Silent Stars

They are long gone, but they are not forgotten. They are not really gone but maybe they are forgotten? Being a movie star was different in the silent era. There were no paparazzis so there were no gossip magazines, at the most, a gossip column in the local newspaper. There were no television, which meant no reality shows, gossip news or talk shows. All together, movie stars could be very private when they wanted to be. If you wanted to see them, you had to go to the movies. These pictures are some of my favourites, I will update them a couple of times until I get it “right”. I will start with actresses from the “oldest” part of the silent era. Mary Pickford comes first, she was the first movie star and by her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, one half of the first Hollywood it-couple (think Brad and Angelina). Last but not least in my gallery, is Jean Harlow. She started filming in the end of the silent era but became famous for her work in sound pictures. Partly because of her froglike voice who was perfect for comedies.

I have to point out that I´m not an expert, just someone that love old movies and old pictures. Like always, I focus on actresses not actors but there might show up some male stars as well. Take time to click on the pictures, I recommend this, they are simply amazing!

The site http://www.doctormacro.com have some of the most amazing pictures. You can read about these women and every other actress that ever starred in a Hollywood movie, at http://www.imdb.com.

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Black and White photography

I haven´t posted anything in almost a week, instead I have been busy updating older posts. But here is a new one, with wonderful black and white photography. The American photographer George Hurrell 1904-1992 worked with everybody that was somebody. He created the glamorous black and white picture that is significant to old Hollywood. He worked with Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and later Harrison Ford, Sharon Stone and Sherilyn Fenn.

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Brooke Shields, 1981, Veronica Lake & Marlon Brando. It is difficult to guess which picture is oldest and which picture is the newest one.

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Jean Harlow, 1934, Chevy Chase, circa 1980 & Anna May Wong, 1937 (above).

Image Image Humphrey Bogart

Bette Davis, 1939, Sharon Stone, 1992. Sharon was the last star to be photographed by Hurrell.

Below: Jean Harlow, probably in the mid 1930s.

Jean Harlow

Betty-Grable-by-Hurrell-1937 Aretha Franklin

Betty Grable & Aretha Franklin (above).

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Carole Lombard, 1935 & Sherilyn Fenn, 1992 (above).

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Rita Hayworth & Corinne Calvet, 1948 (above).

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Harrison Ford, 1984, Douglas Fairbanks Jr & Julian Sands (above).

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Gary Cooper, 1937, Diana Ross & Greta Garbo (above).

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Johnny Weissmuller, 1932 (above).

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Clark Gable & Harrison Ford, 1984 (above).

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Hurrell photographed the record-cover for Natalie Cole´s album Unforgettable in 1991. Second pic; Kathleen Turner & Michael Douglas (above).

Marlene Bette Midler

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Marlene Dietrich, Bette Midler, Katharine Hepburn & Shirley Temple.

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Jean Harlow in the 1930s & Hurrell´s muse, Joan Crawford, 1931 (above).

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Photographer George Hurrell himself (above).

Carole Lombard Carole Lobard 2

Old Hollywood List

In no special order, here is a list with 12 of my favourite Old Hollywood actors:

  • Veronica Lake (1922-1973)

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Veronica Lake was born in Brooklyn, New York. She was 12 years old when her father died in an explosion on a oil-ship. Her mother remarried and when she was fifteen they moved to LA for her to pursuit an acting career. Within a year she got bit parts in several movie-productions. A few years later she would become a big movie-star and would continue being so for about five years. Then she had to struggle with smaller parts and bad scripts and she also made some television. When she left Hollywood she was broke and an alcoholic. She died 50 years old from hepatitis. She was then living in a cheap hotel, working as a bartender, had four children and was married for the fourth time.

  • Ginger Rogers (1911-1995)

Ginger RogersGinger Rogers

Ginger was born as Virginia Katherine McMath. Her upbringing was difficult due to her divorced and fighting parents. Her mother went to court to get full custody and Ginger was then kidnapped several times by her father. When she got full custody of Ginger she was sent to live with her grandparents while her mother searched for work. When she got a job in Los Angeles Ginger as sent for, and she also remarried. At fourteen she won a charleston dance-contest and she also found work in vaudeville. She did her first film in 1929 at age eighteen. That year she married and (a couple of month later) divorced her first husband. She would later marry and divorce no less then four more times. Ginger did many movies with her dance partner Fred Astaire.

  • Cary Grant (1904-1986)

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Cary Grant was born as Archibald Alexander Leach in Bristol, England. He came to America with an acrobat-show and while performing in New York he was discovered by Mae West. He was one of Alfred Hitchcock´s favourite actors.

  • Jeanne Moreau (born in 1928)

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Jeanne is a French actress that mostly have worked in France. She still lives in Paris and she is still very active as an actress. She is also a film director and a singer.

  • Sidney Poitier (born in 1927)

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Sidney was born in Bahamas. As a teenager he constantly got into trouble with the local police and his parents sent him to live with a relative in Florida. That is where he went to the movies for the first time.

  • Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993)

Audrey HepburnAudrey Hepburn

Audrey was born in Belgium, her parents both came from England. She grew up in London but when the World War 2 came closer, she and her mother moved back to Belgium. They were very poor and it was an extremely difficult time for her. After the war she studied ballet and later worked as a model. She was discovered by a movie director in Paris and soon she did a screen-test in Hollywood. Her screen-test is still considered the best one ever made in Hollywood.

  • Greta Garbo (1905-1990)

ImageGreta Garbo

Greta Garbo was born as Greta Lovisa Gustafsson in Stockholm, Sweden. Her father died when she was 12 years old which led to her dropping out of school to help support the family. She found work at a department store and later she started modelling for the same company. It was mostly newspaper ads but also an advertising short film, a commercial. She then did one short film and one feature film and won a scholarship to a very good drama school in Stockholm. While in school she made two more movies when the swedish film director Mauritz Stiller made her drop out to appear in his Gösta Berlings Saga. This was 1924, she was 19 years old and by the time she turned 25 she was a well-known actress in Sweden as well as in America. She became a US Citizen 1951. She never married, there have been speculations weather she was gay or not. Greta is considered one of the best actresses the world have ever seen. She is called La Divina, The Divine, Den Gudomliga.

  • Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)

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Marilyn had a difficult childhood and married young. Her first husband wanted her to give up her dreams of being a movie-star and that´s why she soon divorced him. In her other two marriages it would be the same thing, her two husbands (Joe DiMaggio, A Miller) wanted her to settle down or at least work less. She was too young when she died, probably by suicide. Marilyn is still the biggest and brightest star the world had ever seen.

  • Sophia Loren (born in 1934)

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Sophia Loren grew with her mother and sister in Rome, Italy. Her father was married to another woman. After she came second in a local beauty contest she was discovered by an older movie director. She later married him and they stayed married for many years until he died a few years ago.

  • Bela Lugosi (1882-1956)

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Bela Lugosi was born in Hungary (then Rumania). He is known for numerous horror films and mostly for his performance as Dracula in many different movies.

  • Gary Cooper (1901-1961)

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Gary Cooper grew up in Iowa and the first time he played theatre was in high school. Before he went to Hollywood he worked as a park guide. Later he would go on to win two academy awards.

  • Shirley Temple (1928-1914)

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Shirley was the most famous childstar the world have ever seen. She could sing, dance, act and she was the cutest thing you had ever seen. She gave up acting as an adult, went to university and worked in politics. For many years she worked as an US ambassador in both Africa and Europe.

I have found a lot of information at http://www.imdb.com. Many of the pictures I publish at these old stars come from http://www.doctormacro.com.