John Chester Brooks Morris (February 16, 1901 – September 11, 1970) was an American stage, film, television, and radio actor. He had some prestigious film roles early in his career, and was nominated for an Academy Award. Chester Morris is best remembered today for portraying Boston Blackie, a criminal-turned-detective, in the modestly budgeted Boston Blackie film series of the 1940s.
Chester Morris was born John Chester Brooks Morris in New York City, and was one of five children of Broadway stage actor William Morris and stage comedian Etta Hawkins. His siblings who lived to adulthood were screenwriter-actor Gordon Morris, actor Adrian Morris, and actress Wilhelmina Morris. Another brother, Lloyd Morris, had died young.
Morris dropped out of school and began his Broadway career at 15 years old opposite Lionel Barrymore in The Copperhead. He made his film debut in the silent comedy-drama film An Amateur Orphan (1917).
After appearing in several more Broadway productions in the early 1920s, Morris joined his parents, sister, and two brothers, Gordon and Adrian, on the vaudeville circuit. From 1923, they performed William Morris' original sketch called All the Horrors of Home, which premiered at the Palace Theatre, New York, then on the Keith-Orpheum circuit for two years, including Proctor's Theatre, Mount Vernon, New York, and culminating in Los Angeles in 1925. Morris returned to Broadway with roles in The Home Towners (1926) and Yellow (1927). While appearing in the 1927 play Crime, he was spotted by a talent agent and was signed to a film contract.
Morris made his sound film debut in the 1929 film Alibi, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He followed with roles in Woman Trap (1929), The Case of Sergeant Grischa (1930) and The Divorcee, starring Norma Shearer in 1930. Later that year, Morris was cast as one of the leads (with Wallace Beery and Robert Montgomery) in the MGM prison drama The Big House. For the next two years, he worked steadily in films for United Artists and MGM and was cast opposite Jean Harlow in the 1932 comedy-drama Red-Headed Woman.
By the mid- to late 1930s, Morris' popularity had begun to wane and he was cast as the lead actor such B-movies as Smashing the Rackets (1938) and Five Came Back (1939). In 1941, Morris' career was revived when he was cast as criminal-turned-detective Boston Blackie. Morris appeared in a total of 14 Boston Blackie films for Columbia Pictures, beginning with Meet Boston Blackie. He reprised the role of Boston Blackie for the radio series in 1944. During World War II, Morris performed magic tricks in over 350 USO shows. He had been practicing magic since the age of 12 and was considered a top amateur magician.
While appearing in the Boston Blackie series, Morris continued to appear in roles in other films mostly for Pine-Thomas films for Paramount Pictures. After appearing in 1949's Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture, the final Boston Blackie film, Morris largely retired from films. During the 1950s, he focused mainly on television and theatre, returning to Broadway in 1954 in the comedy The Fifth Season. During this time, Morris also appeared in guest spots for the anthology series Cameo Theatre, Lights Out, Tales of Tomorrow, Alcoa Premiere, Suspense, Danger, Robert Montgomery Presents, The Web, Phillip Morris Playhouse, Studio One, and Kraft Television Theatre. He briefly returned to films in 1955 with a role in the prison drama Unchained, followed by a role in the 1956 science-fiction horror film The She-Creature. In 1960, he had recurring role as Detective Lieutenant Max Ritter in the CBS summer replacement series, Diagnosis: Unknown. The series lasted a year, after which Morris appeared in the NBC television film A String of Beads. In November 1960, he returned to Broadway as Senator Bob Munson in the stage adaptation of the 1959 novel Advise and Consent. Morris remained with the production until it closed in May 1961. In October, he reprised his role for the touring production.
In the early to mid-1960s, Morris appeared in guest spots for the dramas Route 66, The Defenders, and Dr. Kildare. In 1965, he replaced Jack Albertson in the Broadway production of The Subject Was Roses. He reprised his role in the play for the touring production in 1966.
In mid-1968, Morris starred opposite Barbara Britton in the touring production of Where Did We Go Wrong?. After the production wrapped, he returned to his home in Manhattan, where his health began to decline. Morris was later diagnosed with stomach cancer. Despite his declining health, Morris began work on what was his last film role, as Pop Weaver in the biographical drama The Great White Hope (1970). The film was released after his death. After filming wrapped, Morris joined the stage production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
On September 11, 1970, Lee R. Yopp, the producer and director of Caine, was scheduled to have lunch with Morris. After Yopp could not reach Morris by phone at his motel room, he went to Morris' room, where he found the actor's body lying on the floor. The county coroner attributed Morris' death to an overdose of barbiturates. His remains were cremated and scattered over a German river.
Morris was married twice. He first married Suzanne Kilbourne on November 8, 1926. They had two children, John Brooks and Cynthia. Kilbourne was granted an interlocutory divorce in November 1939 which was finalized on November 26, 1940.
On November 30, 1940, Morris married socialite Lillian Kenton Barker at the home of actor Frank Morgan. They had a son, Kenton, born in 1944. The couple remained married until Morris' death in 1970.
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Someone Else’s Baby
Word count: 1,807
Pairings: Venable x reader, Reader x OC
Chapters: 1, 2
Summary: Things between you and Venable had ended rocky. When Venable realizes that she’s still in love with you, she travels to find you to make things right. You’ve moved on with someone else. Mina is determined to win you back and give you the love you deserve.
A/N: Here you guys go! It’s been a long wait, but here’s chapter two! Sorry that it’s short but I have a lot more to write up. Enjoy! I hope you guys like it!
A loud crack of thunder rumbled outside of the airport. Most of the other travelers looked nervous, but Wilhelmina wasn’t too worried about the weather. As long as she could get back to sunny Los Angeles and never come to this state again, she was happy to travel in any weather. She turned the page of the book she was reading before the intercom blared a voice from overhead.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are experiencing quite some severe weather up in the skies. All flights to Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles have been canceled until further notice. Please visit one of our customer service desks to reschedule your flight.”
Everyone around her began to groan and mumble. Wilhelmina’s eyes widened at the sudden news. There was absolutely no way that she was going to be stuck here. Frantically, she reached for her cell phone and called Jeff’s number. When the line connected, she could hear hooting and hollering in the background of the call.
“Miss Venable! What the fuck is up, man!” Jeff cried out.
Wilhelmina rolled her eyes. They must’ve gotten another shipment of coke while she was gone.
“Mr. Pfister, I need a private jet sent to me as soon as possible.”
“Hey! Mutt, Venable’s heading back!”
“YAY!” Mutt yelled into the phone. Venable took the phone away from her ear for a moment so she wouldn’t go deaf.
“Let us talk to Y/N! We wanna know how you wooed her back!” Jeff added.
“She isn’t with me-”
“That’s okay, we’ll talk to her when you guys get back!”
“No, that’s not what I meant-”
“We’ve got a whole wedding to plan, Jeff! We have to come up with a color scheme!” Mutt said with a slurred voice.
“Gentlemen!” Venable shouted into the phone. The people around her stared at her in confusion. All she could do was scowl and turn away from the looks she was being given.
“I’m coming back by myself. She’s moved on.”
The other end of the phone call was completely silent. Venable could feel the tears welling up in her eyes.
“If you could just send the jet for me, it would be greatly appreciated. I would like to come home.”
“I thought you had a flight back?” Jeff muttered.
“My flight has been canceled, Mr. Pfister, and I need to be back in my office today.”
“CANCELED?! IT’S FATE!” Mutt yelled once again. She could hear Jeff excitedly laughing as well.
“Miss Venable! Don’t you see it! The universe is fucking telling you to go after her!”
“That’s definitely not what a canceled flight means.”
“Venable, I gotta give it to you straight; Before you met Y/N, you always had a stick up your ass. You never had any fun, you were always working, and I don’t think I ever saw you smile.”
“Yeah, you were a complete bitch!”
“Mutt, shut up!”
All their talk wasn’t making her feel any better. She only felt worse about herself. A single tear rolled down her cheek before she quickly wiped it away.
“What are you trying to say, Mr. Pfister?”
“I’m saying that Y/N completed you. You were so happy, and so in love! You can’t just let it all slip away because you guys had a falling out.”
“What does that have anything to do with my travel back home?”
“That’s the thing, Venable. You’re not coming back home.”
Venable’s heart raced in her chest. They were most definitely trying to torture her, in no way was this any helpful.
“You’re not serious,” Venable growled.
“Actually, I am! You have another two weeks in the Midwest, missy. I’ll call the hotel and tell them that you’re extending your stay.”
“Mr. Pfister, wait-”
“We’ll send some money to your account for food and shit.”
“GOOD LUCK VENABLE!!!” Mutt screamed into the phone. Before Venable could protest, the two hung up on her.
After the phone call, Venable had stopped by her hotel to drop off her things. She couldn’t stand the thought of sitting around her room and wallowing, so instead, she changed blouse and high waisted pants. Her hair was tied up in a bun; she could care less about the way she looked. Though, with the extra money, she figured it would be good to get out to the grocery store and get little things to eat while her bosses were tormenting her.
Midwestern grocery stores weren’t nearly as packed as the ones she’d gone to in Los Angeles. In fact, the little building she decided to go into barely had any customers. She could get used to staying here. Wilhelmina skimmed at the aisles and tried hard to find something to get her by. She mindlessly filled her cart with random items as she continued throughout the store. For a moment, she paused to look down at everything in the basket.
Raisin bran, a couple of cans of soup, and a bottle of red wine. She sighed heavily. Even her shopping cart was depressing. How was she even going to try to eat anything? Her heart was so broken that it was taking all of her energy to get out and even be here. What would Y/N say…
What was so much better about that blonde? Y/N had never mentioned finding a single blonde attractive as long as Mina had known her. Yes, the new woman was peppy… and positive, kind, and she had a very warm smile. But wasn’t that off-putting? Wilhelmina had never seen someone so happy. What the hell was wrong with her?
She was thrown from her thoughts as she felt her cart crash into something. Mina had run her cart into the wall of the bakery. She groaned in embarrassment. Her thoughts were getting the best of her.
“Oh! Hey there!” a familiar voice called out.
Why was that voice so recognizable? It was a little too bubbly. When Wilhelmina glanced up, she felt a fire brewing in the pit of her stomach.
There was the exact woman she’d been thinking about. She couldn’t even remember her name.
“Please don’t come over here, please don’t see me..” Mina thought to herself. It was too late, the blonde was already making her way over.
“Miss V! I didn’t think I’d see you here!” she exclaimed.
Wilhelmina gripped the handle of the cart so tight that her knuckles turned white.
“It’s Keri!” she replied with a giggle. “You’re too funny! Y/N told me you were a hoot.”
“Did she now,” Venable replied in a short tone.
“Love the outfit, by the way. Not a lot of people can pull off that much purple, but you look great in it!”
She was so nice to her. What a fucking bitch.
“Thanks,” Mina replied. She didn’t really care if she sounded genuine. “If you’ll excuse me, I really have to get going-“
“Wait! What are you still doing here?” Keri cocked an eyebrow. “I thought you were leaving yesterday?”
So full of questions. What did Y/N see in her?
“My flight was canceled. Now, I really am a very busy woman-“
“What a coincidence! I cannot believe this, you have to come to the little get together we’re throwing tomorrow night! Here,” Keri had this glimmer in her eyes as if she was doing something good. She quickly pulled out a pen from her purse and yanked on Venable’s hand. The fire in her stomach was growing into a volcanic eruption.
“I’m gonna give you my number. Text me in an hour… Let’s make it a surprise for Y/N!” Keri exclaimed as she wrote into Mina’s skin. “Seriously, she would love to see you. Even if you can’t stay for long, it would mean the world to her if you came.”
As much as Keri was a villain in Mina’s eyes, this was an opportunity that quite frankly had been handed to her. So much could go wrong… What if Y/N didn’t want to see her? Venable couldn’t stand getting her heartbroken again. If she could just tell Y/N the way she felt… that would be all that mattered. At least she would know.
“I… I’ll have to see if I can make it.”
“For sure! Just let me know. It was good to see you, Miss V!”
Keri turned on her heel and was instantly gone. How the fuck did she walk that fast?
Wilhelmina gazed down at the phone number on her hand. She couldn’t find the nerve to be mad at Keri any longer. This was her chance. Perhaps the world was giving her a sign of hope. She never really believed in fate, but this felt different. Her chest felt tight with anxiety.
Venable picked up a few more snacks before heading to the checkout. She was so antsy that she threw random items that she didn’t even think about into her shopping basket. The redhead quickly purchased her things before making her way back to the rental car Mr. Pfister had gotten for her.
The rain pelted against the windshield, echoing loudly from inside. Wilhelmina couldn’t even turn on the car. She stared blankly out of the window. Was this even a good idea? What if she just got rejected once again?
But… What if she won Y/N back?”
“If there’s a god,” Mina began, closing her eyes and leaning her head toward the sky in the sunroof, “Tell me what to do.”
The winds roared outside as the rain came down even harder. Venable’s eyes opened softly. In front of her was Keri, walking out with her groceries. Something was stirring inside of Mina though she wasn’t sure what it was.
Almost without thinking, Mina picked up her phone and dialed the number on her hand. She stared at where Keri was to ensure that the woman was genuine about inviting her. To her surprise, the blonde answered.
“Keri? This is Wilhelmina Venable.”
“Oh! Hey, what’s up?”
“I…” she hesitated. What else did she have to lose?
“I looked at my schedule… I believe I’ll be able to make it to your event.”
A squeal could be heard on the other end. Venable winced at such a high pitched sound.
“That’s amazing! Oh, Y/N is gonna be so excited! Keep your phone on you, I’ll send you the address and everything through text. This is gonna be great!”
“I’ll make sure to be there.”
“Ugh, you are too cool, Miss V! Oh! The party’s dressy, but casual! We can go shopping if you want-“
“That won’t be necessary, but I appreciate the offer.”
“Of course! See you tomorrow night!”
Venable could hear the sound of a click. There was no turning back now. And the most ironic thing?
She needed a damn dress.
REQUEST MORE FICS HERE!
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It is love. Wilhelmina Venable X reader
It had been three months, three dreadfully long, months since you and Wilhelmina had ended what you had. You still weren’t sure to call it because, despite what Wilhelmina said (and how much she tried to convince herself) it wasn’t just sex.
You had just gotten out of the shower, maybe it was so angsty. You moved to your drawers and pulled out some underwear and socks. Once you threw them onto the bed, you moved to your wardrobe, picking out some jeans and a shirt.
You dropped it onto the bed, quickly placing on all your clothes. You sighed, feeling slightly lonelier as you stood and walked into your empty kitchen.
You moved to your counter and looked at it, moving your hands to pick it up. Before your fingertips could get underneath it buzzed with a loud siren.
‘URGENT ALERT: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO LOS ANGELES.
SEEK IMMIDEATE SHELTER, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.’
You blinked wiping your eyes and looking again, but the siren noise didn’t cease and you deep down you knew it was real.
I need to call Wilhelmina, you thought and gripped you phone to dial her number. Before you had the chance, your front door had been kicked open, a man and woman stepped through the entrance.
“Y/N L/N, you have been selected to survive this. You need to leave. Now!” The woman barked, you looked at her in shock.
“I- I need to call someone—” You were cut off by the woman approaching you and pulling out of your apartment. You let tears brim your eyes, but you realised you still had tears. You realised you still had your phone hand and was grateful for the picture of Wilhelmina you had tucked away into the back of your phone case.
You laid on the bed of the room you’d been escorted to, tears in your eyes. You had managed to sneak in the picture you had of Wilhelmina and you finally allowed yourself to sob. You held the photo close, hugging the photo. Knowing the chances of Wilhelmina being alive were minimal.
“I shouldn’t have walked away, Mina. Why are you so goddamn stubborn? We could have had the best 3 months together.” You cried, not caring anymore. You were mourning.
“I fucking love you, Mina. You stubborn, silly woman.” You cried, jumping when you felt a sudden hand of your lower back. You turned to see woman you were mourning. You shot up, wiping your eyes and looking at her. You had dropped the photo you were holding in shock.
“Mina?” You whispered, not believing your eyes. Your eyes took in her whole body. Her beautiful red hair was tied up in a tight bun, and her body was covered in a Victorian black dress. You knew immediately that she was in a position of power. Her cane rested beside your bed, discarded once she sat down.
Wilhelmina’s hand cupped your face, tears spilling from her eyes too. “It’s me, Y/N.”
You moved closer to her and hugged her, trying to be careful of her back but also trying to show how much you had missed her. You sobbed into your shoulder while Mina’s fingers traced your spine, comforting you and reassuring you she was there.
“I love you, Mina.” You stated, pulling away and looking into her eyes. “I love you.” You repeated.
Wilhelmina’s face broke into a sad smile and bit her lip. Your hand moved to her face, swiping away the tears on her face and then you wiped away your own. You didn’t expect her to say it back immediately, but you wanted her to know.
Her sadness made you want to comfort her, and you grabbed her hand. You quickly realised the photo you had of her and started moving to look to her. You pulled up the covers on your bed and turned.
“What are you doing, bab—Y/N.” You noticed that Mina had started calling you baby but you decided to ignore it for her sake and hid the smile you held by moving your head over the edge of your bed, and picking up the photo of Mina, which made you smile more.
You moved your head back up and grinned, feeling at ease the first time in 3 months. You hid your hand behind your back and smiled cheekily at her.
“What’s got that smile, Y/N?” Mina asked, leaning closer. Your noses were nearly touching, and you could feel her breath on you lips. You blushed, not saying anything in hopes of making this moment last forever.
Wilhelmina’s hands reached behind your back and gripped the photo. You let go of it, to stop it from ripping. Mina brought her hands to head and her brows furrowed in confusion as she saw it was a picture of her. Her head was tilted back in a laugh and she was holding a pizza box, in her pyjamas. You made her look beautiful and she wondered if that’s what you always say in her.
“You have this?” Mina’s eye’s travelled to yours, you saw the tears well up in her eyes before she looked back down out it.
You bit you lip nervously, awaiting her reaction before you started to ramble. “I know we’re not allowed to have it, but I couldn’t leave it. It was always in my phone case because I wanted to have with me … I know it’s weird, but I had to, Mina. I thought you were dead, and it made me realise that out of all the people I know, you’re the only person I missed.”
Mina’s eyes moved up to glance at you, tears glistening. She hadn’t said anything, and you were worried you came on too strong. Your hand began cupping her face to wipe away her too. Mina’s breath hitched and you were about to let go, fear of making her uncomfortable, but her hand reached up to yours to keep it back in place.
She glanced back down to the picture and rubbed your hand with her thumb. “I love you too.” She said, her eyes meeting yours. “I was cruel to you when you were only trying to show me love. I slapped you because I was insecure. I thought you’d forget about me after you left but this proves you didn’t. I wasn’t ready, Y/N. But I am now, and I’ll never treat you like that again. You make me a better person.”
The confession made you tearful and you realised how much of an emotional roller coaster today had been.
You leaned in slowly, as to give Mina time to back out, but she leaned in faster and her lips were soft and wet from the tears. Her lips fit perfectly against you’re and your other hand moved to her waist. Mina’s other hand met your cheek, comforting you and you wished you had a camera to capture this moment.
Eventually you both pulled away and rested your foreheads together.
“I love you, baby.” Mina whispered, stroking your face. It was with that simple sentence that your heart had melted, and you finally felt at home.
Requested by @pizzapyjamas Hope you enjoy!!
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