Happy birthday, Dearest Mitzi ❤️
Today, Mitzi Cummings Fielding, my glamorous, talented, and funny grandmother would have been 110 years old. She was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada but in the early 1920s moved to Los Angeles, California with her mother, Ida Mayer Cummings, and three siblings (Ruth, Jack, and Leonard). She graduated from Hollywood High School in the Class of 1926.
As soon as she could, she joined the M-G-M script department, but I think we all know that it was her heart’s desire to be in ‘pictures.’ She appeared in at least one Ramon Novarro film, Forbidden Hours (1928) as ‘Princess Ena,’ as well as a handful of others. Thanks to a recent shipment of photos from my aunt, I am just discovering some of these roles but these undated, unmarked photos will take more research. But I can feel Mitzi’s yearning to become a star.
Alas, Uncle Louis B. Mayer did not approve of family members being in front of the camera. Behind, yes. The message was loud and clear: ‘We’re producers, not actors.’
Later, in the 1930s, Mitzi would have a fabulous column with Photoplay magazine that chronicled her exploits around Hollywood. She partied, she lunched, she visited film sets. Mitzi took photos next to some of the world’s most beautiful women, and sometimes that trademark smile, flashing eyes, and her raven hair outshone even the goddesses of the silver screen…
Mitzi was also her mother’s right hand man. She helped great-grandma Ida with her legendary fundraising activities over many years, particularly writing her speeches.
She married late – Mitzi waited until dear Sol Baer Fielding, a Denver boy, showed up and I suppose several disappointed suitors walked away without their dream girl. But then came marriage, children, domesticity. And frankly, I don’t know if that was entirely in tune with her personality.
By the time I showed up on the scene in the middle 60s, Mitzi was still very busy with many civic activities, and as always, sharing her ebullient personality, either through slide shows of her times during Hollywood’s Golden Age, or how to be a hostess seminars, radio shows, and the like.
I miss her terribly and send her love. I hope she knows how much we have all admired her beauty and style; envied her for the amazing times she had; enjoyed her writing that has allowed us to step into her shoes and occupy, if fleetingly, another time and place, one that so many of us wish we had known.
Grandma Mitzi, I love you and I am so thankful to have the privilege to share your story and photos with so many others.