On September 1, 1942 motion picture director Mervyn LeRoy took over Walter Winchell’s column during his absence and decided to let readers in on the skinny of discovering stars - and legends like Lana Turner. He wrote:
About the only concrete thing I can say about star discovering is that there is no rule-of-thumb standard for finding them. In other words, you don’t spot ‘em- you pray for ‘em . . .
The story of Lana Turner is a case in point.
She was too scared to look like a star or even a potential star when first I met her. I was casting for “They Won’t Forget.” I had interviewed over a hundred girls and none seemed suited for the role I had in mind. Then Solly Biano, a Warner’s talent scout, reported that a friend of ours, Billy Wilkerson, editor and publisher of the film trade paper, The Hollywood Reporter, had tipped him about a girl he had seen having a soda across the street from his publishing firm.
Solly checked back and Lana came to see me. She was as scared as a rabbit; but I knew she’d make a good actress. So I signed her to a personal contract and put her into a sweater; the former was good business, the latter was what the customers wanted to see. The rest is all history. She’s come along from obscurity to stardom on a hunch of mine- and approval by you.
Interesting tidbits there and I’m sure Solly Biana appreciated the shout out too, though years later his involvement is pretty much passed over.