Last night, I watched the 1933 b-list movie The Circus Queen Murder.
The movie was light and engaging, and I was very taken with the previously unknown to me Ruthelma Stevens.
I've gotten in the habit of googling movies and actors while watching TCM, but aside from the above, and the fact that she also worked on stage
, there's very little of substance about ole Ruthelma online.
My experience was pretty similar to this person's,
who's written some of the only blog posts about her. Well, this all got me irrationally curious and I ended up spending an additional 4 hours or so crawling the web. I've looked at newspaper archives, got a trial membership at ancestry.com, prowled census records, done everything I know how to do online in search of Ruthelma Stevens.
I came up with a few extra tidbits, but not much. I'm wondering how y'all would take this further, barring travel. She costarred with Adolphe Menjou in at least 2 movies, and I'm wondering if his 1947 biography, "It Took Nine Tailors, might contain any anecdotes or references - I just don't want to spend $35ish dollars at Abe to find out (although the book is quite charming, otherwise, by all accounts.) I actually don't mind spending some money if it adds to these slim pickings about an otherwise unexplicably unremarked-upon life.