For a while it was exciting to be a cause celebre. When pretty, honey-haired Teacher Isabelle Hallin was fired because of gossip that she had served cocktails to her high-school students (TIME, July 19, 1937), her neighbors in Saugus, Mass. signed petitions; students picketed her detractors' homes. She saw her picture splashed over the nation's front pages. Columnists glorified her. Out of the notoriety came a screen test—a chance to escape the humdrum life of a schoolmarm.

That was in 1937. She flunked the screen test. A radio job in Boston petered...

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