A tribute to classic actresses, silent beauties, and forgotten starlets including ...
Linda Darnell, Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield, Paulette Goddard, Jean Harlow, Marion Davies, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Jeanette MacDonald, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, Lucille Ball, Carole Lombard, Judy Garland, Norma Shearer, and Clara Bow
"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.
Virginia Vance was born Dahlia Roberta Pears on July 1, 1902 in Illinois. She moved to Hollywood and became one of Mack Sennett's bathing beauties. In 1922 she made her acting debut in the comedy short Crash. Virginia would appear in more than ninety short films including Don't Hesitate and Hold You Hat. She married actor Bryant Washburn in 1929 and retired. The couple had one daughter. Virginia died of a heart attack on October 13, 1942. She was just forty years old.
Desiree Ball was born on August 3, 1911, in Jamestown, New York. Her
father died when she was three years old. Lucille moved to New York City and began her career as a
model. For a short time she used the stage name Diane Belmont. Her big break came when producer Sam Goldwyn chose her to be one of his
"Goldwyn Girls". Lucille started getting small roles in movies like Stage Door and Room
Service. While making the comedy Too Many Girls she met bandleader Desi
Arnaz and they were married in 1940. To
get more attention in Hollywood Lucille dyed her brown hair red. In
1943 she signed a contract with MGM where she was nicknamed "Techinicolor Tessie". She worked with Bob Hope in
Fancy Pants and with Van Johnson in Easy To Wed but she was unhappy with the roles she was given.
Lucille suffered several miscarriage before becoming a mother at age thirty-nine. In 1951 she teamed up with Desi to star in and
produce the television series I Love Lucy. The show was a big success
and they became the most popular couple on television. Even the birth of their son in 1953 became national news. Unfortunately Desi's drinking and affairs caused problems in their marriage. Lucille divorced him and
married comedian Gary Morton in 1961. She would star in two more long-running television series making her a comedy legend . Her final public appearance would be at the 1989 Academy Awards. She died on April 26, 1989 from an
aortic aneurysm. Lucille was cremated and her ashes were buried in Los Angeles but in 2002 her family moved them to Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown, New York.