Thursday, August 25, 2016

Regina Doyle (1920s Starlet)

Regina Alice Doyle was born on September 2, 1907 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father, John Doyle, was a fireman. Regina was educated at the Grenshaw Conservatory. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was seventeen. On July 2, 1925 Regina married thirty-one year old Stewart Gilbert Cornelius. They had one child together and divorced in 1927. By this time Regina was pursing an acting career. She appeared in several western shorts including The Lone Prairie and The Scrapping Ranger. In 1929 she was given the lead opposite Edmund Cobb in Beyond The Smoke. They would make three more films together.

With Edmund Cobb

Regina seemed destined for stardom but after several years at Universal Studios she stopped making movies in 1930. On September 29, 1931 Regina crashed her car into a freight train on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. She was thrown from the car and died almost instantly. Regina was only twenty-four years old. The coroner ruled that the accident was caused by reckless driving. She is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles. Just a few days before Regina's death her mother had a premonition something terrible was going to happen. She warned her daughter to "Drive slowly".

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ossi Oswalda (German Actress)

Ossi Oswalda was born Oswalda Staglich on February 2, 1899 in Berlin, Germany. She trained to be a ballerina and worked in chorus lines when she was a teenager. Director Ernst Lubitsch discovered her and cast her in his 1916 film The Shoe Palace. Over the next five years she appeared in many of Lubitsch's comedies including The Doll, The Oyster Princess, and I Don't Want To Be A Man. She usually played spoiled, child-like characters and even appeared in drag. Ossi became one of  Europe's most bankable stars earning her the nickname "The German Mary Pickford". She and Ernst Lubitsch became very close friends but their relationship was never romantic. In 1919 she married Hungarian Baron Gustav von Koczian. Ossi and her husband started their own production company but they only made five films together.

Their marriage ended in 1925 and Ossi began a high profile romance with Crown Prince Willhelm. She signed a contract with an American producer in 1926 and tried to change her image by playing more glamorous characters. Unfortunately her career suffered with the arrival of sound films. Her last role was in the 1933 drama The Star Of Valencia. Ossi continued to work on the stage appearing in operettas in Germany and Vienna. Eventually she moved to Czechoslovakia with her boyfriend Julius Aussenberg, a former producer. In 1943 she wrote the story for the film Fourteen At The Table. Sadly by the Spring of 1947 Ossi was bankrupt and suffering from numerous health problems. She died on July 17, 1947 in Prague. Ossi was only forty-eight years old. She is buried in Olsany Cemetery in in the Czech Republic.

An autographed photo from my collection

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy's Love Story


Jeanette MacDonald is one of my favorite actresses. She had a BEAUTIFUL voice and I love seeing her films with Nelson Eddy. Jeanette and Nelson had one of Hollywood's longest lasting and most tragic love stories. They met in the Fall of 1934 when MGM paired the two stars in the musical Naughty Marietta. The movie was a huge hit and audiences instantly fell in love with the singing duo. Off screen Nelson and Jeanette began a very passionate affair. The couple continued to make hit movies together but they kept their real life romance a secret at the insistence of MGM president Louis B. Mayer. They talked about getting married but Nelson wanted Jeanette to give up her career and become a housewife. She was not willing to do that and they broke up. In 1937 thirty-four year old Jeanette married actor Gene Raymond. They had a very rocky marriage and Jeanette had a difficult time dealing with Gene's bi-sexuality.

Nelson was so devastated by Jeanette's marriage that he eloped with Ann Franklin, a friend of his mother. When Jeanette found out he had gotten married she attempted suicide. Unfortunately Ann suffered from mental problems and Nelson rarely spent time with her. Eventually Jeanette and Nelson resumed their secret love affair. Jeanette became pregnant several times but tragically she lost the babies. Although they still loved each other neither of them was ever willing to get a divorce. They were both worried that the scandal would destroy their careers. When Jeanette died in 1965 Nelson was heartbroken. He passed away just two years later. Friends who knew the couple said they never stopped loving each other.

I have a large collection of Jeanette MacDonald memorabilia. One of my favorite items is a handwritten letter Nelson Eddy sent her in 1934.

"Dear Miss MacDonald, Thank you for the wire. It was terribly sweet of you and I appreciate it more than I can tell you. One day I hope to get up courage enough to tell you I think you're the grandest person in the world. Very gratefully yours, Nelson Eddy"

To learn more about Jeanette and Nelson's love story please visit MacEddy.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Actresses & Their Poodles

Poodles have always been a very popular pet among Hollywood stars. In fact some classic actresses treated their dogs better than their own children! Here are twelve of the biggest poodle lovers ...

 Betty Grable's poodle Punkin was trained not to bark when she came to the studio

Ann Sheridan's husband George Brent gave her a poodle named Amos

Greer Garson sent her two Standard poodles to "Manners School"

Janet Leigh named her poodle Lewmar because he was a gift from Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin

Natalie Wood often posed for pictures with her poodle Grebel

Joan Crawford said her poodle Cliquot was "miserable when I'm not working. When we go to the studio he is very happy."

Sandra Dee named her poodle Gidget after a the 1957 movie she starred in

Judy Garland's poodle Chou Chou liked to sit on her lap during interviews

Grace Kelly's poodle Oliver was a gift from her co-star Cary Grant

When Claudette Colbert was told that dogs were not allowed on the set she got her poodle Lulu Belle an actor's equity card

Elizabeth Taylor often took her poodle to the set with her

Anne Francis's poodle Smidge appeared in the movie Father's Little Leaguer

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

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