Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hedda Hopper

Elda Furry (Hedda Hopper) was born May 2, 1885, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. She is primarily remembered as one of the two most famous Hollywood gossip columnists ever, the other being rival Louella Parsons. However, Hedda began her career in Hollywood as an actress and had appeared in 121 films before beginning a string of radio shows and debuting her gossip column, "Hedda Hopper's Hollywood" in the Los Angeles Times on February 14, 1938. Up until the time of her death in 1966 she continued to produce six daily columns and a Sunday column for the Chicago Tribune syndicate, as well as writing for various fan magazines.

Hedda was generally hated, or at the least feared by many in the Hollywood community because of the amount of "dirt" she was able to dig up and the innuendos she let drop. Her friendship with J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy, and her testimony at the House Un-American Activities Committee, didn’t help her popularity either.

Nevertheless, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it’s not for her mostly forgettable, but workmanlike performances in film.

Some speculate her decided mean streak may have come from never breaking through to lead actress status. In any event, she preceded Perez Hilton and TMZ and would surely hold her own in today’s gossip heavy world.

All that said, this post presents Hedda in her film persona. Few if any of her early films, 1915 through 1930, are available. By the time sound came around, Hedda was 45 and most of her roles, and what you see in this post, have her playing wealthy, married socialites, and similar types. She made few appearances after the mid-thirties, but was in both Topper (1937) and The Women (1939), where she played a columnist.

Her son, actor William Hopper, became famous as investigator Paul Drake in the "Perry Mason" TV series.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Mid to late Twenties publicity still.

Photoplay August 1931 - Hedda shares a fashion spread with Constance Bennett.

Movie Mirror February 1932
I guess Hedda was ok with the term matron, but that wouldn't fly with most 40 somethings I know.

Three MGM publicity stills from the early Thirties.

The Racketeer (1929) , Let Us Be Gay (1930), Rebound (1931)
The Racketeer is available here for download.

John Gilbert married Virgina Bruce shortly after filming Downstairs, so ads for the movie proclaimed "starring Mr. and Mrs. John Gilbert".

Hedda Hopper - What do you think - Allure?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Asides - One Sheets, Half Sheets, Lobby Cards, Window Cards, Inserts

One (27 x 41 in.), two (41 x 54 in.) and three (41 x 81 in.) sheets, display sheets (22 x28 in.), lobby cards (11 x 14 in.), window cards (14 x 22 in.), and inserts (14 x 36 in.), all designed to get you intrigued and into the theater. Since the mid 80's, lobby cards, window cards, and inserts went down with the demise of the single or double feature movie house. However, in the 20's and 30's... This post has an assortment of promotional material for films with actresses we have featured on this blog. Some are lesser known films by well known actresses. Each film is linked to its IMDB page.

Double click on the images for a larger view.

The Big Brain (1933)
Fay made 11 films in 1933.
Lobby Card

Millie (1931) is perhaps the role for which Helen is best remembered - well worth seeing.
One Sheet

The Saturday Night Kid (1929)
Clara's forty-eighth film.
Lobby Card

My Past (1931)
Bebe entered film in 1917 and was one actress that successfully made the transition to sound.

Comet Over Broadway (1938)
Kay would liked to have forgotten this film.
Lobby Card

It Pays To Advertise (1931)
Carole's forty-second film appearance.
Lobby Card

High Flyers (1937)
Where Lupe's character is "Maria Juanita Rosita Anita Moreno del Valle"
Lobby Card

Laughter (1930)
This was Nancy's sixteenth film when she was at the height of her career.
One Sheet

Dance, Fools, Dance (1930)
This was recently released through the Warner Classic Archive series.
Lobby Card

The Garden Of Eden (1928)
Corinne only made six more films, before retiring, another casualty of sound.
However, she needn't have worried, becoming a multi-millionaire through her real estate business.
Modified One Sheet I believe.

The Man Who Reclaimed His Head (1934)
Joan's twenty-fourth film.
One Sheet

The Kennel Murder Case (1933)
Mary Astor of course. This film is public domain and available here.
Lobby card

Danger Patrol (1937)
Sally made eleven more films before retiring in 1950.
Lobby Card

The Purchase Price (1932)
Barbara's tenth credited film.
Lobby Card

Slightly Scarlet (1930)
Evelyn's seventy-second film.
Lobby Card