Saturday, February 23, 2008

Asides - Playing Catch Up

This blog began with the posting of images scanned from our collection of postcards. Well, finances be damned, the collecting didn't stop and here are some newer cards of actresses already featured in previous posts. They are in no particular order, but I hope you enjoy them. If you are a first time visitor, be sure to click the labels on the right to see and learn more about these actresses.

Another image explaining Errol Flynn's inability to resist this French native.

Ok, so I'm in love with Edwina Booth. Here is another image from Trader Horn.

Another image of the "American Venus".

Here is Lupe in a scene from "The Storm", where she is trapped in a cabin with two men who fight over her. Using the skirt to keep from burning her hands probably didn't help the rivalry.

Born in August of 1910 and still going strong.

There is a wonderful article about Sally Phipps in the latest New York Times T Magazine. It is entitled "The Flapper Doesn't Change Her Spots".

A wonderful image of Ms. Sidney.

Never one to overdress.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Peggy Shannon

Born Winona Sammon on January 10, 1907, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Peggy joined the Ziegfeld Follies in 1923 at age 13, though she claimed to be 17. She stayed with Ziegfeld for two seasons and then moved to the legitimate theater and within a three year period (1926-1929), appeared in 15 productions.

While performing on Broadway in early 1931, Peggy was spotted by B. P. Schulberg, production head of Paramount Pictures, and was offered a contract. Her first lead role came after only two days in Hollywood; Clara Bow suffered a nervous breakdown during the shooting of The Secret Call (1931) and Peggy was named her replacement. The studio also began to refer to her as the new "It" girl, much to Bow's chagrin. 1931 also saw Peggy in The Road To Reno opposite the very popular Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Mary Pickford's husband.

In 1934, Peggy returned to Broadway for the show Page Miss Glory, playing the girlfriend of then unknown Jimmy Stewart. Unfortunately, it was around this time that a hidden drinking problem began to surface. In 1935, she continued on Broadway with The Light Behind the Shadow, but was soon replaced, with a press release claiming a tooth infection, though rumors blamed her drinking. In 1936 she returned again to Hollywood with Youth On Parole, her name no where near the top of the marquee. A few small roles followed.

In 1940, Peggy married cameraman/actor Albert G. Roberts. On May 11, 1941, Albert Roberts and a fellow studio worker returned from a fishing trip to find Peggy dead. She was slumped over the kitchen table, a cigarette in her mouth and an empty glass in her hand. She had been dead for approximately 12 hours, aged 31. The autopsy indicated acute alcoholism. She appeared in 35 films during her career.

Three weeks after Peggy's death, her husband committed suicide. He shot himself with a .22 rifle in the same chair that Peggy died. His suicide note read, "I am very much in love with my wife, Peggy Shannon. In this spot she died, so in reverence to her, you will find me in the same spot."

Trivia - When the world premier of The Secret Call is held in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the mayor declared July 14th, “Peggy Shannon Day”.

Picture Play, January 1932 - Artist Modest Stein

Motion Picture Magazine spotlight, October 1933

Publicity Still

Publicity Still

Production still, The Devil's Mate (1933), lead role opposite Preston Foster

The Road to Reno poster, using the Modest Stein portrait

Photo (circa 1923-1926) by Alfred Cheney Johnson. Look for the book
Jazz Age Beauties to see more of his work with the Ziegfeld Girls.

Peggy Shannon - What do you think - Allure?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Asides - Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing the Maybellinettes

In a number of movie magazines in the 30's, Maybelline took back and inside back covers to promote their eyelash darkener and companion products. That they use the word "allure" in most of the ads, makes it a perfect fit for this blog.

And, it may be just me, but the Maybellinettes all have eyes that look like Venus Flytraps, snaring whoever gazes in their direction. That is how it should work, right?

Picture Play - Back Cover April 1932

Motion Picture Classic - Inside Back May 1930

Screen Secrets - Back Cover Sept 1930

Screen Play - Back Cover April 1934

Silver Screen - Inside Back Cover March 1931

Hollywood - Back Cover April 1933

Click to enlarge the images.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ann Harding

Born Dorothy Walton Gatley on August 7, 1901, as the daughter of a career army officer, Ann traveled often during her early life. The family finally settled in New York, where she attended Bryn Mawr College, and eventually made her stage debut in a small theater production in Greenwich Village. From there she went to Broadway, and then to Hollywood, where they were looking for actresses who could make the leap to "talking" pictures.

In 1929 Ann made her film debut in Paris Bound, opposite Fredric March. Within only 2 years she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for Holiday (1931). Her performances were lauded by the critics, who cited her diction and stage experience, and she became one of Hollywood's highest salaried stars. During this time Ann was also considered to be one of filmdom's most beautiful women, her long waist-length blond hair a notable trademark. Her films during her peak include East Lynne (1931), The Animal Kingdom (1932), When Ladies Meet (1933), Double Harness (1933), and Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935). All these films were made opposite the leading men of the era.

However, Ann eventually became stereotyped as the innocent young woman willing to sacrifice herself for others. Lukewarm responses by the critics and the public to several of her later 1930s films helped her make the decision to stop making films. In 1937 she married conductor Werner Janssen. Ann was lured back in 1942 to make Eyes in the Night and sporadically take on some other roles. By the end of her career she had appeared in 37 films and over 30 television productions, the last in a 1965 episode of Ben Casey. Ann died in September of 1981 at the age of 80.

Ann's popularity can be witnessed by her appearances on
the cover of the leading film magazines of the day.

Photoplay - June 1930

Photoplay - August 1931

New Movie Magazine - December 1932

Photoplay - December 1933

Early Portrait

Publicity still from East Lynne.

Publicity still from Her Private Affair.

Ann Harding - What do you think- Allure?