Louise Brooks with her sharply bobbed hair is one of the most iconic figures of 1920s cinema and epitomized the rebellious modern woman of the time. She started off her career as a chorus girl and dancer in 1922, and by 1925 was a dancer for Ziegfeld’s Follies. It was as a Follies girl that(…)
We all know that the Studio System of 30s, 40s and 50s Hollywood remade and remoulded their actors and actresses, but what did they look like before they were styled by the star factory? Here are some of my favourite Classic Hollywood actresses before they were famous. Who do you think had the biggest transformation?(…)
John Gilbert ‘The Great Lover’ was one of the few stars of the silent movie era who could rival Rudolph Valentino, and you can see why, handsome devil wasn’t he? Like Valentino his life ended tragically young (although not quite as young as Valentino) aged just 38. During this time he made in excess of(…)
Ina Claire was best known as a Broadway actress, but she also made movies between 1915 and 1943. She was born Ina Fagan in 1893, and first made her name on stage by doing impersonations of other people – something for which she had a great talent. Apparently a young F. Scott Fitzgerald fell madly(…)
Swedish-born Greta was christened Greta Lovisa Gustafsson. Garbo’s first job was as a soap-lather girl in a barbershop. She also worked as an errand girl in a department store, in the millinery department selling hats and as a model before her acting career took off. After being spotted by MGM she moved to America where(…)
Adrian Adolph Greenberg, better known as just ‘Adrian’ was one of the most amazing costume designers ever seen in Hollywood. He was MGM’s head costume designer from 1928 and 1941 and designed the costumes for over 250 movies during the 1930s and 40s. Remember Dorothy’s iconic glittering ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz? Well(…)
Some time ago the AFI (that’s the American Film Institute) released a list of the top 50 greatest screen legends from the Classic Hollywood era: 25 male and 25 female stars. I’m not sure exactly what their criteria were for reaching the top spot, but they classified a screen legend as an actor or actress:(…)
Greta Garbo photographed in 1920 wearing a cloche and a velvet coat. She always looked impossibly glamorous, although I have to say I don’t think she would have looked quite as striking in *colour* as in black and white. I know that sounds strange, but if that lipstick were dark pink or bright red I(…)
Quite a lot if we believe the Hollywood Studios of the 30s and 40s! There were only a handful of Classic Hollywood stars who kept their own names, including Jane Russell, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Grace Kelly. The majority of actors and actresses had their identities completely re-written. How many of these 20(…)
Greta Garbo smouldering in a publicity photo from 1930, the year she moved from silent movies into talkies. Her first talking movie was advertised to the slogan ‘Garbo Talks!’ Ha ha! Give that publicity man a cigar… Her first talking line in a movie was “Gimme a whiskey, ginger ale on the side, and don’t(…)
Swedish actress Greta Garbo photographed in 1925 just before she made the move to Hollywood (and before she had her Hollywood transformation). It’s very different to her American movie image isn’t it?
These photos of Greta Garbo were taken in 1924, the year she made her first movie in The Saga of Gösta Berling. The following year she met Louis B. Mayer, the vice president and general manager of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who reportedly told her to “get her teeth fixed and to lose weight because Americans didn’t like(…)
A young Greta Garbo photographed aged 15 in 1920 by Henry B Goodwin. It was another 4 years before she starred in her first movie.