The Actors’ Agency Part 9 – Update

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As some of you will know from reading my About Me page, I have a health condition that makes my life quite difficult. I struggle to sit up long enough to do a post on many days. On other days, I am just too fatigued to even try. Therefore, I really love it when someone enjoys something I have posted, enough to do some research on one of my photos. Brett Payne from Photo-Sleuth blog has done just that for one of my previous posts in the series The Actors’ Agency.

In Part 9 of the series, I introduced Gisele Salvador, an aspiring actress, or possibly model, from Paris. Brett found a Gisele M Salvador who married a Ronald E Kahn in Dade County, Florida in February 1959. His source was Ancestry.com. Could it be her?

My reply to his comment was, “I suppose it could be her, but remember she was living in and looking for work in Paris around that time.” Having assumed these photos were taken in the early 1960s, I stated that there was no reason she couldn’t have married an American in his home town and then moved with him back to France, or even had a very short marriage before returning to her country of birth. Of course there are many other possibilities, too, but I did think the likelihood of Brett’s Gisele and my Gisele being the same woman, unlikely.

Brett was undeterred and did some further research. In another comment he wrote, “There is a tree for this family on Ancestry.com, too. Ronald Elwin Kahn (1941-1977) married Gisele in 1959 at Alachua, Florida, and they had at least three children. The eldest son appears to have died there last year.” (2016) This was great information, but I still wasn’t convinced as there was no evident French connection.

Bravely, Brett worked on. He found an entry in the US Social Security and Claims Index which shows a Giselle/Gisele Marcelle Kahn, who was born 26 February, 1929 in Paris, France. She was the daughter of Jose Salvador and Marcelle F Perrin. “She must be the same person who married Ronald E Kahn in Florida in February 1959.”, he wrote. By this time, I had to agree.

“It appears she was married a few times, as the Social Security Index shows the following:
Oct 1959 – Name listed as GISELLE MARCELLE KAHN
Feb 1968 – Name listed as GISELLE MALLORY
31 Mar 1989 – Name listed as GISELE POLLACK”

So what we now know is that this beautiful, young woman married a very lucky American citizen, named Ronald Elwin Kahn, early in 1959. He was twelve years her junior. They were married in Florida and she apparently lived in the USA from then on, albeit with different husbands. It does strike me as odd that she was 30 at the time of her marriage and her husband only eighteen, but stranger things have happened. (That is of course assuming that his birthdate of 1941 is correct.) The date of her marriage suggests to me that the photo file-card, and these photos, date to a time prior to her knowing she was going to be leaving France, to live elsewhere. Assuming she was looking for work for some years before she met her future spouse, the photos must have been taken at some time in the mid 1950s and probably no later than 1958.

Brett also found out that Gisele became a naturalised US citizen on 9 January 1967 in New York and that she died on 8 May 2003 in Suffolk, New York at the age of 74. She was born in the same year as my mother. It is sad she has already passed on. My mum is alive and kicking, I’m very glad to say!

So a very big thank you to Brett for persisting with his research. I hope that someone from Gisele’s family will now be able to find this post and see these wonderful photos. Please thank Brett, too, by visiting his wonderful vintage and antique photo, history blog.

There are some other great photos in this series to come, and some previous posts you might enjoy browsing through.

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23 comments
  1. oglach said:

    Great post. Good on Brett for the detective work and for you for sharing the story with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John said:

    Great post Katherine! It is so nice of the man to do so much research. She was very pretty. I hope your feeling good. ❤☺

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gluepot said:

    Thanks for the hat tip, Katherine. Glad to have helped, and I hope some family member pops out of the woodwork in due course.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Richard. Yes, indeed a shame, but sounds like she had a few adventures in her life, given the three husbands!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Fascinating story, and all because of a gorgeous photo! I loved reading about Giselle, and what a fine detective Brett is!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, and such intriguing images, of a very beautiful and stylish woman. I can’t believe that thing around her ear is a piece of jewellery, I never would have guessed that. (Initially I actually thought it was a flaw in the photograph, silly me) it is so delicate, it looks like it would blow away in the first gentle breeze. Fantastic that Brett took up the detective work, some very resourceful, and very successful sleuthing! Two continents, three husbands, and the first her junior by 20 years… She was clearly some woman. Anyway, great post: a fantastic story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked the post and those unique earrings, Arran. Yes, Brett did a superb job. The exciting part is that maybe a relative will find the post now, all thanks to some superb sleuthing I would never have been up to.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Those are gorgeous photos! And such an interesting puzzle…I wonder too if she might have used different names for work/stage? Suffolk County is the eastern end of Long Island – where the Hamptons are, but also where there are many small towns. Did Hamptons glamour bring her out there, or was it for a more affordable place, far from the city?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I wonder that too. Aren’t the properties very expensive there these days? If she was an actress, I wonder if she found a theatre company locally?

      Thanks for your wonderful input!

      Like

  7. Nice to learn more. Thanks, Brett. The difference in age was probably so she could stay in the US, just as men marry American women to stay in the country. But then, they did have three children, so it could be assumed they were in love and not just a marriage of convenience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Brett did a great job! I wonder if the official record could be wrong about the year of birth of her spouse. I really cannot see how a beautiful and obviously sophisticated Parisian of thirty years could fall in love with and marry an eighteen year old. Especially in the 50s to boot. Maybe it was a marriage of convenience that became something more as you suggested? It is almost more of a mystery with all the information Brett found!

      Like

      • gluepot said:

        Hang on a minute. There were some wires crossed in the comments in the original article, I think. My fault, but due to the funny cascading system that WordPress uses for comments.

        Let me clarify: Giselle Salvador did indeed marry Ronald E Kahn in 1959. However, the dates of birth and death that I interpreted for him from a family tree on Ancestry, as well as the children, were not, in fact, correct. I did later retract that, but somehow it got lost in the mix. Sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well that explains it then! She wasn’t a cougar after all. I thought it unlikely. I will go back to the original post to see what happened in the comments. I must’ve missed it. Thanks again Brett!

          Like

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