~ Especially for Young People ~

The Confessions of a Movie Actress

The Confessions of a Movie Actress

In early childhood I knew the peace and warmth of a Christian home. When I was about ten or eleven years old, in response to an invitation given by the pastor of the church I attended, I publicly confessed Christ as my own personal Savior. Shortly after this I was baptized and I remember the song we sang. It was:

Happy, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.

I had always been rebellious and independent in wanting to live and think my own way, and though I had been somewhat subdued as a child, as I grew older, I began to put my foot down, and sometimes I put it down hard. I developed a talent for dramatics and became intensely interested in reading books of a philosophical nature. I was very fond of Shakespeare and attempted play writing myself.

As a freshman in high school, I began to live by the Socratarian philosophy that there were no rights of age, parents, state, or conventions when their demands ran contrary to my own reasoning. Consequently, I earned a notorious reputation around my neighborhood for being a wild, undisciplined child. At the age of fourteen, I won some local recognition for honors received in a bathing beauty contest in which on adventurous impulse I became involved, lying about my age.

At sixteen, I was asked to represent my community in the city-wide community and commercial club contest where I was elected from our city to represent the United States with six other girls on an official goodwill tour to Canada.During the festivities that followed while aboard a U.S. battleship, I tasted gin for the first time and drank my first cocktail. I became fascinated in the whirl of social life that followed, contact with wealth, politics, and the flattering popularity I enjoyed.

At seventeen, while but a sophomore, I left school. I was Hollywood bound, with a screen contract tucked away in my luggage. If my final screen test proved successful, I anticipated beginning work in a picture two weeks after my arrival in Hollywood. In the dizzy pace that followed, I lost all sense of reality. I ate, drank, dined, and danced with heroes and heroines of the land of pretense and make-believe, and began to realize with a shock that the lives that they lived were perhaps after all the biggest farce of all.

But my heart was hard and I longed for the glamorous, brittle tinsel of the world and refused to see where the sin lay in having a "little fun." Because I already had my entree into Hollywood with all expenses paid, a chauffeur and car at my convenience and all business affairs attended to by my publicity manager, it was easy to relax in the engulfing flood and let the tide carry me wherever it would.

From some of the lowest dives in Hollywood to the most exclusive club where I was made an honorary member, it was the same old story. This was my first realization of what sin really was. I remember sitting in a famous night club watching young lives, some young as myself, not even out of high school, sacrificing their lives to the mad goddess of pleasure and laughing and enjoying the orgy of licentious debauchery going on around us.

I hardened my heart, although I could not eat because of the butterflies jumping around in my stomach and because of verses of Scripture which came before me, thanks to the careful and thoughtful instruction I received in my early childhood from God-fearing parents, Scriptures such as: "The wages of sin is death" and "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

I looked around at the people, at faces that but a few years ago used to be famous on the screen and favorites of my own, already forgotten by the fickle public and now receiving the wages they earned while serving Satan. My heart felt like lead and my escort, noticing my apparent distress on this particular occasion, asked if I would like to leave. I quickly assented.

Wishing to remove the bad taste in my mouth, he drove to the most exclusive club in Hollywood where, upon recognition of my companion, iron doors swung open by a button pressed from the inside, and we were admitted to luxurious surroundings, where the devil endorsed his checks behind silken veils, and if you did not look too closely, you could hardly detect his presence. It was not long before I realized I could never pay the price Hollywood demanded. I left Hollywood, and no brass band was playing, but the words of Jesus came to me, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

My heart was hard and my will like flint, but God's hand was heavy upon me, and during the years that followed, God heaped weights upon my soul until I could not rise from under them. Finally, exhausted, I fell at Jesus' feet, saying, "I'll go any place, pay any price, live any life, die any death. Teach me to follow Thee."

Oh, it pays to serve Jesus, it pays every day. The Bible says, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul." John 3:36 says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Young people who are tempted to go out into this sunken and condemned world to see life should remember that he that believeth not God's Son shall never see eternal life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.

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