Thursday, October 26, 2006

Billie Dove (Second of 3 postings)

Read the main Billie bio in post #1.

For a time Billie surpassed Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo at the box-office. She was renowned for her physical perfection, her complexion so flawless that she was a natural choice for some of the earliest films in Technicolor.

Like so many others on this blog, Billie appeared with a very young Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in several films. He recalled: "I was as smitten as any male of any age would be. She was not only lovely to look at but perfectly charming to work with. However, there was an added obstacle to my expressing myself: The director, Irvin Willat, was her husband!"

Billie Dove - What do you think? Allure?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Billie Dove - (First of 3 postings)

Billie was born Lilian Bohny in New York City in 1900. As a teen, she worked as a model and was hired at the age of 15 by Florenz Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld Follies Revue. She migrated to Hollywood in 1922 and began appearing in films.

Her beauty and easily recognizable name helped her become one of the most popular actresses of the 1920s. She was soon dubbed The American Beauty, which was also the title of one of her films.

Billie had a huge legion of male fans and one of her most persistent was Howard Hughes. She shared a three-year romance with Hughes. Billie allegedly lost enthusiasm for the movie business after William Randolph Hearst ordered extensive recutting of Blondie of the Follies (1932) because she outshone Marion Davies, Hearst's mistress. She retired after making 50 films.

She was a favorite of singer Billie Holiday, who changed her first name from Eleanora to Billie after her idol. Billie died in 1997 at the age of 97.

Billie Dove - What do you think? Allure?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nita Naldi

Nita Naldi was born Anita Donna Dooley in 1897 in New York. She began her career as a showgirl in a Shubert revue and later went on to the famed Ziegfeld Follies.

In 1920 she appeared with John Barrymore in Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde. This, her first role, seemed to solidify her film career. She then did a number of very successful vamp roles and was was fast becoming filmdom's leading, sexy lady. However, it was 1922's BLOOD & SAND that was to set her apart from others. Nita starred opposite Rudolph Valentino in one of the silent era's last truly great productions. (BTW, it was in Hollywood, through the alchemy of press agentry, that Nita was rhapsodized as a patrician grande dame, a daughter of a famed Italian diplomat, a distant relation of Dante’s Beatrice. Not bad for a gal from a working class NYC Irish-Italian family.)

In 1928, she made the last two of her 31 films. With the arrival of sound, her New York accent did not lend itself well to the "talkies", whereupon she retired from the silver screen. Nita died in 1961.

Nita Naldi - What do you think? Allure?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Anita Page

Anita Page was born Anita Pomares in 1910 in Flushing New York. The vivid, petite blonde is best known for her lively flapper and ambitious starlet roles.

In 1929 Anita received over 10,000 fan letters a week, second only to Greta Garbo. Over one hundred of these were from an ardent Italian admirer, who wrote obsessively about her every move and asked for her hand in marriage several times - Benito Mussolini!

She was paired up with Joan Crawford in three popular films: "Our Dancing Daughters (1928), Our Modern Maidens (1929) and Our Blushing Brides (1930). She also appeared opposite Buster Keaton in two of his lesser-known talkies: Free and Easy (1930) and Sidewalks of New York (1931).

Anita received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award in 1997. Yes, she is still with us as of this posting and even had a small role in 2004's Bob's Night Out.

Anita Page - What do you think? Allure?