Archive for October, 2011

Clara Bow Halloween Greetings

 

Clara Bow hamming it up and wishing everyone a spook-tacular Halloween.

 

Clara Bow

 

Clara Bow

 

Clara Bow

 

Clara Bow

 

Clara Bow

 

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Fanny Brice: A Pictorial

“Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?” ~ Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice

“Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.” ~ Fanny Brice

Young Fanny Brice c.1910 'Glamour' publicity photo

“Being a funny person does an awful lot of things to you. You feel that you mustn’t get serious with people. They don’t expect it from you, and they don’t want to see it. You’re not entitled to be serious, you’re a clown.” ~ Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice as Baby Snooks

“Your audience gives you everything you need. They tell you. There is no director who can direct you like an audience.” ~ Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice and Danny Thomas do a radio show - 1945

“I never liked the men I loved and never loved the men I liked.” ~ Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice, Gracie Allen, George Burns

“Men always fall for frigid women because they put on the best show.” ~ Fanny Brice

Fanny Brice and Anne Pennington

“Affectation is a very good word when someone does not wish to confess to what he would none the less like to believe of himself.” ~ Fanny Brice

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Belita, The Ice Maiden

 

Maria Belita Gladys Olive Lyne Jepson-Turner known professionally as Belita and hailed by her adoring fans as “Belita, the Ice Maiden”, was a British Olympic figure skater, dancer, and film actress.

 

Belita in "Invitation To Dance" (1956)

Belita was born October 25, 1923 at Nether Wallop, Hampshire, England. Trained in dance not long after learning how to walk, she went on to study ballet with Sir Anton Dolin. Belita’s father was a military officer and mother the daughter of a royal physician to King Edward VII. Her mother was protective and controlling when it came to Belita and immediately turned her daughter towards becoming a star ballerina. Using skating to build up her overall strength, poise, and endurance, ice soon took over Belita’s life completely. Her classical Russian ballet training carried over into her skating, and she was considered far superior to others skating at that time. Remarkably agile and graceful, she appeared in the Olympic games of 1936 at the age of twelve and turned professional two years later. Multitalented, Belita also played the violin and spoke four languages.

 

Belita - "The Gangster" (1947)

Belita made her minor film debut as an ice dancer in the Republic Pictures movie “Ice-Capades” (1941). Her next role was in “Silver Skates” (1943). The movie itself was a mediocre drama but Belita shined in her her role and her star began to rise. She followed this with a top-billed role in the lowbudget Monogram Pictures film “Lady, Let’s Dance” (1944). The film was unique as an ice skating musical and was nominated for two Oscars. Determined to become a more dramatic actress, she appeared in the suspense film “Suspense” (1946) which also starred heavyweights Barry Sullivan and Albert Dekker. She appeared with Sullivan again in The “Gangster” (1947), with Preston Foster in “The Hunted” (1948), and enjoyed secondary roles in the classic mystery “The Man on the Eiffel Tower” (1949) starring Charles Laughton, and the rugged adventure drama “Never Let Me Go” (1953) with Clark Gable. She later went on to appear in theater productions of “Twelfth Night,” “Ulysses in Nighttown” and “Damn Yankees!”

 

Belita rehearsing at the Marshall Street Baths for the Aqua Show which was shown at Earls Court in London, England - 1948

Belita’s overall career started to wane in the 1950s. All during this time, however, Belita still popular on ice, performing in capades, shows and extravaganzas all over the world, particularly in London. In 1956 she abruptly retired her skates and soon after bid Hollywood farewell as well. She had appearances in the second segment of Gene Kelly’s three part film “Invitation to the Dance” (1956) and had a minor unbilled part in “Silk Stockings” (1957) before she retired. Belita came out of retirement to star in the Argentinian film “The Terrace” (1963) but then was gone again. She appeared briefly on the ice at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1981 in a short production based on “Solitude” by Duke Ellington.

 

Belita on cover of LIFE August 27, 1945

Belita married actor Joel McGinnis in 1946. The marriage lasted ten years and ended in divorce in 1956. She later married Irish-born actor James Berwick (aka James Kenny) in 1967. They remained married until his death in 2000. She opened a garden centre in West London, and subsequently retired for the most part to the south of France where she remained out of the public eye. She had no children by either husband and passed away in Montpeyroux, France on December 18, 2005, at age 82.

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John Payne and Natalie Wood (1947)

 

John Payne and nine year old Natalie Wood become
friends while filming “Miracle On 34th Street” (1947)

 

Natalie Wood and John Payne rehearsing lines for "Miracle On 34th Street" (1947)

Natalie Wood and John Payne rehearsing lines for
“Miracle On 34th Street” (1947)

 

John Payne and Natalie Wood having fun behind the scenes while filming "Miracle On 34th Street" (1947)

John Payne and Natalie Wood having fun behind the scenes while filming “Miracle On 34th Street” (1947)

 

A great expression on Natalie Wood's face as she studies John Payne while he hops on a pogo stick backstage while filming "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947)

A great expression on Natalie Wood’s face as she studies John Payne while he hops on a pogo stick backstage while filming “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)

 

 

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Beach Beauties of The Silent Era: Clara Bow, Anita Page, Dorothy Sebastian

 

Beach Beauties Of The Silent Era

 

Clara Bow

 

Dorothy Sebastian and Joan Crawford enjoy a picnic at the beach - 1927

 

Dorothy Sebastian and Anita Page c.1929

 

Sally Blane, Louise Brooks, Nancy Phillips 1927

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