Saturday, June 18, 2016

Let's Celebrate The 4th Of July

Celebrate the 4th of July with some of our favorite classic beauties ...

Ann Miller

Ava Gardner

Jayne Mansfield

Betty Hutton

Marion Davies

Ann Blyth

Marilyn Monroe

Ann Miller

 Judy Garland

Claudette Colbert

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Help Katherine Grant Get A Grave Marker

Silent film star Katherine Grant died in 1937 and was buried in an unmarked grave. Her fans have set up a campaign to get her a proper grave marker. If you would like to help please go to Go Fund Me and donate :-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Marilyn Monroe

"I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one." ~ Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Baker on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. She never knew her father and her mother was mentally ill. Marilyn spent most of her childhood in foster homes where some sources claim she was sexually abused. At age sixteen she married her neighbor, James Dougherty. After their divorce in 1946 she dyed her hair blond and began modeling. Marilyn appeared on hundreds of magazine covers and often posed nude to earn extra money. She started dating Hollywood agent Johnny Hyde who helped her get small roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. He also convinced her to have cosmetic surgery on her nose and chin. When Johnny died in 1950 Marilyn was so distraught she attempted suicide. She was offered a contract with 20th Century Fox and landed the lead roles in Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Critics dismissed her as a dumb blonde but audiences made her the most popular actress in Hollywood. Marilyn made headlines when she married baseball player Joe DiMaggio in 1954. The marriage lasted just nine months but they remained close friends. She also enjoyed brief romances with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.

Marilyn wanted to become a serious actress so she moved to New York and began studying with Lee Strasberg. She formed her own production company and worked with Laurence Olivier in The Prince And The Showgirl. Marilyn married playwright Arthur Miller in 1956. She desperately wanted to be a mother but suffered several miscarriages. It's rumored that when she was young Marilyn has numerus abortions. In 1959 she starred in the comedy Some Like It Hot which became the biggest hit of her career . While making Let's Make Love in 1960 she had an affair with her costar Yves Montand. Marilyn divorced Arthur in 1961 and was hospitalized after suffering nervous breakdown. By this time Marilyn had a serious drinking problem and she was addicted to prescription drugs.  In the spring of 1962 she began filming Something's Got To Give. After missing numerous days of work she was fired. There were also rumors that she was having an affair with President John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy. On August 5, 1962, Marilyn died from an overdose of prescription drugs. She was just thirty-six years old. Her death was ruled a suicide but many believe it was either an accident or murder. Marilyn is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.

 Marilyn posing nude in 1949

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Handwritten Letters From Classic Actresses

I have been collecting classic Hollywood autographs for many years. My favorite autographs are the handwritten letters from classic actresses. These letters are very rare and they give us a glimpse into their personal lives. Here are some of the handwritten letters in my collection ...

   A love letter from Lucille Ball her husband Gary Morton

 A 1954 letter from Linda Darnell to a friend

 A letter from Betty Grable to her assistant

 A 1949 letter from Norma Shearer to her mother Edie

 A letter from Marion Davies to a writer

 A handwritten birthday card from Jeanette MacDonald to a fan

A letter from Bette Davis to a friend

A letter from Janet Gaynor to a fan

A 1931 letter from Marie Dressler to a friend

Friday, May 27, 2016

Phyllis Barry (1930s Starlet)

Phyllis Barry was born Gertrude Hillyard on December 7, 1908, in Leeds, England. She was a gifted dancer and at the age of fourteen she joined an Australian cabaret troupe. Phyllis starred in many stage musicals including No No Nannette and Lady Be Good. She made her film debut in the 1925 Australian film Painted Daughters. At the time her stage name was Phyllis DuBarry. In 1930 she toured America in a production of Rio Rita. Prodicer Samuel Goldwyn saw her on stage and offered her a supporting role in the film Cynara starring Kay Francis. Unfortunately the movie flopped and her performance got mixed reviews. She married vaudeville performer Albert Nordlund (also known as Al Nord) in 1932.

The following year she got the lead role in the comedy What - No Beer? opposite Buster Keaton. Phyllis and Albert had a rocky marriage and they separated several times. She divorced him in 1936 and said "he told me he didn't think my career meant anything".  Soon after she married decorator Gilbert M. Caldwell. She continued to make movies but by 1939 her career had stalled. Phyllis had a bit part in the drama Waterloo Bridge and she appeared in The Three Stooges short Three Little Sew and Sews. Her last film role was playing a waitress in the 1947 drama Love From A Stranger. Phyllis and her husband moved to a small house in West Hollywood. She became increasingly depressed about her failed Hollywood career. On July 1, 1954 she committed suicide by taking an overdose of medication. Phyllis was only forty-five years old.

With Buster Keaton

With Ronald Colman

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lucille Ricksen (Child Star)

Lucille Ricksen was born Ingeborg Erickson on August 22, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois. She worked as a child model and made her film debut at the age of five. Her parents separated and her mother took her to Hollywood in 1920. Ten year old Lucille was offered a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and starred in a series of short films. She often had to work long hours but she always said she was having fun. In 1922 she starred opposite Marie Prevost in The Married Flapper. The following year Lucille was given a starring role in the drama The Rendevous. Although she was only thirteen the studio lied and said she was actually sixteen. The press called her "the youngest leading lady in movies". Lucille developed a close relationship with producer Sydney Chaplin (brother of Charlie Chaplin) who was twenty-five years older than her. She became one of Hollywood busiest starlets and was chosen as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars.

In 1924 she made ten films including Vanity's Price, The Galloping Fish, and The Valley Of The Wolf. Unfortunately the fourteen year old started suffering from exhaustion and malnutrition. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis and became bedridden. Lucille's mother kept a bedside vigil but the stress caused her to have a fatal heart attack. Following her mother's death Lucille was cared for by family friends including actress Lois Wilson. During one of her conscious moments Lucille said "Mother wouldn't want me - die - Mother said - Wonderful future - Going to do big things - Won't die! I won't!" Sadly on March 13, 1925 she passed away from complications of tuberculosis. Lucille was only fourteen years old. There were rumors that her death had actually been caused by a botched abortion. Lucille was cremated and she was buried with her mother at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California. Her final film, The Denial, came out ten days after her death.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bella Darvi (1950s Starlet)

"I had the usual experiences of hunger and humiliation and I try not to remember them or discuss them although, of course, I shall never forget them." ~ Bella

Bella Darvi was born Bajla Wegier on October 23, 1928, in Sosnowiec, Poland. She was Jewish and tragically her entire family was jailed during World War 2. One of her brothers died in a concentration camp. Bella was freed when she was fourteen years old. She moved to Paris, France where she began working as a nurse. In 1950 Bella married wealthy businessman Alban Calvalcade. The couple spent their time traveling through Europe and attending fashion shows. Bella was discovered by Virginia Zanuck, the wife of Fox President Darryl Zanuck. She signed a contract with Fox and made her film debut in the 1954 drama Hell and High Water. Bella divorced her husband and moved in with the Zanuck's in Los Angeles. Soon after Bella and Darryl Zanuck started having and affair and he left his wife to be with her. Darryl ended the relationship when he found out Bella was

Bella was given high profile roles in The Egyptian and The Racers but her movie career stalled because of her strong accent. She returned to France where she appeared in a few low budget European films. Bella had romances with Aly Khan and Jeanne-Pierre Aumont, the widow of Maria Montez. She married Claude Rouas, a waiter from San Francisco, in 1960. They divorced a year later. By this time Bella was bankrupt and had a serious gambling problem. She was forced to sell all her clothes and jewelry. Her former lover Darryl Zanuck gave her money to help pay off her gambling debts. In 1964 she opened a cafe in Paris. Bella continued to struggle financially and attempted suicide several times. On September 11, 1971 Bella committed suicide in her Monte Carlo apartment by gas poisoning. Unfortunately her body was not discovered for ten days. She was only forty-two years old. Bella was buried at The City Of Paris Cemetery in France.

 With Darryl Zanuck