In Remembrance: Joy Page

 

     Joy Page, the actress who got her start playing the young Bulgarian newlywed who turns to Humphrey Bogart for help in Casablanca, has passed away on April 18, 2008 in Los Angeles. She was 83.

 

     In the classic 1942 film, Pageís character turns to Bogart for help when she and her husband (Helmut Dantine) are unable to raise enough money to purchase the exit visas they need to flee to America. Rather than see her give in to Capt. Renaultís (Claude Rains) more physically intimate offer in exchange for the documents, Bogartís Rick allows her husband to win at roulette enough money to buy them.

 

     Born on Nov. 9, 1924, in Los Angeles, Page got the part after studio acting coach Sophie Rosenstein suggested she audition. Her step father, studio chief Jack L. Warner, wasnít thrilled that the 17-year old Beverly Hills High School senior, daughter of Warnerís wife Ann Boyar by a previous marriage to silent screen actor Don Alvarado, wanted to get into acting. Despite a good performance in the film, Warner never offered her a contract with the studio.

 

     Instead, Page went on to make only a handful of films at a variety of studios. Her second role was over at Warners rival MGM, where she played Ronald Colemanís daughter in adventure-fantasy Kismet. For Universal, she made Man-Eater Of Kumaon (1948) with Sabu and The Shrike (1955) with Jose Ferrer and June Allyson. She starred opposite Robert Stack in Republicís Bullfighter And The Lady (1955). Two years later, she appeared with Stack again in the western Conquest Of Cochise at Columbia with William Castle directing.

 

     Page also worked in the emerging medium of television, appearing on such shows as The Ford Television Theater, Studio 57, Schlitz Playhouse Of Stars, Wagon Train and Cheyenne.

 

     Her final film was the 1958 Disney picture Tonka. She retired from acting in 1960.