Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jeanne Carmen

From AP News:

Pinup Girl Jeanne Carmen Dies
13 hours ago

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Jeanne Carmen, the "little country girl" who became a 1950s pinup and actress and hobnobbed with Frank Sinatra and other stars, has died. She was 77.

Carmen died of lymphoma Thursday at her Orange County home, said her son, Brandon James.

Born on Aug. 4, 1930, in Paragould, Ark., Carmen picked cotton with her family before running away at 13.

"I was just a little country girl that wanted to be a movie star," she told the Orange County Register in 1996.

Carmen was still a teenager when she came to New York and, despite having no show business experience, immediately became a dancer in a Broadway show called "Burlesque," with comic Burt Lahr.

She later went into modeling, gaining a measure of success with a series of cheesecake shots in men's magazines. One gig turned into a new career as a trick golfer. On tour with golfer Jack Redmond, she would perform stunts such as hitting a ball out of a man's mouth.

Carmen claimed that she later hustled golfers with Las Vegas mobster Johnny Roselli.

She came to Hollywood while still in her 20s, where she appeared in low-budget movies with such titles as "Guns Don't Argue" and "The Monster of Piedras Blancas."

Carmen also claimed to have had affairs with Sinatra and other celebrities.

She moved to Orange County in 1978.

In addition to her son, Carmen is survived by daughters Melinda Belli and Kellee Jade Campo, and three grandchildren.

I happened to see Jeanne Carmen two years ago at Michael Buble's concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. She was beautiful~ hair piled high, knockout figure and stiletto heels. She was best friends with Marilyn Monroe and it's sad that Jeanne's career was mostly B movies. Supposedly there is a movie in the works about her life; would like to see who they get to star.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vintage Inspired

I have been to many different vintage stores in the LA area, but one boutique in particular stands out~ Vintage Inspired in Mission Viejo, CA, about an hour from Los Angeles. I had gone in to check out their Besame Cosmetics collection, but got easily sidetracked with the other merchandise, the displays and the atmosphere.

The owner Laura wasn't there the day I visited but I did have the pleasure of chatting with Lindsay who is a real doll, and a vintage clothing designer as well! Lindsay took the time to tell me about the store and the collections they carry such as the ubiquitous Stop Starring! as well as modern labels. She also informed me of the many different events they host such as book signings, cocktail parties and performances. Lovely ladies such as Dita Von Teese, Jami Deadly and Bernie Dexter have all graced the store with their presence~ be it shopping or performing. The store is a go to for all the local Pin Up models and Burlesque performers as well as the retro and vintage enthusiast, men and women.

The store itself is a homey enclave, set up like your dream dressing room. What I think I adored the most, were the framed pictures of stars of the past, and even some modern pin up gals scattered about~ this made it feel so personal, like it was your own room. The coveted Besame Cosmetics are displayed and stocked on a beautiful vintage vanity. Every nook is filled with shelves or wardrobes bursting with the finest frocks and accoutrements or fun things for your home. There is a handsome gentlemen's area in the back that would make any man enjoy shopping! Thanks to Lindsay and Laura for being so welcoming and creating such a great shopping experience! Make sure you check out their sites and try to drop by if you can. Here are some photos to entice.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Disney's First Studio

I was looking for a notary in my neighborhood, and was directed to a small unassuming printer and copy place at 4647 Kingswell Ave. in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. I began to notice a large amount of Disney artwork on the walls so I inquire about it. The woman at the desk explains to me that the store was Walt Disney's first studio in 1925; apparently he lived upstairs as well. I am not a huge Disney fan, but I love stumbling upon these little historical treasures!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Can't Get Enough of Joan

Donna, one of my readers, alerted me to her website The Films of Joan Crawford. By far, one of the most passionate and respectful sites dedicated to Joan. This highlights her film career as well as showcasing wonderful photo galleries~ many of which I have never seen before, trivia and other fascinating Joan-isms. Please check it out~ Thank you Donna!