Classic Hollywood #146 – W.C. Fields & Joe DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio Visits W.C. Fields On The Set Of You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man – 1939

Comedian W.C. Fields does not strike me as someone who would have had any passion for baseball. In James Curtis’ comprehensive 2003 biography of Fields, not one page mentions baseball or any player of the National Pastime. So the news caption below for this photograph is pure Hollywood ballyhoo.

Batting Instruction
Hollywood, Calif. – W.C. Fields (left) getting personal instruction on the proper way to hold a baseball bat from Joe DiMaggio (right), when the New York Yankee slugger recently visited Fields on the Universal studio set of “You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man.”  photo: Acme –  January 14, 1939

Whereas Fields interest was more likely limited to drinking with ballplayers or how to properly hold a highball glass, DiMaggio’s interest in movies presented an opportunity to meet glamorous actresses.

Before DiMaggio wed Marilyn Monroe in 1954, he married actress Dorothy Arnold on November 19, 1939. DiMaggio met Arnold in January 1937 on the set of her movie Manhattan Merry Go-Round.

Both of DiMaggio’s marriages ended in divorce.

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