Archive for June, 2013
“You once liked the blissful mobility, but then you wonder, who’s the real you? And who’s the chap on the screen? You know, I catch myself acting out my life like a goddamn script.” ~ Errol Flynn
“I felt like an impostor, taking all that money for reciting ten or twelve lines of nonsense a day.” ~ Errol Flynn
“My job is to defy the normal.” ~ Errol Flynn
“I’ve made six or seven good films. The others, not so good.” ~ Errol Flynn
“The public has always expected me to be a playboy, and a decent chap never lets his public down.” ~ Errol Flynn
“It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.” ~ Errol Flynn
“They’ve great respect for the dead in Hollywood, but none for the living.” ~ Errol Flynn
“I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” ~ Errol Flynn’s last words
Blanche Sweet was an American silent film actress who began her career in the earliest days of the Hollywood motion picture film industry.
Blanche Sweet was born Sarah Blanche Sweet on June 18, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois. Her family was theater and vaudeville performers and she entered the entertainment industry at an early age. At age four Sweet toured in a play called “The Battle of the Strong” whose star was stage legend Maurice Barrymore. In 1909, Sweet started work at Biograph Studios under contract to director D. W. Griffith. By 1910 Sweet’s maturity and appearance soon lead to leading roles and at the age of fourteen had become a rival to Mary Pickford, who had also started for Griffith the year before. Throughout the 1910s, Sweet appeared in a number of highly prominent roles in films and remained a popular leading lady starring in such films as “The Lonedale Operator” (1911), “Judith of Bethulia” (1914) and Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Warrens of Virginia” (1915). Sweet’s career continued to prosper into the early 1920s, starring in movies such as the first film version of “Anna Christie” (1923), “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” (1924), “Those Who Dance” (1924), and “The Sporting Venus” (1925). In the late 1920s Sweet’s career began to decline and with the advent of sound she would only make three talkies including her critically acclaimed performance in “Show Girl in Hollywood” (1930). Sweet retired from film in 1930 and spent the remainder of her performing career in radio and in secondary Broadway stage roles before her career in both of these fields eventually petered out. In the late 1960s, her acting legacy was resurrected when film scholars invited her to Europe to receive recognition for her work. On September 24, 1984, a tribute to Blanche Sweet was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City where Miss Sweet introduced her 1925 film, “The Sporting Venus”.
Blanche Sweet was married twice. Her first marriage was in 1922 to film director/producer Marshall Neilan. The union ended in divorce in 1929 with Sweet charging that Neilan was a persistent adulterer. Sweet’s second marriage was to stage actor Raymond Hackett in 1935. The marriage lasted until Hackett’s death in 1958.
Blanche Sweet died in New York City of a stroke, on September 6, 1986, just weeks after her 90th birthday. Her ashes were later scattered at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Sweet’s friend and caregiver Martin Sopocy had arranged her ashes to be secretly cultivated into the floral soil where Lilies still bloom today.
Leslie Banks was an English theatre and cinema actor, director, and producer best remembered for playing gruff, menacing characters in black-and-white films of the 1930s and 1940s.
Leslie Banks was born June 9, 1890 in West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire, England to George and Emily Banks. Banks attended school in Scotland at Glenalmond College and later studied at Keble College, Oxford. He joined British actor F.R. Benson’s company and made his acting debut in October 1911 at the town hall, Brechin, playing Old Gobbo in “The Merchant of Venice”. From 1912-1913, Banks then toured the United States and Canada with the British husband and wife team Henry V. Esmond and Eva Moore. Returning to London, he appeared for the first time on the West End stage at the Vaudeville Theatre on 5 May 1914, as Lord Murdon in “The Dangerous Age”. During WWI, Banks served with the Essex Regiment 1914-1918 and received injuries that left his face partially scarred and paralyzed. During his acting career he would use this injury to good effect by showing the unblemished side of his face when playing comedy or romance and the scarred, paralyzed side of his face when playing drama or tragedy. After the war, Banks joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, one of the most influential companies in the history of the English Stage, establishing himself as a leading dramatic actor known for his powerful stage performances. Making his New York stage debut in 1924 as Captain Hook in “Peter Pan”, Brooks continued to work in both London and New York and won trans-Atlantic fame. It was when he was in New York that American film producer Kenneth Macgowan persuaded him to go to Hollywood and make his stage debut there in “The Hounds of Zaroff” in 1932.
In his first film role, Leslie Bank’s formidable bulk and intimidating persona served him well as a diabolical Russian hunter of human prey in “The Most Dangerous Game” (1932) which co-starred popular actors Joel McCrea and Fay Wray. Other film roles included Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1934) with Peter Lorre, “Fire Over England” (1937) with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, “Jamaica Inn” (1939) with Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara, as the eccentric Inspector Anthony Slade in “The Arsenal Stadium Mystery” (1939), Laurence Olivier’s “Henry V” (1944), and David Lean’s “Madeleine” (1950) with Ann Todd and Norman Wooland. During this time of his career, Banks divided his time between Britain and the United States and between film and theatre. Other theatre roles of note included Petruchio in “The Taming of the Shrew” (1937), the schoolmaster in “Goodbye, Mr Chips” (1938), and James Jarvis in the Kurt Weill musical “Lost in the Stars” (1950).
Leslie Banks married Gwendoline Haldane Unwin in 1915 and the couple had three daughters together, Daphne, Virginia, and Evangeline. Their daughter Evangeline Banks is the mother of actors Matthew Evans and Serena Evans.
In 1950 Banks was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to theatre in 1950, the year in which he made both his final stage and film appearances.
Leslie Banks died from a stroke on April 21, 1952 in London, England. He was sixty one years old.
“I am not temperamental. I just know what I want and if I don’t have it, I try to get it.” ~ Paulette Goddard
“Nobody onscreen fascinates me as much as Paulette Goddard. I’m probably her greatest fan , bar none. I see my own pictures six or seven times. I also take in my own pictures to see what I do wrong or what I do right.” ~ Paulette Goddard
“I think everybody at the studio thought I had a boy friend who owned a garage because I used to go to work every morning in such big cars. Actually, you see, I was financially independent, and my passion was automobiles. I had three of them, all shiny and expensive.” ~ Paulette Goddard
“I lived in Hollywood long enough to learn to play tennis and become a star, but I never felt it was my home.” ~ Paulette Goddard
“Actors and actresses who say they never go to see their own pictures are talking through their hats. You don’t have to be a Sigmund Freud to know that the most fascinating person in the world, actors or anybody, is yourself.” ~ Paulette Goddard
“You live in the present and you eliminate things that don’t matter. You don’t carry the burden of the past. I’m not impressed by the past very much. The past bores me, to tell you the truth, it really bores me. I don’t remember many movies and certainly not my own.” ~ Paulette Goddard
“I love doing TV. It’s such a breakneck pace you know. It’s kiss and go with your leading man. You meet them in the morning and go right into a clinch. The filming is over before you know their last names.” ~ Paulette Goddard
“I’m always slightly embarrassed to meet other actresses of my vintage. We have so little in common. They’re all so dedicated. I find, so desperate.” ~ Paulette Goddard