurmser so her
career was done more or less...a lark. Maggie never sought out
the work and it sort of found her. Her path to show business began
through her incredible resemblance to Loretta Young. “I
was mistaken for her all the time.”
a beach in Waikiki, Joel McCrea, came over, introduced himself,
said she looked so much like Loretta Young he felt as if he knew
her. He sat down next to her and chatted for over an hour.
Once on the front steps of a church in Beverly Hills, Loretta
Young's brother-in-law, spotted Maggie, did a double take, introduced
himself, and said the resemblance was startling.
afternoon in a Hollywood Bistro, Maggie noticed a group of men
seated at a table across the restaurant constantly staring at
her, when suddenly one left his lunch companions, came over to
her table, and introduced himself. He was Loretta Young's ex-husband.
He told her that he and the other men all thought Maggie's resemblance
to the actress was uncanny.
a great number of these 'mistaken identity' encounters occurred,
Margaret's husband, Frank Wurmser, decided to contact United Artist
Studio. He dropped off some of her photos and just one week later
Maggie received a casting call to try out as Loretta Young's double.
says, “I walked into the casting office and was instantly
greeted with 'ooohs' and 'aaahs' " At that moment everyone,
including Maggie, knew she had the job and everyone, except Loretta
Young, seemed pleased. Loretta wasn't happy. She never was happy
about it. Maggie was very beautiful, and a younger version of
Young. During their first meeting between Loretta and Maggie things
were tense. They never got much better.
day when Maggie was on the set, wardrobe had dressed her exactly
like the actress, and wearing a hat. She looked great. Maggie
remembers, “Miss Young told me that I had the hat on backwards"
Then Maggie says Young abruptly readjusted the chapeau with one,
exaggerated tug. David Niven, was on the set and witnessed the
temperament. Later he comforted Maggie.
is regretful that she and Young never became close and in fact
not even friendly. She tells how one of her friends, a girl named
Sylvia, worked as Joan Crawford's double and the two had become
very friendly. So friendship was possible between a powerful actress
and her double. Though Maggie worked for years as Loretta's double,
the star never relented in her standoffish style. Maggie never
Being a double has drawbacks if you want to pursue your own career.
You are pegged. There was only room for one Loretta Young in Hollywood
and as a famous producer once told Maggie: “If you didn't
look so much like her, I'd put you under contract, but Loretta
beat you to it.”
so, Maggie doesn't regret one minute of her time spent as Loretta's
stand-in. "If I hadn't looked like her, I probably wouldn't
have pursued the business. For me, it was a wonderful time. Everything
was fun and glamorous. Some people dread going to work. I loved
on, another career materialized for Maggie. She was featured in
a musical, ‘Hit and Run’. It was in that musical that
the world famed, showman/producer/promoter, Earl Carrol, spotted
her, noted her stately beauty, and immediately hired her as an
"Earl Carrol Showgirl".
logo above his nightclub door read, "Through These Portals
Pass The Most Beautiful Girls In The World", Maggie then
became her own person. No longer a double for Loretta. She was
now a Star in her own right.
Frank Wurmser * Husband
(2) LaVaun Bryson * Sister
(3) Clarence Bryson * Father
(4) Maggie Wurmser Bryson * Double
(5) Minnie Bryson * Mother
Bryson Show Girl and her Famous Friend
* * *
The Internet Movie Database