Category Archives: Classic Hollywood

Series: Photographs of Hollywood’s Cinema Stars

Classic Hollywood #97 – Mag Model Iris Bristol

Iris Bristol At The Beach

Iris Bristol

Iris Bristol photo Al Greene and Associates

If you’ve never heard of Iris Bristol you’re not alone. Her most notable film appearance is in My Fair Lady (1964) in a brief uncredited role as a flower girl.  Iris, born in Worcester, England November 20, 1931 is more well known for gracing the covers of male libido boosting magazines in the 1950s and 1960s, than she is for movies. At five foot three with an hourglass figure, Iris’ décolleté was put on display frequently.

Mammary obsessed photographer and director Russ Meyer Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #96 – An Interview With Her Sexcellency, Sally Rand

The Lady With The Fans, Her Sexcellency Sally Rand

Sally Rand c 1928

Sally Rand bubble dance  photo by Ziegfeld Follies glamorist Alfred Cheney Johnston

Sally Rand photo Daily NewsEarlier in 2020, History Channel’s American Pickers featured a show about buying Sally Rand’s personal memorabilia. Most viewers were probably perplexed as to why host Danielle Colby was so excited. In terms of forgotten superstars, Sally Rand, (born Hattie Helen Gould Beck, 1904-1979) would rank pretty high today. Not so for Ms. Colby who understands and admires the artistry that Sally Rand created. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #95 – Planet of the Apes, Maurice Evans – Dr. Zaius

Planet of the Apes Star Maurice Evans Talks About Playing Dr. Zaius

Maurice Evans getting finishing make-up touches for Planet of the Apes photo Keystone
The Most Challenging Operation In History

The biggest and most challenging makeup operation in the history of Hollywood is currently underway for a new film called “Planet of the Apes”. One hundred artists and laboratory men have been given the job of turning out a cast of ape-like beings who inhabit another planet.

Faces of the apes are especially difficult to make since they must be pliable and able to express emotion. Experiments have been going on for a year to be ready for the commencement of the $5-million production.

The makeup substance is made partly of foam rubber and allows the actors to sweat without effecting their grotesque looks. Makeup men start on the cast as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to be ready for filming.

Story of the film is about astronaut Charlton Heston who lands on the weird planet peopled by sophisticated apes. Chief ape is played by Maurice Evans. – photo Keystone Press Agency 1967

The original choice to play Dr. Zaius was not Maurice Evans, but Edward G. Robinson. Supposedly Robinson could not bear the grueling makeup regimen and bowed out before filming began.

According to John Chambers, head makeup man for Planet of the Apes it took three and a half hours to turn a man into an ape. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #94 – Lana Turner, Stephen Crane & Frank Sinatra

Lana Turner, Stephen Crane & Frank Sinatra At The Stork Club 1943Lana Turner Stephen Crane Frank Sinatra Stork Club photo International News 1943

Nation’s Heart Throbs in Gotham

Two of the three persons at this Stork Club table probably account for more of the male and female heart throbs in America. Lana Turner takes care of the male faction while Sinatra the singer accounts for the fairer sex. In center is Stephen Crane who is fortunate enough to be Lana’s husband and personal heart throb. (October 9, 1943) Photo: International News

From the look of this press photo it seems film star Lana Turner (1921-1995) and singer Frank Sinatra have more chemistry than Turner and her husband Stephen Crane. Quick romances do not always lead to satisfying marriages. Lana Turner eloped with bandleader Artie Shaw in 1940 when she was just 19-years-old. The marriage lasted four months.

Only three weeks after meeting merchandiser and tobacco heir Stephen Crane, 21-year-old Lana Turner married him on July 17, 1942. In December of 1942 the couple announced they were expecting a child.  Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #93 – Rudolph Valentino & His Brother Alberto

Rudolph Valentino Brings His Family Over To The United States – 1926

Rudolph Valentino and brother with family 1926 SS Leviathin

The Screen Sheik Brings His Family

Rudolph Valentino, popular screen actor, arrives from Paris on the S.S. Leviathan after his divorce. He was accompanied by his brother Mr. Alberto Guglielmi whom he will introduce in the movies. Rudolph also brought his nephew Jean and his sister-in-law Mrs. Alberto Guglielmi. (February 14, 1926 ) photo – Keystone

Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #92 – Part 2 Unpublished Snapshots of the Stars 1948-49 – Couples

More Snaphots of the Stars In 1948-49 – Hollywood Couples

Howard Duff and Ava Gardner

We continue our look back at a fan’s collection of snapshots from the late 1940s.

Frequently the studio would pair up couples so that they could be seen together when they were going out on the town. It didn’t matter that they may have had no interest in one another or one of them was gay. It  was good publicity to be seen by the press and public.

However in many of these photographs the stars are married to one another and they are not “beards” covering up homosexual relationships.

Even more surprising is that a number of these couples remained married to each other for many years; some until death. Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin and Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond being two prime examples of lifelong commitments.

June Allyson and Dick Powell

Betsy Blair and Gene Kelly

Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #91 – Unpublished Snapshots of the Stars 1948-49

A Fan Takes Snapshots Of Hollywood’s Big Stars 1948-49

Ava Gardner

You never know who you will see when you’re in Hollywood. Luckily your phone is a camera and you can annoyingly go up to any semi-celebrity you see and ask them to take a selfie with you. Some celebs will grudgingly comply. Others, usually stars besieged constantly by paparazzi will run to avoid you.

Before the ubiquitous cell phone camera made everyone a photographer, a conscious effort to carry a camera around had to be made. Few did. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #90 – Errol Flynn & Mrs. Roosevelt

Errol Flynn Receives A Trophy From Eleanor Roosevelt – 1939

1939 Errol Flynn Eleanor Roosevelt

The event held on  January 25, 1939 in Fort Myer, VA was a benefit fighting infantile paralysis. Errol Flynn (above) rides Badger, a horse belonging to John Roosevelt, son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

So what did Flynn do to earn the trophy? Being a movie star entitles one to receive accolades and awards even if they’re meaningless. Mrs. Roosevelt presents Flynn a silver cup for participating in the event.

As part a two day show, for the President’s birthday program, monies went to the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis. The previous year, comedian Eddie Cantor incorporated the name this organization is commonly known as today – The March of Dimes. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #89 – An Interview With Harpo Marx – Bagpipes Player

An Interview With Harpo Marx: Why He Was Taking Up The Bagpipes – 1943

Harpo Marx with bagpipes 1943 credit photo APDuring World War II Hollywood celebrities that were too old or unfit to be in the armed forces served in other ways. Almost without exception performers tirelessly traveled across the United States and all over the world to entertain the troops.

The Marx Brothers had not made a movie since 1941s The Big Store. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #88 – Dracula, Bela Lugosi Wants To Be “Good”

What Bela Lugosi’s Life Was Like In 1936

Bela Lugosi Dracula in street clothes

Bela Lugosi was not always Dracula

With today being Halloween we thought we’d do a story about Bela Lugosi and Dracula. Not many children dress as Dracula on Halloween anymore. You are not allowed to wear the cape and put fangs in your mouth unless you are a real vampire. This is because of the very vocal beyond-the-fringe maniacs who go into an uproar about “cultural appropriation.”  So, Dracula is off limits as a costume as far as certain groups have told us, such as ORVIL (Only Real Vampires In Life) .

For those who don’t realize it, I’m not serious, but sometimes it feels as if this is where mainstream society is headed unless somebody speaks up.

Bela Lugosi (1882-1956) the actor most identified with Dracula, loved and loathed the role at the same time. Dracula made Lugosi famous, but in the process it typecast him as being a horror star. Most people do not realize that prior to Lugosi being cast in Dracula in 1931, he had starred in the Broadway production of the play for three years. Previous to that he was a leading man with strikingly handsome features.

So who was the real Bela Lugosi? Continue reading