Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jeanette Mac Donald

Jeanette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18, 1903, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She took dance lessons as a young girl, but she later turned to singing, landing several choice roles in Broadway musicals. She was screen-tested and signed by Paramount Pictures, and her first appearance was in The Love Parade (1929) with Maurice Chevalier. The film propelled Jeannette and Chevalier to stardom and started the Hollywood career of director Ernst Lubitsch. The second of her twenty-nine films was also a box-office hit, but even with those successes, for some reason the Paramount bosses never really liked her, and she was dropped by the studio. In 1934 she signed with MGM, and after a year began her teaming with Nelson Eddy, first in the film Naughty Marietta (1935). The two were to become as famous a singing team as Fred and Ginger were a dancing team. A year later she stared with Clark Gable in San Francisco. Jeanette died of heart failure in 1965, but there is still an active Jeanette fan club.

Jeanette Mac Donald - What do you think? Allure?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mary Duncan

Mary Duncan was born in Lutrellville, Virginia in 1895 and went to Hollywood after critics praised her acting on Broadway. There is not a lot of readily available information about Mary, but I found this little bit of trivia in New Movie Magazine, September 1931, from the Hollywood Who's Who section - "Mary Duncan had just settled herself in Paris, France, for a holiday, when she received a cable from Howard Hughes to return at once for a role in a new picture. So home she came." Research tells me the film was The Age for Love, starring Billie Dove. It was the tenth of her sixteen films.

Mary had only one lead role, in Murnau's City Girl, produced in 1930 and considered to be one of his best films. Her last appearance was in Morning Glory, where Katherine Hepburn won her first Oscar.

While making her eleventh film, Five and Ten (1931), she became friends with the film's lead, Marion Davies. They attended a polo match, where Davies introduced Mary to Stephen "Laddie" Sanford. And a couple of years later, Time Magazine, Monday September 11, 1933, reported "Married. Stephen ("Laddie") Sanford, 34, carpet tycoon, international poloist; and Film Actress Mary Duncan, 28; in Manhattan."

After her marriage, Mary retired from films and moved with him to Palm Beach, Florida. For many years the former Mary Duncan reigned as the grande dame of Palm Beach society. She continued her charity work until very late in life, and in 1993 died quietly in her sleep at the age of 98.

Mary Duncan - What do you think? Allure?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Joan Crawford - The Cards - Second of two Postings

Here is the second posting of the Crawford cards in my collection. One of the things I find most interesting about Ms. Crawford is her ability to have so many different looks while always remaining true to her image. And it should also be noted that in 1999 Playboy listed Joan Crawford as one of the 100 Sexiest Women of the 20th century. She placed at 84.

Joan Crawford - What do you think? Allure?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Joan Crawford - The Cards - First of two Postings

Lucille Fay LeSueur, a name I think would have worked for an actress (Louis B. Mayer made her change it because he said it sounded too much like sewer), was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1905 and died in New York in 1977. I've decided that anything else I could write about has already been said 1000 times over, and can be found all over the web and in your favorite bookstore. Your best bet is to just watch some of her films. Of course Mildred Pierce and Grand Hotel would be good for starters. Take a look at some images of this dancer turned legendary actress.

A British hand colored card

An early Joan

With third husband Franchot Tone

Joan Crawford - What do you think? Allure?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Quick Note #4

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone that has visited and commented, both publicly and privately. This past week we exceeded 1000 visits and 1300 page views - who knew! More stars and their allure to come in 2007, so be sure to check in between screenings.