American actor Richard Arlen was working as a messenger boy at Paramount studios in the early 1920s when he was injured in a slight accident; the story goes that Arlen went to the studio heads to thank them for their prompt medical care, whereupon the executives, impressed by Arlen's good looks, hired him as an actor. Whether the story is true or not, it is a fact that Arlen soon became one of Paramount's most popular leading men, earning a measure of screen immortality by costarring with Buddy Rogers and Clara Bow in the first-ever Oscar winning picture, Wings (1927). Arlen was memorably cast as a World War I flying ace, a part in which he felt uniquely at home because he'd been a member of the Royal Canadian Flying Corps during the "real" war (though he never saw any combat!) The actor retained his popularity throughout the 1930s, and when roles became harder to come by in the 1940s, he wisely invested his savings in numerous successful businesses. Keeping in character, Arlen was also part-owner of a civilian flying service, and worked as an air safety expert for the government during World War II. Still acting in TV and commercials into the 1960s, Richard Arlen was reunited with his Wings costar Buddy Rogers in an amusing episode of the TV sitcom Petticoat Junction.