Category Archives: Classic Hollywood

Series: Photographs of Hollywood’s Cinema Stars

Classic Hollywood #128 – Jack Palance & Barbara Lang 1957

Jack Palance & Barbara Lang Have A Cup Of Coffee

Java Break
Looks like serious business as Jack Palance pours coffee for Barbara Lang between scenes for a new movie, “House of Numbers,” on the Hollywood set. Some of the studio old-timers think Barbara suggests the late Jean Harlow. Photo credit: Wide World Photos 2/18/1957

At first glance in this still, Barbara suggests Marilyn Monroe more than Jean Harlow, but you can see a resemblance to Harlow.

House of Numbers is based upon a book by the great Jack Finney (The Body Snatchers; Assault on A Queen and the New York based classic Time and Again.)

The plot of House of Numbers is a prison yarn that has Palance playing twin brothers. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #127 – Before She Became A Star, Ginger Rogers 1930

On The Cusp Of Stardom – Young Ginger Rogers 1930

portrait 18-year-old Ginger Rogers 1930 A victory in the Texas Charleston contest four years ago gave Ginger Rogers the necessary stimulus for a stage career. Since her arrival on Broadway last season, after playing in vaudeville throughout the country, this talented young woman has won all sorts of honors in musical comedy and motion pictures.

She now has aspirations to be a radio star. When the inaugural Mardi Gras program is presented from WABC over the Columbia Broadcasting System on Tuesday (May 13) at 9 P.M. (E.D.S.T.) Miss Rogers will be the guest artist. One of the songs she will introduce is “I Wish I Could Be Sing A Love Song” from a new picture, “A Sap From Syracuse”, in which she plays opposite Jack Oakie. Photo: Columbia Broadcast System / NEA May 6, 1930.

92 years ago tonight listeners tuning into the radio could hear 18-year-old Ginger Rogers sing this song.

She was born Virginia Katherine McMath on July 16, 1911 in Independence, MO. Ginger got her nickname Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #126 – Paramount On Parade 1930

Chorus Girls From Paramount On Parade

This kitschy publicity photograph for the 1930 film Paramount on Parade shows a few of the chorus girls. Though the girls are unidentified in this photo one could be a future star such as Virginia Bruce.

The film was a revue and would highlight the musical abilities of all the top Paramount Picture stars. Unfortunately the chorus girl scene in the film is missing today as are several other portions of the film. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #125 – Abbott & Costello Raise Money At A War Bond Drive

Abbott & Costello Raising Money In Los Angeles – 1942

The Government Later Shows Their Gratitude With An IRS Audit

Lou Costello (l) and Bud Abbott (r) raise money at a War Bond rally in Los Angeles. Photo: Los Angeles Daily News

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were the number one box office stars in 1942, so who better to go out and rouse the public to buy War Bonds?

The United States entered World War II after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Abbott and Costello were too old to serve in the armed forces, but they would do their part to aid the war effort.

The comedians each donated their $10,000 weekly personal appearance salary to the Army and Navy relief fund. Traveling the country, Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #124 – Marx Brothers At Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

The Marx Brothers Leave Their Prints In Cement At Grauman’s Chinese Theatre- 1933

Marx Brothers leaving prints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre 1933 photo Acme

SUCH IS FAME
Los Angeles – The four Marx Brothers, film comedians are now among the famous whose foot and hand prints now grace the foyer of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Enduring cement holds the imprint and the lobby of the theater is beginning  to look like a Who’s Who in Movieland. Among the notables who are represented there are Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Ann Harding, Diana Wynward, and now the Marx Brothers. Photo shows (left to right) Jean Klossner cement contractor; Harpo, Groucho, Zeppo, and Chico Marx. Sid Grauman (standing). Photo: Acme; 2/17/1933

One thing to note about this news photo Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #123 – Young Diana Dors

Britain’s Answer To Marilyn Monroe – Diana Dors 1954

Lovely Diana Dors who plays her first dramatic screen role as a woman prisoner in the new Associated British-Marble Arch production, “The Weak and The Wicked” starring Glynis Johns and co-starring John Gregson, Diana Dors, and Jane Hylton with Sidney James, A.E. Matthews, Anthony Nicholls, Athene Seyler, Olive Sloane and Sybil Thorndike. Screenplay by J. Lee-Thompson and Anne Burnsby in collaboration with Joan Henry, author of “Who Idle in Gaol” from which the film is freely adapted. Directed by J. Lee-Thompson and produced by Victor Skutezky. photo: British Pathe June 5, 1954

Diana Dors was only 22-years-old during the filming of The Weak and The Willing. Yet Dors had already appeared in nearly two dozen British films; mostly uncredited bit parts. When The Weak and The Willing, was released in the United States it was re-titled Young and Willing.

Dors resemblance to Marilyn Monroe Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #122 – A Kimono Cannot Contain Jayne Mansfield

Jayne Mansfield Busts Up A Kimono – 1957

NEEDLE AND THREAD, QUICK!
Jayne Mansfield’s Japanese kimono, no longer able to contain her 41 inch bosom splits at the sides. Waitresses in a Tokyo restaurant take great delight in tightening it around the blonde bombshell’s 18-inch waist. Jayne, presently with the Bob Hope Show entertaining GI’s in the far east brought service in the restaurant to a standstill Monday, when she entered in the colorful kimono, which despite its traditional straight lines could not disguise the fabulous figure. – AP Wirephoto: December 25, 1957 Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #121 – Agnes Moorehead At Age 105

Agnes Moorehead Looks 105, Via Make-Up Master Buddy Westmore

“Next!” Says Make-up Artist Buddy Westmore
Screen and radio character actress Agnes Moorehead has been properly aged for her role of a 105-year-old woman in Walter Wanger’s “The Lost Moment,” by Buddy Westmore, Universal-International make-up head. The transparent lightweight facial appliance required four hours to apply and one hour to remove. The Lost Moment stars Robert Cummings and Susan Hayward and was directed by Martin Gabel. Photo: Universal International June 30, 1947

Maybe Moorehead’s face looks 105, but not her legs.

Agnes Moorehead (1900-1974) did not gain movie notoriety until she was 41. Her first film was quite memorable –  Citizen Kane. Moorehead’s enduring fame to a younger generation was for playing Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) mother Endora on the television show Bewitched.

In a strange twist, Agnes Moorehead’s mother Mary Mildred McCauley Moorehead died June 8, 1990, sixteen years after her daughter. She was 106-years-old.

If you look at the credits on classic films you may notice the name Westmore appearing frequently. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #120 – Yvette Mimieux

Yvette Mimieux 1964

Yvette Mimieux in bikini at beachDoctor’s Orders
Because of the immense success of two episodes in the Dr. Kildare TV series which featured lovely Yvette Mimieux as the glamor interest for Richard Chamberlain, the handsome doctor of Blair General Hospital is to have the girl as his leading lady in a feature film called Joy In The Morning. For us, the appearance on the screen of enchanting Yvette Mimieux will make it joy in the afternoon or evening as well. – May 15, 1964 – NBC

After receiving hundreds of fan letters praising her appearance on Dr. Kildare Yvette Mimieux said, “People loved it because I  played a vital, intelligent girl. She was a surfer but wasn’t cheap. Producers of vulgar pictures are exploiting the industry. They forget there are still many people of good taste.”

A “Good Blank Expression”

Yvette Carmen Mimeux was born January 8, 1942 in Los Angeles to a Mexican mother Maria del Carmen-Montemayor (1910-2000) and a French father, Rene Antoine Mimieux (1900-1978).

Yvette Mimieux was discovered by her manager, Jim Byron by accident when she was 15-years-old. Byron was riding in a helicopter on his way to an event and strong winds forced the helicopter to land on a bridle path where Mimieux was riding with a girl friend. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #119 – Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell At Grauman’s

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell At Grauman’s  Chinese Theater 1953

MArilyn Monroe & Jane Russell leaving their prints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre June 26, 1953 photo: AP

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell leave lasting impressions at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. If it were up to Marilyn though it would not have been their hands and feet impressed in wet cement in front of the theater. Continue reading