On 15 August 1945, Japan’s surrender brings World War II to a close. News doesn’t come much more momentous than that, and one of the broadcasters reporting it was KFWB, a Los Angeles radio station.
In the studio were none other than Hollywood stars Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles and Marlene Dietrich. As the San Fernando Valley Times reports:
KFWB had the most “glamorous” copy-girls in the nation during last Monday’s all-night alert caused by word of Japan’s surrender. Marlene Dietrich and Rita Hayworth, who came to the studio with Orson Welles early Monday evening stayed all night, watching the teletypes and rushing bulletins to the microphone, where Welles did a “marathon” commentary lasting most of the night.
Orson and Rita had been married for two years. Judging by their expressions here, who would guess that disaster lay ahead? The following year they would begin making The Lady from Shanghai, with Rita in the starring role opposite Orson, who also directed. It ‘reads’ like a letter of pure hatred towards Rita and it was released in 1948, the couple were divorced in November 1947.
Marlene had moved from Germany to the US in 1930. She had rejected the Nazis’ blandishments and become one of the first celebrities to raise money for US war bonds.
This photo and all but two of the others on this page are from a shoot by photographer Otto Rothschild, showing the news coming in and being announced. Rothschild was the official performing arts photographer for the Los Angeles Music Center, the Hollywood Bowl and the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. (The other two were taken by Eugene L Abbott.)
Most of the photos are from the personal collection of John Dehner. John worked as a radio actor before becoming a TV star. Prior to acting, he was an animator at Walt Disney Studios and also a professional pianist.
Also featured are Sam Balter, a member of the United States gold medal basketball team in 1936 and the only Jewish-American to win a gold medal at the Berlin Olympics; John B Hughes, an actor, who starred in Meet John Doe (1941) and Rhapsody in Blue (1945); and Lou Marcelle, an actor, known for Stars on Horseback (1943) and Where Will You Hide? (1948).