Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
I am so very excited about this giveaway!! The wonderful people at William Morrow/Harper Collins have generously donated a copy of Donald Spoto's Possessed; a new biography on Joan Crawford for a giveaway drawing!
I will be honest, I read the first few pages then ran out to buy my own copy. :) It is, in my opinion, one of the best biographies I have read as it is almost set up like a documentary. Unbiased and factual, and honest about facts unknown. Meticulous footnotes and vivid descriptive qualities. A ton of never seen before photos and correspondences. Of course, she is a fascinating subject and I actually learned new things about her life and careers. I loved it, and am thrilled for one of you to own it!
If interested, please email me your name and mailing address and one winner will be drawn at random. Ends Wed. Dec. 15th 12noon EST.
Special thanks to Kimberly! xo
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
A fascinating find on Heritage Auction Galleries is the original concept sketch of then soon to be Wonder Woman. Illustrator Harry G. Peter submits these drawings to creator William Moulton Marston in 1941. The illustration was sold in Oct. 2002 for approximately $33,350. Click image for better view!
H. G. Peter - Original Illustration of Wonder Woman (ca. 1941). This is, quite frankly, an incredible piece of comics history. Recently acquired from the estate of H. G. Peter, Wonder Woman's original artist, these are his first sketches of the Amazon Princess. The figures are done in what appear to be pencil, ink, and crayon and show Wonder Woman from the side and from the front. To the right of the figures, in pencil, Peter has written to Dr. William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman's creator,
"Dear Dr. Marston, I slapped these two out in a hurry. The eagle is tough to handle - when in perspective or in profile, he doesn't show up clearly -- the shoes look like a stenographer's. I think the idea might be incorporated as a sort of Roman contraption. Peter".
In red pencil, below the figures, Marston responds,
"Dear Pete - I think the gal with hand up is very cute. I like her skirt, legs, hair. Bracelets okay + boots. These probably will work out. See other suggestions enclosed. No on these + stripes - red + white. With eagle's wings above or below breasts as per enclosed? Leave it to you. Don't we have to put a red stripe around her waist as belt? I thought Gaines wanted it - don't remember. Circlet will have to go higher - more like crown - see suggestions enclosed. See you Wednesday morning - WMM."
Measuring approximately 13" x 18.75" overall, the piece is in excellent condition. It was obviously folded to fit in an envelope, with a horizontal fold approximately 4.5" from the top and five vertical fold lines. The profile figure stands approximately 8" tall, while the front-facing figure is slightly larger at 9". The historical importance of this piece cannot be overstated. This is a rare insight into the creation of an iconic character, showing clearly the creative process undertaken by two important comics pioneers. A piece of this caliber is rarely offered for public sale, especially one with such important historical qualities. Obtained from the estate of H. G. Peter, included with this lot are two other interesting items: a hand-drawn, hand-colored postcard addressed to "Miss A. Fulton" and signed "H. G. Roth" (Peter's real name), measuring approximately 6" x 4", and a sepia-toned portrait of Peter holding a pipe, which measures approximately 5.5" x 5.5". All in all, a fascinating collection of material from one of comic's most important artists.
image and description courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries/ha.com
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
I was riding the T (subway) the other day, a young man boarded and he looked exactly like John Gilbert!! He seemed to be around 25, and had on a lovely navy blue three piece suit and had the perfect sculpted fudge brown hair and mustache. The same strong jaw, slightly peaked ears, strong patrician nose. I stared. A lot. He had that standout panache that many men, especially young men, fail to achieve. If it wasn't so crowded, I would have made my way over to him and asked for a picture for the blog. (I have no shame.)
Here are a few swoon worthy photos of Dear John...
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
I just recently moved to Boston. (YEA!!) Anyway, while rummaging through my things I found an old advertisement of Max Factor cosmetics, starring Rita Hayworth. It came from a 1943 Good Housekeeping magazine. I found it on eBay and apparently forgot I had it. It is 11x8 and in a plastic sleeve.
If you would like this delightful advert for your collection of vintage goodies, please email me your name and mailing address. One winner will be drawn at random and deadline is Wed Oct 20, 12noon est. Thank you!!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Here is the bureau at home, and in better light. I purchased it from Hummingbird Antiques (781) 389-8911 and was told it was pre-1930. I haven't yet looked for markings, it is quite heavy. I like that it has small casters and wooden wheels. It's a soft buttercream color with chipping in all the right places revealing it was once painted mint green. I like it very much!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
From June 2010~ Kathy Griffin posed as a pinup for her 2010 Creative Emmy "For Your Consideration" ad that ran in the Hollywood Reporter. The tag reads "They don't give out an Emmy for 'Best Airbrushing' but if they did, I'd totally win." She looks super cute!!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I am compelled to post a review I found on Amazon:
JACK HUNTER IS CARY GRANT PLAYING INDIANA JONES, September 10, 2010
J. P. Byrne (Lincoln, England)
This review is from: Jack and the Jungle Lion (Paperback)
"Jack and the Jungle Lion" is much more than a fast-paced, thrill-a-minute, romantic adventure story ... it's also a movie literally begging to be filmed.
I am an aficionado of old Hollywood adventure flicks and this novel really captures what was fun about those great movies of my youth. Author Stephen Jared obviously loves those movies also, and any fan of "Only Angels Have Wings", "Secret of the Incas" and Indiana Jones will really get a kick out of this book. In the spirit of those 1940's serials, Mr Jared also left this reader wanting more.
Special mention must be acknowledged to the impressive cover art by Paul Shipper, which evokes the colourful posters of that period in Hollywood history.
Reading this book in one sitting ("couldn't put it down"), it was easy to imagine Cary Grant as the suave handsome movie hero Jack Hunter, with his slick line of patter, and of course, his bitchy ex-silent movie queen wife would have been played by Gloria Swanson. The real star of the book is the spunky , fiery heroine Maxine Daniels, who battles giant snakes, poison pits and hostile headhunters with absolute cool. She's a strong character, but also very feminine, and I imagined Frances Gifford in this role. That's the wonderful thing about this book - a movie is playing in your head at the same time - and its a helluva wild ride.
Stephen Jared has a nice, easy, flowing style of prose, and a great knowledge of that era in Hollywood history. Even staccato voiced Walter Winchell (the man who started the legend that Yma Sumac was Amy Camus) is part of the plot. I you want a story that combines terrific action with some really smart one-liners, that has romance and exotic adventures set in the Amazonian jungle - then this is the book for you. It's a pure delight .. and I for one demand a sequel, Mr Jared.
One lucky winner will be drawn at random and is open to all world wide. Please email me your name and mailing address. Deadline is Monday Oct 4th at 12 noon EST. Thank you Stephen!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
WHEN HOLLYWOOD WAS REALLY BAD
By Simon Edge
Lindsay Lohan's childishness has landed her in jail but her behaviour is nothing compared to the lawless sinners of cinema's true golden age.
CRUSHED AT AN ORGY
Roscoe Arbuckle, known to the world by his nickname Fatty, was a massive – in all senses – star of the silent cinema in the 1910s and one of the highest paid.
But his career was destroyed when a would-be starlet called Virginia Rappe died of a ruptured bladder after a weekend orgy he threw in San Francisco in 1921. The 19-stone Arbuckle was accused of raping and accidentally killing her and he was tried three times for manslaughter.
Although he was eventually acquitted his films were banned and he was dogged for the rest of his short life (he died in 1933) by lurid rumours about what precisely had happened to Rappe. One of the most gruesome was that he had raped her and then crushed her with his great weight.
HOT TODDY OUT COLD
Thelma Todd was a blonde bombshell ex-beauty queen who forged a successful career playing comedy roles opposite Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers, including in the latter’s classic film Monkey Business.
Known as Hot Toddy to her friends she also ran a racy restaurant-cum-nightclub called Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café which was popular with celebrities and tourists.
When she was found lifeless in her car outside her beach-front house on a December morning in 1935 there were immediate suspicions she had been murdered by gangsters with designs on her club.
Her death was eventually ruled to be an accident caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. But the cursory nature of the investigation by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office – a notoriously corrupt institution – allowed the rumours of foul play to persist to this day.
Paul Kelly was a child actor from the silent era who was busy developing an adult career as a leading man when he was arrested in 1927 for the manslaughter of stage song-and-dance man Ray Raymond.
Raymond was the violent husband of Kelly’s lover Dorothy Mackaye. He had found out about the affair and come to blows with Kelly but ended up the loser: two days after the fight he died of a brain hemorrhage.
Although his alcoholism was found to be a factor in Raymond’s death Kelly was convicted and served two years in the notorious San Quentin prison. Amazingly his career survived and he became a successful Hollywood character actor in the Thirties and Forties as well as winning a coveted Tony award on Broadway.
His relationship with Dorothy also survived his imprisonment. They married after his release but their happiness was short-lived. She died in a car crash in 1940.
A BEVY OF SUSPECTS
When police arrived at a Hollywood murder scene in 1922 they found that several Paramount studio executives had got there first. The film bosses were busy burning documents in a fireplace while the film star Mabel Normand – instantly recognisable as the leading lady in many of Mack Sennett’s slapstick comedies – was rummaging through the victim’s desk.
The dead man was her lover, bachelor director William Desmond Taylor, who was helping her battle cocaine addiction. Normand’s career teetered after she was briefly suspected of the murder and then completely crashed the following year when her chauffeur shot and wounded a millionaire oil broker with her pistol. She died of TB seven years later, aged 37. Taylor had also been sleeping with another young actress, Mary Miles Minter. Her reputation was badly tarnished by the revelations about her private life and her career did not survive. Her pushy stage mother Charlotte Shelby was also suspected of the crime and bribed three different district attorneys to keep her name out of the case.
In 1964, however, yet another of Taylor’s actresses from the silent era, Margaret Gibson, made a death bed confession to the murder. No motive is recorded. The only witness to the confession had never heard of Taylor and was too distracted by the immediate crisis of her heart attack to pay proper attention.
SKULDUGGERY AT SEA
In 1924 the media magnate William Randolph Hearst – one of the richest and most powerful men in America – hosted a glittering cruise on his luxury yacht off the coast of southern California.
Guests included Charlie Chaplin, future gossip columnist Louella Parsons and Hearst’s mistress, the silent film star Marion Davies. But another guest, the movie producer and western pioneer Thomas Ince, was taken ill on board and died shortly afterwards. He was cremated without an inquest before his wife even knew he was dead.
This crude attempt at a cover-up was bound to fuel rumours of foul play. A theory duly emerged that Hearst himself had shot the dead man. According to this version of events – dramatised in the film The Cat’s Meow starring Kirsten Dunst and Eddie Izzard – the jealous tycoon had mistaken Ince for Chaplin, who had been sleeping with Davies.
Hearst’s biographer believes the real reason for the cover-up was the vast amount of drinking taking place.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
The silent-film heart-throb John Gilbert, a famous lover of Greta Garbo, rivalled Rudolph Valentino as a box-office draw.
One night he burst drunkenly into a Beverly Hills police station waving a revolver and shouting that someone had tried to kill him. He was disarmed, locked up and the next morning a judge jailed him for a week.
But studio mogul Louis B Mayer needed Gilbert on the set of his latest film. He got on the phone to the judge and the sentence was instantly quashed.
NAKED WITH A GUN
Paul Bern, the film producer husband of platinum blonde superstar Jean Harlow, was found dead at their home in Beverly Hills in 1932. He was naked with a bullet hole in his head. Security staff from MGM studios were on the scene before the police, leading to widespread suspicion of the “suicide note” left near the body.
The story put out by the studio, that Bern had shot himself because he was impotent, was indeed fabricated by Louis B Mayer to protect Harlow’s career. Writers investigating the case later concluded that Bern had been murdered by a deranged former girlfriend.
Harlow’s career continued unharmed but she died of kidney failure in 1937 aged only 26.
A TANGLED TALE
In 1958 police were called to the Beverly Hills home of Lana Turner, who had recently revived her glittering career with an Oscar nomination for the blockbuster Peyton Place.
They found her hoodlum lover Johnny Stompanato stabbed to death in an upstairs room. Turner, once nicknamed The Sweater Girl, begged the chief of police to let her claim responsibility but her 14-year-old daughter Cheryl had already confessed.
At a sensational trial Cheryl said that she had heard the violent Stompanato threaten to kill her mother and she grabbed a knife from the kitchen to try to protect Lana. She was released after the jury returned a verdict of justifiable homicide.
Cheryl had already been repeatedly raped by her mother’s fourth husband, Tarzan star Lex Barker. She went off the rails after the trial and ended up in a delinquents’ home before prospering as a Palm Springs estate agent.
Did a drunken Clark Gable run over and kill a pedestrian on Hollywood Boulevard? The story has persisted for years. The incident was supposedly covered up when MGM paid a minor executive to go to prison in his place.
This is almost certainly an urban myth and the most that Gable hit was a tree. On the other hand, the future Hollywood director John Huston did kill a pedestrian on Sunset Boulevard in 1933 and no charges were pressed. One biographer claims that Huston’s actor father Walter persuaded Louis B Mayer to pay to have the matter suppressed.
**I've read so many books and articles that really highlighted how powerful the studio heads and PR men were. They took care of everything. Nothing got out. I think that's the appeal at the time; the stars were untouchable and iconic which equaled dollars. Now after a few years when stories come out, we see some were heavily flawed and distraught, caught up in the Hollywood Machine that was the Golden Era. Stardom came at a price. Sad, really.
I've read somewhere that the Arbuckle scandal was his downfall and that he was framed and never recovered emotionally. Also interestingly absent from this article was the death of Ted Healy, vaudeville veteran and Three Stooges founder. There are strong rumors that Wallace Beery was responsible for his death during a barroom brawl. Knowing Beery's temper this could be a possibility.
Any scandals you can think of?
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010