Duane Thompson

Active - 1925 - 1937  |   Born - Jul 28, 1903   |   Died - Aug 15, 1970   |   Genres - Romance, Western, Drama, Comedy, Crime

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

A WAMPAS Baby Star of 1925, blonde Duane Thompson (born Maloney) was discovered by two-reel comedian Billy Bletcher while dancing at Tait's Café in San Francisco. Small-time producer Morris R. Schlank promptly changed her masculine-sounding name to Violet Joy and as such she co-starred with Bletcher in a series of Spotlight comedies. The little slapstick farces were not exactly up to the standard set by Mack Sennett and Hal Roach and Thompson discarded the Violet Joy moniker as fast as she could. The fragrance of Poverty Row remained, however, and despite the WAMPAS tag, she failed to make much of an impact and was relegated to B-Westerns starring the likes of Tom Tyler, Buzz Barton, Bill Cody, and Pawne Bill Jr. (aka Ted Wells). There was also Frozen River (1929), a "part-barkie" starring Rin Tin Tin, and she had a few dialogue scenes in Voice of the City (1929), a lurid crime yarn that failed to generate much interest. Although Thompson continued to appear in the odd movie until 1937, she was much busier in radio soap operas.