Archive for March, 2012
Film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks wed on March 28, 1920 becoming what many refer to as “Hollywood’s First Royal Couple”. Mary Pickford, known as “America’s Sweetheart” and probably the most famous woman in the world at the time and Douglas Fairbanks were both among the leading actors of the era. They were both already married when they met a party in 1916 and they conducted a secret affair for years before Pickford obtained a divorce in March 1920. Fairbanks had divorced in November of the previous year. The couple married twenty-six days after Pickford’s divorce became final.
Pickford and Fairbanks went to Europe for their honeymoon. Fans in London and in Paris caused riots trying to get to the famous couple. The couple’s triumphant return to Hollywood was witnessed by vast crowds who turned out to hail them at railway stations across the United States. In 1920, Pickford and Fairbanks bought a hunting lodge and renovated it into a twenty-two room mansion they named “Pickfair.” The two threw lavish parties and dinners at Pickfair in which they entertained some of the most famous people in the world.
Pickford and Fairbanks had little time off from producing and acting in their films. They were also constantly on display as America’s unofficial ambassadors to the world, leading parades, cutting ribbons, and making speeches. The intense public nature of their marriage began to strain it to the breaking point. When their film careers both began to founder at the end of the silent era Fairbanks restless nature prompted him to overseas travel, something which Pickford did not enjoy. When Fairbanks’ affair with Sylvia, Lady Ashley became public in the early 1930s he and Pickford separated. They divorced January 10, 1936.
“I have gone through a long apprenticeship. I have gone through enough of being a nobody. I have decided that when I am a star, I will be every inch and every moment the star! Everybody from the studio gateman to the highest executive will know it.” ~ Gloria Swanson in 1922
“After 16 years in pictures I could not be intimidated easily, because I knew where all the skeletons were buried.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“All they had to do was put my name on a marquee and watch the money roll in.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“It’s amazing to find that so many people, who I thought really knew me, could have thought that ‘Sunset Boulevard’ was autobiographical. I’ve got nobody floating in my swimming pool.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“I’ve given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“I think all this talk about age is foolish. Every time I’m one year older, everyone else is too.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“When I die, my epitaph should read: She Paid the Bills. That’s the story of my private life.” ~ Gloria Swanson
On the set of “The African Queen” (1951)
“The African Queen” is a 1951 adventure drama film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The screenplay was adapted by James Agee, John Huston, John Collier and Peter Viertel. It was photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff and had a music score by Allan Gray. The film stars Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn with Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Walter Gotell, Richard Marner and Theodore Bikel. Humphrey Bogart won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for “The African Queen”. The movie also recieved three other Academy Award nominations: Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination for Katharine Hepburn, Best Director nomination for John Huston, and a Best Writing, Screenplay nomination for James Agee and John Huston. “The African Queen” has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, with the Library of Congress deeming it “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.
“If you`ve earned a position, be proud of it. Don’t hide it. I want to be recognized. When I hear people say, ‘Joan Crawford!’ I turn around and say, ‘Hi! How are you!'” ~ Joan Crawford
“If you’re going to be a star, you have to look like a star, and I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.” ~ Joan Crawford
“Look, there’s nothing wrong with my tits, but I don’t go around throwing them in people`s faces!” ~ Joan Crawford
“Hollywood is like life, you face it with the sum total of your equipment.” ~ Joan Crawford
“I love playing bitches. There’s a lot of bitch in every woman, a lot in every man.” ~ Joan Crawford
“I was born in front of a camera and really don’t know anything else.” ~ Joan Crawford
“Damn it…Don’t you dare ask God to help me. ~ Joan Crawford, last words, spoken to her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud.
Bernice Claire (March 22, 1907 – January 17, 2003) was an American singer and actress. She appeared in 13 films between 1930 and 1938.
She was born Bernice Jahnigan on March 22, 1907 in Oakland, California. Possessed of a clear and pure coloratura voice, she took to the stage performing light opera and had no difficulty singing demanding roles. She met then-leading singer Alexander Gray and they appeared in three films together in 1930 for Warner Bros. Gray and Claire became film’s first operetta team, predating Jeannette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy. Their first screen appearance together was in the original film version of “No, No, Nanette” (1930) in the title role. The other two films she made with Gray were “Spring is Here” (1930) and “Song of the Flame” (1930). Operettas began losing popularity with audiences so Warners tried Claire in dramatic parts without much success. In 1934, she appeared on Broadway in a short-lived musical, “The Chocolate Soldier”. In 1935 Claire appeared in her last full feature film, a British musical film “Two Hearts in Harmony” co-starring with George Curzon. She made a number of musical shorts up through the late thirties (some again with Gray), later becoming a radio and orchestra singer appearing with many prestigious orchestras, including Rudy Vallee, Erno Rapee and others. She made very few phonograph records.
Claire was married twice. After her first husband died and with her career at a standstill, Claire quit performing and retired to private laife. Claire and her second husband, Douglas Morris, owned property in southern California, including convalescent homes. During the 1970s and ’80s Bernice was honored by local film societies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Bernice Claire died January 17, 2003 from pneumonia in her adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon.