Monday, February 21, 2011

Arts Reporting: Wimberley Players' Heiress Links to 1947 New York Production

Received directly via Wimberley Players' "Curtain Call" newsletter:

Heiress Wimberley Players

Wimberley Players

Curtain Call Wimberley Players

Perhaps the name Finklehoffe rings a bell?

Carolyn’s husband Fred F. Finklehoffe wrote, directed, and produced many plays, television shows, and films during his lifetime. One of the plays he produced was The Heiress at The Biltmore Theater on Broadway. Carolyn said that when Fred was producing The Heiress, he and director Jed Harris went to London to talk to Wendy Hiller about performing the leading role. Fred had told Carolyn that they would not have done the show if they could not have Wendy.

Carolyn FinkelhoffeCarolyn Finklehoffe resides with her daughter Casey and son-in-law Don Marinucci on their Texas Hill Country ranch. Don has shown and won in Western Pleasure for years, often competing in Texas, which is what spurred the big move for him and Casey. Four years ago, Carolyn said farewell to her home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined Casey & Don on the ranch.

Carolyn and Fred met at a private screening party given by Mickey Rooney in New York City. Rooney and Fred were good friends and frequently worked together on films. Carolyn worked as a fashion model, so an invitation from Rooney was run of the mill for the young woman who spent evenings out with the likes of Frank Sinatra. Carolyn said that when she arrived at the party, she saw Fred. At first sight, she knew that Fred would be the man she would marry.

Carolyn and Fred’s wedding was held at the home of Judy Garland. Her daughter, Liza Minnelli, was Carolyn’s flower girl. Judy Garland later became Casey’s godmother. Many of the shows Fred wrote were specifically for Miss Garland, and she was a dear friend of the Finklehoffe’s. Carolyn and Fred’s wedding was covered by Louella Parsons of the Associated Press, thus their wedding picture and write up appeared in papers nationwide.

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