Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Actresses Celebrate Halloween

Celebrate Halloween with some of our favorite classic beauties ...

Clara Bow

Nancy Carroll

 Dorothy Lee

Mary Miles Minter

Clara Bow

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sally Eilers

"I like the limelight. I'm the girl who yearned to be an actress and got her wish." ~ Sally

Sally Eilers was born Dorothea Sally Eilers on December 11, 1908 in New York City. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a child and she began to attend acting classes. One day Sally was having lunch with her friend Carole Lombard when producer Mack Sennett saw her and asked her to become one of his bathing beauties. Soon Sally was landing small parts in movies like The Good-Bye Kiss and Broadway Babies with Alice White. In 1928 she was chosen as one of the Wampas Baby stars. She became a popular leading lady starring in the pre-code films Bad Girl and Sailor's Luck. Sally was called "the most beautiful girl in movies". She married western actor Hoot Gibson, her costar in Clearing The Range, in 1930.

They divorced three years later and she married producer Harry Brown. The couple had one son together. After divorcing Harry in 1943 she married World War 2 Lieutenant Howard Barney. By the end of the 1940s her third marriage was over and her career was in trouble.  She was no longer being offered good roles so she decided to quit acting. Her final film was the 1950 western Stage To Tuscon. Sally's fourth marriage, to director Hollingsworth Morse, lasted nine years. As she grew older she suffered from health problems and stayed out of the spotlight. Sally died on January 5, 1978 from a heart attack at the age of sixty-nine. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014

 Jean Harlow and Sally

With Harry Brown and their son

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Jeanette MacDonald

"The one thing I missed was never having children. It just wasn't in the cards, I guess." ~ Jeanette

Jeanette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18, 1903, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of three daughters. Jeanette was a talented singer with a beautiful soprano voice. She went to New York to study music and began her career on Broadway. Jeanette made her film debut in the 1929 musical The Love Parade. It was a hit and she became one of Hollywood's hottest actresses. Her success continued with starring roles in The Lottery Bride and Love Me Tonight. Jeanette's sister, Marie Blake, also became an actress. In 1934 Jeanette signed a lucrative contract with MGM. The following year she he was paired with baritone Nelson Eddy in the musical Naughty Marietta. Jeanette and Nelson became one of Hollywood's most popular duos and were nicknamed "America's Singing Sweethearts". They made seven more movies together including Maytime and Sweethearts.

In real life Nelson and Jeanette were romantically involved for many years but kept their affair a secret. She married actor Gene Raymond in 1937. Although they appeared happy in public the couple had a troubled marriage. Jeanette was unable to have children and their were rumors that Gene was gay. By 1939 her $300,000 a year salary made her one of the highest paid actresses and she was voted "Queen Of Hollywood" in a nationwide poll. After making several unsuccessful films she decided to leave MGM in 1942. Jeanette performed live concerts and appeared in several stage productions. In 1958 Jeanette re-teamed with Nelson to record an album of duets. As she got older health problems forced her to stop working. Jeanette died on January 14, 1965 from a heart attack. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

 With Nelson Eddy


With her mother

A handwritten letter from Jeanette (from my collection)

Jeanette's personalized silk scarf (from my collection)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Alice Jorgens (Silent Actress)


Alice Jorgens was born on March 28, 1896. She made her film debut in the 1916 comedy Safety First With Ambrose, The following year she costarred with Harry Gribbon in Caught With The Goods. She never made another film. Alice passed away on December 21, 1990 at the age of ninety-four. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Harry Gribbon and Alice

Lili Damita

"Marriage is a career itself. It requires full-time. When I do fall in love the career must go." ~ Lili

Lili Damita was born Liliane Marie Madeleine Carré on July 10, 1904, in Blaye, France. As a child she studied ballet and attended school in several different countries. By the age of sixteen she was working as a professional model and dancer. In 1921 she won a beauty contest and was offered her first acting role. She appeared in more than a dozen silent films made in Europe. Lili married Hungarian director Michael Curtiz in 1925. They divorced just a year later. Producer Samuel Goldwyn saw Lili and offered her a part in the 1928 romantic adventure The Rescue. American audiences fell in love with the exotic beauty nicknamed "Tiger Lil". She appeared in a string of box office successes including The Cock-Eyed World and This Is The Night. Despite her thick accent she was easily able to make the transition to talkies. Lili made headlines when she became engaged to Prince Ferdinand of Prussia but the couple never married. She was also bi-sexual and enjoyed several affairs with women. In 1935 Lili married actor Errol Flynn and decided to retire from the screen.

She was sometimes credited as "Lily Damita"

Her final role was in the 1938 French film Escadrille of Chance. Errol quickly became a superstar and Lili was now primarily known as his wife. The couple had a son, Sean, in 1940 but their marriage was tumultuous. Errol had many affairs and Lili divorced him in 1942. They would spend years fighting over custody and child support. Lili continued to stay out of the spotlight and focused on raising her son. In 1962 she married dairy farmer Allen R. Loomis and began living part-time in Iowa. Tragedy struck in 1970 when her son Sean went missing during a trip to Cambodia. Lili spent fourteen years and millions of dollars searching for him but he was never found. Sean Flynn was declared legally dead in 1984. By this time Lili was divorced from Allen and suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She died on March 21, 1994 in Palm Beach, Florida at the age of eighty-nine. Lili is buried at Oakland Cemetery in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The epitaph on her tombstone reads "She touched so many lives, brightened so many days."

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2015

 Lili and Errol Flynn

 An autographed photo (from my collection)

 This photograph belonged to Lili (from my collection)


Marie Wilson

"Show business has been very good to me and I'm not complaining, but some day I just wish someone 
would offer me a different kind of role." ~ Marie

Marie Wilson was born Katherine Elisabeth White on August 19, 1916, in Anaheim, California. Her parents divorced and her father died when she was five years old. After graduating from highschool she worked as a sales girl in a department store. She made her film debut as an extra in the 1934 film Babes In Toyland . Marie started dating director Nick Grinde who helped her get a contract at Warner Brothers. She appeared in the hit films Satan Met A Lady, Fools For Scandal, and The Cowboy Quarterback. With her baby doll voice and voluptuous figure Marie found herself typecast as a dumb blonde. In 1942 she married actor Allan Nixon. They had a turbulent marriage and Allan was arrested several times for drunk and disorderly conduct. Marie costarred with James Cagney in Boy Meets Girl and with Groucho Marx in A Girl In Every Port.

She also spent seven years working with Ken Murray in his Black Out stage show. The highlight of the show was Marie's mock striptease number. Her greatest success came in 1949 when she starred in the radio program My Friend Irma. The show became so popular that it was adapted into a movie and a television show. Marie divorced Allan and married producer Robert Fallon in 1951. The couple adopted a son named Gregson. When Marilyn Monroe became a star some critics said she stole her image from Marie. During the 1950s she toured the country with her nightclub act and released an album. She also appeared on numerous television shows. Sadly Marie was diagnosed with cancer in 1967. She passed away on November 23, 1972 at the age of fifty-six. Marie is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood, California. She has been awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame for her work in movies, television, and radio.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2015

Marie's autograph (from my personal collection)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jean Wallace

"Franchot Tone is the most exciting, handsome, lovable, exasperating, beguiling, and challenging
man in my world." ~ Jean

Jean Wallace was born Jean Walasek on October 12, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. She started modeling when she was a teenager and worked as an Earl Carroll showgirl. Jean made her film debut in the 1941 musical Ziegfeld Girl. She had reportedly lied about her age to get the part. When she was just eighteen years old Jean married actor Franchot Tone who was twice her age. She was offered a five year contract with Fox where she given small roles in movies like When My Baby Smiles At Me and It Shouldn't Happen To A Dog. Jean and Franchot had two sons together - Pascal and Thomas. The couple had a difficult marriage and separated several times. After they divorced in 1948 Jean had romances with Howard Hughes and gangster Johnny Stompanato.

 With Franchot Tone

She continued to make movies but her personal life created more headlines than her career. In 1949 Jean was arrested for drunk driving and she attempted suicide by stabbing herself with a butcher knife. Her second marriage, to Army Sergeant Jim Lloyd Randall, lasted only five months. She seemed to finally find happiness when she married actor Cornel Wilde in 1951. Jean and Cornel worked together in several films including The Devil's Hairpin and Sword Of Lancelot. Their son, Cornel Wallace, was born in 1967. Jean retired from making movies to be a full-time mother. Sadly her thirty year marriage to Cornel came to an end in 1981. She spent the next decade living in Beverly Hills with her beloved pets. Jean died on February 14, 1990 after suffering a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. She is buried at Hollywood Forever cemetery in Hollywood, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2015

With Cornel Wilde

With Cornel Wilde

Jean with Carole Landis and her husband Horace Schmidlapp