Brenda Joyce was the 7th Jane to star opposite Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan. Also known for her role in the academy award winning film ‘The Rains Came’ with George Brent ,Myrna Loy and the utterly delectable Tyrone Power . Joyce was a B movie actress but certainly did not go unnoticed in Hollywood circles.She had been discovered by Fox Studios when one of their talent scouts had discovered her in a fashion magazine. That easy you might say …. well it would seem so. She did have,however, a certain quality that made her a little different. Se was described as being a wholesome tomboy with a degree of self assuredness. This made her a great choice for naive ingenue roles which was just as well as she was only 17 when cast in ‘The Rains Came’ in 1939. This image was played up to the hilt in her next film ‘Maryland’ in which she plays the daughter of a horse trainer with a passion for horses. In 1942 she made a nice little propaganda film called ‘Little Tokyo U.S.A. which ,of course was all about Japanese conspiracy plots against America being planned on home turf. A film called ‘Thumbs Up’ saw her cast as a nightclub singer who volunteers to work in a British munitions factory and decides to stay and help the war effort rather than return to her singing career. Very noble indeed. ‘The Enchanted Forest’ in 1945 which was an unexpected runaway success. In it Joyce plays a young mother whose son has been lost in the forest. They are reunited with the help of an old hermit who lives there. The hermit also plays matchmaker for the young mother and unites her with a young doctor in the village. It was soon after this film that she was cast in the Tarzan films replacing Maureen O Sullivan. Her last Tarzan film was with Lex Barker in 1949′ The Magic Fountain’ after which Brenda Joyce retired from Hollywood. She died at the age of 92 in 2009. I guess Hollywood just wasn’t her thing.
© Renee Dallow ( Hybiscus Bloom ) 30/7/2014