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Friday, September 19, 2014

Marie Prevost's Nude Photos


Marie Prevost became one of Mack Sennett's most popular bathing beauties. Early in her career she posed 
nude and semi-nude for several different photographers.


  Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston


 Photo by Edwin Bower Hesser


Phyllis Haver


"In Hollywood we live like small-town folks. Early to bed early to rise and you make all the best pictures." ~ Phyllis

Phyllis Haver was born Phyllis O'Haver on January 6, 1899, in Douglas, Kansas. When she was a child her family moved to California. Young Phyllis got a job playing piano at a local movie theater. Producer Mack Sennett saw her and she was hired to be one of his bathing beauties. Between 1916 and 1920 Phyllis appeared in more than thirty-five short films. With her curvy figure and blonde hair she quickly became one of the most popular bathing beauties. Eventually she left Mack Sennett's compact and signed a contract with Cecil B. Demille. Phyllis costarred with Olive Borden in Fig Leaves and with Victor McLaglen in What Price Glory. She also won rave reviews for her performance as Roxie Hart in the 1927 film Chicago. In 1929 Phyllis married millionaire William Seeman.
 
 

Although she was at the peak of her career she decided to retire from acting. She and William moved into an eleven room penthouse in New York City.  Phyllis said she loved being a wife and never wanted to return to Hollywood. Sadly after sixteen years of marriage she and William divorced. The couple had no children. As she grew older Phylis became more reclusive. She lived in a large house in Connecticut and rarely had visitors. Her only companion was her longtime housekeeper. She reportedly made several suicide attempts and was devastated when her former boss Mack Sennett died. On November 19, 1960 sixty-one year old Phyllis took her own life with an overdose of barbiturates. She was found in her bed fully dressed and wearing make-up. Phyllis was buried at Grassy Hills cemetery in Falls Village, Connecticut.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014



 
 
Phyllis and Olive Borden


An autographed photo (from my personal collection)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jeannette MacDonald's Dress From The Sun Come Up


In 2013 I purchased a dress Jeanette MacDonald wore in the film The Sun Comes Up. It was designed by Irene Lentz.



The Sun Comes Up was released on May 12, 1949. It was Jeanette's final film.





Here is a clip of Jeanette wearing the dress ...

video

Designer Irene Lentz started her career as an actress. She created costumes for Lana Turner, 
Carole Lombard, and Ginger Rogers. Irene committed suicide in 1962 at the age of sixty-one.

Irene's autograph (from my personal collection)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Janet Gaynor's Watercolor Painting


One of my most prized possessions is a watercolor painting done by Oscar winner Janet Gaynor. I 
purchased it from her widow Paul Gregory.


After Janet left Hollywood started a successful second career as an artist. Her paintings were 
displayed in galleries all over the country.


In 1976 she told People magazine "We get up more or less with the sun and take a long walk in the desert with our two dogs before breakfast. By 9:30 I'm in my studio. I've never tried painting people. So far flowers and vegetables intrigue me more."

With Henry Fonda at one of her exhibits

Barbara Bates


“Every Hollywood newcomer goes through a sex school. They have regular exercises to bring out your…uh…fire.” ~ Barbara

Barbara Bates was born on August 6, 1925 in Denver, Colorado. She was a shy child who loved to dance. When she was nineteen Barbara entered a local beauty contest and won a trip to Hollywood. While there she met publicist Cecil Coan who helped her get a contract at Universal studios. She made her film debut in the drama Salome. Barbara fell in love with Cecil who was twenty-six years older than her. He left his wife and they were secretly married in 1945. She continued to get small roles in films liked June Bride and Quicksand. Barbara also became a popular cheesecake model and appeared on the cover of Life magazine. While making the comedy The Inspector General in 1949 she had an affair with Danny Kaye. In 1950 she had a small but memorable role in All About Eve. Although the press predicted Barbara would became a big star her career quickly stalled. Charlie Chaplin offered her a part in Limelight but the studio made her turn it down.



Then she was fired from the television series It's A Great Life after appearing in only a few episodes. Barbara began suffering from mood swings and depression. She had a nervous breakdown in 1957. Barbara tried to keep working and made a few commercials. Her last acting role was in a 1962 episode of The Saint. She was devastated when her husband Cecil was diagnosed with cancer. Barbara took care of him until his death in 1967. She moved back to Colorado and got a job as a dental assistant. In December 1968 she married her childhood friend William Reed. Just three months later Barbara committed suicide. She had locked herself in a garage and died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Barbara was only forty-three years old. There are rumors that she was pregnant when she passed away. She was buried at Crown Hill cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014

Barbara and Danny Kaye







Cobina Wright, Barbara, and Mary Pickford

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Margaret Roach


Margaret Roach was born on March 21, 1921 in Los Angeles, California. Her father was movie producer Hal Roach. When she was a teenager Margaret worked in the theater and sang at nightclubs. She changed her name to Diane Rochelle and made her film debut in the 1938 comedy Swiss Miss. Her father didn't want her to be an actress and initially refused to help her. However in 1940 he cast her in his film Road Show. When the press called Margaret "plump" she went to a sanitarium to lose weight. In 1941 she announced her engagement to Geoffrey Steele but they broke up before the wedding. The following year she married Lieutenant E.L. Hinton. After her mother's death Margaret became estranged from her father.

Patsy Kelly, Margaret, and Adolphe Menjou


She continued to get small roles in films like Niagara Falls and Test Tube Babies. Margaret divorced E.L. and married actor and writer Robert Livingston in 1947. The couple had one son named Addison. Although she made more than a dozen films Margaret never became a leading lady. She retired after appearing in the 1949 crime drama The Devil's Sleep. Her marriage to Robert ended after four years. Sadly on November 25, 1964 Margaret passed away at the young age of forty-three. She was buried near her mother at Holy Cross cemetery in Los Angeles. Margaret's son Addison Randall also became an actor.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014


Margaret with her brother and father Hal Roach


John Hubbard, Margaret, and Carole Landis

 
 
Margaret with Charles Butterworth


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Joan Dowling


Joan Dowling was born on January 6, 1928 in London, England. Her mother was unmarried and Joan never knew her father. She was primarily raised by her grandmother. Joan dreamed of becoming an actress but she was too poor to afford acting lessons. Despite her lack of training she began auditioning and made her stage debut when she was just fourteen years old. She got rave reviews for her performance in the play No Room At The Inn. A talent scout saw her and offered her a long-term movie contract. Joan's first film role was in 1947 comedy Hue and Cry. On the set she met actor Hugh Fowler. They fell in love and were married on September 15, 1951. Joan continued to get small roles in films like Landfall and Pool Of London.



 She also worked on the radio and appeared in several more plays. In 1952 she starred in a London stage production of Robinson Crusoe. Joan was heartbroken when she discovered her husband was having an affair. On March 31, 1954 the twenty-six year old actress committed suicide. She was found unconscious in the gas filled kitchen in her West London home. Her official cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation. Joan was cremated and buried in London, England. Some of her relatives believe that her death may have been accidental. They think that she was only attempting suicide to scare her husband. Hugh Fowler eventually remarried and passed away in 2012.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014


Joan and Hugh Fowler

 



Joan with Joan Collins


A handwritten letter (from my personal collection)