Posts Tagged ‘Tinsel Town’

108_lili_kardell_04Lili Kardell was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Her father, Thore Kardell, was a Swedish orchestra leader. At 17 she is on the Stockholm stage and a year later she goes to the States and is put under contract with Universal-International. In 1955 she meets James Dean at a Palm Springs party and zips around with him in his new white Porsche. September 30 is the saddest day in her life when Dean is killed, when his sports car crashes. She claims they were like brother and sister.

West Coasters sweltered in 100-degree-plus heat, movie starlets strolled through a shower of artificial snow that’s guaranteed not to melt—even on Hollywood’s sun-baked ground. But it doesn’t provide any relief from the heat as Dani Crayne, Mayra Hansen, Jane Howard, Gia Scala, Lili Kardell, Karen Kadler, and Leigh Snowden quickly learned; the gals are photographed walking through the “snow” in shorts.


In 1959 Kadell marries insurance broker Peter Paxton and she becomes an American citizen when sworn in at the Federal Building in Los Angeles. She files for divorce immediately after being married for just one year. The divorce is granted.

Later she meets actor Troy Donahue while swimming in the pool of her agent and friend, Harold Gefsky, Troy’s neighbour. She’s one year his senior. She and Troy can’t keep their engagement a secret for long. His favourite dish has become leg of lamb á la Swedish. Kadell accompanies Troy to Monterey for location filming for Susan Slade and when Troy gets time off from the studio, they head to Palm Springs and to the golf courses, where he proposes and they marry in July 1961 a month after she was on the cover of Modern Man.

Lili Kardell dies at the age of 50 in New York City in 1987.


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Ruth Harriet Louise (born Ruth Goldstein) (January 13, 1903 – 1940) was an American professional photographer, the first woman photographer active in Hollywood; she ran Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer‘s portrait studio from 1925 to 1930.


When Louise was hired by M.G.M. as chief portrait photographer in the summer of 1925, she was twenty-two years old, and the only woman working as a portrait photographer for the Hollywood studios. In a career that lasted only five years, Louise photographed all the stars, contract players, and many of the hopefuls who passed through the studio’s front gates, including Greta Garbo, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, and Norma Shearer. It is estimated that she took more than 100,000 photos during her tenure at MGM. Today she is considered an equal with George Hurrell Sr. and other renowned glamour photographers of the era.


Ruth Harriet Louise was born in New York City and reared in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She was the daughter of a rabbi. Retired from MGM in 1930, to marry director Leigh Jason, Louise died in 1940 of complications from childbirth. Her brother was director Mark Sandrich, who directed some of the great Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers musicals, and she was a cousin of silent-film actress Carmel Myers.


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Norma Jeane Mortensen Baker
(June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962)
Professionally recognized as
Marilyn Monroe

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Vivacious blue-eyed blonde Penny Edwards was born in New York City in 1928 and displayed signs of musical talent as a youth. She began studying dance by age six and, as a teen, appeared on Broadway in "The Ziegfeld Follies of 1943". After a couple of other musicals and a stint with the St. Louis Municipal Opera, she was signed by Warner 11749162_pe2Brothers in 1947. She showed great perk and promise as a second lead, singing and dancing opposite the likes of Dennis Morgan and Ben Blue in her film debut, My Wild Irish Rose (1947). She continued on winningly in the Shirley Temple vehicle That Hagen Girl (1947); then alongside Morgan again in Two Guys from Texas (1948); with Donald O’Connor and Marjorie Main in the rube musical Feudin’, Fussin’ and A-Fightin’ (1948); and in another musical, Tucson (1949).

After a successful vaudeville tour, Penny was signed by Republic Pictures and started off in a series of "prairie flower" ingénue roles while temporarily replacing a pregnant Dale Evans in a number of Roy Rogers oaters. In 1951, she wed agent Ralph Winters and had two daughters: Deborah Winters (born 1954), who would go on to become an actress in her own right, and Rebecca (born 1956). After a succession of "B" movies, 11749162_pe3Penny left Hollywood to focus on religious work. She later reappeared on the more popular TV shows of the day, including the westerns "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957), "Wagon Train" (1957) and "Bonanza" (1959), and in light-hearted entertainment alongside Robert Cummings and Red Skelton in their respective shows. Penny’s lovely, ladylike features also made a significant dent in the commercial market, appearing as "The Lux Girl", "The Palmolive Girl" and "The Tiparillo Girl".

Following her divorce in 1958, Penny married Jerry Friedman and they had a son, David. That 1964 union would end up in the divorce courts as well. Penny retired from show biz completely by the mid-1960s and died, in 1998, of lung cancer, just two days after her 70th birthday.

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June Knight (January 22, 1913 – June 16, 1987) was an American Broadway and film actress.

11749160_jk2Aged 19, she appeared in the last Ziegfeld Follies show, Hot-Cha! (1932). She would be featured in four other Broadway shows, Take A Chance (1932), Jubilee (1935) (where she introduced the Cole Porter classic "Begin the Beguine"), The Would-Be Gentleman (1946) (her only non-musical) and Sweethearts (1947).

She also had a short-lived film career, appearing in twelve movies from 1930 to 1940, most notably in Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935), in which she sang the hit song "I’ve Got a Feelin’ You’re Foolin’" with co-star Robert Taylor.

She died in 1987, at 74, from complications from a stroke, and was interred in Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, June Knight has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6247 Hollywood Boulevard.

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A recreation of an article by Roger Turrell in Adam Vol 4 No 4 1960



WENDY MARCH regard­ed her interviewer solemnly through smoky, grey-blue eyes and said, "As a matter of fact, I think my back­ side is a lot more photogenic than my front. Which is a hell of a note for a girl who wants to be a serious dramatic actress, if you ask me!"

No one had asked her this some­ what startling bit of information was wholly volunteered – but a quick, if intensive study of what sat facing you across the table resulted in firm conviction that there was nothing especially wrong with what was up front either. In fact, it very definitely counted."What I mean," said Wendy, "is that my thirty-five chest is hardly big league against what most of the girls who do pinups put on display. On the other hand, my backside is – well, real curvy.


She could say that again as far as you were concerned. But you let her keep it parked on a wood-and-can­vas chair on the terrace of a super­ espresso joint on Hollywood’s Sun­ set Strip called Cyrano’s. Instead, you study the pale, serious little face that looks back at you. It’s pretty, a little on the girlish side, reminiscent of Jane Powell or the Joan Blondell of some seasons back. The blue-grey eyes are wide and well lashed, the nose pert and a trifle flattened across the bridge, the mouth fluid and expressive.

All in all, it’s rather a sad little face, clothed in what is probably the creamiest white complexion in Hol­lywood or anywhere else – so waif­ish that you wonder if it wasn’t born for comedy. After all, Mabel Norman, the first great comedienne of the silent films, had that same quality of sadness underlying her vivacity. As did Chaplin and Kea­ ton and the rest."No comedy," says Wendy firmly, raising a forkful of green salad to emphasize the point like a flag of Erin. "My goal is to be a fine dra­matic actress. My hero – or rather, heroine – is Bette Davis. That’s the kind of an actress I intend to be."


Big words, bravely spoken by a little girl just 21, who graduated from the University of Southern Illinois only last June. But there is a dedicated ferocity in her speech about such matters that indicates the hot fires of ambition ablaze in her delicate 114-pound little body. She means business."Look," she says, "I’ve only been out here four months, and in that time I’ve picked up one screen credit for ‘The Private Lives of Adam and Eve’ at Universal-International, and a TV credit in ‘Lawman’ at Warners."

Who’s Wendy’s agent? "I don’t have one yet," she replies. ‘So far, I’ve got what I’ve gotten by batting my head against every producer’s wall I could find. I want to pick up a few more credits on my own be­ fore I go after an agent. Then may­ be I’ll rate some attention from a good one, instead of just being a no­ body."It makes sense. You let her tell you about herself, of how she was born in Youngstown, Ohio, where her father was superintending a steel company construction job, work that led him and his little family to Texas for 10 years and other­ wise just about all over the map.


"When I was three days old," she says, "I cracked the medical history books. I was the first girl baby on record to get pyloric stenosis. That’s a closing of the passage be­ tween the stomach and intestines. I would have died of malnutrition if they hadn’t fixed it up." Other moppet achievements in­clude Wendy’s climbing into a toilet seat to brush her teeth – she wasn’t tall enough to reach the basin – and falling into a Texas cesspool while trailing an 11-year-old boy across a back lot.

For this, her revenge was as spec­tacular as it was messy. "I waited till I knew he was taking a bath, then crashed the bathroom and poured a whole box of bath-powder over him. He was a worse mess when he got out than I was when I climbed out of that cesspool­ even if he smelled sweeter." Didn’t we mention that Wendy is a determined wench? She comes by it naturally enough, being a direct descendant of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet, on her, moth­er’s side, and of Declaration of Independence Signer John Hancock of her father’s. Neither of these famed New Englanders was noted for being exactly wishy-washy.


Wendy began taking dancing les­sons – tap, toe and ballet – at the tender age of seven, under the parental impetus of her mother. "No, mother has no frustrated theatrical ambitions of her own," the girl says. "She just wanted me to take danc­ing lessons the way a father wants to teach his son athletics. I’m still dancing. I don’t suppose I’ll stop un­til I’m seventy." At the age of eight, she was pro­ficient enough to take part in school recitals, and disaster struck out in front of everybody when one of her dancing shoes fell off. But Wendy, even at that age, was far from fazed. "Our teacher had kept telling us, ‘No matter what-keep going!’ So I simply kept going and wished I were dancing on the side of a hill instead of a level stage."

img_010Another momentous misoccasion was Wendy’s graduation from gram­ mar school. On this occasion, wear­ing a long, solemn white dress for the occasion, she managed to fall upstairs when summoned to the platform to receive her certificate. In general, however, she is much, much too intelligent to get into. the sort of jams that make for exciting copy. Her IQ. is up around the genius level, although she scoffed at such indices of high intelligence. "I was just lucky enough to get good schooling," she demurs.

Wendy has been deeply in love twice. "But," she says, "each time marriage loomed in the offing, I got cold feet and pulled out. I can’t see sacrificing the career I’m after for a washing machine and a mess of diapers." As for men – "I adore them! But only if they’re men! I think you know what I mean. No female im­personators in my life if I can help .

Wendy also adores dogs and has had two cocker spaniels, both of them named "Jigger". She reads a good bit, mostly psychology and scientific studies of hypnotism at present. She is a fine ballroom as well as a performing dancer, and has even taught it to earn extra pin­ money at college. She keeps a diary and has a novel in writing ("It’s about me, and I haven’t got an end­ing yet."), also collects stuffed ani­mals and carved ivory elephants­ bull elephants please take note. But acting is Wendy’s main line. "I’m like an alcoholic," she con­fesses. "I only come alive when I’m giving a performance."

Oddly, she did little acting in col­lege theatricals, preferring to work backstage and, in her own words, "really learn the business from the ground up." Outside of that, Wendy had done just little theater work be­ fore coming to Hollywood. So how did she happen to take the plunge? "Well, I was with Dad in New York last Christmas – he and mother are divorced, though I adore both of them – and he asked me if I’d like a mink stole for my stock­ing. All of a sudden – just like that! I knew I didn’t want a mink stole half as much as I wanted to come out here. So I told Dad I wanted a ticket to Hollywood instead." "He laughed and said, "Okay, honey, I’ll get you a round-trip ticket.’ "I told him, ‘Make it one-way.I’m not coming back.’ "

So, in due course, Wendy arrived in Hollywood with her mother and took a small apartment in Holly­wood and began making the rounds of the casting directors. So far, she’s been doing okay for a cold-nosed beginner, and she should be doing a whole lot better soon. This girl has the sort of determination that just can’t be stopped for long, and she is cute as the proverbial gnat’s ear and smart as the equally proverbial whippet to boot. It’s a safe bet she won’t be regret­ ting that no-return-trip ticket for a long, long time, if ever.

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11749149_me1Marla English (born January 4, 1934 in San Diego, California) is a motion picture actress from San Diego, California who made movies in the 1950s.

English was originally signed to a contract by Paramount Pictures after winning a San Diego beauty pageant. She was paid $100 per picture to appear in such films as Red Garters (1954) and Rear Window (1954).

She received a major break when she was cast opposite Spencer Tracy in The Mountain, a film which was to be made in France. Marla was given a smallpox vaccine before leaving to go on location. She quickly developed a raging fever and decided to pull out of making the movie. Paramount suspended English and signed actress, Barbara Darrow, to make the film.

Parade Magazine questioned English about her decision in September 1955. She said it was a very dumb move and was unsure why she decided against making The Mountain. A close relative told the publication that English had fallen in love with Paramount actor Larry Pennell. She became enraged when the studio would not give Pennell a role in the film, so they could travel to France together.


English made mostly B-movie films throughout her career in Hollywood. Some of these include Three Bad Sisters (1956), Runaway Daughters (1956), The She Creature (1956), Flesh and the Spur (1957), and Voodoo Woman (1957). In 1955 she played with John Ireland and Pennell in Hell’s Horizon.


She gave up her acting career in 1956 when she became engaged to San Diego businessman A. Paul Sutherland. English was just 21 at the time.

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11749145_eg1Erica Gavin, (born Donna Graff  on July 22, 1947, in Los Angeles, California) is an American film actress best known for playing the title role in Russ Meyer’s 1968 film Vixen!

Early years
At age 19, Gavin worked as a topless dancer in Hollywood with two other future Russ Meyer stars, Haji and Tura Satana. While waiting in a dentist’s office she saw an advertisement in Variety for girls to audition for the new Russ Meyer movie. She auditioned and won the role which launched her to B movie stardom.

Following Vixen, Gavin appeared in one more Russ Meyer film – Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. She also appeared in Roger Corman‘s women-in-prison
film Caged Heat.


Personal life
Gavin currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she works as a stylist and occasionally makes appearances at movie memorabilia conventions. She has said in an interview that she is bisexual.

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11749130_id1Irina Demick (16 October 1936, Pommeuse, Seine-et-Marne – 8 October 2004), sometimes credited as Irina Demich was a French actress with a brief career in American films.

Born Irina Dziemiach, apparently of Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, or Polish) and Polish Jewish ancestry, in Pommeuse, Seine-et-Marne, she went to Paris and became a model. She made an appearance in a French film Julie la rousse (1959) and met producer Darryl F. Zanuck, whose lover she became: he then cast her in his epic production, The Longest Day as a French resistance fighter. Her career continued with roles in OSS se déchaîne (1963), The Visit (1964), alongside Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn, Un monsieur de compagnie (1964) with Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Pierre Cassel and Up from the Beach (1965) opposite Cliff Robertson and Red Buttons. In 1965, she played seven roles in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, each one of a different nationality.

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After making a few more films, Prudence and the Pill (1968), Le Clan des Siciliens (The Sicilian Clan), with Jean Gabin and Alain Delon mostly in France and Italy, Demick’s career faded and came to a standstill in 1972. She died in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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11749129_dd1Dona Drake (November 15, 1914 – June 20, 1989) was an American singer, dancer and film actress in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born Eunice Westmoreland in Miami, Florida, in 1914. Entering show business in the 1930s, she used the names Una Velon, Rita Rio and Rita Shaw. She settled on the stage name Dona Drake in the early 1940s. Studio publicity during her heyday incorrectly stated that Drake was of Mexican origin and was born Rita Novella. (Novella was actually her mother’s first name.)

Because of her dark hair and Latin-looking features, Drake generally played Latin or other "ethnic" types. She is probably best known for playing the American Indian maid of Bette Davis in Beyond the Forest. She also appeared as an Arab girl opposite Bob Hope in Road to Morocco in 1942. Her biggest "non-ethnic" role was the second female lead in the 1949 comedy The Girl from Jones Beach, playing opposite Eddie Bracken. She died in 1989.

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11749128_ama1Anna Maria Alberghetti (born 15 May 1936) is an Italian-born operatic singer and actress.Born in Pesaro, Marche, she starred on Broadway and won a Tony Award in 1962 as Best Actress (Musical) for Carnival"! (she tied with Diahann Carroll for the musical No Strings).

Alberghetti was a child prodigy. Her father was an opera singer and concert master of the Rome Opera Company. Her mother was a pianist. At age 6, Anna Maria sang in a concert on the Isle of Rhodes with a 100-piece orchestra. She performed at Carnegie Hall in New York at the age of 13.

She also entered into film as a teenager. Her cinema appearances include The Medium (1951), Here Comes the Groom (1951), The Stars Are Singing (1953), The Last Command (1955), with Dean Martin in Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), Duel at Apache Wells (1957), and as Princess Charming opposite Jerry Lewis in Cinderfella (1960).

11749128_ama2Alberghetti appeared twice on the cover of Life magazine. She sang on the CBS variety program The Ed Sullivan Show more than 50 times. She guest starred in 1957 on NBC’s The Gisele MacKenzie Show. That same year, she performed in the premiere episode of The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom on ABC. She has toured in many theatrical productions and continues with her popular one-woman cabaret act. She had roles in a pair of 2001 films, The Whole Shebang and Friends and Family.

Her sister Carla also became a musical artist who appeared in many stage productions. She eventually became Anna Maria’s replacement in her Tony-winning role on Broadway.Alberghetti appeared in television commercials for Good Seasons salad dressing during the 1970s.

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She was married to television producer-director Claudio Guzman from 1964 to 1974. She was referenced in Ira Levin’s book Rosemary’s Baby and T. C. Boyle’s short story "Sorry Fugu".

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She did not want to be known as a Hollywood sex symbol.  A 1948 movie magazine article noted, "She is insisting on young character roles on the screen….her argument is —glamour girls are a dime a dozen.  Good character actresses go on forever and can even look forward to the first wrinkle."

117479_md2Yet, with such stunning good looks and what that same article characterized as her "whistle-bait proportions", Myrna Dell could never truly avoid being glamorous.  Her determination of put acting ahead of glamour, however, kept her working in films long after many of her colleagues had dropped out of sight.

Like many character actresses, Dell’s name may not be a household word, but her face is always familiar.  Not surprising, since she appeared in more than 60 motion pictures and countless television shows from 1940 until the 1990s.  She shared the screen with (and often stole the scene from) stars such as Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart, Dorothy Malone, Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, George Raft, Ronald Reagan, Johnny Weissmuller, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

Born Marilyn Adele Dunlap on March 5, 1924, she took her nickname Myrna and shortened Adele to Dell to become Myrna Dell when she entered showbiz.  Starting a career as a show girl in the Earl Carroll Revue (she appeared in the 1940 motion picture "A Night at Earl Carrolls"), she was soon  signed by MGM, where she made "Ziegfeld Girl" with Garland and Stewart.   When MGM dropped her option, it was back to the Revue for a while longer, then on to New York to appear at the famed Billy Rose Night Club, followed by a season in the "George White Scandals".

117479_md3But the lure of Hollywood was too great to resist.  "I am set upon becoming a movie star", she told a "Boston Sunday Post" reporter in 1946.  "I like the work, I am fond of the money, and I could bear a bit of fame."

In 1943, she strode down Hollywood Boulevard once more and began her movie career in earnest, appearing in a number of Westerns such as "Arizona Whirlwind" with Bob Steele and Hoot Gibson, and "Raiders of Red Gap" with Robert Livingston.

Her part in "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" with Van Johnson was a small supporting role, but it was apparently enough to catch the eyes of the bigwigs over at RKO, who signed her as one of their studio players.

For the next few years, until 1949, she made more than 20 films for RKO, including the three entries in the popular "Falcon" mystery series.  All three were made with Tom Conway, who took over the title role in "The Falcon’s Brother"(1942) when his real-life brother George Sanders left the series after making three episodes.

117479_md4Dell’s first movie away from RKO was in the 1949 Ronald Reagan comedy, "The Girl From Jones Beach".Unlike many of Hollywood’s glamour girls, Dell continued to work in films for years, appearing as recently as 1981 in Billy Wilder’s "Buddy, Buddy" with Lemon and Matthau.  She also successfully made the transition to the small screen, appearing in dozens of television shows with stars such as Shirley Booth, Donna Reed, Robert Walker, Ernie Kovacs, James Garner, Rita Moreno and Harry Morgan.

In the 1950s, she played "Shira", the Empress in the adventure series, "China Smith", with Dan Duryea.  Her most recent TV appearance was in an episode of  "Unsolved Mysteries", directed by her daughter (an experience she very much enjoyed, noting, " Its the only time I slept with a director and got a job").Like most actresses working during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dell’s "off-duty" life fascinated the gossip columnists as well as the public.

117479_md5Photographers snapped her picture celebrating with Joe DiMaggio and Bob Hope at Toot Shors restaurant when the N. Y. Yankees won the 1949 World Series.  They made sure they were on hand when she attended Frank Sinatra’s party for his first television show.  They milked every ounce of publicity value from her barn dancing with Rory Calhoun, Gail Russell and Guy Madison.

At one point, they even tried linking her romantically with Cary Grant….."Cary Grant?  Shush-shush…" she scolded a reporter.  "One of my movie idols, Cary became a good friend, but that’s all, my pet, that’s all there is to that."

In keeping with her disdain for the glamour girl image, Dell shrugged off such high society activities.  You can have the night clubs, for all I care, she told the "Boston Sunday Post". "After a time….a girl gets bored with the glamour, the atmosphere, the drinking, the cigarettes to smoke, the wolves."Despite the obvious drawbacks of the Hollywood scene, she remembers her years there with fondness, and loves to reminisce about the people and movies which shaped that special era.

As a columnist in "Hollywood: Then and Now", she delighted readers with her stories about stars like James Stewart, who she called her favorite actor, and studio heads Jack Warner, L. B. Mayer, Sam Goldwyn and Harry Cohn (of whom she once said, "All of us who love movies should be grateful to them for all their efforts and contributions").

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Edwina Beth "Edy" Williams (born July 9, 1942) is an American television and film actress. Born in Utah and raised in Oregon and Southern California, Williams began her career as a model and beauty pageant contestant. After winning several local pageants, Williams was signed as a contract player by 20th Century Fox.

Throughout the 1960s, Williams appeared in several television series and films including roles in The Beverly Hillbillies, Batman, Adam-12 (Episode: Venice Division), Lost in Space, The Naked Kiss, and the Sonny & Cher film, Good Times. In 1970, she appeared as Ashley St. Ives in Russ Meyer’s first mainstream film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, followed by his second mainstream film The Seven Minutes (1971). Meyer and Williams married in 1970, shortly after the release of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

In March 1973, she was photographed for Playboy in a full color photo spread by then-husband Russ Meyer. After her divorce from Meyer in 1977, Williams continued acting, mainly appearing in films, many of which involved nudity.

In 1982, she appeared on an episode of The People’s Court as a defendant in a case titled "The Star Who Wouldn’t Pay". Williams was sued for payment for publicity work the plaintiff had done for her. She counter-sued for half of the retainer she’d paid him. After her appearance on The People’s Court, Williams was sporadically active in films during the 1980s and early 1990s.

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Since the 1990s, Williams has traditionally appeared at both the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival in revealing and flamboyant outfits.

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Olga Schoberová or Olinka Bérová born March 15, 1943 in Prague, Czech Republic (then Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia), Czech-American actress, was often compared with Brigitte Bardot and Ursula Andress. She acted in 22 Czech, German, Italian and American movies. Olga was married to Brad Harris on 16 November 1967 and divorced in 1969 with one daughter, Babrinka, called "Sabrina". She married John Calley on December 30, 1972, and divorced almost exactly 20 years later, in December 1992.

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In 1968 she appeared in The Vengeance of She under the name "Olinka Berova", and used that name for several more films.

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Maria Christina Aumont (14 February 1946 – 28 October 2006), best known as Tina Aumont, was an American actress.

117445_ta2She was of French Jewish and Dominican descent. She was born in Hollywood, California, the daughter of actors Jean-Pierre Aumont and Maria Montez. She married actor and film director Christian Marquand in 1963, at the age of 17.

She made her debut as Tina Marquand in Joseph Losey‘s 1966 movie Modesty Blaise. She worked in Italian cinema with, among others, Alberto Sordi (Scusi, lei è favorevole o contrario?, 1966), Tinto Brass (L’urlo, 1968 and Salon Kitty, 1975), Mauro Bolognini (Fatti di gente perbene, 1974), Francesco Rosi (Cadaveri eccellenti, 1975), and Federico Fellini (Fellini’s Casanova, 1976).

She played Lonetta, the Indian maiden, in "Texas Across The River" in 1967.

In 2000 she retired from film work. She suffered a pulmonary embolism and died in Port-Vendres, Pyrénées-Orientales, France at age 60.

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117415_yr1Yvonne Romain (born Yvonne Warren, 17 February 1938, London) is a British film and television actress of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Early career
This raven-haired former photographic model was a graduate of the Italia Conti Academy and from the age of twelve appeared in children’s shows and repertory. She started appearing in British films in her late teens. Her exotic, dark looks and 38-22-36 figure saw her often cast in supporting roles as Italian or Spanish maidens in war films and comedies. However, it is for her roles in numerous British horror films that she is perhaps most remembered. She enjoyed parts in Corridors of Blood (1958), where she starred alongside Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, and also in Circus of Horrors (1960). She was also to star in the later Devil Doll (1964), about a malevolent ventriloquist’s dummy.

117415_yr2However, Romain is probably best known for The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) where she starred with Oliver Reed in his first major role. In the movie, Romain plays a mute servant girl who spurns the advances of the sadistic Marques. She is thrown into a prison cell with a deranged beggar, who proceeds to rape her. As a result, she later gives birth on Christmas Day to future lycanthrope Leon (Reed), though the effort kills her.

Hammer studio’s publicity stills for ‘Werewolf’ capitalised on Romain’s obvious charms by having her photographed in typical ‘scream queen’ poses alongside a made-up Reed. This is despite the fact that she and Reed share no actual screen time.

Perhaps her biggest role was in another Hammer production, Captain Clegg, aka Night Creatures (US title), playing alongside Peter Cushing and Oliver Reed again, this time as his fiancée. She also appeared alongside Sean Connery twice, in Action of the Tiger (1957), and the gangster film The Frightened City (1961), where she shared equal billing with the pre-Bond star. Romain also costarred in the Danger Man ep[isode titled Sabotage in 1961. Oliver Reed would be Romain’s most frequent co-star, though. The two appeared together again in an episode of The Saint, and for a fourth and final time in The Brigand of Kandahar (1965).

117415_yr3Later career
Soon after, Romain relocated to Los Angeles and starred alongside Ann-Margret in The Swinger (1966), and Elvis Presley in Double Trouble (1967), which she herself calls a ‘dreadful movie’, though she enjoyed the experience.

After a break from the screen, Romain emerged from semi-retirement as the title character in the Anthony Perkins/Stephen Sondheim-scripted mystery thriller The Last of Sheila (1973). This is her last screen role to date.

She married the film composer Leslie Bricusse, who provided the lyrics for the classic James Bond themes Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice, and she later turned down a seven-year contract with Federico Fellini because it meant working away from her Hollywood-based husband and young son.

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Danielle Yvonne Marie Antoinette Darrieux (French pronunciation: [da.niɛl i.vɔn ma.ʁi ɑ̃.twa.nɛt daʁ.jø]) (born 1 May 1917) is a French actress and singer, who has appeared in more than 110 films since 1931. She is one of France’s great movie stars and her eight-decade career is among the longest in film history.

She was born in Bordeaux, France during World War I to a physician who was serving in the French Army. Her father died when she was seven years old. Raised in Paris, she studied the cello at the Conservatoire de Musique. At 13, she won a part in the musical film Le Bal (1931). Her beauty combined with her singing and dancing ability led to numerous other offers, and the film Mayerling (1936) brought her to fame.

In 1935, Darrieux married director/screenwriter Henri Decoin, who encouraged her to try Hollywood. She signed with Universal Studios to star in The Rage of Paris (1938) opposite Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Afterwards, she elected to return to Paris.

Under the German occupation of France during World War II, she continued to perform, a decision that was severely criticized by her compatriots. However, it is reported that her brother had been threatened with deportation by Alfred Greven, the manager of the German run film production company in occupied France, Continental. She got a 117376_dd3divorce and then fell in love with Porfirio Rubirosa, a Dominican Republic diplomat and notorious womanizer. They married in 1942. His anti-Nazi opinions resulted in his forced residence in Germany. In exchange for Rubirosa’s freedom, Darrieux agreed to make a promotional trip in Berlin. The couple lived in Switzerland until the end of the war, and divorced in 1947. She married scriptwriter Georges Mitsikidès in 1948, and they lived together until his death in 1991.

She gave a good performance in the 1951 MGM musical, Rich, Young and Pretty. Joseph L. Mankiewicz lured her back to Hollywood to star in 5 Fingers (1952) opposite James Mason. Upon returning to France, she appeared in Max Ophüls’ The Earrings of Madame de… (1953) opposite Charles Boyer, and The Red and the Black (1954) opposite Gérard Philippe. The next year she starred in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, whose theme of uninhibited sexuality led to its being proscribed by Catholic censors in the United States.

117376_dd4Approaching 40, she played a supporting role in her last American film to date, United Artists’ epic Alexander the Great (1956) starring Richard Burton and Claire Bloom. In 1961 she went to England at the request of director Lewis Gilbert to star in The Greengage Summer opposite Kenneth More. In 1963, she starred in the romantic comedy La Robe Mauve de Valentine at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris. The play was adapted from the novel by Françoise Sagan. During the 1960s she also was a concert singer.

In 1970, Darrieux replaced Katharine Hepburn in the Broadway musical, Coco, based on the life of Coco Chanel, but the play, essentially a showcase for Hepburn, soon folded without her. In 1971–72 she also appeared in the short-lived productions of Ambassador. For her long service to the motion picture industry, in 1985 she was given an Honorary César Award. She has continued to work, her career now spanning eight decades, most recently providing the voice of the protagonist’s grandmother in the animated feature, Persepolis (2007), which deals with the impact of the Iranian Islamic revolution on a girl’s life as she grows to adulthood.

She was paid homage to in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (2009) when Shosanna Dreyfus is preparing to take the Nazis down, her assistant calls her Danielle Darrieux.

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117439_dam1Dames is a 1934 Warner Bros. musical comedy film directed by Ray Enright with dance numbers created by Busby Berkeley. The film stars Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, ZaSu Pitts, and Hugh Herbert. Production numbers and songs include "When You Were a Smile on Your Mother’s Lips (and a Twinkle in Your Daddy’s Eye)", "The Girl at the Ironing Board", "I Only Have Eyes for You", "Dames" and "Try to See It My Way".

Eccentric multimillionaire Ezra Ounce (Hugh Herbert), whose main purpose in life is raising American morals through a nationwide campaign, wants to be assured that his fortune will be inherited by upstanding relatives, so he visits his cousin, Matilda Hemingway (Zasu Pitts) in New York City, in Horace’s view the center of immorality in America. What Ounce finds most offensive are musical comedy shows and the people who put them on, and it just so happens that Matilda’s daughter, Barbara (Ruby Keeler), is a dancer and singer in love with a struggling singer and songwriter, her 13th cousin, Jimmy Higgens (Dick Powell). On Ezra’s instructions, Jimmy the "black sheep" has been ostracized by the family, on pain of not receiving their inheritance.


Matilda’s husband, Horace (Guy Kibbee) meets a showgirl named Mabel (Joan Blondell), who’s been stranded in Troy when her show folds, and connives her way into sleeping in Horace’s train compartment as a way to get back home. Terrified of scandal, he leaves her some money and his business card, along with a note telling her to not mention their meeting to anyone; but when Mabel discovers that Horace is Barbara’s father, she blackmails him into backing Jimmy’s show.


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117391_sp1The acting profession’s top award has gone to a black actor for the first time. Sidney Poitier won the best actor Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field. In the film, released last year, he played construction worker Homer Smith whom a group of nuns believe was sent to them by God to build their church.

The only other black person to win an Oscar was the best supporting actress award given to Hattie McDaniel in 1939 for her role in Gone with the Wind. Alongside ‘Rat Pack’ actor Sammy Davis Jnr and, earlier, Paul Robeson, Poitier is one of only a handful of black men to gain recognition in Hollywood for roles not involving singing or dancing.

It has been a long journey to this moment   

Sidney Poitier

117391_sp2It was the second time he had been in the running for an Oscar after losing out in 1959 when he was nominated for his part in The Defiant Ones. "It has been a long journey to this moment," the actor said after he was presented with the prized statuette by actress Ann Bancroft. Sidney Poitier’s early life seemed unlikely to spawn a Hollywood star.

He grew up in poverty in the Bahamas in the Caribbean where his father was a tomato farmer. In his first months in New York he was so poor he slept in the toilets of a bus station. He was hampered in his efforts to break into acting by his strong Bahamian accent and was initially rejected by the American Negro Theatre.

His first film was No Way Out alongside Richard Widmark in 1950 in which he played a doctor. But his big breakthrough came five years later in The Blackboard Jungle. His roles have been a big move away from the stereotypical dim-witted Negro characters made famous in the 1930s and 1940s by Stepin Fetchit.

In Context
Much of America was scandalised by the chaste congratulatory peck on the cheek Ann Bancroft gave Sidney Poitier when presenting his award. Three years later the actor took part in the first on-screen interracial kiss in the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? The film was among a string of hit movies Sidney Poitier starred in during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

They included In the Heat of the Night and the role for which Poitier is probably most famous, Detective Virgil Tibbs. In 2002 Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won the best actor and best actress Oscars – the first black actors to win since Poitier. At the same ceremony Sidney Poitier was given a lifetime achievement award.

Article From BBC home’s “On This Day

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117374_mp1Marie Prevost (November 8, 1898 – January 21, 1937) was a Canadian-born actress of the early days of cinema. During her twenty year career, she made 121 silent and talking pictures.

Early life
Born Mary Bickford Dunn in Sarnia, Ontario, she was still a child when her family moved first to Denver, Colorado and then later to Los Angeles. While working as a secretary, she applied for and obtained an acting job at the Hollywood studio owned by Mack Sennett. Sennett, who was from a small town outside of Montreal, dubbed her as the exotic "French girl", adding Dunn to his collection of bathing beauties under the stage name of Marie Prevost.

In 1919, Prevost secretly married socialite Sonny Gerke who left her after six months of marriage. Gerke’s mother had forbidden him to associate with Prevost because she was an actress, so he was scared to tell his mother of the marriage—and he couldn’t get a divorce without revealing that he was married. Prevost, fearful of the bad publicity a divorce would cause, would stay secretly married to Gerke until 1923.

Career rise
ne of her first publicly successful film roles came in the 1920 romantic film Love, Honor, and Behave, opposite another newcomer and Sennett protégé, George O’Hara. Initially cast in numerous minor comedic roles as the sexy, innocent young girl, she worked in several films for Sennett’s studio until 1921 when she signed with Universal. At Universal, Irving Thalberg took an interest in Prevost and decided to make her a star. Thalberg ensured that she received a great deal of publicity and staged numerous publicity events. After announcing that he had selected two films for Prevost to star in, The Moonlight Follies (1921) and Kissed (1922), Thalberg sent Prevost to Coney Island where she publicly burned her bathing suit to symbolize the end of her bathing beauty days.

117374_mp2While at Universal, Prevost was still relegated to light comedies. After her contract expired, Jack Warner signed her to a two year contract at $1500 a week at Warner Bros. in 1922. During this time, Prevost was dating actor Kenneth Harlan. Jack Warner had also signed Harlan to a contract and cast the couple in the lead roles in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Beautiful and Damned. To publicize the film, Warner announced that the couple would marry on the film’s set. The publicity stunt worked and thousands of fans sent gifts and letters to the couple. The Los Angeles Mirror got wind that Prevost was still married to Sonny Gerke and ran a story with the headline "Marie Prevost Will be a Bigamist if She Marries Kenneth Harlan". Warner was livid over the negative publicity and Prevost’s failure to disclose her first marriage despite the fact that the publicity stunt was his idea. Warner quickly arranged an annullment and, when the publicity surrounding the scandal died down, Prevost and Harlan were quietly married.

In spite of the bad publicity, Prevost’s performance in The Beautiful and Damned brought good reviews. Director Ernst Lubitsch chose her for a major role opposite Adolphe Menjou in 1924’s The Marriage Circle. Of her performance as the beautiful seductress, Ernst Lubitsch said that she was one of the few actresses in Hollywood who knew how to underplay comedy to achieve the maximum effect. This performance, praised by The New York Times, resulted in Lubitsch casting her in Three Women in 1924 and in Kiss Me Again the following year.

Just as her career was blossoming, Prevost’s mother was killed in an automobile accident while traveling in Florida with actress Vera Steadman, another Canadian friend, and Hollywood studio owner, Al Christie in 1926.

Devastated by the loss of her only remaining parent, Prevost began drinking heavily and developed an addiction to alcohol. Her marriage to Harlan ended in a 1927 divorce. Prevost tried to get past her personal torment by burying herself in her work, starring in numerous roles as the temptingly beautiful seductress who in the end was always the honorable heroine. After seeing Prevost in The Beautiful and Damned, Howard Hughes cast her as the lead in The Racket (1928). During filming, Hughes and Prevost had a brief affair. Hughes quickly broke off the affair leaving Prevost heartbroken and furthering her depression. After playing the lead in The Racket, Prevost’s days as a leading lady were over.

Prevost’s depression caused her to binge on food resulting in significant weight gain. By the 1930s, she was working less and being offered only secondary parts. A notable exception was Paid (1930), a role which, while secondary to star Joan Crawford, still garnered her good reviews. As a result of all this, her financial income declined and her growing dependency on alcohol added to her weight problems. By 1934, she had no work at all and her financial situation deteriorated dramatically. The downward spiral became greatly aggravated when her weight problems forced her into repeated crash dieting in order to keep whatever bit part a movie studio offered.


On January 21, 1937, at the age of 38, Prevost died from heart failure brought on by acute alcoholism and malnutrition. Her body was not discovered until January 23, after neighbors complained about her dog’s incessant barking. A bellboy, who ignored the note Prevost posted on the door asking that no one knock on the door more than once, finally forced the door open. Prevost was found lying face down on her bed, her legs marked with tiny bites. Prevost’s pet dachshund, Maxie, had nipped at her legs in an attempt to wake her up.

Her funeral (which was paid for by Joan Crawford) at the Hollywood Memorial Cemetery was attended by Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, and Barbara Stanwyck among others.

In February 1937, it was discovered that Prevost’s estate was valued at only $300 prompting the Hollywood community to create the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital to provide medical care for employees of the television and motion picture industry.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Marie Prevost has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard.

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