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As we watch "Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum" for our Monday Evening (Virtual Halloween Costume Party) at this week's Chat session, we will note the Charlie Chan wax figure which plays a small role in the film. There was a popular rumor that this wax figure was sent over to Honolulu for the premiere of "Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum" there, but then disappeared into the dusts of history. Hawaii Steve, one of our regular CCF members of very long-standing, was able to exhaustively research this puzzle, and from all he was able to uncover, through local newspaper records and accounts mainly, there was no basis to that "legend."
It was a great mystery, and a fun one, and, had there been some possible truth to it, it would have fueled a very interesting continued search for the missing Charlie Chan wax figure! It would still be of interest to find out what, exactly, DID become of that figure, would it not?
Indeed it would! I've been digging on the internet for awhile with no luck. Perhaps using Ancestry.com we could find some of the relatives of "Dr. Cream" to see what happened to it next? :raised_hands:
Still, this is a delightful mystery, is it not? Who knows? Something could eventually come to light regarding this Chan legend!
I like the "legend".
If the dummy did not leave Hollywood at that time maybe the people from the Fox vault may know what happened to the figure. On an old, archived list?
Question, please: Is it certain that this WAS really a wax figure? And if not: which material then? Perhaps short lived?
Here is information I received more than ten years ago and here is a note from our "Dead Men Tell" section that was based on information received from a gentleman who worked for the wax studio that made the Charlie Chan figure and others seen in that film:
According to David Robert Cellitti, the wax figure of Charlie Chan (and, perhaps we may assume that the rest of the wax figures used in the film) was made by a studio in Los Angeles called The Stubergh's, which was run by Katherine Stubergh. "The late Katherine Stubergh was my mentor. She supplied wax figures for such films as 'House of Wax,' 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,' 'The Frozen Ghost' and many other pictures...including Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum'."
So, who knows what may still "lurk" in a long-forgotten corner of a 20th Century-Fox storage warehouse!
Rush, "The Shadow Knows!" :smile:
Great. Thanks, for that information.
Were there movies around wax museums that have used such figures?
Let's watch the Vincent Price movie from 1953. Maybe we see Charlie standing in a corner ... :smile:
I'd also like to know what happened to Bela Lugosi's wax image as "Dracula" in that legendary HOLLYWOOD ON PARADE short from 1933 where he comes alive and bites "Betty Boop"! For years people thought singer Helen Kane - who was the real-life inspiration for the cartoon character portrayed her. However, she had previously sued Paramount and the Fleischer Studio for attempting to "steal her character." As it turned out, it was proven that Helen Kane had borrowed some of her mannerisms from another singer - I don't have the name handy right now - and the case was dismissed. Others have thought that Mae Questel - best known as the definitive "Betty Boop" and "Olive Oyl" in the cartoons - played the character in this short, but she did not. It is thought now that voice actress Bonnie Poe - who had done the voice for "Betty Boop" in some of the earlier cartoons played her in the short.
I seem to remember that there was a "Hollywood Wax Museum" back in the day. Maybe the Lugosi and Toler sculptures were acquired by them? I think the museum went out of business a long time ago - sadly!