"Her 1927 lawsuit against Cecil B. DeMille set a precedent in establishing a star's rights. She did remain friendly with DeMille even after her victory. In later years she became active in Actors Equity's fight for the unionization of film actors. She became known as the "Joan of Arc of Equity."
"I am a perfectionist. Whether play or picture, while I'm in it I must give 100%. If my performance is not right, I would suffer more than anyone."
I don't like being called a silent star. I was never silent."
Monday, June 8, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
"French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, nr. 195. Publicity card for Les carbones Korès. Photo: Sam Levin.
French actress Simone Signoret (1921-1985) was given the ‘star build-up’ in the postwar years. She went on to become one of the great film actresses of the French cinema and won a BAFTA, an Oscar and many more awards.
For more postcards, a bio and clips check out our blog European Film Star Postcards."
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"Famous as much for her soprano voice and her silver screen charisma as her scandalous love affairs, she inspired countless young female fans known as "Gerry-flappers" before her retirement from the stage in 1922."
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Singer and actress, mother of the famous Romy Schneider.
"Magda Schneider was born on 17 May 1909 in Augsburg, Germany and a singer, stage and film actress. After her graduation at a monastery school, she studied stenography and office management at a business school, but also attended ballet lessons and art courses at the Augsburg School of Music. Six months later, she gave her stage debut as soubrette at the Gärtnerplatz- Theater in Munich and was discovered by Ernst Marischka, who offered her a role at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. After her film debut Boykott (1930), she was type casted as the simple girl, dreaming of a happy life in movies such as Zwei in einem Auto (1932) or Ein Mädel wirbelt durch die Welt (1934). In 1933, she got to know Wolf Albach-Retty, whom she married four years later. Their children Rosemarie (aka Romy Schneider) and Wolf-Dieter were born in 1938 and 1941, but they divorced in 1945. After World War II, she appeared on stage and screen again, but was better known as ambitious mother, who urged on the career of her daughter Romy. In the 1950s, she played her mother or aunt in several movies such as Wenn der weiße Flieder wieder blüht (1953) or Sissi (1955). In the last years of her life, she had to bear the death of her grandson David in 1981 and her daughter Romy in 1982. She died on 30 July 1996 in Berchtesgaden, Germany."
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
"The Mysterious Lady, 1928. Original caption: USA: Greta Garbo and Eric Von Seyffertitz in with Conrad Nagel directed by Fred Niblo, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer picture. 1928 USA." Click image for 605 x 480 size.
Greta Garbo, born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, in Sweden.
""I smoke all the time, one after the other."
"Being a movie star, and this applies to all of them, means being looked at from every possible direction. You are never left at peace, you're just fair game."
"I wish I were supernaturally strong so I could put right everything that is wrong."
"Life would be so wonderful if we only knew what to do with it."
"I don't want to be a silly temptress. I cannot see any sense in getting dressed up and doing nothing but tempting men in pictures."
"There are some who want to get married and others who don't. I have never had an impulse to go to the altar. I am a difficult person to lead."
"If you are blessed, you are blessed, whether you are married or single."
"The story of my life is about back entrances, side doors, secrets elevators and other ways of getting in and out of places so that people won't bother me."
"Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening."
"There is no one who would have me - I can't cook."
"There seems to be a law that governs all our actions so I never make plans."
"If only those who dream about Hollywood knew how difficult it all is."
"Your joys and sorrows. You can never tell them. You cheapen the inside of yourself if you do tell them."
"You don't have to be married to have a good friend as your partner for life.""
Monday, May 4, 2009
"As a child there were several things besides some well-known young medicines that I disliked to take, and one of these was a dare. When one of my playmates, whose favorite pastime was running off to the theater whenever we could save money enough to buy tickets and reproducing what we had seen on an elaborate home scale, said: "Polly, I dare you to go on the read stage," of course I just had to go. I had been studying singing, and succeeded in persuading the manager of a vaudeville house in Boston to hear a couple of my songs.
"I'll put you on for a week," he agreed, "and pay you fifty dollars."
This was the first money I had ever earned and it seemed like a fortune. My chums were there in full force that night waiting to see "Polly take her dare," and for their sakes I had to be brave about it, tho I can remember to this day how I quaked inwardly when I stepped out on the stage and saw the hundreds of eyes turned toward me. I thought each eye was saying:
"She never did this before," and it companion was answering:
"No, she never did."
Well, I managed to get thru my three songs some way or other, and after that it wasn't so bad. That first week gave me the courage to go further and, of course, "further" meant New York. It might be thrilling to tell of facing parental opposition and stealing away in the dead of night with five dollars burning in my pocket, and a great and noble ambition burning in my pocket, but I must forego the thrill, for this is to be a truthful biography. When I announced my intention of going to New York to take up theatrical work seriously my mother said: "If it will make you happy, go ahead, and I will go with you."
That mother has always been a great pal of mine. I really think she has had more ambition for me than I have had for myself. A girl who has this particular brand of mother can never realize how much she owes to her."
Friday, May 1, 2009
Via It'll Take The Snap Out Of Your Garters! blog. Click image for 500 x 667 size.
"In 1940, Ann temporarily put her career on hold to support her husband who was a British citizen and a member of the Royal Navy. Although she did make three films in England during this time, Ann devoted most of her energy to the war-effort as a member of the Women’s Land Army, an ambulance driver, a newspaper columnist and a BBC broadcaster. Returning to Hollywood in 1943, Ann soon filed for divorce from Fenton, referring to the broken marriage as a “war casualty.”
While Ann Dvorak has not survived the ages as a household name, she still managed to carve a small niche in the conscious of American pop culture. A discussion of “pre-code” films should always pay homage to Ann’s convincing death scenes, and her attempt to seduce George Raft in Scarface by suggestively slinking about in a revealing black gown has been shown to film students all over the country. While the films were not always good, her performances were always great. She could be tragic, (Three on A Match, G-Men) she could be loyal, (Bright Lights, Blind Alley, Thanks a Million) she could be funny (Merrily We Live, Out of the Blue) but above all she was always damn good (Scarface, A Life of Her Own, and many others)! Maybe some of the films are forgettable, but the personality she brought to all of her characters, as well as her own strong-willed personality, should never be forgotten."