Posts Tagged ‘Douglas Fairbanks’
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
“I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. everything a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
“I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
“Movies are a fad. Audiences really want to see live actors on a stage.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
“The glamour of it all! New York! America!” ~ Charlie Chaplin
“I have no further use for America. I wouldn’t go back there if Jesus Christ was President.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
“I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
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.
“When you’re up there on that film, you are that person completely all the time. You think the way that person thinks, you do what that person does and you’re not acting. You’re actually living it.” – Billie Dove
Billie Dove was born Lillian Bohny on May 14, 1903 in New York City, New York to Swiss parents Charles and Bertha Bohny who emigrated to New York City before she was born. She was educated in private schools in Manhattan. By the time she was fifteen she was helping to support the family by working both as a photographer and model. Already known for her beauty and sensuality, Florenz Ziegfeld hired her to appear in his follies when she was in her mid teens. Although she wasn’t a very good singer or dancer, she was soon given solo entrances in his shows and also appeared as one of Ziegfeld’s beauties in his sideshows, the ‘Midnight Frolics’ and ‘Nine O’Clock Revues’. Dove also recieved a part as a dancing replacement in Ziegfeld’s Broadway Show “Sally” in 1921. After becoming suspicious of a budding affair between Billie Dove and Ziegfeld, Billie Burke (Ziegfeld’s wife) arranged for the beautiful young starlet to appear in films in Hollywood. Dove made her Hollywood debut in the 1921 movie “Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford”. The camera and audiences fell in love with her and she immediately starred in her second film, “At The Stage Door” (1921).
From there she went on to co-star with some of Hollywood’s most popular leading men over the next few years, including John Gilbert, Warner Baxter, Lon Chaney, and Douglas Fairbanks. Under the direction of legendary female director Lois Weber, Dove starred in “The Marriage Claus” (1926) and “Sensation Seekers” (1927). Both of these movies were considered to be two of Dove’s best. She was nicknamed ‘The American Beauty’ after starring in the movie of the same name, “The American Beauty” in 1927. By the time she starred in the silent classic adventure “The Black Pirate” (1926) opposite Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Billie Dove was as popular and famous a star as Mary Pickford and Clara Bow.
During this time Dove had married Irvin Willat in 1923, who was a director of several of the movies she starred in. They divorced in 1929 and Dove became involved with the young eccentric multi-millionare Howard Hughes. The affair lasted three years and Dove and Hughes were actually engaged to be married when she broke off the affair in 1932. While they were together she appeared in two of Hughes movies, “The Age For Love” (1931) and “Cock Of The Air” (1932). After making “Blondie Of The Follies” in 1932 which starred Marion Davies, Dove became discouraged and dismayed when much of her role in the film was ‘trimmed’ and ‘re-done’ due to the urging of the highly influential William Randolph Hearst who was Davies lover at the time.
“Blondie Of The Follies” turned out to be her last film as she retired from the screen and in 1933 married Robert Kenaston, a rancher, oil executive, and real estate broker. They had one son, Robert Alan, and adopted a daughter, Gail. After thirty-seven years of marriage they divorced in 1970. A third marriage to architect John Miller also ended in divorce after only a few months. Other than a small uncredited part in the movie “Diamond Head” (1963) starring Charlton Heston, Dove never returned to the screen. She died of pneumonia on December 31, 1997 in Woodland Hills, California at the age of 94. Billie Dove has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6351 Hollywood Blvd.
A Pictorial of Billie Dove set to music.