Claudia Dell Smith, from San Antonio, Texas, was only fourteen years old when her mother took her to New York to visit the aunt she was named for, Broadway Actress Claudia Coleman. It wasn’t long before Claudia Dell was appearing in Broadway musicals and The Ziegfeld Follies.
In January of 1929, at the age of twenty, Claudia Dell and her aunt went to London where Claudia Dell was to have the leading part in the stage show “Merry, Merry.” Soon into the run, she was replaced with a British actress, and without any regrets she remained in London for the summer, enjoying England and the continent with her Aunt.
Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor and son of King George V and Queen Mary, seems to have loved the girls, and rumors of his many affairs were whispered around the palace. While Claudia Dell was in London, either during her brief time on the stage of the Gaiety Theatre, or shortly after, the future King of England could be seen dancing the night away with Claudia Dell in London nightclubs. King George V once said publicly of his Son Edward, "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself in twelve months."
A few years later Edward would become King Edward VIII, but his then-current torrid affair with a married American woman was so scandalous that he was always secretly followed by members of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch, documenting the King’s wild private life. It didn’t take King Edward VIII twelve months to ‘ruin himself.’ In less than eleven months King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England and proposed to his mistress, married American Wallis Simpson, who immediately filed for divorce from her husband and later married Edward.
After dancing with the future King of England that summer, Claudia Dell would return to America and enjoy fame in motion pictures during the first decade of talking pictures. In this adventure she is the secretary/henchwoman for a gang of smugglers posing as motion picture producers. In 1936 there is a law against Chinese immigrants to the United States, and the fake movie studio is cleverly smuggling Chinese immigrants into the country. A Federal G-man played by Conrad Nagel is tasked with infiltrating the gang that is bringing illegal immigrants into the country, and Claudia Dell will help the gangsters try to defeat the efforts of the G-man. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Directed by Crane Wilbur
The Actors: Conrad Nagel, Eleanor Hunt, Vince Barnett