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This is a tribute to classic actresses, silent beauties, and forgotten starlets. We have tons of rare pictures, old Hollywood gossip, and vintage memorabilia. You will see some sexy photos and read a lot of scandalous stories because these ladies were not saints - they were legends!

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  • 08/17/14--04:03: Martha Raye

  • Ask any girl what she'd rather be than beautiful, and she'll say more beautiful. ~ Martha

    Martha Raye was born Margaret Teresa Yvonne Reed on August 27, 1916, in Butte, Montana. Her parents were vaudeville entertainers and she started performing with them when she was a child. By the early 1930s she was working as an orchestra singer and appearing in short films. Paramount offered her a contract in 1936 and cast her in the musical Rhythm On The Range. She quickly became a popular comedic actress and was nicknamed "The Big Mouth". In 1937 she married make-up artist Bud Westmore. They divorced the following year and she married singer David Rose. After he left her for Judy Garland Martha married Neal Lange. She costarred with Bob Hope in Give Me A Sailor and with Abbot and Costello in Keep 'Em Flying. During World War 2 she traveled all over the world with Carole Landis, Martha Raye, and Kay Francis. Martha loved entertaining the soldiers and she would continue to do it for the rest of her life. She divorced Neal in 1944 and married actor Nick Condo. They had a daughter named Melodye and stayed together for nine years. In 1953 Martha
    married Edward T. Begley.



    By this time she was mainly working on television. She hosted "Four Star Revue" and starred in "The Martha Raye Show" for two seasons. Her marriage to Edward didn't last and she married Robert O'Shea in 1956. Sadly this marriage would also end just four years later. Depressed over her failed marriages she attempted suicide by taking an overdose of pills. During the Korean and Vietnam wars Martha entertained the troops and performed in countless USO shows. She was even awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for service to her country. Martha continued to make guest appearances on TV and starred in commercials for Polident. In 1991 she shocked her fans by marrying her seventh husband Mark Harris, a man who was openly bi-sexual and thirty-three years young than her. In her final years Martha suffered from Alzheimer's disease and lost both of her legs to poor circulation. She died from pneumonia on October 19, 1994. Martha is buried at Fort Bragg in Cumberland County, North Carolina. She left her entire estate to her husband Mark and  gave nothing to her estranged daughter.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014

     Mitzi Mayfair, Kay Francis, and Martha







    An autographed photo (from my collection)

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  • 08/17/14--05:07: Bette Davis' Earrings

  • I own a pair of earrings that once belonged to legendary actress Bette Davis. 


    She wore the earrings during her 1987 interview with Barbara Walters.


    She also wore them on an episode of Larry King Live.


    Here is a clip of Bette wearing the earrings ...


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  • 08/18/14--04:01: Kay Francis

  • “Beginning a new year - have a resolution to make - not to be a damn fool!" ~ Kay

    Kay Francis was born Katharine Edwina Gibbs on January 13, 1905 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Shortly after she was born her father abandoned the family. Her mother was an actress and Kay wanted to follow in her footsteps. At age seventeen she married businessman James Dwight Francis. They divorced two years later. In 1925 she made her Broadway debut and married athlete William Gaston. She appeared in several successful plays and was offered a contract at Paramount. Her career took off quickly and she made twenty-one films between 1929 and 1931. Kay worked with William Powell in numerous films including Jewel Robbery and One Way Passage. After divorcing her husband she married writer John Meehan. She left him when she fell in love with actor Kenneth MacKenna. Kay married Kenneth in 1931 but it didn't last. During this time she had a wild love life that included many one night stands and affairs with women.





    By 1936 she was one of Hollywood most popular leading ladies. She became known for playing long suffering heroines in movies like Secrets of an Actress and Comet Over Broadway. Her success ended in 1938 when she was named "box-office poison" by the Hollywood Reporter. The following year she married her fifth husband Eric Barnekow. Sadly this marriage would also end in divorce. Kay never wanted to have children and she had several abortions. In 1942 she joined actresses Carole Landis, Mitzi Mayfair, and Martha Raye on a USO tour to entertain the troops. She also played herself in the musical Four Jills In a Jeep. After appearing in a few low budget movies she decided to quit acting. She moved to New York City and rarely made public appearances. In 1966 she as diagnosed with breast cancer. Kay died on August 26, 1968 at the age of sixty-three. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014






     Mitzi Mayfair, Martha Raye, Kay, and Carole Landis


    An autographed photo (from my personal collection)

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  • 08/27/14--17:02: Joan Dowling

  • Joan Dowling was born on January 6, 1928 in London, England. Her mother was unmarried and Joan never knew her father. She was primarily raised by her grandmother. Joan dreamed of becoming an actress but she was too poor to afford acting lessons. Despite her lack of training she began auditioning and made her stage debut when she was just fourteen years old. She got rave reviews for her performance in the play No Room At The Inn. A talent scout saw her and offered her a long-term movie contract. Joan's first film role was in 1947 comedy Hue and Cry. On the set she met actor Hugh Fowler. They fell in love and were married on September 15, 1951. Joan continued to get small roles in films like Landfall and Pool Of London.



     She also worked on the radio and appeared in several more plays. In 1952 she starred in a London stage production of Robinson Crusoe. Joan was heartbroken when she discovered her husband was having an affair. On March 31, 1954 the twenty-six year old actress committed suicide. She was found unconscious in the gas filled kitchen in her West London home. Her official cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation. Joan was cremated and buried in London, England. Some of her relatives believe that her death may have been accidental. They think that she was only attempting suicide to scare her husband. Hugh Fowler eventually remarried and passed away in 2012.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014


    Joan and Hugh Fowler

     



    Joan with Joan Collins


    A handwritten letter (from my personal collection)

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  • 09/05/14--16:49: Barbara Bates

  • “Every Hollywood newcomer goes through a sex school. They have regular exercises to bring out your…uh…fire.” ~ Barbara

    Barbara Bates was born on August 6, 1925 in Denver, Colorado. She was a shy child who loved to dance. When she was nineteen Barbara entered a local beauty contest and won a trip to Hollywood. While there she met publicist Cecil Coan who helped her get a contract at Universal studios. She made her film debut in the drama Salome. Barbara fell in love with Cecil who was twenty-six years older than her. He left his wife and they were secretly married in 1945. She continued to get small roles in films liked June Bride and Quicksand. Barbara also became a popular cheesecake model and appeared on the cover of Life magazine. While making the comedy The Inspector General in 1949 she had an affair with Danny Kaye. In 1950 she had a small but memorable role in All About Eve. Although the press predicted Barbara would became a big star her career quickly stalled. Charlie Chaplin offered her a part in Limelight but the studio made her turn it down.



    Then she was fired from the television series It's A Great Life after appearing in only a few episodes. Barbara began suffering from mood swings and depression. She had a nervous breakdown in 1957. Barbara tried to keep working and made a few commercials. Her last acting role was in a 1962 episode of The Saint. She was devastated when her husband Cecil was diagnosed with cancer. Barbara took care of him until his death in 1967. She moved back to Colorado and got a job as a dental assistant. In December 1968 she married her childhood friend William Reed. Just three months later Barbara committed suicide. She had locked herself in a garage and died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Barbara was only forty-three years old. There are rumors that she was pregnant when she passed away. She was buried at Crown Hill cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014

    Barbara and Danny Kaye







    Cobina Wright, Barbara, and Mary Pickford


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    One of my most prized possessions is a watercolor painting done by Oscar winner Janet Gaynor. I 
    purchased it from her widow Paul Gregory.


    After Janet left Hollywood started a successful second career as an artist. Her paintings were 
    displayed in galleries all over the country.


    In 1976 she told People magazine "We get up more or less with the sun and take a long walk in the desert with our two dogs before breakfast. By 9:30 I'm in my studio. I've never tried painting people. So far flowers and vegetables intrigue me more."

    With Henry Fonda at one of her exhibits

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  • 09/19/14--08:31: Phyllis Haver

  • "In Hollywood we live like small-town folks. Early to bed early to rise and you make all the best pictures." ~ Phyllis

    Phyllis Haver was born Phyllis O'Haver on January 6, 1899, in Douglas, Kansas. When she was a child her family moved to California. Young Phyllis got a job playing piano at a local movie theater. Producer Mack Sennett saw her and she was hired to be one of his bathing beauties. Between 1916 and 1920 Phyllis appeared in more than thirty-five short films. With her curvy figure and blonde hair she quickly became one of the most popular bathing beauties. Eventually she left Mack Sennett's compact and signed a contract with Cecil B. Demille. Phyllis costarred with Olive Borden in Fig Leaves and with Victor McLaglen in What Price Glory. She also won rave reviews for her performance as Roxie Hart in the 1927 film Chicago. In 1929 Phyllis married millionaire William Seeman.
     
     

    Although she was at the peak of her career she decided to retire from acting. She and William moved into an eleven room penthouse in New York City.  Phyllis said she loved being a wife and never wanted to return to Hollywood. Sadly after sixteen years of marriage she and William divorced. The couple had no children. As she grew older Phylis became more reclusive. She lived in a large house in Connecticut and rarely had visitors. Her only companion was her longtime housekeeper. She reportedly made several suicide attempts and was devastated when her former boss Mack Sennett died. On November 19, 1960 sixty-one year old Phyllis took her own life with an overdose of barbiturates. She was found in her bed fully dressed and wearing make-up. Phyllis was buried at Grassy Hills cemetery in Falls Village, Connecticut.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014



     
     
    Phyllis and Olive Borden


    An autographed photo (from my personal collection)

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  • 09/19/14--10:26: Marie Prevost's Nude Photos

  • Marie Prevost became one of Mack Sennett's most popular bathing beauties. Early in her career she posed 
    nude and semi-nude for several different photographers.


      Photo by Alfred Cheney Johnston


     Photo by Edwin Bower Hesser



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  • 09/23/14--22:59: Jean Harlow's Nude Photos
  •  

    Jean Harlow was Hollywood's first blond bombshell. At the age of eighteen she posed nude in 
    Griffith Park for photographer Edwin Bowser Hesser.







     






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  • 10/29/14--06:22: The SEXY Betty White
  •  

    Betty White is a true Hollywood legend. She has starred in more than one hundred movies and television shows during her sixty year career. A lot of fans forget that Betty was a very sexy woman - she even posed NUDE when she was young!







    Johnny Carson and Betty in the 1970s

    Betty posing nude in the 1940s


    Watch Betty play sex-crazed Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show ...


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  • 11/13/14--03:59: Greta Garbo's Jackets

  • I bought several jackets from Greta Garbo's estate sale. These casual cotton jackets were 
    owned and worn by the legendary actress during her later years.



    Greta was often photographed by the paparazzi wearing zippered jackets that were similar to 
    these. I am still searching for photos of her wearing these exact jackets.

     Greta wearing a tan jacket

     Greta in 1970
     

    In 2012 Julien's auctions sold clothes and other items from Greta's estate

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  • 11/14/14--19:55: Lupe Velez

  • "I do not care what is printed about me, as long as it's the truth." ~ Lupe

    Lupe Velez was born Maria Guadalupe Velez on July 18, 1908 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She was such a toublesome child that at the age of thirteen her parents sent her to a convent. When her father went missing during the Mexican revolution she returned home to help support her family. In 1925 Lupe began dancing professionally and quickly became a popular stage star. After appearing in several Hal Roach comedy shorts she got her big break when she was cast opposite Douglas Fairbanks in The Gaucho. She was offered a contract at United Atists and was named one of the Wampas Baby Stars of 1928. Lupe's performances in The Wolf Song and Tiger Rose helped make her Hollywood's most successful Latin actress. She became known for playing fiery, exotic characters and was nicknamed "The Hot Tamale". Her high profile romances with John Gilbert, Clark Gable, and Gary Cooper kept her name in the gossip columns. In 1933 she married Olympic athlete and actor Johnny Weissmuller. They had a stormy relationship and divorced after five years together. Lupe became frustrated with the roles she was being offered and spent several years working on Broadway.



    She returned to the screen in the 1939 low budget comedy The Girl From Mexico. The movie was a surprise hit and she appeared in a series of films playing the "Mexican Spitfire" character. In 1944 Lupe began dating aspiring actor named Harald Maresch. She became pregnant and was devastated when Harald refused to marry her. Lupe was a devout Catholic and she did not want to have an abortion or raise her baby alone. On December 13, 1944 she took her own life by overdosing on secanol pills. Lupe was only thirty-six years old. In her suicide note she wrote "May God forgive you and forgive me too but I prefer to take my life away and our baby's before I bring him with shame or killing him." More than four thousand friends and fans attended her funeral. She was buried at the Panteon Civil de Dolores in Mexico City. In the years following Lupe's death there were many bizarre rumors about what really happened to her. The book Hollywood Babylon claimed that she had been found dead with her head in the toilet. The truth is that Lupe was discovered in her bed wearing a nightgown.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014








    An autographed photo (from my collection)


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  • 11/14/14--20:15: Clara Bow

  • "A sex symbol is a heavy load to carry when one is tired, hurt and bewildered." ~ Clara

    Clara Gordon Bow was on born July 29, 1905, in Brooklyn, New York. Her nightmare childhood included an alcoholic father who sexually abused her and an insane mother who once tried to kill her. When she was sixteen Clara entered a a contest in Motion Picture magazine and won a screen test. She landed a few small roles and was chosen as a Wampas Baby Star. In 1927 she played a carefree flapper in the comedy It. The film made her a superstar and from then on she was known as "The It Girl".  She appeared in many successful movies including The Plastic Age, Wings, and Mantrap. By 1929 Clara was the top female box-office star in the country and she was getting forty-five thousand fan letters a month. When the talkies started she was worried about her thick Brooklyn accent but audiences loved her voice. Although Clara earned more than five thousand dollars a week she lived in a seven-room bungalow in Beverly Hills. She hated going to Hollywood events and preferred to stay home and play poker. Clara's image as a sex symbol and her off screen romances made her the most gossiped about woman in Hollywood. Among her many lovers were actors Gary Cooper, Fredric March, Gilbert Roland, Bela Lugosi, and director Victor Fleming.



     In 1930 Clara's secretary, Daisy DeVoe, was put on trial for stealing from her. Daisy testified that Clara was involved in orgies and bestiality. Although these stories were false her reputation was ruined. Shortly after the trial Clara suffered a nervous breakdown. She finally found happiness when she married actor Rex Bell in 1931. Tired of Hollywood she decided to stop making movies. Her final film was the 1933 drama Hoopla. Clara and Rex moved to Nevada and had two sons. They also opened a restaurant in Hollywood called "The It Cafe". Clara suffered from chronic insomnia and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. In 1944 she attempted suicide by swallowing a bottle of pills. As she got older Clara became reclusive and rarely left her home. She turned down a lucrative offer to write her autobiography because she didn't want to embarrass her family. After her husband Rex died from a heart attack in 1962 she moved to Culver City, California. On the evening of September 26, 1965 Clara watched the film The Virginian on television. It was directed by her former fiance Victor Fleming and starred her former lover Gary Cooper. Later that night Clara died from a heart attack. She is buried next to Rex at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013













    A signed contract (from my collection)

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  • 11/14/14--20:16: Marion Aye

  • Marion Aye was born Maryon Eloise Aye on April 5, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was a lawyer who moved the family to California. When she was fifteen Marion lied about her age to elope with her older boyfriend Sherman Plaskett. Sadly he passed away just a year later. While walking on the beach in a bathing suit Marion was discovered by producer Mack Sennett. She became one of his bathing beauties and in 1919 she made her film debut in the comedy short Hearts And Flowers. Marion appeared in more than a dozen films including Montana Bill and The Weak-End Party. In 1922 she was chosen to be one of the Wampas baby stars along with Colleen Moore and Lois Wilson. The following year she signed a five year contract with a Hollywood production company. Marion was the first actress to sign a contract with a morality clause in it. She joked that she didn't mind because her only bad habit was dipping her "bread in the chicken gravy".

    Marion (center) with other bathing beauties


    Her second marriage, to press agent Harry Wilson, ended in 1924 and she fought with him in court over spousal support. Marion seemed destined for stardom but her career never took off. Her last movie was the 1926 comedy Irene. She married comedian Robert Forester in 1936. Unfortunately she suffered from psychiatric problems and made several suicide attempts. In 1951 tried to make a comeback and auditioned for a role on television. When she didn't get the part she became despondent. Her depression got worse when her mother passed Eloise away. On July 10, 1951 Marion checked into a Culver City motel and swallowed a large amount of poison. She was found semi-conscious but tragically she died eleven days later at the age of forty-eight. Her husband later told reporters that he never took her threats of suicide seriously. Marion was buried next to her mother at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014






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  • 11/16/14--04:38: Stars Who Committed Suicide

  • These eight classic actresses were rich and famous but they never found real happiness. Tragically they all committed suicide.


    In 1948 pin-up girl Carole Landis took an overdose of secanol at the age of 29. She was 
     heartbroken over a failed romance with actor Rex Harrison.

    In 1951 Mack Sennett bathing beauty Marion Aye died after swallowing poison at the age of 48.
    She had been suffering from depression for many years.

    In 1968 lovely starlet Barbara Bates killed herself with carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of
    43. She was mourning the death of her husband the previous year.

    In 1960 silent star Phyllis Haver died after taking an overdose of pills at the age of 61. She had 
    attempted suicide several times before.

     
    In 1937 bathing beauty Marvel Rea took her life by ingesting an poison at the age of 35. She 
    had never recovered from a brutal attack years earlier.

    In 1944 Latin bombshell Lupe Velez died by taking overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36. 
    Rumors that she was found dead in the toilet are not true.

      In 1954 British actress Joan Dowling killed herself with carbon monoxide poisoning at the age
    of 26. She was devastated after finding out her husband had an affair.

    In 1942 singing star Jeanette Loff ended her life by swallowing ammonia at the age of 35. Her 
    family does not believe she committed suicide.

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  • 12/09/14--11:47: Marvel Rea

  • Marvel Rea was born Marvel Luciel Rea on November 9, 1901, in Ainsworth, Nebraska. When she was a child her family lived in Seattle and eventually moved in California. She grew into a beautiful teenager with a petite figure and champagne blonde hair. Marvel was very athletic and loved to swim and surf. In 1918 she married a banker named Henry Page Wells. Unfortunately he was a drug addict and she divorced him less than a year later. Movie producer Mack Sennett hired Marvel to model as one of his bathing beauties. She became known as "the girl with the most beautiful figure on the Motion Picture stage". Before long she was given small roles in movies like Her Screen Idol and The Summer Girls.



    Although she would appear in more than thirty films Marvel never became a major star. She decided to stop acting in 1921. Her final role was in the short film For Land's Sake. Marvel married her second husband Edwin J. Wilkinson in 1936 but her happiness was short-lived. On September 2, 1936 she was kidnapped and assaulted by three men. She was choked, cut, and left semi-conscious in the street. The men were caught and Marvel had to testify at the headline-making trial. Sadly she never fully recovered from the attack. She committed suicide on June 17, 1937 by ingesting ant poison. Marvel was only thirty-five years old. She is buried at Pacific Crest Cemetery in Redondo Beach, California.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014



    Marvel, Ford Sterling, and Alice Maison

    Marvel is sitting on the right



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    In 2014 Grammy winning singer Sheryl Crow decided to sell some of her clothes for charity. All of the money she made went to Feeding America. I purchased a pair of Sheryl's denim jeans.



    “It is so important for everyone across the country to dare to be conscious and aware of the struggles of those around them—even if those struggles are not the same as their own. Feeding America does just that, and it’s a great privilege for me to unite with them
    in their cause.” - Sheryl Crow


    This is my favorite Sheryl Crow song ...


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  • 12/18/14--08:47: Joan Crawford


  • "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

    Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1904, in San Antonio, Texas. Her family was poor and her parents separated before she was born. As a young girl Joan worked as a maid to pay for her school tuition. When she was nineteen she won an amateur dance contest and decided to go to Hollywood. There are rumors that during this time she posed nude and appeared in pornographic films. She was briefly married to a saxophone player named James Welton. In 1925 she was offered a contract with MGM and was given bit parts in movies like Pretty Lady and The Circle. Her big break came in 1928 when she landed the lead role in the comedy Our Dancing Daughters. The following year she married actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. She became one of the most successful actresses of the 1930s with starring roles in The Women, Grand Hotel, and Rain. Joan loved her fans and personally responded to much of her fan mail. She worked with Clark Gable in eight movies including Laughing Sinners and Dancing Lady. The two stars had an off-screen romance that lasted for decades. Joan was also a bisexual and enjoyed numerous affair with women. After divorcing Douglas she married actor Franchot Tone. She wanted to have a baby but suffered several miscarriages.



    In 1939 she divorced Franchot and adopted a daughter named Christina. Joan would later adopt a son, Christopher, and twin daughters, Cynthia and Cathy. She married Phillip Terry, an actor, in 1942 but the marriage ended four years later. After making a series of flops MGM dropped her contract. She made a comeback with the 1945 drama Mildred Pierce and won an Academy Award for her performance. Two years later she was nominated for another Oscar for her role in Possessed. Joan married Pepsi-Cola executive Alfred Steel in 1956. After his death she served on the board of directors of Pepsi-Cola. In 1963 she teamed up with her longtime rival Bette Davis to make the horror film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. Now in her fifties Joan had a serious drinking problem and was having trouble finding work. She appeared in low budget movies like Berserk and Trog. Joan died on May 10, 1977, from pancreatic cancer. She was cremated and her ashes were interred at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. In her will she left a small sum of money to Cathy and Cynthia but gave nothing to Christopher and Christina. A few years later Christina wrote a book, Mommie Dearest, that portrayed Joan as an abusive mother. Cathy and Cynthia have always disputed Christina's claims.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

    With Constance Bennett







    A signed letter (from my collection)

     
    Joan's bookplate (from my collection)

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  • 12/21/14--13:19: Lilyan Tashman

  • "Hollywood is no place for failures. It's no place for the timid" ~ Lilyan

    Lilyan Tashman was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 23, 1896. She was the youngest of ten children and started modeling when she was a teenager. Her acting career began in vaudeville and she appeared in The Ziegfeld Follies. At the age of eighteen she married stage actor Al Lee. The marriage lasted seven years. Lilyan started getting cast in silent films liked Head Over Heels and Manhandled. She usually played supporting roles and found herself typecast as a villain. Lilyan was a lesbian and her numerous affairs with women became notorious. She fell madly in love with actress Greta Garbo who broke her heart. In 1925 Lilyan appeared in ten films including Pretty Ladies and Bright Lights. That same year she decided to marry her best friend, actor Edmund Lowe, who was also gay. The couple lived in a mansion called "Lilowe" where they threw the wildest Hollywood parties. Lilyan's love of clothes and her lavish wardrobe earned her the title of "the best dressed woman on the screen".



    She also became known for her violent temper. In 1931 she beat up June Marlowe after finding the actress in her husband's dressing room. Lilyan signed a lucrative contract with Paramount and easily made the transition to sound pictures. She got rave reviews for her comedic roles in The Wiser Sex and Girls About Town. Unfortunately by this time she was beginning to suffer from health problems. In 1932 was diagnosed with abdominal cancer but she kept it a secret from the public. She continued to make movies and costarred with Norma Shearer in Riptide. Sadly her illness was getting worse and she was admitted to a New York hospital for surgery. Lilyan died on March 21, 1934 from complications due to cancer. She was only thirty-seven years old. Lilyan was buried at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Dozens of celebrities attended her funeral and her devoted fans nearly caused a riot. Her final film Frankie and Johnny was released two years after her death.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2014

    Lilyan and her husband Edmund Lowe



     Lilyan and Kay Francis




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  • 12/23/14--04:43: Jeanette MacDonald


  • "The one thing I missed was never having children. It just wasn't in the cards, I guess." ~ Jeanette

    Jeanette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18, 1903, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of three daughters. Jeanette was a talented singer with a beautiful soprano voice. She went to New York to study music and began her career on Broadway. Jeanette made her film debut in the 1929 musical The Love Parade. It was a hit and she became one of Hollywood's hottest actresses. Her success continued with starring roles in The Lottery Bride and Love Me Tonight. Jeanette's sister, Marie Blake, also became an actress. In 1934 Jeanette signed a lucrative contract with MGM. The following year she he was paired with baritone Nelson Eddy in the musical Naughty Marietta. Jeanette and Nelson became one of Hollywood's most popular duos and were nicknamed "America's Singing Sweethearts". They made seven more movies together including Maytime and Sweethearts.



    In real life Nelson and Jeanette were romantically involved for many years but kept their affair a secret. She married actor Gene Raymond in 1937. Although they appeared happy in public the couple had a troubled marriage. Jeanette was unable to have children and their were rumors that Gene was gay. By 1939 her $300,000 a year salary made her one of the highest paid actresses and she was voted "Queen Of Hollywood" in a nationwide poll. After making several unsuccessful films she decided to leave MGM in 1942. Jeanette performed live concerts and appeared in several stage productions. In 1958 Jeanette re-teamed with Nelson to record an album of duets. As she got older health problems forced her to stop working. Jeanette died on January 14, 1965 from a heart attack. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

    ~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

     With Nelson Eddy



     



    With her mother




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