Archive for August, 2012

Gene Kelly – A Pictorial

 

“I never wanted to be a dancer. It’s true! I wanted to be a shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.” ~ Gene Kelly

 

Gene Kelly Portrait 1958

Gene Kelly (1958 portrait)

 

“I got started dancing because I knew it was one way to meet girls.” ~ Gene Kelly

 

Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly

 

“I’d studied dance in Chicago every summer and taught it all winter, and I was well-rounded. I wasn’t worried about getting a job on Broadway. In fact, I got one the first week.” ~ Gene Kelly

 

Gene Kelly from "Summer Stock" (1950)

Gene Kelly from “Summer Stock” (1950)

 

“I arrived in Hollywood twenty pounds overweight and as strong as an ox. But if I put on a white tails and tux like Fred Astaire, I still looked like a truck driver.” ~ Gene Kelly

 

Gene Kelly with Esther Williams and Frank Sinatra in a promo for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (1949)

Gene Kelly with Esther Williams and Frank Sinatra in a promo for “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (1949)

 

“I took it as it came and it happened to be very nice.” ~ Gene Kelly on his career.

 

Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly arrive in New York 1958

Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly arrive in New York 1958

 

“Kids talk to me and say they want to do musicals again because they’ve studied the tapes of the old films. We didn’t have that. We thought once we had made it, even on film, it was gone except for the archives.” ~ Gene Kelly

 

Gene Kelly with daughter Kerry 1942

Gene Kelly with daughter Kerry 1942

 

“There is a strange sort of reasoning in Hollywood that musicals are less worthy of Academy consideration than dramas. It’s a form of snobbism, the same sort that perpetuates the idea that drama is more deserving of Awards than comedy.” ~ Gene Kelly

 

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On the set of “The Thin Man” (1934) Myrna Loy and William Powell

 

“The Thin Man” is a 1934 American comic detective film starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a flirtatious married couple who banter wittily as they solve crimes with ease. Nick is a hard-drinking retired detective and Nora a wealthy heiress. Their dog, the wire-haired fox terrier Asta, played by Skippy, was also a popular character. Completed in 1934 and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, the film was directed by W. S. Van Dyke from a script by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich. The screenplay was based on the mystery novel The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett, supposedly based on his relationship with playwright Lillian Hellman. The film was such a success that it spawned five sequels: “After the Thin Man” (1936), “Another Thin Man” (1939), “Shadow of the Thin Man” (1941), “The Thin Man Goes Home” (1945), and “Song of the Thin Man” (1947).

 

James Wong Howe, Myrna Loy, W.S. Van Dyke, William Powell during filming of "The Thin Man" (1934)

James Wong Howe, Myrna Loy, W.S. Van Dyke, William Powell during filming of “The Thin Man” (1934)

 

Maureen O'Sullivan, William Powell, W.S. Van Dyke, Unknown, Myrna Loy, Ronald Colman on the set of "The Thin Man" (1934)

Maureen O’Sullivan, William Powell, W.S. Van Dyke, Unknown, Myrna Loy, Ronald Colman on the set of “The Thin Man” (1934)

 

William Powell and Myrna Loy take a break during filming of "The Thin Man" (1934)

William Powell and Myrna Loy take a break during filming of “The Thin Man” (1934)

 

William Powell, Asta, and Myrna Loy relax on the set of "The Thin Man" (1934)

William Powell, Asta, and Myrna Loy relax on the set of “The Thin Man” (1934)

 

William Powell and Myrna Loy celebrate Powell's birthday on the set of "Another Thin Man" (1939)

William Powell and Myrna Loy celebrate Powell’s birthday on the set of “Another Thin Man” (1939)

 

A party for Myrna Loy on the set of "Another Thin Man" (1939) L-R: Louis B. Mayer, Myrna Loy, William Powell and director W.S. Van Dyke

A party for Myrna Loy on the set of “Another Thin Man” (1939) L-R: Louis B. Mayer, Myrna Loy, William Powell and director W.S. Van Dyke

 

Myrna Loy and William Powell sing between scenes of "The Thin Man Goes Home" (1945)

Myrna Loy and William Powell sing between scenes of “The Thin Man Goes Home” (1945)

 

William Powell, Asta, and Myrna Loy during the shooting of "Song of the Thin Man" (1947)

William Powell, Asta, and Myrna Loy during the shooting of “Song of the Thin Man” (1947)

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Esther Williams – A Pictorial

 

“Which Esther Williams do you want to hear about?” ~ Esther Williams

 

Esther Williams


 

“I remember when I first walked into Mayer`s cavernous office. You had to walk 50 yards to get to him, and in that time he could really study everything about you.” ~ Esther Williams

 

Esther Williams


 

“No one had ever done a swimming movie before so we just made it up as we went along. I ad-libbed all my own underwater movements.” ~ Esther Williams

 

Esther Williams and Van Johnson in “Thrill of a Romance” (1945)


 

“All they ever did for me at MGM was change my leading man and the water in my pool.” ~ Esther Williams

 

Esther Williams, Van Johnson, and Lucille Ball in “Easy to Wed” (1946)


 

“I was the only swimmer in movies. Tarzan was long gone, and he couldn’t have done them anyway. He could never have gotten into my bathing suit.” ~ Esther Williams

 

Esther Williams with Fernando Lamas in “Dangerous When Wet” (1953)


 

“I think it’s so funny when people think they can’t control a movie star. They can. We’re just women, you know.” ~ Esther Williams

 

Esther Williams


 

“I always took it for granted that there would be life after Hollywood.” ~ Esther Williams

 

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Anita Page

 

Anita Evelyn Pomares better known as Anita Page, was a Salvadoran-American film actress who reached stardom in the last years of the silent film era. She became a highly popular young star, reportedly at one point receiving the most fan mail of anyone on the MGM lot. When Page died in 2008 at age 98, she was the last surviving “famous” film star of the silent era except for child actresses such as Baby Peggy and Baby Marie. She was referred to as “a blond, blue-eyed Latin” and “the girl with the most beautiful face in Hollywood” in the 1920s.

 

Anita Page

Anita Page was born August 4, 1910 in Flushing, Queens to Helen and John Pomares. She had one brother, Marino, who later worked for her as a gym instructor while her mother worked as her secretary and her father as her chauffeur. Of Salvadoran and Spanish ancestry, Page’s grandfather was a consul from El Salvador. Page entered films with the help of friend, actress Betty Bronson. Page’s picture was spotted by a man who handled Bronson’s fan mail who was also interested in representing actors. With the encouragement of her mother, Page telephoned the man who arranged a meeting for her with a casting director at Paramount Studios. After screentesting for Paramount, Page also tested for MGM. After being offered a contract for both studios, she chose MGM. Page’s first film for MGM was the 1928 comedy-drama “Telling the World”, opposite William Haines. Her performances in her second MGM film, “Our Dancing Daughters” (1928) opposite Joan Crawford and “The Broadway Melody” (1929) opposite Bessie Love were her greatest successes of the period, and her popularity allowed her to make a smooth transition into talking pictures. During the early 1930s, she was one of Hollywood’s busiest actresses, starring with Robert Montgomery in “War Nurse” (1930), John Gilbert in “Gentlemen’s Fate” (1931), Lon Chaney Jr. in “While The City Sleeps” (1931), Buster Keaton in “Sidewalks of New York” (1931), and Clark Gable in “The Easiest Way” (1931),  among others . At the height of her popularity, she was receiving more fan mail than any other female star, with the exception of Greta Garbo, and received multiple marriage proposals from Benito Mussolini in the mail. When her contract expired in 1933, she surprised Hollywood by announcing her retirement at the age of 23. She made one more movie, “Hitch Hike to Heaven”, in 1936, and then left the screen, virtually disappearing from Hollywood circles for sixty years.

 

Anita Page

 

In the 1990s the recently widowed star was rediscovered by the media, which enjoyed her light-humored journeys down memory lane about her career, MGM, the silent and early talkie eras and the stars she knew, earning the actress a devoted cult of young fans and a few brief appearances in ultra-low-budget films of the 1990s. She relished her status as “last star of the silents” and frequently gave interviews and appeared in documentaries about the era. Although ill health prevented her from making public appearances in her final years, her reputation for answering letters from fans never diminished.

 

Anita Page in “Our Modern Maidens” (1929)

 

She married composer Nacio Herb Brown in 1934, but the marriage was annulled a year later because Brown’s previous divorce had not been finalized at the time they were married. She then married Lieutenant Hershel A. House, a Navy pilot, in 1937 and they moved to Coronado, California and lived there until his death in 1991. They had two daughters together, Linda (now Linda Sterne) and Sandra .

 

Anita Page and Clark Gable in “The Easiest Way” (1931)

 

Anita Page died on September 6, 2008 at her Los Angeles home, at the age of 98. She is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego. At the time of her death she was among the last to have acted as an adult in silent films to live into the 21st century. She was also the last living attendee of the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Anita Page has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6116 Hollywood Boulevard.

 

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