s

s

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mabel Todd


Mabel Todd was born Mabel Dodds on August 13, 1907 in Los Angeles, California. Sadly her mother died when was very young. Mabel had a lovely singing voice and began her career in vaudeville. She and her sister Marcia often performed as a duo. Mabel started singing on the radio where she nicknamed "The Little Ray of Sunshine". She married comedian Morey Amsterdam in 1933 and the couple worked together on The Laff and Swing Club radio show. Mabel made her film debut in the 1937 musical Varsity Show. She signed a contract with Warner Brothers and was given supporting roles in Hollywood Hotel and Gold Diggers In Paris. With her blonde hair and high pitched voice Mabel was typecast as a ditzy comedienne. She was a popular personality on the Warner Brothers lot where she was often seen riding her scooter. In April 1942 Mabel appeared in one of the first televised talent shows.



The following year she starred in the film The Ghost And The Guest. Her husband Morey had written the script for her. During World War 2 she traveled across the country entertaining the troops in a USO show. Mabel and Morey split up in 1945. Their divorce was so bitter that he refused to ever speak about her again. By this time Mabel's movie career had stalled and she could only get bit parts. Her last role was playing a florist in the comedy Wife Wanted. She continued to work on the radio and appeared in several stage shows. Mabel made headlines in 1950 when she divorced her second husband Matthew A. Sontino. In court she accused him of beating her with a shoe and giving her a black eye. She retired from show business and lived a quiet life away from the spotlight. Mabel died on June 2, 1977 at the age of sixty-nine. She was cremated and her ashes are buried at the Queen Heaven's cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2015

With Ted Healy




With Morey Amsterdam





Monday, February 23, 2015

Actresses Who Had Abortions


Many classic actresses had to deal with unwanted pregnancies. Back then there weren't many options for birth control and having a baby out of wedlock was very controversial. These fourteen stars chose to have an abortion ...


 Ava Gardner had two abortions during her marriage to Frank Sinatra

Lana Turner had an abortion after leaving her husband Artie Shaw

Bette Davis had two abortions during her first marriage

 Marilyn Monroe had several abortions when she young


 Joan Crawford had an abortion when she was married to Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Rita Hayworth had an abortion during her romance with Howard Hughes


Jean Harlow had her first abortion in 1919 and her second in 1936

Marion Davies had a few abortions during her long affair with William Randolph Hearst

Judy Garland had an abortion when she was married to composer David Rose

 Betty Grable had an abortion during her relationship with Artie Shaw

Virginia Rappe had several abortions which may have led to her untimely death

Mary Pickford had an abortion during her first marriage which left her unable to have children

Kay Francis had several abortions during her life

Elizabeth Taylor had an abortion when Frank Sinatra refused to marry her

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mary Pickford


"I never liked one of my pictures in its entirety." ~ Mary

Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith on April 8, 1892, in Toronto, Canada. After her father's death Mary, her brother Jack, and sister Lottie began working on the stage to support the family. D.W. Griffith discovered her and soon she was appearing in silent films. At just five feet tall with long curls she was often cast as a child. She married Owen Moore, an actor, in 1911 but they separated shorty after. Mary starred in a string of hit movies including Stella Maris, Pollyanna, and My Best Girl. She became the highest paid actress in Hollywood and was nicknamed "America's Sweetheart". Mary fell in love with dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks and they were married in 1920. The couple lived in a lavish Beverly Hills mansion called "Pickfair". Mary joined Douglas, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith to form United Artists Studios. She was also a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.




 In 1929 she starred in Coquette, her first sound film, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Tired of making movies she decided to retire from acting. Her sixteen year marriage to Douglas ended in 1936 and a year later she married actor Charles "Buddy" Rogers (who was rumored to be gay). Mary was unable to have children due to a botched abortion so she and Charles adopted a son and a daughter. She was offered the role of Norma Desmond in the 1950 drama Sunset Boulevard but turned it down. Mary devoted most of her time to charity work and published her autobiography, Sunshine And Shadow. As she grew older she developed a drinking problem and became a recluse. She was presented with an honorary Oscar at the 1976 Academy Awards. Mary died on May 29, 1979 from a cerebral hemorrhage. She was cremated and her ashes are buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

 With Douglas Fairbanks


 


With Eleanor Roosevelt


A signed letter (from my collection)

Mary's trinket box (from my collection)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Vintage Autograph Collection


I have been collecting vintage Hollywood autographs for years. Many of my autographs can be 
seen right here on this blog. Here are some more of my favorites ...


 Clara Bow signed page from 1929

Loretta Young signed page

 Elizabeth Taylor signed page

 Mary Astor handwritten letter

 Gloria Grahame handwritten postcard

 Una Merkel signed card

1961 guestbook signed by Janet Gaynor, Natalie Wood, and Robert Wagner

Clark Gable signed page

 
William Powell signed page from 1942

Cesar Romero signed Christmas card

Pat O'Brien signed photo

Friday, February 6, 2015

Janet Gaynor


"No one remains forever young and no one should want to." ~ Janet

Janet Gaynor was born Laura Augusta Gainor on October 6, 1906, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When she was a child her family moved to California. After high school she enrolled in secretarial school and worked in a shoe store. Janet decided to try acting and began getting work as an extra. Her first starring role was in the 1926 drama The Johnstown Flood. Just three years later she won the very first Academy Award for Best Actress for her cumulative work in Seventh Heaven, Sunrise, and Street Angel. She married Jesse Peck, an attorney, in 1929 but they divorced after four years together. Janet and Charles Farrell became a popular screen team and costarred in many hit films including Sunny Side Up and High Society Blues. By 1934 Janet was the top female box-office star in the country. She was nicknamed "The World's Sweetheart". Janet received another Oscar nomination in 1938 for 
her performance in A Star Is Born.



Despite all of her success she was tired of making movies and decided to retire. In 1939 she married MGM fashion designer Gilbert Adrian, who had worked on films like The Women and The Wizard Of Oz. They had a son, Robin, and moved to Brazil. Janet spent a lot of time traveling and started a second career as an artist. Her paintings were exhibited in galleries all over the country. She acted occasionally but never resumed her career full-time. In 1959 Adrian died of a heart attack. A few years later Janet married her close friend producer Paul Gregory. She also had a romantic relationship with actress Mary Martin that lasted for many years. In 1982 Janet was seriously injured in a car accident. She never fully recovered and died on September 14, 1984 from pneumonia. Janet was cremated and her ashes were buried next to Adrian at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.


~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

With her mother





With her husband Adrian


A handwritten letter (from my collection)