Articles on this Page
- 05/13/16--15:32: _Lucille Ricksen (Ch...
- 05/27/16--00:58: _Phyllis Barry (1930...
- 05/31/16--00:22: _Handwritten Letters...
- 06/01/16--04:49: _Marilyn Monroe
- 06/07/16--08:06: _Help Katherine Gran...
- 06/18/16--23:27: _Let's Celebrate The...
- 07/05/16--20:38: _Actresses & Their P...
- 07/10/16--03:53: _Jeanette MacDonald ...
- 07/11/16--07:21: _Ossi Oswalda (Germa...
- 08/25/16--00:16: _Regina Doyle (1920s...
- 09/06/16--00:10: _Lya de Putti (Hunga...
- 05/13/16--15:32: Lucille Ricksen (Child Star)
- 05/27/16--00:58: Phyllis Barry (1930s Starlet)
- 05/31/16--00:22: Handwritten Letters From Classic Actresses
- 06/01/16--04:49: Marilyn Monroe
- 06/07/16--08:06: Help Katherine Grant Get A Grave Marker
- 06/18/16--23:27: Let's Celebrate The 4th Of July
- 07/05/16--20:38: Actresses & Their Poodles
- 07/10/16--03:53: Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy's Love Story
- 07/11/16--07:21: Ossi Oswalda (German Actress)
- 08/25/16--00:16: Regina Doyle (1920s Starlet)
- 09/06/16--00:10: Lya de Putti (Hungarian Actress)
Lucille Ricksen was born Ingeborg Erickson on August 22, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois. She worked as a child model and made her film debut at the age of five. Her parents separated and her mother took her to Hollywood in 1920. Ten year old Lucille was offered a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and starred in a series of short films. She often had to work long hours but she always said she was having fun. In 1922 she starred opposite Marie Prevost in The Married Flapper. The following year Lucille was given a starring role in the drama The Rendevous. Although she was only thirteen the studio lied and said she was actually sixteen. The press called her "the youngest leading lady in movies". Lucille developed a close relationship with producer Sydney Chaplin (brother of Charlie Chaplin) who was twenty-five years older than her. She became one of Hollywood busiest starlets and was chosen as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars.
Phyllis Barry was born Gertrude Hillyard on December 7, 1908, in Leeds, England. She was a gifted dancer and at the age of fourteen she joined an Australian cabaret troupe. Phyllis starred in many stage musicals including No No Nannette and Lady Be Good. She made her film debut in the 1925 Australian film Painted Daughters. At the time her stage name was Phyllis DuBarry. In 1930 she toured America in a production of Rio Rita. Prodicer Samuel Goldwyn saw her on stage and offered her a supporting role in the film Cynara starring Kay Francis. Unfortunately the movie flopped and her performance got mixed reviews. She married vaudeville performer Albert Nordlund (also known as Al Nord) in 1932.
The following year she got the lead role in the comedy What - No Beer? opposite Buster Keaton. Phyllis and Albert had a rocky marriage and they separated several times. She divorced him in 1936 and said "he told me he didn't think my career meant anything". Soon after she married decorator Gilbert M. Caldwell. She continued to make movies but by 1939 her career had stalled. Phyllis had a bit part in the drama Waterloo Bridge and she appeared in The Three Stooges short Three Little Sew and Sews. Her last film role was playing a waitress in the 1947 drama Love From A Stranger. Phyllis and her husband moved to a small house in West Hollywood. She became increasingly depressed about her failed Hollywood career. On July 1, 1954 she committed suicide by taking an overdose of medication. Phyllis was only forty-five years old.
I have been collecting classic Hollywood autographs for many years. My favorite autographs are the handwritten letters from classic actresses. These letters are very rare and they give us a glimpse into their personal lives. Here are some of the handwritten letters in my collection ...
"I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one." ~ Marilyn
Greer Garson sent her two Standard poodles to "Manners School"
Jeanette MacDonald is one of my favorite actresses. She had a BEAUTIFUL voice and I love seeing her films with Nelson Eddy. Jeanette and Nelson had one of Hollywood's longest lasting and most tragic love stories. They met in the Fall of 1934 when MGM paired the two stars in the musical Naughty Marietta. The movie was a huge hit and audiences instantly fell in love with the singing duo. Off screen Nelson and Jeanette began a very passionate affair. The couple continued to make hit movies together but they kept their real life romance a secret at the insistence of MGM president Louis B. Mayer. They talked about getting married but Nelson wanted Jeanette to give up her career and become a housewife. She was not willing to do that and they broke up. In 1937 thirty-four year old Jeanette married actor Gene Raymond. They had a very rocky marriage and Jeanette had a difficult time dealing with Gene's bi-sexuality.
Nelson was so devastated by Jeanette's marriage that he eloped with Ann Franklin, a friend of his mother. When Jeanette found out he had gotten married she attempted suicide. Unfortunately Ann suffered from mental problems and Nelson rarely spent time with her. Eventually Jeanette and Nelson resumed their secret love affair. Jeanette became pregnant several times but tragically she lost the babies. Although they still loved each other neither of them was ever willing to get a divorce. They were both worried that the scandal would destroy their careers. When Jeanette died in 1965 Nelson was heartbroken. He passed away just two years later. Friends who knew the couple said they never stopped loving each other.
To learn more about Jeanette and Nelson's love story please visit MacEddy.com
Ossi Oswalda was born Oswalda Staglich on February 2, 1899 in Berlin, Germany. She trained to be a ballerina and worked in chorus lines when she was a teenager. Director Ernst Lubitsch discovered her and cast her in his 1916 film The Shoe Palace. Over the next five years she appeared in many of Lubitsch's comedies including The Doll, The Oyster Princess, and I Don't Want To Be A Man. She usually played spoiled, child-like characters and even appeared in drag. Ossi became one of Europe's most bankable stars earning her the nickname "The German Mary Pickford". She and Ernst Lubitsch became very close friends but their relationship was never romantic. In 1919 she married Hungarian Baron Gustav von Koczian. Ossi and her husband started their own production company but they only made five films together.
Regina Alice Doyle was born on September 2, 1907 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father, John Doyle, was a fireman. Regina was educated at the Grenshaw Conservatory. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was seventeen. On July 2, 1925 Regina married thirty-one year old Stewart Gilbert Cornelius. They had one child together and divorced in 1927. By this time Regina was pursing an acting career. She appeared in several western shorts including The Lone Prairie and The Scrapping Ranger. In 1929 she was given the lead opposite Edmund Cobb in Beyond The Smoke. They would make three more films together.
Regina seemed destined for stardom but after several years at Universal Studios she stopped making movies in 1930. On September 29, 1931 Regina crashed her car into a freight train on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. She was thrown from the car and died almost instantly. Regina was only twenty-four years old. The coroner ruled that the accident was caused by reckless driving. She is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles. Just a few days before Regina's death her mother had a premonition something terrible was going to happen. She warned her daughter to "Drive slowly".
"I have never appeared in talking pictures but I hope my voice and my English will permit me." ~ Lya
Lya de Putti was born Amalia Putti on January 10, 1897, in Hungary. Her father was a baron and her mother was a countess. When Lya was sixteen she married Zoltan Szepessy, a county magistrate. The couple had two daughters together. Lya performed in vaudeville and danced in the Berlin ballet. In 1918 she made her film debut in Hungarian movie The Emperor's Soldiers. She left Zoltan and their daughters so she could pursue her career. Zoltan was so angry that he told the girls their mother had died. Lya would never see her children again. She married Ludwig Christensen, a Norwegian merchant, in 1920 but tragically he died just two years later from tuberculosis. By 1926 she had become a popular actress in Europe and was earning more than $800 a week. She moved to Hollywood after D.W. Griffith cast her in The Sorrows of Satan. The film included a controversial scene where she appears semi-nude. She had a well-publicized affair with Count Ludwig von Salm-Hoogstraeten which ended when he refused to leave his wife.