Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich

From the trailer for Stage Fright (1950) Born Marie Magdalene Dietrich
27 December 1901(1901-12-27)
Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany Died 6 May 1992 (aged 90)
Paris, France Occupation Actress/Singer Years active 1919–1984 Spouse Rudolf Sieber (1924–1976) (his death) 1 daughter Website

Marlene Dietrich (German pronunciation: [maɐˈleːnə ˈdiːtʁɪç]; 27 December 1901 – 6 May 1992)[1] was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself. In 1920s Berlin, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US. Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire capitalised on her glamour and exotic looks, cementing her stardom and making her one of the highest paid actresses of the era. Dietrich became a US citizen in 1939; during World War II, she was a high-profile frontline entertainer. Although she still made occasional films in the post-war years, Dietrich spent most of the 1950s to the 1970s touring the world as a successful show performer.In 1999 the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth greatest female star of all time.


Dietrich was born Marie Magdalene Dietrich on 27 December 1901 in Schöneberg, a district of Berlin, Germany. She was the younger of two daughters (her sister Elisabeth being a year older) of Louis Erich Otto Dietrich and Wilhelmina Elisabeth Josephine Dietrich (née Felsing). Dietrich’s mother was from a well-to-do Berlin family who owned a clockmaking firm and her father was a police lieutenant. Her father died in 1911. His best friend, Eduard von Losch, an aristocrat first lieutenant in the Grenadiers courted Wilhelmina and eventually married her in 1916, but he died soon after as a result of injuries sustained during World War I.Von Losch never officially adopted the Dietrich children, hence Dietrich’s surname was never von Losch, as is sometimes claimed. She was nicknamed “Lene” (pronounced Lay-neh) within the family. Around the age of 11, she contracted her two first names to form the then-unusual name, Marlene.Dietrich attended the Auguste Victoria School for Girls from 1906 to 1918. She studied the violin and became interested in theatre and poetry as a teenager. Her dreams of becoming a concert violinist were cut short when she injured her wrist.

In Germany in 1933In 1921, Dietrich auditioned unsuccessfully for theatrical director and impresario Max Reinhardt‘s drama academy; however, she soon found herself working in his theatres as a chorus girl and playing small roles in dramas, without attracting any special attention at first.Dietrich made her film debut playing a bit part in the 1922 film, So sind die Männer. She met her future husband, Rudolf Sieber, on the set of another film made that year, Tragödie der Liebe. Dietrich and Sieber were married on 17 May 1924. Her only child, daughter Maria Elisabeth Sieber, later billed as actress Maria Riva, was born on 13 December 1924.Dietrich continued to work on stage and in film both in Berlin and Vienna throughout the 1920s. On stage, she had roles of varying importance in Frank Wedekind‘s Pandora’s Box, William Shakespeare‘s The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as George Bernard Shaw‘s Back to Methuselah and Misalliance. It was in musicals and revues, such as Broadway, Es Liegt in der Luft and Zwei Krawatten, however, that she attracted the most attention.By the late 1920s, Dietrich was also playing sizable parts on screen, including Café Elektric (1927), Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (1928) and Das Schiff der verlorenen Menschen (1929).In 1929, Dietrich landed the breakthrough role of Lola-Lola, a cabaret singer who causes the downfall of a hitherto respected schoolmaster, in UFA‘s production, The Blue Angel (1930). The film was directed by Josef von Sternberg, who thereafter took credit for having “discovered” Dietrich. The film is also noteworthy for having introduced Dietrich’s signature song “Falling in Love Again“.

From the trailer for Morocco (1930)On the strength of The Blue Angel’s international success, and with encouragement and promotion from von Sternberg, who was already established in Hollywood, Dietrich then moved to the U.S. on contract to Paramount Pictures. The studio sought to market Dietrich as a German answer to MGM‘s Swedish sensation, Greta Garbo. Her first American fi
, Morocco, directed by von Sternberg, earned Dietrich her only Oscar nomination. However, at the time she knew very little English and so spoke her lines phonetically.Dietrich’s most lasting contribution to film history was as the star of a series of six films directed by von Sternberg at Paramount between 1930 and 1935: Morocco, Dishonored, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, and The Devil is a Woman. In Hollywood, von Sternberg worked very effectively with Dietrich to create the image of a glamorous femme fatale. He encouraged her to lose weight and coached her intensively as an actress – she, in turn, was willing to trust him and follow his sometimes imperious direction in a way that a number of other performers resisted.

Anna May Wong and Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932)A crucial part of the overall effect was created by von Sternberg’s exceptional skill in lighting and photographing Dietrich to optimum effect—the use of light and shadow, including the impact of light passed through a veil or slatted blinds (as for example in Shanghai Express)—which, when combined with scrupulous attention to all aspects of set design and costumes, make this series of films among the most visually stylish in cinema history.[2] Critics still debate vigorously how much of the credit belonged to von Sternberg and how much to Dietrich, but most would agree that neither consistently reached such heights again after Paramount fired von Sternberg and the two ceased to work together.[3]

From the trailer for A Foreign Affair (1948)Without von Sternberg, Dietrich—along with Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford, Mae West, Dolores del Río, Katharine Hepburn and others—was labeled “box office poison” after her 1937 film, Knight Without Armour, proved an expensive flop. In 1939, however, her stardom revived when she played the cowboy saloon girl Frenchie in the light-hearted western Destry Rides Again opposite James Stewart. The movie also introduced another favorite song, “The Boys in the Back Room”. She played a similar role in 1942 with John Wayne in The Spoilers.While Dietrich arguably never fully regained her former screen glory, she continued performing in the movies, including appearances for such distinguished directors as Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, in films that included A Foreign Affair, Witness for the Prosecution, Rancho Notorious, Stage Fright and Touch of Evil.

Dietrich was known to have strong political convictions and the mind to speak them. In interviews, Dietrich stated that she had been approached by representatives of the Nazi Party to return to Germany, but had turned them down flat. Dietrich, a staunch anti-Nazi who despised antisemitism, became an American citizen in 1939.[1]

Dietrich signing a soldier’s cast (Belgium, 1944).In December 1941, the U.S. entered World War II, and Dietrich became one of the first celebrities to raise war bonds. She toured the US from January 1942 to September 1943 (appearing before 250 000 troops on the Pacific Coast leg of her tour alone) and it is said that she sold more war bonds than any other star.[4]During two extended tours for the USO in 1944 and 1945,[4] she performed for Allied troops on the front lines in Algeria, Italy, England and France and went into Germany with Generals James M. Gavin and George S. Patton. When asked why she had done this, in spite of the obvious danger of being within a few kilometres of German lines, she replied, “aus Anstand” — “out of decency” Her revue, with future TV pioneer Danny Thomas as her opening act, included songs from her films, a mindreading act[4] and performances on her musical saw, a skill she had originally acquired for stage appearances in Berlin in the 1920s.In 1944, the Morale Operations Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) initiated the Musac project,[5] musical propaganda broadcasts designed to demoralize enemy soldiers. Dietrich, the only performer who was made aware that her recordings would be for OSS use, recorded a number of songs in German for the project, including Lili Marleen, a favourite of soldiers on both sides of the conflict.[6] William Joseph Donovan, head of the OSS, wrote to Dietrich, “I am personally deeply grateful for your generosity in making these recordings for us.[7]Dietrich was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the US in 1945. She said that this was her proudest accomplishment.[5] She was also awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government as recognition for her wartime work.

Kenneth Tynan called her voice her “third dimension”. Ernest Hemingway thought that “if she had nothing more than her voice, she could break your heart with it.”[8]Dietrich’s recording career spanned over half a century. Prior to international stardom, she recorded a duet, “Wenn die Beste Freundin“, with Margo Lion. This song, with its lesbian overtones, was a hit in Berlin in 1928.[citation needed]In 1930, Dietrich recorded English and German language selections from her film The Blue Angel, for Electrola in Berlin. It was at this time that she recorded Friedrich Hollaender‘s “Falling in Love Again (Can’t Help It)” for the first time—it would become her theme song, to be sung in thousands of concerts.A 1933 Parisian recording session for Polydor produced several classic tracks, including Franz Waxman’s “Allein in Einer Grossen Stadt.” Dietrich recorded “The Boys in the Back Room” from Destry Rides Again for Decca Records in 1939. In 1945, she recorded her version of “Lili Marleen”.Dietrich signed with Columbia Records in the 1950s, with Mitch Miller as her producer. The 1950 LP Marlene Dietrich Overseas, with Dietrich singing German translations of American songs of the World War II era, was a hit. She also recorded several duets with Rosemary Clooney; these tapped into a younger market and charted.

From the trailer for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)During the 1960s, Dietrich recorded several albums and many singles, mostly with Burt Bacharach at the helm of the orchestra. Dietrich in London, recorded live at the Queen’s Theatre in 1964, is an enduring document of Dietrich in concert.In 1978, Dietrich’s performance of the title track from her last film, Just a Gigolo, was issued as a single. She made her last recordings from her Paris apartment in 1987: spoken introductions to songs for a nostalgia album by Udo Lindenberg.Asked by Maximilian Schell in his documentary, Marlene (1984), which of her own recordings were her favorites, Dietrich replied that she thought Marlene singt Berlin-Berlin (1964) – an album featuring her singing old Berlin schlager (popular songs) – was her best-recorded work.[citation needed]

Caricature by Hans Georg Pfannmüller showing Dietrich during a cabaret performance in 1954.From the early 1950s until the mid-1970s, Dietrich worked almost exclusively as a highly-paid cabaret artist, performing live in large theaters in major cities worldwide.In 1953, Dietrich was offered a then-substantial $30,000 per week to appear live at the Sahara Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The show was short, consisting only of a few songs associated with her. Her daringly sheer costumes, designed by Jean Louis, attracted a lot of publicity and attention. This engagement was so successful that she was signed to appear at the Cafė de Paris in London the following year, and her Las Vegas contracts were also renewed. It was the start of a new phase in Dietrich’s career.When Dietrich signed Burt Bacharach as her musical arranger in the mid-1950s, her show started to evolve from a mere nightclub act to a more ambitious one-woman show featuring an array of new material. Her repertoire included songs from her films as well as popular songs of the day. Bacharach’s arrangements helped to disguise Dietrich’s limited vocal range – she was a contralto – and allowed her to perform her songs to maximum dramatic effect.Dietrich’s return to Germany in 1960 for a concert tour elicited a mixed response. Many Germans felt she had betrayed her homeland by her actions during World War II. During her performances at Berlin’s Titania Palast theatre, protesters chanted, “Marlene Go Home!” On the other hand, Dietrich was warmly welcomed by other Germans, including Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt. The tour was an artistic triumph, but a financial failure. She also undertook a tour of Israel around the same time, which was well-received; she sang some songs in German during her concerts, including a German version of Pete Seeger‘s anti-war anthem “Where Have All the Flowers Gone“, thus breaking the unofficial taboo against the use of German in Israel.Dietrich appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, with Bacharach as conductor, in 1964 and 1965 and made appearances on Broadway twice (1967 and 1968), winning a special Tony Award for her performance. Her costumes (body-hugging dresses covered with thousands of crystals as well as a swansdown coat), body-sculpting undergarments, careful stage lighting helped to preserve Dietrich’s glamorous image well into old age.In November 1972, a version of the show Dietrich had performed on Broadway was filmed in London.[9]She was paid $250,000 for her cooperation, but she was unhappy with the result. The show, originally titled I Wish You Love, was broadcast in the UK on the BBC on 1 January 1973 and in the US on CBS on 13 January 1973. The show was retitled An Evening With Marlene Dietrich for the later VHS and DVD releases.

Dietrich’s show business career largely ended on 29 September 1975, when she broke her leg during a stage performance in Sydney, Australia. Her husband, Rudolf Sieber, died of cancer on 24 June 1976.Dietrich’s final on-camera film appearance was a cameo role in Just a Gigolo (1979), starring David Bowie.An alcoholic and dependent on painkillers, Dietrich withdrew to her apartment at 12 avenue Montaigne in Paris. She spent the final 11 years of her life mostly bedridden, allowing only a select few—including family and employees—to enter the apartment. During this time, she was a prolific letter-writer and phone-caller. Her autobiography, Nehmt nur mein Leben, was published in 1979.In 1982, Dietrich agreed to participate in a documentary film about her life, Marlene (1984), but refused to be filmed. The film’s director, Maximilian Schell, was only allowed to record her voice. He used his interviews with her as the basis for the film, set to a collage of film clips from her career. The final film won several European film prizes and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 1984. Newsweek named it “a unique film, perhaps the most fascinating and affecting documentary ever made about a great movie star”.[10]

Dietrich’s gravestone in Berlin. The inscription reads “Hier steh ich an den Marken meiner Tage” (Here I stand at the mile-stone of my days), a paraphrased line from the sonnet Abschied vom Leben (Farewell from Life) by Theodor Körner.She began a close friendship with the biographer David Bret, one of the few people allowed inside her Paris apartment. Bret is thought to have been the last person outside her family that Dietrich spoke to, two days before her death: “I have called to say that I love you, and now I may die.” She was in constant contact with her daughter, who came to Paris regularly to check on her.In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2005, Dietrich’s daughter and grandson claim that Dietrich was politically active during these years.[11] She kept in contact with world leaders by telephone, including Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, running up a monthly bill of over US$3,000. In 1989, her appeal to save the Babelsberg studios from closure was broadcast on BBC Radio, and she spoke on television via telephone on the occasion of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990.Dietrich died of renal failure on 6 May 1992 at the age of 90 in Paris. A service was conducted at La Madeleine in Paris before 3,500 mourners and a crowd of well-wishers outside. Her body, covered with an American flag, was then returned to Berlin, where she was interred at the Städtischer Friedhof III, Berlin-Schöneberg, Stubenrauchstraße 43–45, in Friedenau Cemetery, near her mother’s grave and not far away from the house where she was born.

Unlike her professional celebrity, which was carefully crafted and maintained, Dietrich’s personal life was kept out of public view. Dietrich, who was bisexual, enjoyed the thriving gay scene of the time and drag balls of 1920s Berlin.[12]She married only once, assistant director Rudolf Sieber, who later became an assistant director at Paramount Pictures in France, responsible for foreign language dubbing. Dietrich’s only child, Maria Elisabeth Sieber, was born in Berlin on 13 December 1924. She would later become an actress, primarily working in television, known as Maria Riva. When Maria gave birth to a son in 1948, Dietrich was dubbed “the world’s most glamorous grandmother”. After Dietrich’s death, Riva published a frank biography of her mother, titled Marlene Dietrich (1992).Throughout her career Dietrich had an unending string of affairs, some short-lived, some lasting decades; they often overlapped and were almost all known to her husband, to whom she was in the habit of passing the love letters of her men, sometimes with biting comments.[13] In 1938, Dietrich met and began a relationship with the writer Erich Maria Remarque, and in 1941, the French actor and military hero Jean Gabin. Their relationship ended in the mid-1940s. She also had an affair with the Cuban-American writer Mercedes de Acosta, who was Greta Garbo‘s lover. Her last great

passion, when she was in her 50s, appears to have been for the actor Yul Brynner, but her love life continued well into her 70s. She counted George Bernard Shaw and John F. Kennedy among her conquests.[14] Dietrich maintained her husband and his mistress first in Europe and finally on a small ranch in the San Fernando Valley, California.Dietrich was an atheist. She was raised a Calvinist, but lost her faith due to battlefront experiences during her time with the US Army as an entertainer.[15]

German stamp issued in 1997 in the Women in German history seriesDietrich was a fashion icon to the top designers as well as a screen icon that later stars would follow. She once said, “I dress for myself. Not for the image, not for the public, not for the fashion, not for men.” Her public image and some of her movies included strong sexual undertones, including bisexuality.A significant volume of academic literature, especially since 1975, analyzes Dietrich’s image, as created by the movie industry, within various theoretical frameworks, including that of psycho-analysis. Emphasis is placed, inter alia, on the “fetishistic” manipulation of the female image.[16]In 1992, a plaque was unveiled at Leberstraße 65 in Berlin-Schöneberg, the site of Dietrich’s birth. A postage stamp bearing Dietrich’s portrait was issued in Germany on 14 August 1997.Luxury pen manufacturer MontBlanc produced a limited edition ‘Marlene Dietrich’ pen to commemorate Dietrich’s life. It is platinum-plated and has an encrusted deep blue sapphire.For some Germans, she remained a controversial figure as a war-time traitor. In 1996, after some controversy, it was decided not to name a street after Dietrich in Berlin-Schöneberg, her birthplace.[17] However, on 8 November 1997, the central Marlene-Dietrich-Platz was unveiled in Berlin to honor Dietrich. The commemoration reads Berliner Weltstar des Films und des Chansons. Einsatz für Freiheit und Demokratie, für Berlin und Deutschland (“Berlin world star of film and song. Dedication to freedom and democracy, to Berlin and Germany”).Dietrich was made an honorary citizen of Berlin on 16 May 2002.The U.S. Government awarded Marlene Dietrich the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her war work. Dietrich has been quoted as saying this was the honor of which she was most proud in her life. She was also made a chevalier (later commandeur) of the Légion d’honneur by the French government.

On 24 October 1993, the largest portion of Dietrich’s estate was sold to the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek—after U.S. institutions showed no interest—where it became the core of the exhibition at the Filmmuseum Berlin. The collection includes: over 3,000 textile items from the 1920s through the 1990s, including film and stage costumes as well as over a thousand items from Dietrich’s personal wardrobe; 15,000 photographs, by Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, George Hurrell, Lord Snowdon, Eugene Robert Richee, and Edward Steichen; 300,000 pages of documents, including correspondence with Burt Bacharach, Yul Brynner, Maurice Chevalier, Noël Coward, Jean Gabin, Ernest Hemingway, Karl Lagerfeld, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Erich Maria Remarque, Josef von Sternberg, Orson Welles, and Billy Wilder; as well as other items like film posters and sound recordings.[18]The contents of Dietrich’s Manhattan apartment, along with other personal effects such as jewelry and items of clothing, were sold by public auction by Sotheby’s (Los Angeles) on 1 November 1997.[19] The apartment itself (located at 993 Park Avenue) was sold for $615,000 in 1998.[20]

Main article: Marlene Dietrich filmography

Singles (selected)

  • 1928: “Wenn die beste Freundin”
  • 1928: “Es liegt in der Luft”
  • 1930: “Nimm Dich in acht vor blonden Frauen”
  • 1930: “Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt”
  • 1930: “Falling in Love Again”
  • 1930: “Ich bin die fesche Lola”
  • 1930: “Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte”
  • 1930: “Kinder, heut’ abend, da such’ ich mir was aus”
  • 1931: “Leben ohne Liebe kannst du nicht”
  • 1931: “Give Me the Man”
  • 1931: “Peter”
  • 1931: “Quand L´Amour meurt”
  • 1931: “Johnny, wenn du Geburtstag hast”
  • 1933: “Mein blondes Baby”
  • 1933: “Ja so bin ich”
  • 1933: “Allein in einer großen Stadt”
  • 1933: “Wo ist der Mann?”
  • 1939: “The Boys in the Backroom”
  • 1945: “Lili Marleen” (English version)
  • 1954: “Ich hab’ noch einen Koffer in Berlin”
  • 1960: “Lili Marleen” (German version)
  • 1962: “Sag mir wo die Blumen sind“
  • 1963: “Für alles kommt die Zeit”
  • 1964: “Die Antwort weiß ganz allein der Wind“
  • 1964: “Der Trommelmann“
  • 1965: “Such Trying Times”
  • 1966: “Still war die Nacht”
  • 1978: “Just a Gigolo”

  • 1951: Marlene Dietrich Overseas
  • 1954: Live at the Café de Paris
  • 1959: Dietrich in Rio
  • 1960: Wiedersehen mit Marlene
  • 1964: Marlene singt Berlin
  • 1964: Die neue Marlene
  • 1964: Dietrich in London

Compilations (selected)

  • 1949: Souvenir Album
  • 1952: M.D. Live 1932–1952
  • 1959: Lil Marlene
  • 1969: Marlene Dietrich
  • 1973: The Best of Marlene Dietrich
  • 1974: Das war mein Milljöh
  • 1982: Her Complete Decca Recordings
  • 1992: The Marlene Dietrich Album
  • 1992: Art Deco Marlene Dietrich
  • 2007: Marlene Dietrich with the Burt Bacharach Orchestra

Notable appearances include:

  • Lux Radio Theater: The Legionnaire and the Lady opposite Clark Gable (1 August 1936)
  • Lux Radio Theater: Desire opposite Herbert Marshall (22 July 1937)
  • Lux Radio Theater: song of Songs opposite Douglas Fairbanks, Jr (20 December 1937)
  • The Chase and Sanborn Program with Edgar Bergen and Don Ameche (2 June 1938)
  • Lux Radio Theater: Manpower opposite Edward G Robinson and George Raft (15 March 1942)
  • The Gulf Screen Guild Theater: Pittsburgh opposite John Wayne (12 April 1943)
  • Theatre Guild on the Air: Grand Hotel opposite Ray Milland (24 March 1948)
  • Studio One: Arabesque (29 June 1948)
  • Theatre Guild on the Air: The Letter opposite Walter Pidgeon (3 October 1948)
  • Ford Radio Theater: Madame Bovary opposite Claude Rains (8 October 1948)
  • Screen Director’s Playhouse: A Foreign Affair opposite Rosalind Russell and John Lund (5 March 1949)
  • MGM Theatre of the Air: Anna Karenina (9 December 1949)
  • MGM Theatre of the Air: Camille (6 June 1950)
  • Lux Radio Theater: No Highway in the Sky opposite James stewart (21 April 1952)
  • Screen Director’s Playhouse: A Foreign Affair opposite Lucille Ball and John Lund (1 March 1951)
  • The Big Show starring Tallullah Bankhead (2 October 1951)
  • The Child, with Godfrey Kenton, radio play produced by Richard Imison for the BBC on 18 August 1965
  • Dietrich’s appeal to save the Babelsburg studios was broadcast on BBC radio

Dietrich made several appearances on Ar

med Forces Radio Services shows like The Army Hour and Command Performance during the war years. In 1952, she had her own series on American ABC entitled, Cafe Istanbul. During 1953–54, she starred in 38 episodes of Time for Love on CBS. She recorded 94 short inserts, “Dietrich Talks on Love and Life”, for NBC’s Monitor in 1958.Dietrich gave many radio interviews worldwide on her concert tours. In 1960, her show at the Tuschinski in Amsterdam was broadcast live on Dutch radio. Her 1962 appearance at the Olympia in Paris was also broadcast.

Complete list of television appearances (excluding news footage):

  • Unicef Gala (Düsseldorf, 1962): Guest Appearance
  • Cirque d’hiver (Paris, 9 March 1963): Cameo as “Garcon de Piste”
  • Deutsche-Schlager-Festspiele (Baden-Baden, 1963): Guest Appearance
  • Grand Gala du Disque (Edison Awards) (The Hague, 1963): Guest Appearance
  • Galakväll pa Berns (Stockholm, 1963): Concert, with introduction by Karl Gerhardt and orchestra conducted by Burt Bacharach
  • Royal Variety Performance (London, 4 November 1963): Guest Appearance
  • The Stars Shine for Jack Hylton (London, 1965): Guest Appearance
  • The Magic of Marlene (Melbourne, October 1965): Concert, with orchestra conducted by William Blezard.
  • The 22nd Annual Tony Awards (New York, 21 April 1968): Acceptance Speech
  • Guest Star Marlene Dietrich (Copenhagen – for Swedish Television, 1970): Interview
  • I Wish You Love (An Evening with Marlene Dietrich) (London, 23 & 24 November 1972): Concert TV Special, with orchestra conducted by Stan Freeman.

  • Dietrich, Marlene (1989). Marlene. Salvator Attanasio (translator). Grove Press. ISBN 0-802-11117-3. 
  • Dietrich, Marlene (1962). Marlene Dietrich’s ABC. Doubleday. 
  • Dietrich, Marlene (1990). Some Facts About Myself. Helnwein, Gottfried [Conception and photographs]. ISBN 3-89322-226-X. 

  • ^ a b Flint, Peter B. (1992-05-07). “Marlene Dietrich, 90, Symbol of Glamour, Dies”. The New York Times.
  • ^ See, for example, David Thomson, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Cinema” (first edition, 1975), entry for Dietrich: “With him [von Sternberg] Dietrich made seven masterpieces [i.e., Blue Angel in Germany and the six in Hollywood], films that are still breathtakingly modern, which have no superior for their sense of artificiality suffused with emotion and which visually combine decadence and austerity, tenderness and cruelty, gaiety and despair.”
  • ^ See, for example, the entries for Dietrich and von Sternberg in David Thomson, “A Biographical Dictionary of the Cinema.”
  • ^ a b c Sudendorf, Werner. “Thanks Soldier”,, 2000. Retrieved on 2010-02-20.
  • ^ a b (2008-10-23). “A Look Back … Marlene Dietrich: Singing For A Cause”. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  • ^ McIntosh, Elizabeth P. (1998). Sisterhood of spies: the women of the OSS , p. 58. Dell., London. ISBN 0440234662.
  • ^ McIntosh, Elizabeth P. (1998). Sisterhood of spies: the women of the OSS , p. 59. Dell., London. ISBN 0440234662.
  • ^ John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “Ernest Hemingway’s Letters to Actress Marlene Dietrich to be Made Available for the First Time by JFK Library”. Press release. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  • ^ I Wish You Love Production Schedule”. Marlene Dietrich Collection Berlin. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  • ^ Marlene. Atlas International. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  • ^ Der Himmel war grün, wenn sie es sagte, Der Spiegel, 13 November 2005. (German)
  • ^ Bourke, Amy (May 29, 2007). “Bisexual side of Dietrich show”. Pink News.
  • ^ Riva, p. 344
  • ^ Riva, passim
  • ^ Dead Atheists Society
  • ^ Weber, Caroline (September/October/November 2007). “Academy Award: A new volume analyzes Dietrich in and out of the seminar room”. Bookforum.
  • ^ The German-Hollywood Connection: Dietrich’s Street
  • ^ “Marlene Dietrich: Berlin”. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  • ^ “Dietrich fans scramble to pick up actress’s treasures”. BBC News. 1997-11-02. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  • ^ Swanson, Carl (1998-04-05). “”Recent Transactions in the Real Estate Market””. The New York Observer.
    • Bach, Steven (1992). Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-42553-8. 
    • Bret, David (1993). Marlene, My Friend. London: Robson. 
    • McLellan, Diana (2001). The Girls : Sappho Goes to Hollywood. St. Martin’s Griffin. ISBN 0-312-28320-2. 
    • Riva, Maria (1994). Marlene Dietrich. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-38645-0. 
    • Riva, David J. (2006). A Woman at War: Marlene Dietrich Remembered. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3249-8. 
    • Spoto, Donald (1992). Blue Angel: The Life of Marlene Dietrich. William Morrow and Company, Inc.. ISBN 0-688-07119-8. 


    Carmen Electra

    This article is about the actress Tara Patrick. For adult film star, see Tera Patrick.

    Carmen Electra

    Electra on February 28, 2006. Born Tara Leigh Patrick
    April 20, 1972 (1972-04-20) (age 38)
    Sharonville, Ohio, U.S. Occupation Actress, model, dancer, television personality, singer, entertainer Years active 1990–present Spouse Dennis Rodman (1998–1999)
    Dave Navarro (2003–2007)

    Tara Leigh Patrick (born April 20, 1972), professionally known as Carmen Electra,[1] is an American glamour model, actress, television personality, singer, dancer and sex symbol. She gained fame for her appearances in Playboy magazine, on the MTV game show Singled Out, on the TV series Baywatch, and dancing with the Pussycat Dolls, and has since had roles in the parody films Scary Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, and Disaster Movie.


    Electra was born in Sharonville, Ohio, the daughter of Patricia, a singer, and Harry, a guitarist and entertainer.[2][3] She attended Ann Weigel Elementary School and then studied dance at Dance Artists dance studio under Gloria J. Simpson, in Western Hills, a neighborhood of Cincinnati. Her mother died of a brain tumor in 1998.[4] Her older sister Debbie died from a heart attack, also in 1998. Carmen graduated from Princeton High School in Sharonville. Carmen Electra also attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in the Cincinnati Public School District.[5] She has Irish, German, and Cherokee ancestry.[6]

    Electra started her professional career in 1990 as a dancer at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio in the show “It’s Magic”, one of the more popular shows in the park’s history.[7] In 1991, she moved to California and met Prince.[8] Soon after meeting Prince, Electra signed a recording contract with Prince’s Paisley Park Records and began a short-lived singing career.[8] During her time at Paisley Park Records, she officially became known as Carmen Electra.[8]

    Electra on June 3, 2008.In 1995, Electra started appearing in television programs. In May 1996 she was featured in a nude pictorial in Playboy magazine, the first of several. This exposure led to higher profile television appearances, including Baywatch (cast member from 1997–1998, as Leilani “Lani” McKenzie) and MTV‘s Singled Out. She returned to Baywatch for the 2003 reunion movie, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.Electra was featured in Playboy four more times, with her second appearance in June 1997, third in December 2000, fourth in April 2003 and her fifth in the January 2009 anniversary issue. She was on the cover three times, in December 2000, April 2003 and on the 55th anniversary Issue in January 2009.Electra has appeared in films such as American Vampire (1997), Good Burger (1997), The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (1999), the horror spoof Scary Movie (2000) and also appeared in Meet the Spartans (2008), Scary Movie 4 (2006), Epic Movie (2007), Date Movie (2006), Disaster Movie (2008), the remake of the 1970s TV show Starsky & Hutch (2004) and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. She won an MTV Movie Award (best kiss) for Starsky & Hutch. She also appeared in an episode of House in which she portrayed herself as an injured golfer and an injured farmer, playing out House’s fantasy.In 1999, she appeared in the Bloodhound Gang‘s music video of “The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope.” In 2005, she joined the voice cast of the animated series Tripping the Rift, replacing Gina Gershon as the voice of the sexy android “Six”. Also in 2005, she began the Naked Women’s Wrestling League, acting as the commissioner for the professional wrestling promotion.[9] In late 2006, Carmen began to be featured in commercials by Taco Bell.

    Electra’s video game work includes appearing as characters in Def Jam: Fight for New York and is one of the celebrity challenges in the video game ESPN NFL 2K5.Electra has produced exercise videos and equipment. Her Carmen Electra Aerobic Striptease is a five-disc DVD series that combines teaching classic stripping moves with a low impact cardio workout, which also starred Jon Eby. She also endorses the Electra Pole, a pole dancing kit released in January 2008.[10]In 1997, Electra modeled for the covers of the comic books Razor and the Ladies of London Night by London Night Studios.[11]Electra appeared in commercials for Maxim Men’s Hair Color products (2004–2005).In 2006, Electra signed on as the spokesmodel for Ritz Camera Centers, appearing in their television and print ads with CEO David Ritz. She is featured in some video spoofs of Lonelygirl15 that advertised Epic Movie.[12] That same year she appeared as the face and spokesperson for the MAX Factor Make-Up line (beginning in 2006) in their television and print ads.[13]

    Carmen Electra organized a fundraiser for Head to Hollywood,[14] a non-profit organization which offers support to brain tumor survivors. Other charities which she supports include Elevate Hope,[15] a charity which supports abused and abandoned children, and the Hollyrod Foundation,[16] which provides medical, physical, and emotional support to those suffering from debilitating life circumstances especially Parkinson’s Diseas

    Electra at the MTV Music Awards 2005, held in Luna Park, Sydney.Electra married basketball star Dennis Rodman in November 1998. Their wedding took place at Little Chapel of the Flowers in Las Vegas, Nevada.[17][18]. However, the marriage did not last long, and Electra filed for divorce in April 1999.[19]On November 22, 2003, Electra married Dave Navarro, lead guitarist for the rock band Jane’s Addiction. The couple documented their courtship and marriage in an MTV reality television show called ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave.[20] On July 17, 2006, she and Navarro announced their separation, and Electra filed for divorce on August 10. It was finalized on February 20, 2007.[21][22]In April 2008, Electra’s representative confirmed that she was engaged to Rob Patterson, a member of the nu metal band Otep.[23]

    • Carmen Electra, 1993
    • C-17 (Carmen & The One Seven Album), November 24, 2009

    • American Vampire (1997)
    • Good Burger as Roxanne (1997)
    • Starstruck (1998)
    • The Chosen One: Legend of the Raven (1998)
    • The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human (1999)
    • Christmas Vacation 2000 (1999)
    • Scary Movie as Drew Decker(2000)
    • Sol Goode (2001)
    • Perfume (2001)
    • Get Over It (2001)
    • Rent Control (2002)
    • Whacked! (2002)
    • Uptown Girls (2003)
    • My Boss’s Daughter (2003)
    • Starsky & Hutch as Stacey (2004)
    • Mr. 3000 (2004)
    • Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon (2004)
    • Monster Island (2004)
    • Dirty Love (2005)
    • Lil’ Pimp (2005) (direct-to-DVD) (voice)
    • Getting Played (2005)
    • Cheaper by the Dozen 2 as Sarina Murtaugh (2005)
    • Date Movie as Anne (2006)
    • Scary Movie 4 as Holly (2006)
    • Hot Tamale (2006)
    • lonelygirl15 (2006)
    • National Lampoon’s Pledge This! (2006)
    • Epic Movie as Mystique (2007)
    • I Want Candy as Candy Fiveways(2007)
    • Full of It (2007)
    • Vaya par de productorex (2007)
    • Christmas in Wonderland (2007)
    • Meet the Spartans as Queen Margo (2008)
    • Disaster Movie as The Beautiful Assassin (2008)
    • Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust as Ginger Vitus (2009) (voice)
    • Mardi Gras (Filming) (2009)
    • Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!! as Sybil Williams (2009)

    • Erotic Confessions (1996) – Manager – 1 episode: “At the tone”
    • Baywatch Nights (1996) – Candy – 1 episode: “Epilogue”
    • Good Burger (1997) – Roxanne
    • All That (1997) – Sue – 1 episode: “Ed gets married”
    • Pacific Blue (1997) – Lani McKenzie – 1 episode: “Heartbeat”
    • Singled Out (host in 1997)
    • Loveline (host in 1997)
    • Baywatch (cast member from 1997–1998)
    • Just Shoot Me! (1997) – Herself – 1 episode: “King Lear Jet”
    • Hyperion Bay (cast member 1998)
    • VH1‘s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock (host in 2000)
    • Off Centre (guest star as herself in two episodes) (2002)
    • Electra’s Guy (2002)
    • Carmen and Dave: An MTV Love Story (2002)
    • The Simpsons – The Frying Game (2002)
    • Cleavage (narrator in 2002)
    • Livin’ Large (2002–2004) (frequent host throughout run)
    • BattleBots (host in 2002)
    • Dance Fever (2003) (canceled after 6 episodes)
    • Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding (2003)
    • ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave (2004) (limited run of 7 episodes)
    • Monster Island (2004)
    • Summerland as Mona (2004)
    • Manhunt: The Search for America’s Most Gorgeous Male Model (2004–2005)
    • Tripping the Rift (cast member in 2005) (voice)
    • American Dad as Lisa Silver (1 episode)
    • House M.D. (“Three Stories” (Season 1, Episode 21)) (as herself twice, first being a replacement for Gregory House in the third story then as a farmer from the first story because “If we’re gonna look at a leg…”)
    • Lolo’s Cafe (2006) (voice)
    • Full Frontal Fashion (2007 guest host)
    • Joey (TV series) (guest star as herself in two episodes, one of each season)
    • ChartBlast hosts the chartshow on MTVNHD and MTV Italy since 2008
    • Monk (episode: Mr. Monk and the Panic Room – Chloe)
    • Perfect Catch host, the reality E! UK TV show 2009

  • ^ Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro divorce records. Retrieved on February 11, 2007.
  • ^ “Carmen Electra Biography (1966–)”.
  • ^ “Carmen Electra Biography (1966–)”.
  • ^ “Carmen Electra Biography – Yahoo! Movies”.
  • ^ “ – Carmen Electra Biography – Carmen Electra Video Pics –”. Fox News. October 6, 2006.,2933,198045,00.html?sPage=fnc.foxlife/electra
  • ^ “Carmen’s electric moves. Baywatch Babe’s New Strip Aerobics DVD Really Works Up a Sweat It’s not sleazy, it’s for you to be sexy for your boyfriend or hubby.(News) – The Mirror (London, England)

    – HighBeam Research”.

  • ^ “Kings Island website – Event page: Labor Day Weekend – Carmen Electra”.
  • ^ a b c
  • ^ “Naked Women’s Wrestling League Homepage”.
  • ^
  • ^ Razor and the Ladies of London Night at The Comic Book Database
  • ^, Chris Thilk. “Carmen Electra signs with Ritz Camera” Ad Jab, August 2, 2006
  • ^ “”.
  • ^
  • ^
  • ^
  • ^ “Dennis Rodman Marries TV Actress Carmen Electra” December 7, 1998
  • ^ Walls, Jeannette. “Rodman says Electra never got over him” MSNBC, August 10, 2006
  • ^ “Carmen Electra Biography:”.
  • ^ “Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen + Dave TV Show – Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen + Dave Television Show –”.
  • ^ “Carmen Electra & Dave Navarro: It’s Officially Over – Divorced, Carmen Electra, Dave Navarro :”.,,20012334,00.html
  • ^ “Carmen Electra Files for Divorce”.
  • ^ “Carmen Electra Engaged to Rob Patterson”. People magazine. April 24, 2008.,,20195106,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  • Diana Barrymore

    Text document with red question mark.svg This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (April 2009) Diana Barrymore

    Born Diana Blanche Barrymore (Blythe legal)
    March 3, 1921(1921-03-03)
    New York City, New York Died January 25, 1960 (aged 38)
    New York City, New York Occupation Film, stage actress Years active 1944-1951 Spouse Bramwell Fletcher (1942-1946)
    John Howard (January 1947-July 1947)
    Robert Wilcox (1950-1955)

    Diana Barrymore (March 3, 1921 – January 25, 1960) was an American film and stage actress. She was the aunt of actress Drew Barrymore.


    Born Diana Blanche Barrymore Blythe in New York City, New York, she was the daughter of renowned actor John Barrymore and his second wife, poet Blanche Oelrichs. She was the half-sister of actor John Drew Barrymore.Her parents’ tumultuous marriage lasted only a few years and they divorced when she was four. Educated in Paris, France and at schools in New York City, she had little contact with her estranged father, a situation exacerbated by her mother’s bitterness towards him. Her parenting was left to boarding schools and nannies.

    While in her teens, Barrymore decided to study acting and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Because of the prominence of the Barrymore name in the world of theatre, her move onto the stage began with much publicity including a 1939 cover of Life. At age 19, Barrymore made her Broadway debut and the following year made her first appearance in motion pictures with a small role in a Warner Bros. production. In 1942, she signed a contract with Universal Studios who capitalized on her Barrymore name with a major promotion campaign billing her as “1942’s Most Sensational New Screen Personality.” However, alcohol and drug problems soon emerged and negative publicity from major media sources dampened her prospects with widely read magazines such as Collier’s Weekly, writing about her conduct in an October 1942 article titled “The Barrymore Brat”. After less than three years in Hollywood, and five significant film roles, Barrymore’s personal problems ended her film career.Her father died in 1942 from cirrhosis of the liver after years of alcoholism. Barrymore’s life became a series of alcohol and drug related disasters marked by bouts of severe depression that resulted in several suicide attempts and extended sanitarium stays. She squandered her movie earnings and her inheritance from her father’s estate, and when her mother died in 1950 she was left with virtually nothing from a once-vast family fortune.After three bad marriages to addicted and sometimes abusive men, in 1955 Barrymore had herself hospitalized for nearly a full year of treatment. In 1957, she published her autobiography, Too Much, Too Soon which included her portrait painted by Spurgeon Tucker, and the following year Warner Bros. made a film with the same title starring Dorothy Malone as Barrymore and Errol Flynn as her father.

    Barrymore was married three times, first to actor Bramwell Fletcher who was seventeen years her senior. Then she married John Howard, a tennis player. Her last marriage was to a handsome but abusive man named Robert Wilcox. Diana might have found Wilcox to be the love of her life but he nearly beat her to death in one of his assaults. The marriage to Wilcox ended only when he died of a heart attack at 45 in 1955.Barrymore died from an overdose of alcohol and sleeping pills on January 25, 1960. She had borne no children. She is interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York next to her mother.

    Year Film Role Notes
    1941 Manpower Bit part
    1942 Eagle Squadron Anne Partridge
    Between Us Girls Caroline Bishop
    Nightmare Leslie Stafford
    1943 Frontier Badmen Claire
    Fired Wife Eve
    1944 Ladies Courageous Nadine Shannon
    The Adventures of Mark Twain Undetermined role Uncredited
    1950 D.O.A. Unconfirmed bit part Uncredited
    1951 The Mob Bit part Uncredited

    Anita Ekberg

    Anita Ekberg

    Anita Ekberg in 2007 Born Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg
    29 September 1931 (1931-09-29) (age 78)
    Malmö, Sweden Years active 1954–present Spouse Anthony Steel (1956–1959)
    Rik Van Nutter (1963–1975)

    Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg (born 29 September 1931 in Malmö, Skåne) is a Swedish model, actress and cult sex symbol.


    Ekberg was born in 1931, the eldest girl and the sixth of eight children. In her teens, she worked as a fashion model. In 1950, Ekberg entered the Miss Malmö competition at her mother’s urging, leading to the Miss Sweden contest, which she won. She consequently went to the United States to compete for the Miss Universe title, despite not speaking English.Although she did not win Miss Universe, as one of six finalists she did earn a starlet‘s contract with Universal Studios, as was the rule at the time.[1] In America, Ekberg met Howard Hughes, who at the time was producing films and wanted her to change her nose, teeth and name (Hughes said “Ekberg” was too difficult to pronounce). She refused to change her name, saying that if she became famous, people would learn to pronounce it, and if she didn’t become famous, it would not matter.As a starlet at Universal, Ekberg received lessons in drama, elocution, dancing, horse-riding and fencing. Ekberg skipped many of the lessons, restricting herself to horse riding in the Hollywood Hills. Ekberg later admitted that she was spoiled by the studio system, and that she played instead of pursuing bigger film roles.[1]

    The combination of a colourful private life and physique gave her appeal to gossip magazines such as Confidential and to the new type of men’s magazine that proliferated in the 1950s. She soon became a major 1950s pin-up. In addition, Ekberg participated in publicity stunts. Famously, she admitted that an incident where her dress burst open in the lobby of London’s Berkeley Hotel was pre-arranged with a photographer.[1]

    from War and Peace (1956)By the mid-50s, other studios offered Ekberg work. Paramount Pictures and Frank Tashlin cast her in Hollywood or Bust (1956) and Artists and Models (1955) both starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Both films used her as a foil for many of the director’s sight gags.[1] Ekberg also played an Amazonian extraterrestrial in 1953’s Abbott and Costello Go to Mars.Bob Hope joked that her parents had received the Nobel Prize for architecture as she was touring with him and William Holden to entertain U.S. troops in 1954. The tour led her to a contract with John Wayne‘s Batjac Productions. Wayne cast her in Blood Alley, a small role (1955), where Ekberg’s features and appearance were Orientalized to play a Chinese woman, a role that earned her a Golden Globe award.RKO gave Ekberg the female lead in Back from Eternity.In 1956, Ekberg went to Rome to make War and Peace, directed by distinguished Hollywood veteran King Vidor and co-starring Audrey Hepburn.

    Federico Fellini gave Ekberg her greatest role in La Dolce Vita (1960), in which she played the unattainable “dream woman” opposite Marcello Mastroianni; then Boccaccio ’70 in 1960, a movie that also featured Sophia Loren. Fellini would call her back for two other films: I clowns (1972), and Intervista (1987), where she played herself in a reunion scene with Mastroianni.La Dolce Vita was a sensational success, and Anita Ekberg’s uninhibited cavorting in Rome‘s Trevi Fountain remains one of the most celebrated images in film history.

    Ekberg was married to the British actor Anthony Steel from 1956 to 1959. From 1963 to 1975, she was married to the actor Rik Van Nutter. In an interview she said she wished she had a child,[2] stating the opposite on another occasion.[3]Ekberg was romantically linked to Tyrone Power, Marcello Mastroianni, Errol Flynn, Yul Brynner, Frank Sinatra and Gary Cooper; she also had a three-year affair with Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli. In his autobiography “Pieces of My Heart,” actor Robert Wagner claims to have had an enjoyable one-night stand with Ekberg.Ekberg keeps in close contact with her grand-nephew Benedikt Ekberg, who currently attends Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.Ekberg has not lived in Sweden since the early 1950s and rarely visits the country. She has welcomed Swedish journalists in her house outside Rome, and in 2005 appeared in the popular radio program Sommar, talking about her life. She stated in an interview that she will not move back to Sweden before she dies, when she will be buried there.[2] Ekberg has said that the Swedish people and media have not appreciated her sufficiently; nevertheless, her personal and radio appearances have been popular in Sweden.On 19 July 2009, she had been admitted to the San Giovanni Hospital in Rome, after falling ill in her home in Genzano, according to a medical official in its neurosurgery department. She had been living in Italy for many years. Despite her condition not being considered serious, she has been put under observation in the facility.[4]

    • Ekberg once said: “It was I who made Fellini famous, not the other way around.”[5]
    • Bob Dylan mentions her in the song “I Shall Be Free” from the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.[6]
    • At the 49-minute point in From Russia With Love, the killer Krilencu attempts to escape through a hatch opening from Ekberg’s mouth in a huge movie poster for Call Me Bwana. After his friend shoots the man, James Bond notes that “she should have kept her mouth shut.”
    • In the first episode of Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus, in one sketch a cardboard cutout of Ekberg is presented with a man (Terry Jones) sitting behind it who sings a song about Albrecht Dürer.

    • Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)
    • The Golden Blade (1953)
    • Blood Alley (1955)
    • Artists and Models (1955)
    • War and Peace (1956)
    • Back from Eternity (1956)
    • Hollywood or Bust (1956)
    • Man in the Vault (1956)
    • Zarak (1956)
    • Interpol (1957)
    • Paris Holiday (1958)
    • Screaming Mimi (1958)
    • Sheba and the Gladiator (1959)
    • La Dolce Vita (1960)
    • Boccaccio ’70 (1962)
    • Call Me Bwana (1963)
    • 4 for Texas (1963)
    • The Alphabet Murders (1965)
    • Way…Way Out (1966)
    • I clowns (1970) as herself
    • Killer Nun (also known as Suor Omicidi or Deadly Habits) (1978)
    • Intervista (1987) as herself

  • ^ a b c d Steve Sullivan, VaVaVa Voom!Glamour Girls of The Pinup Era 1995.
  • ^ a b “La dolce Anita turns 75 Aftonbladet 5 October 2006 (Swedish)
  • ^ Anita Ekberg, Studentafton, Lund 22 March 2007
  • ^ “Anita Ekberg in Rome hospital
  • ^ La Dolce Anita, Lightsleepercinemag
  • ^ I Shall Be Free, lyrics section October 2009
    • McDonough, Jimmy (2005). Big Bosoms and Square Jaws : The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Film. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-07250-1. 
    • Sullivan, Steve (1995). VaVaVa Voom!Glamour Girls of The Pinup Era. London: Stoddart. ISBN 978-1881649601. 
    • Mancini, Henry (2002). Did They Mention the Music?: The Autobiography of Henry Mancini. USA: Copper Square Press. ISBN 978-0815411758. 

    Louise Brooks

    Louise Brooks

    circa 1926 Born Mary Louise Brooks
    November 14, 1906(1906-11-14)
    Cherryvale, Kansas, U.S. Died August 8, 1985 (aged 78)
    Rochester, New York, U.S. Other names Lulu Occupation Actress, model, dancer Years active 1925–1938 Spouse A. Edward Sutherland (m. 1926–1928) «start: (1926)–end+1: (1929)»”Marriage: A. Edward Sutherland to Louise Brooks” Location: (linkback:
    Deering Davis (m. 1933–1938) «start: (1933)–end+1: (1939)»”Marriage: Deering Davis to Louise Brooks” Location: (linkback:

    Mary Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 – August 8, 1985), generally known by her stage name Louise Brooks, was an American dancer, model, showgirl and silent film actress, noted for popularizing the bobbed haircut. Brooks is best known for her three feature roles including two G. W. Pabst films: in Pandora’s Box (1929), Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), and Prix de Beauté (Miss Europe) (1930). She starred in 17 silent films and, late in life, authored a memoir, Lulu in Hollywood.


    Born in Cherryvale, Kansas, Louise Brooks was the daughter of Leonard Porter Brooks, a lawyer, who was usually too busy with his practice to discipline his children, and Myra Rude, an artistic mother who determined that any “squalling brats she produced could take care of themselves”.[1] Myra Rude was a talented pianist who played the latest Debussy and Ravel for her children, inspiring them with a love of books and music. None of this protected her nine-year old daughter Louise from sexual abuse at the hands of a neighborhood predator. This event had a major influence on Brooks’s life and career, causing her to say in later years that she was incapable of real love, and that this man “must have had a great deal to do with forming my attitude toward sexual pleasure….For me, nice, soft, easy men were never enough – there had to be an element of domination”.[2] (When Brooks at last told her mother of the incident, many years later, her mother suggested that it must have been Louise’s fault for “leading him on”.[3])Brooks began her entertainment career as a dancer, joining the Denishawn modern dance company (whose members included founders Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn, as well as a young Martha Graham) in 1922. In her second season with the company, Brooks had advanced to a starring role in one work opposite Shawn. A long-simmering personal conflict between Brooks and St. Denis boiled over one day, however, and St. Denis abruptly fired Brooks from the troupe in 1924, telling her in front of the other members that “I am dismissing you from the company because you want life handed to you on a silver salver”.[4] The words left a strong impression on Brooks; when she drew up an outline for a planned autobiographical novel in 1949, “The Silver Salver” was the title she gave to the tenth and final chapter.[5]Thanks to her friend Barbara Bennett (sister of Constance and Joan), Brooks almost immediately found employment as a chorus girl in George White’s Scandals, followed by an appearance as a featured dancer in the 1925 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. As a result of her work in the Follies, she came to the attention of Paramount Pictures producer Walter Wanger, who signed her to a five-year contract with the studio in 1925.[6] (She was also noticed by visiting movie star Charlie Chaplin, who was in town for the premiere of his film The Gold Rush. The two had an affair that summer[7]).

    Brooks made her screen debut in the silent The Street of Forgotten Men, in an uncredited role in 1925. Soon, however, she was playing the female lead in a number of silent light comedies and flapper films over the next few years, starring with Adolphe Menjou and W. C. Fields, among others.

    Brooks in The Canary Murder Case (1929)She was noticed in Europe for her pivotal vamp role in the Howard Hawks directed silent “buddy film”, A Girl in Every Port in 1928.[8]It has been said that her best American role was in one of the early sound film dramas, Beggars of Life (1928), as an abused country girl on the run with Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery playing hoboes she meets while riding the rails. Much of this film was shot on location, and the boom microphone was invented for this film by the director William Wellman, who needed it for one of the first experimental talking scenes in the movies. By th
    time in her life, she was mixing with the rich and famous, and was a regular guest of William Randolph Hearst and his mistress, Marion Davies, at San Simeon, being close friends with Davies’ niece, Pepi Lederer. Her distinctive bob haircut, which became eponymous, and is still recognised to this day, helped start a trend; many women styled their hair in imitation of her and fellow film star Colleen Moore.[9] Soon after the film Beggars Of Life was made, Brooks, who loathed the Hollywood “scene”, refused to stay on at Paramount after being denied a promised raise, and left for Europe to make films for G. W. Pabst, the great German Expressionist director.Paramount attempted to use the coming of sound films to pressure the actress, but she called the studio’s bluff. It was not until 30 years later that this rebellious move would come to be seen as arguably the most savvy of her career, securing her immortality as a silent film legend and independent spirit. Unfortunately, while her initial snubbing of Paramount alone would not have finished her in Hollywood altogether, her refusal after returning from Germany to come back to Paramount for sound retakes of The Canary Murder Case (1929) irrevocably placed her on an unofficial blacklist. Actress Margaret Livingston was hired to dub Brooks’s voice for the film,[10] and the studio claimed that Brooks’ voice was unsuitable for sound pictures.

    Brooks in Pandora’s BoxOnce in Germany she starred in the 1929 film Pandora’s Box, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in his New Objectivity period. The film is based on two plays by Frank Wedekind (Erdgeist and Die Büchse der Pandora) and Brooks plays the central figure, Lulu. This film is notorious for its frank treatment of modern sexual mores, including the first screen portrayal of a lesbian.[citation needed] Brooks then starred in the controversial social drama Diary Of A Lost Girl (1929), based on the book by Margarete Böhme and also directed by Pabst, and Prix de Beauté (1930), the latter being filmed in France, and having a famous surprise ending. All these films were heavily censored[where?], as they were very “adult” and considered shocking in their time for their portrayals of sexuality, as well as their social satire.

    When she returned to Hollywood, in 1931, she was cast in two mainstream films: God’s Gift to Women (1931) and It Pays to Advertise (1931). Her performances in these films, however, were largely ignored, and few other job offers were forthcoming due to her informal “blacklisting”. Despite this, William Wellman, her director on Beggars of Life, offered her the feminine lead in his new picture, The Public Enemy starring James Cagney. But Brooks turned down the role in order to visit her then-lover George Preston Marshall (not to be confused with film director George Marshall) in New York City,[11] and the part instead went to Jean Harlow, who began her own rise to stardom largely as a result. Brooks later explained herself to Wellman by saying that she hated making pictures because she simply “hated Hollywood“, and according to film historian James Card, who came to know Brooks intimately later in her life, “she just wasn’t interested….She was more interested in Marshall”.[12] In the opinion of Brooks’s biographer Barry Paris, “turning down Public Enemy marked the real end of Louise Brooks’s film career”.[12] For the rest of her movie career, she was reduced to playing bit parts and roles in B pictures and short films. One of her directors at this time was a fellow Hollywood outcast, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who was working under the pseudonym “William Goodrich”; Brooks starred in Arbuckle’s Radio Pictures comedy short, Windy Riley Goes Hollywood (1931).Brooks had retired from the screen that same year after completing one last film, the John Wayne western Overland Stage Raiders in which she played the romantic lead with a long hairstyle that rendered her all but unrecognizable from her “Lulu” days. She then briefly returned to Wichita, where she was raised. “But that turned out to be another kind of hell,” she said. “The citizens of Wichita either resented me having been a success or despised me for being a failure. And I wasn’t exactly enchanted with them. I must confess to a lifelong curse: My own failure as a social creature.”[2] After an unsuccessful attempt at operating a dance studio, she returned East and, after brief stints as a radio actor and a gossip columnist,[13][14] worked as a salesgirl in a Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City for a few years, then eked out a living as a courtesan with a few select wealthy men as clients.[15] Brooks had been a heavy drinker since age 14[16] and was an alcoholic for a major portion of her life and some biographers have suggested that she turned to prostitution. She remained relatively sober long enough to begin writing about film, which became her second career. During this period she began her first major writing project, an autobiographical novel called Naked on My Goat, a title taken from Goethe‘s Faust. After working on the novel for a number of years, she destroyed the manuscript by throwing it into an incinerator.[17]She was a notorious spendthrift for most of her life, even filing for bankruptcy once, but was kind and generous to her friends, almost to a fault. Despite her two marriages, she never had children, referring to herself as “Barren Brooks”. Her many lovers from years before had included a young William S. Paley, the founder of CBS. According to Louise Brooks: Looking For Lulu, Paley provided a small monthly stipend to Brooks for the rest of her life, and according to the documentary this stipend kept her from committing suicide at one point. She also had an on-again, off-again relationship with George Marshall throughout the 1920s and 30s (which she described as “abusive“). He was the biggest reason she was able to secure a contract with Pabst. Marshall repeatedly asked her to marry him and after finding that she had had many affairs while they were together, married film actress Corinne Griffith instead.

    Brooks as a fashion model.French film historians rediscovered her films in the early 1950s, proclaiming her as an actress who surpassed even Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo as a film icon (Henri Langlois: “There is no Garbo, there is no Dietrich, there is only Louise Brooks!”),[18] much to her amusement. It would lead to the still ongoing Louise Brooks film revivals, and rehabilitated her reputation in her home country. James Card, the film curator for the George Eastman House, discovered Louise living as a recluse in New York City about this time, and persuaded her to move to Rochester, New York to be near the George Eastman House film collection. With his help, she became a noted film writer in her own right. A collection of her witty and cogent writings, Lulu in Hollywood, was published in 1982. She was profiled by the film writer
    Kenneth Tynan in his essay, “The Girl With The Black Helmet”, the title of which was an allusion to her fabulous bob, worn since childhood, a hairstyle claimed as one of the ten most influential in history by beauty magazines the world over.She rarely gave interviews, but had special relationships with John Kobal and Kevin Brownlow, the film historians, and they were able to capture on paper some of her amazing personality. In the 1970s she was interviewed extensively, on film, for the documentaries Memories of Berlin: The Twilight of Weimar Culture (1976), produced and directed by Gary Conklin, and in the Hollywood series (1980) directed by Brownlow and David Gill. Running 50 minutes, Lulu in Berlin (1984) is another rare filmed interview, produced by Richard Leacock and Susan Woll, released the year of her death, but filmed almost a decade earlier. She had lived alone by choice for many years, and Louise Brooks died from a heart attack in 1985, after suffering from arthritis and emphysema for many years.As is the case with many of her contemporaries, a number of Brooks’ films, according to the documentary Looking for Lulu, are considered to be lost. Her key films survive, however, particularly Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl which have been released to DVD in North America by the Criterion Collection and Kino Video, respectively. As of 2007, Prix de Beaute and The Show Off have also seen limited North American DVD release, as well. Her short film (and one of her only talkies), Windy Riley Goes Hollywood was included on the DVD release of Diary of a Lost Girl. Her final film, Overland Stage Raiders, was released to VHS but has yet to receive a North American DVD release.

    Brooks is considered one of the first naturalistic actors in film, her acting being subtle and nuanced compared to many other silent performers. The close-up was just coming into vogue with directors, and her almost hypnotically beautiful face was perfect for this new technique. Brooks had always been very self-directed, even difficult, and was notorious for her salty language, which she didn’t hesitate to use whenever she felt like it. In addition, she had made a vow to herself never to smile on stage unless she felt compelled to, and although the majority of her publicity photos show her with a neutral expression, she had a dazzling smile. By her own admission, she was a sexually liberated woman, not afraid to experiment, even posing fully nude for “art” photography,[19] and her liaisons with many film people were legendary, although much of it is speculation.Louise Brooks as an unattainable film image served as an inspiration for Adolfo Bioy Casares when he wrote his science fiction novel The Invention of Morel (1940) about a man attracted to Faustine, a woman who is only a projected 3-D image. In a 1995 interview, Casares explained that Faustine is directly based on his love for Louise Brooks who “vanished too early from the movies”. (Elements of The Invention of Morel, minus the science fiction elements, served as a basis for Alain Resnais‘ 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad.)Brooks also had an influence in the graphics world – she had the distinction of inspiring two separate comics: the long-running Dixie Dugan newspaper strip by John H. Striebel that started in the late 1920s and ran until 1966, which grew out of the serialized novel and later stage musical, “Show Girl”, that writer J.P. McEvoy had loosely based on Louise’s days as a Follies girl on Broadway; and the erotic comic books of Valentina, by the late Guido Crepax, which began publication in 1965 and continued for many years. Crepax became a friend and regular correspondent with Louise late in her life. Hugo Pratt, another comics artist, also used her as inspiration for characters, and even named them after her.In an interview with James Lipton on “Inside the Actors Studio“, Liza Minnelli related her preparation for portraying Sally Bowles in the film “Cabaret“: “I went to my father, and asked him, what can you tell me about thirties glamour? Should I be emulating Marlene Dietrich or something? And he said no, I should study everything I can about Louise Brooks.”An exhibit titled “Louise Brooks and the ‘New Woman’ in Weimar Cinema” ran at the International Center of Photography in New York City in 2007, focusing on Brooks’ iconic screen persona and celebrating the hundredth anniversary of her birth.[20]

    In the summer of 1926, Brooks married Eddie Sutherland, the director of the film she made with Fields, but by 1927 had fallen “terribly in love”[21] with George Preston Marshall, owner of a chain of laundries and future owner of the Washington Redskins football team, following a chance meeting with him that she later referred to as “the most fateful encounter of my life”.[22] She divorced Sutherland, mainly due to her budding relationship with Marshall, in June 1928.[23]In 1933 she married Chicago millionaire Deering Davis, but abruptly left him in March 1934 after only five months of marriage, “without a good-bye… and leaving only a note of her intentions” behind her.[24] According to Card, Davis was just “another elegant, well-heeled admirer”, nothing more.[24] The couple officially divorced in 1938.Brooks enjoyed fostering speculation about her sexuality, cultivating friendships with lesbian and bisexual women including Pepi Lederer and Peggy Fears, but eschewing relationships. She admitted to some lesbian dalliances, including a one-night affair with Greta Garbo.[25][26] She later described Garbo as masculine but a “charming and tender lover”.[27][28] Despite all this, she considered herself neither lesbian nor bisexual:”I had a lot of fun writing ‘Marion Davies’ Niece’ [an article about Pepi Lederer], leaving the lesbian theme in question marks. All my life it has been fun for me.

    When I am dead, I believe that film writers will fasten on the story that I am a lesbian… I have done lots to make it believable […] All my women friends have been lesbians. But that is one point upon which I agree positively with [Christopher] Isherwood: There is no such thing as bisexuality. Ordinary people, although they may accommodate themselves for reason of whoring or marriage, are one-sexed. Out of curiosity, I had two affairs with girls – they did nothing for me.”[29]

    On August 8, 1985, Louise Brooks was found dead of a massive heart attack. She was buried in Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

    Year Title Role Notes
    1938 Overland Stage Raiders Beth Hoyt
    1937 King of Gamblers Joyce Beaton scenes deleted
    When You’re in Love Chorus Girl uncredited
    1936 Empty Saddles ‘Boots’ Boone
    1931 Windy Riley Goes Hollywood Betty Grey
    God’s Gift to Women Florine
    It Pays to Advertise Thelma Temple
    1930 Prix de Beauté Lucinne Garnier
    1929 Diary of a Lost Girl Thymian
    The Canary Murder Case Margaret Odell
    1928 Beggars of Life The Girl (Nancy)
    A Girl in Every Port Marie, Girl in France
    1927 The City Gone Wild Snuggles Joy lost film
    Now We’re in the Air Griselle/Grisette lost film
    Rolled Stockings Carol Fleming lost film
    Evening Clothes Fox Trot lost film
    1926 Just Another Blonde Diana O’Sullivan
    Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em Janie Walsh
    The Show Off Clara
    It’s the Old Army Game Mildred Marshall
    A Social Celebrity Kitty Laverne lost film
    The American Venus Miss Bayport lost film
    1925 The Street of Forgotten Men A Moll uncredited

  • ^ Paris, Barry. Louise Brooks. United States: Knopf, 1989. ISBN 0-394-55923-1. p. 11
  • ^ a b Tynan, Kenneth. The Girl in the Black Helmet. Reprint of 1979 The New Yorker article.
  • ^ Paris, p. 548
  • ^ Paris, p. 53
  • ^ Paris, p. 429
  • ^ Paris, p. 100
  • ^ Paris, p. 109
  • ^ Paris, p. 214
  • ^ Paris, pp. 126–28
  • ^ Paris, p. 311
  • ^ Paris, p. 358
  • ^ a b Paris, p. 359
  • ^ Paris, p. 408-409
  • ^ Paris, p. 412
  • ^ Paris, p. 421
  • ^ Paris, p. 423
  • ^ Paris, pp. 428–30
  • ^ Corliss, Richard (2006-11-14). “Lulu-Louise at 100”.,8599,1559304,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  • ^ Paris, Barry. Louise Brooks: A Biography. University of Minnesota Press, 2000. ISBN 0816637814.
  • ^ “Louise Brooks and the ‘New Woman’ in Weimar Cinema” ran from January 19 through April 29, 2007 at the ICP museum.
  • ^ Leacock, Richard. A Conversation with Louise Brooks. Rochester, New York. 1973.
  • ^ Paris, p. 199
  • ^ Paris, pp. 215, 246
  • ^ a b Paris, p. 364
  • ^ Brooks, Louise, Roland Jaccard, and Gideon Y. Schein. Louise Brooks: Portrait of an Anti-star. Phébus, 1977. ISBN 285940502X,.
  • ^ Weiss, Andrea. Vampires & Violets: Lesbians in the Cinema. J. Cape, 1992. ISBN 0224035754.
  • ^ Wayne, Jane Ellen. The Golden Girls of MGM. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0786713038. p.89.
  • ^ McLellan, Diana. The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood. Macmillan, 2001. ISBN 0312283202 p. 81.
  • ^ Paris, Barry – “Louise Brooks”, Hamish Hamilton Ltd 1990. ISBN 0749305908 p394-395
    • Louise Brooks, Fundamentals of Good Ballroom Dancing, United States: self published, 1940
    • Louise Brooks, Lulu in Hollywood, New York: Knopf, 1982
    • Louise Brooks, Lulu in Hollywood: Expanded Edition, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000

    • Böhme, Margarete. The Diary of a Lost Girl (Louise Brooks edition), PandorasBox Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0557508488.
    • Cowie, Peter. Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever, New York: Rizzoli, 2006
    • Jaccard, Rolland (editor). Louise Brooks: Portrait of an Anti-Star, New York: New York Zoetrope, 1986
    • Krenn, Gunter and Karin Moser (editors). Louise Brooks: Rebellin, Ikone, Legende, Austria: Film Archiv Austria, 2006
    • Mollica, Vincenzo. Louise Brooks: Una Fiaba Notturna, Italy: Editori del Grifo, 1984
    • Oderman, Stuart. Talking to the Piano Player 2. BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 1-59393-320-7
    • Pabst, G.W. Pandora’s Box (Lulu), New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971 (1928 script by Pabst)
    • Paris, Barry. Louise Brooks, New York: Knopf, 1989. ISBN 0-394-55923-1.
    • Wahl, Jan. Dear Stinkpot: Letters From Louise Brooks. BearManor Media, 2010. ISBN 978-1593934743

    Lili St. Cyr

    Lili St. Cyr

    Born Willis Marie Van Schaack
    June 8, 1918 (1918-06-08)
    Minneapolis, Minnesota Died January 29, 1999 (1999-01-30) (age 80)
    Los Angeles, California Spouse(s) Richard Hubert (?-?)
    Cordy Milne (?-?)
    Paul Valentine (1946-1950)
    Armando Orsini (1950-1953)
    Ted Jordan (1955-1959)
    Joseph Albert Zomar (1959-1964)

    Lili St. Cyr (June 3, 1918 – January 29, 1999), was a prominent American burlesque stripper.[1][2][3][4]


    She was born as Willis Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1918.[1][5][6] She had a sister, Rosemary Van Schaack Minsky.[1][3] Her grandparents, the Klarquists, reared her and her two show business sisters, Dardy Orlando and Barbara Moffett.[6]Having taken ballet lessons throughout her youth, she began to dance professionally as a chorus line girl in Hollywood. Unlike other women who have stroke-of-luck stories about being plucked from the chorus line and selected for a feature role, St. Cyr had to beg her manager at the club to let her do a solo act. From her self-choreographed act she eventually landed a bit part at a club called the Music Box in San Francisco, with an act called the Duncan Sisters.[7] It was here that she came to a revelation: A dancer’s salary was only a small fraction of what the featured star’s salary was. The difference? The featured star was nude.From the 1940s and most of the 1950s, St. Cyr with Gypsy Rose Lee and Ann Corio were the recognized acts in striptease.[8] St. Cyr’s stage name is a patronymic of the French aristocracy, which she first used when booked as a nude performer in Las Vegas.[6] Though she is rather obscure today, her name popped up regularly in 1950s tabloids: stories of her many husbands, brawls over her, and her attempted suicides.St. Cyr was married six times. Her best-known husbands were the motorcycle speedway rider Cordy Milne, musical-comedy actor and former ballet dancer Paul Valentine, restaurateur Armando Orsini, and actor Ted Jordan in 1955[9].

    St. Cyr started her professional career as a chorus line dancer at the Florentine Gardens, in Hollywood.[7] Two years later, her stripping debut was at the Music Box, in an Ivan Fehnova production. The producer had not even seen her perform – her striking looks were what won him over. The act was a disaster. Instead of firing her, Fehnova reconsidered and put together a new act. At the end of the dance, a stagehand would pull a fishing rod attached to St. Cyr’s G-String. It would fly into the balcony and the lights would go dim. This famous act was known as ‘The Flying G’, and such creative shows would be St. Cyr’s trademark.[8] Over the ensuing years and in a variety of different venues, many of St. Cyr’s acts were memorable, with names like “The Wolf Woman”, “Afternoon of a Faun”, “The Ballet Dancer”, “In a Persian Harem”, “The Chinese Virgin”,[7] as well as “Suicide” (where she tried to woo a straying lover by revealing her body), and “Jungle Goddess” (in which she appeared to make love to a parrot).[6]

    Lili St. Cyr received the title of the most famous woman in Montreal throughout the late 1940s into the 1950s.[10] However, Quebec’s Catholic clergy condemned her act, declaring that whenever she dances “the theater is made to stink with the foul odor of sexual frenzy.”[11] The clergy’s outcry was echoed by the Public Morality Committee. St. Cyr was arrested and charged with behavior that was “immoral, obscene and indecent.” She was acquitted but the public authorities eventually closed down the Gayety Theatre where she performed.[11] In the 1980s, St. Cyr wrote a French autobiography, “Ma Vie de Stripteaseuse.” In the book, she declared her appreciation for the Gayety Theatre and her love for the city of Montreal.[12]

    While performing at Ciro’s in Hollywood (billed as the “Anatomic Bomb”), St. Cyr was taken to court by a customer who considered her act lewd and lascivious.[8] In court, St. Cyr insisted to the jury that her act was refined and elegant. As St. Cyr pointed out, what she did was slip off her dress, try on a hat, slip off her brassiere (there was another underneath), slip into a négligée. Then, undressing discreetly behind her maid, she stepped into a bubble bath, splashed around, and emerged, more or less dressed. After her appearance as a witness, as a newspaper account of the time put it, “The defense rested, as did everyone else.”[6] St. Cyr was acquitted.While St. Cyr starred in several movies, an acting career never really materialized. In 1955, with the help of Howard Hughes, St. Cyr landed her first acting job in a major motion picture in the Son of Sinbad. The film, described by one critic as “a voyeur’s delight”,[6] has St. Cyr as a principal member of a Baghdad harem populated with dozens of nubile starlets. The film was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency.[6] St. Cyr also had a role in the movie version of Norman Mailer‘s The Naked and the Dead in 1958.[13] In this film, St. Cyr plays ‘Jersey Lili’, a stripper in a Honolulu night-club and girlfriend of a soldier who boasts to his pals that he has her picture painted inside his groundsheet. Regrettably, heavy edits of St. Cyr’s night-club routine by censors result in some choppy editing in an otherwise finely crafted film. But St. Cyr’s movie career was short lived, and typically she settled for playing a secondary role as a stripper, or playing herself. Her dan
    ng is featured prominently in two Irving Klaw films, Varietease and Teaserama.St. Cyr was also known for her pin-up photography, especially for photos taken by Bruno Bernard, known professionally as “Bernard of Hollywood”, a premier glamor photographer of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Bernard said that she was his favorite model and referred to her as his muse.[14]

    When St. Cyr retired from the stage she began a lingerie business in which she would retain an interest until her death. Similar to Frederick’s of Hollywood, the “Undie World of Lili St. Cyr” designs offered costuming for strippers, and excitement for ordinary women. Her catalogs featured photos or drawings of her modeling each article, lavishly detailed descriptions, and hand-selected fabrics. Her marketing for “Scantie-Panties” advertised them as “perfect for street wear, stage or photography.”[2][4][6] St. Cyr spent her final years in obscurity and in seclusion, tending to her cats.[citation needed]

    She died January 29, 1999 in Los Angeles under her birth name, “Willis Marie VanSchaack”.[1][4] She had borne no children in any of her marriages.

    After St. Cyr’s death, with a renewed interest in burlesque, and especially in Bettie Page, legions of new fans began rediscovering some of the dancers in Irving Klaw‘s photos and movies. During this time A&E devoted a special to burlesque in 2001 which included a piece on St. Cyr.[15]

    Perhaps the most famous reference to St. Cyr is in the song Zip from the 1940 musical Pal Joey by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in which the reporter/would-be stripper Melba Snyder rhetorically asks at the climax of the song “Who the hell is Lili St. Cyr?” [i.e. what has she got that I don’t have?]In 1981, actress Cassandra Peterson became famous for her character Elvira which achieved her trademark cleavage wearing a Lili St. Cyr deep plunge bra.In 1989, one of St. Cyr’s husbands, Ted Jordan, wrote a biography of Marilyn Monroe entitled Norma Jean: My Secret Life with Marilyn Monroe (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1989), in which Jordan claims that St. Cyr and Monroe had a lesbian affair.[8] The claim is widely disparaged by Monroe biographers. Liza Dawson, editor for William Morrow, publisher of the Jordan book, makes a more credible claim in an interview with Newsday in 1989. Dawson stated that “Marilyn very much patterned herself on Lili St. Cyr – her way of dressing, of talking, her whole persona. Norma Jean was a mousy, brown-haired girl with a high squeaky voice, and it was from Lili St. Cyr that she learned how to become a sex goddess.”[6]Lili St. Cyr is mentioned in the musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The final line of the song “Don’t Dream It” (sung by the character Janet Weiss, as played in the film adaptation by Susan Sarandon) is “God bless Lili St. Cyr!”The song, “Lily Sincere” on the 2009 KRISTEENYOUNG album, “Music For Strippers, Hookers, & the Odd On-Looker” is an homage to Lili St. Cyr.

    • Love Moods (1952)
    • Bedroom Fantasy (1953)
    • Striporama (1953)
    • Varietease (1954)
    • Teaserama (1955)
    • Son of Sinbad (1955)
    • Buxom Beautease (1956)
    • The Naked and the Dead (1958)
    • I, Mobster (1958)
    • Runaway Girl (1962)

  • ^ a b c d “Lili St. Cyr, 80, Burlesque Star Famous for Her Bubble Baths”. The New York Times. February 6, 1999. Retrieved 2007-08-21. “Lili St. Cyr, the tall, blond beauty who left almost nothing to the imagination when she stepped dripping wet out of her signature onstage bubble bath, died on Jan. 29 at her apartment in Hollywood. She was 80. In a field that began when a Syrian beauty who called herself Little Egypt danced her way into legend at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Miss St. Cyr was a master of elegant invention. Her well-choreographed acts included portrayals of famous seductresses, few of whom could hold a candle to Miss St. Cyr. … For all that, her six husbands included a waiter, a dancer, a sometime actor and the restaurateur Armando Orsini, who got his start with financing from Miss St. Cyr. … She is survived by a sister, Rosemary Minsky of Los Angeles.” 
  • ^ a b “Died.”. Time (magazine). February 15, 1999.,9171,990234,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-21. “Lili St. Cyr, 80, B-movie actress and stripper of the ’40s and ’50s, famous for her onstage bubble baths; in Los Angeles. Long before the advent of Victoria’s Secret, St. Cyr ran a mail-order lingerie company featuring, among other items, “scanti-panties.”” 
  • ^ a b “Lili St. Cyr; Captivating Striptease Artist of ’40s and ’50s”. Los Angeles Times. February 4, 1999. “Lili St. Cyr, the striptease artist of the 1940s and ’50s who mesmerized audiences with her onstage bubble baths and then moved to Hollywood to star in B movies and sell mail-order lingerie, has died. She was 80. St. Cyr, a sexy blond vamp who served as a role model for Marilyn Monroe, died Friday in her Los Angeles home, said her sister, Rosemary Minsky. Born Willis Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis, St. Cyr studied ballet and worked as a chorus girl before making her breakthrough in vaudeville as an ecdysiast. Her exotic stage name and fame ranked with those of Blaze Starr, Tempest Storm and Gypsy Rose Lee.” 
  • ^ a b c “Lili St. Cyr”. Associated Press. February 5, 1999. “Lili St. Cyr, a striptease performer of the 1940s and 1950s whose act included onstage bubble baths, has died at age 80. Ms. St. Cyr died Friday at her home, said her sister, Rosemary Minsky. No cause of death was given. Born Willis Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis, Ms. St. Cyr studied ballet and worked as a chorus girl before making her breakthrough in vaudeville as a striptease artist. She performed at burlesque houses from Montreal to Boston, Seattle and Hollywood.” 
  • ^ Social Security Death Index; Willis Marie VanSchaack; born June 3, 1918; 553-28-1817
  • ^ a b c d e f g h i “Obituary: Lili St Cyr”. The Independent. February 8, 1999. Retrieved 2007-08-21. “Lili St Cyr was actually Willis Marie Van Schaack, born in Minneapolis in 1918. She adopted a patronymic of the French aristocracy when first booked as a nude performer in Las Vegas, having studied ballet and worked as a chorus girl. She established her reputation as an ecdysiast with a long tenure at the Gaiety burlesque house in Montreal. As the Montreal Gazette was to recall in 1996 when the theatre re-opened, “That midwinter night in 1944 was the beginning of Lili St. Cyr’s seven-year reign as Montreal’s most famous woman, the city femme fatale, a person whose name invoked sophistication, mystery, sin and – for many males – instant arousal.” Among the innovations she brought to her act was a variation in precedence, emerging on stage in minimal attire then putting her clothes on. She also played various characters in order, she said, to present herself in “interesting roles”.” 
  • ^ a b c “Lili St. Cyr”. Club Pinup. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  • ^ a b c d Lili St. Cyr – Biography
  • ^ “Married”. Time (magazine). March 7, 1955.,9171,861335,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-21. “Lili St. Cyr (real name: Marie van Schaack), 36, blonde stripteaser; and Ted Jordan, 28, Hollywood and Broadway bit actor (The Caine Mutiny Court Martial); she for the fifth time, he for the third; in Las Vegas, Nevada.” 
  • ^ Sex and the city
  • ^ a b Important Dates in Burlesque History
  • ^ Lili St. Cyr
  • ^ “Decoded”. Time (magazine). November 3, 1958.,9171,810604,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-21. “The Naked and the Dead, in which Stripper Lili St. Cyr gets about halfway through her act before the cops raid the joint.” 
  • ^ Java’s Bachelor Pad: Lili St. Cyr
  • ^ It’s Burlesque (2001) (TV)
  • Barbara Payton

    Barbara Payton

    in Bad Blonde (1953) Born Barbara Lee Redfield
    November 16, 1927(1927-11-16)
    Cloquet, Minnesota, U.S. Died May 8, 1967 (aged 39)
    San Diego, California, U.S. Occupation Actress Years active 1949 – 1955 Spouse(s) William Hodge (m. 1942–1942) «start: (1942)–end+1: (1943)»”Marriage: William Hodge to Barbara Payton” Location: (linkback:
    John Payton Jr. (m. 1945–1948) «start: (1945)–end+1: (1949)»”Marriage: John Payton Jr. to Barbara Payton” Location: (linkback:
    Franchot Tone (m. 1951–1952) «start: (1951)–end+1: (1953)»”Marriage: Franchot Tone to Barbara Payton” Location: (linkback:
    George A. Provas (m. 1955–1958) «start: (1955)–end+1: (1959)»”Marriage: George A. Provas to Barbara Payton” Location: (linkback:

    Barbara Payton (November 16, 1927 – May 8, 1967) was an American film actress perhaps best known for her stormy social life and eventual battles with alcohol and drug addiction. Her life has been the subject of several recent books including Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story (2007), by John O’Dowd, and L.A. Despair: A Landscape of Crimes and Bad Times (2005), by John Gilmore.


    Born Barbara Lee Redfield in Cloquet, Minnesota, she was the daughter of restaurateurs and raised in Odessa, Texas. In 1945 at the age of 17, she headed for Hollywood in search of a career in movies and was eventually placed under contract by Universal Studios where she appeared in several small parts.She first gained notice in the 1949 film noir Trapped, co-starring Lloyd Bridges. After being screen-tested by James Cagney and his producer brother William, Payton starred with Cagney in Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in 1950. She soon signed a contract with Cagney’s production company. Her brief stardom continued with significant roles in the western films Dallas (1950), co-starring Gary Cooper, and Only the Valiant (1951), with Gregory Peck.Her career decline began with the 1951 horror film Bride of the Gorilla, co-starring Raymond Burr.

    In 1951 while engaged to actor Franchot Tone, Payton began having an affair with B-movie actor Tom Neal. She soon went back and forth publicly between Neal and Tone. Eventually Neal, a former college boxer, physically attacked Tone at Payton’s apartment leaving him in an 18-hour coma with a smashed cheekbone, broken nose and concussion. The incident garnered huge publicity and Payton decided to honor her engagement to Tone. After being married to him for 53 days, she walked out on Tone and returned to Neal. The Payton/Neal relationship, essentially ending their Hollywood film careers, lasted four years. During that time the couple capitalized on the notorious press coverage by touring in plays such as The Postman Always Rings Twice, based on the popular 1946 film of the same name. They would star together in The Great Jesse James Raid, a B-movie western barely released to theaters in 1953.In addition to affairs with Howard Hughes, Bob Hope, Woody Strode, Guy Madison, George Raft, John Ireland, Steve Cochran and Texas oilman Bob Neal, she was married four times:

  • William Hodge (m. 1943, annulled)
  • John Payton Jr., an Air Force pilot (m. 10-Feb-1945, div. 1950, one child, John Lee Payton , born 1947)
  • Franchot Tone, actor (m. 1951, div. 1952)
  • George A. Provas (a.k.a. Tony Provas, m. 1957, div. Aug. 1958)
  • From 1955 to 1963, Payton’s growing alcoholism and drug abuse led to multiple skirmishes with the law including the passing of bad checks and eventually an arrest on Sunset Boulevard for prostitution.[1] In 1963, she was paid $1,000 for her ghost-written autobiography I Am Not Ashamed, noted for unflattering photographs taken of her at that time. In the book, Payton admitted to being forced to sleep on bus benches and suffering regular beatings as a prostitute.

    In 1967, after failed efforts to curb her drinking, she moved in with her parents in San Diego in an attempt to dry out. On May 8, 1967, Payton died at her parents’ home; the cause of death was heart and liver failure.[2]Payton was cremated and is interred in a niche at Cypress View Mausoleum and Crematory in San Diego, California.

    Year Film Role Notes
    1949 Silver Butte Rita Landon
    Once More, My Darling Girl Photographer Uncredited
    Trapped Meg Dixon
    The Pecos Pistol Kay McCormick
    1950 Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye Holiday Carleton
    Dallas Flo
    1951 Only the Valiant Cathy Eversham
    Drums in the Deep South Kathy Summers
    Bride of th
    Mrs. Dina Van Gelder
    1953 The Flanagan Boy Lorna Vecchi Alternative titles: Bad Blonde
    The Woman Is Trouble
    Four Sided Triangle Lena/Helen Alternative title: The Monster and the Woman
    Run for the Hills Jane Johnson
    The Great Jesse James Raid Kate
    1955 Murder Is My Beat Eden Lane

  • ^ The Big Chat: John O’Dowd Interview May 20, 2003
  • ^ “The Private Life and Times of Barbara Payton”. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
    • O’Dowd, John. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story. (Albany, Georgia: BearManor Media, 2007) ISBN 1-59393-063-1

    Gloria Grahame

    Gloria Grahame

    from the trailer for The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) Born Gloria Hallward
    November 28, 1923(1923-11-28)
    Los Angeles, California, U.S. Died October 5, 1981 (aged 57)
    New York City, New York, U.S. Occupation Actress Years active 1944–1981 Spouse(s) Stanley Clements (1945–1948)
    Nicholas Ray (1948–1952) 1 child
    Cy Howard (1954–1957) 1 child
    Anthony Ray (1960–1974) 2 children

    Gloria Grahame (November 28, 1923 – October 5, 1981) was an American actress.[1]Grahame began her acting career in theatre, and in 1944 she made her first film for MGM. Despite a featured role in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), MGM did not believe she had the potential for major success, and sold her contract to RKO Studios. Often cast in film noir projects, Grahame received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Crossfire (1947), and she won this award for her work in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). She achieved her highest profile with Sudden Fear (1952), Human Desire (1953),The Big Heat (1953), and Oklahoma! (1955), but her film career began to wane soon afterwards.She returned to work on the stage, but continued to appear in films and television productions, usually in supporting roles. Diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1980, Grahame refused to accept the diagnosis and travelled to England to work in a play. Her health rapidly failed and she returned to New York City, where she died in 1981.


    Grahame was born Gloria Hallward in Los Angeles, California. Reginald Michael Bloxam Hallward, her father, was an architect and author and her mother, Jeanne McDougall, who used the stage name Jean Grahame, was a British stage actress and acting teacher. The couple had another daughter, Joy Hallward (1911-2003), an actress who married the brother of Robert Mitchum. McDougall taught her younger daughter acting during her childhood and adolescence.Grahame was signed to a contract with MGM Studios under her professional name after Louis B. Mayer saw her performing on Broadway for several years.

    She made her film debut in Blonde Fever (1944) and scored one of her most widely praised roles as the promiscuous Violet, who is saved from disgrace by George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). MGM was not able to develop her potential as a star and her contract was sold to RKO Studios in 1947.Grahame was often featured in film noir pictures as a tarnished beauty with an irresistible sexual allure. During this time, she made films for several Hollywood studios. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Crossfire (1947).

    in her Academy Award winning role in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)Grahame starred with Humphrey Bogart in the 1950 film In a Lonely Place, a performance which garnered her considerable praise. Though today it is considered among her finest performances, it wasn’t a box-office hit and Howard Hughes, owner of RKO Studios, admitted that he never saw it. When she asked to be loaned out for roles in Born Yesterday and A Place in the Sun, Hughes refused and instead made her do a supporting role in Macao. However, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in MGM’s The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).Other memorable roles included the scheming Irene Nieves in Sudden Fear (1952), the femme fatale Vicki Buckley in Human Desire (1953), and mob moll Debby Marsh in Fritz Lang‘s The Big Heat (1953) in which, in a horrifying scene, she is scarred by hot coffee thrown in her face offscreen by Lee Marvin‘s character.Grahame’s career began to wane after her performance in the musical movie Oklahoma! (1955). Grahame, whom audiences were used to seeing as a film noir siren, was miscast as an ignorant country lass in a wholesome musical, and the paralysis of her upper lip from plastic surgery altered her speech and appearance. She began a slow return to the theater, and returned to films occasionally to play supporting roles, mostly in minor releases. She appeared on television too, including an episode of the ABC sitcom, Harrigan and Son, starring Pat O’Brien.Grahame has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 6522 Hollywood Boulevard.

    Grahame had a string of stormy romances and failed marriages during her time in Hollywood, including marriages to director Nicholas Ray and later to Ray’s son, whom she had an affair with while still married to Ray. All of this took a toll on her career, as did a two-year hiatus taken after the birth of her daughter in 1956.[2] Marital and child custody problems hampered her performance on the set of Oklahoma! Additionally, the actress’s concern over the appearance of her upper lip led her to pursue plastic surgery and dental operations that caused visible scarring and ultimately rendered the lip largely immobile due to nerve damage, which affected her speech.[3]She married:

    • Stanley Clements (1926-1981), actor, married August 1945, divorced 1 June 1948.[4][5]
    • Nicholas Ray, director, married 1 June 1948, separated 1951, divorced 1952. The couple had one child, Timothy (born November 1948, aka David Cyrus Howard during his mother’s third marriage).[2][6] Their marriage ended when Ray found Grahame in bed with his 13 year old son by his first marriage, Anthony, whom she later married.[3][7][8]
    • Cy Howard, writer, married 1954, divorced 1957. They had one daughter, Marianna Paulette (born 1956).
    • Anthony Ray, her former stepson, married May 1960, divorced 1974. The Rays had two sons, Anthony Jr (born 1963) and James (born 1965).

    In the late 1970s, Grahame travelled to England, perform
    g plays, and there she met Liverpool actor Peter Turner with whom she had a romantic relationship. They moved to the USA and lived in New York and California, where their affair ended. Turner moved back to England.

    In 1980, Grahame was diagnosed with stomach cancer but she refused surgery, insisting that she did not have cancer. In 1981, she traveled to England to perform in a play. While in England, she had fluid from her stomach drained, which resulted in a perforated bowel. This became apparent after she collapsed during a rehearsal for the play.Peter Turner heard the news that Grahame was ill and staying in a hotel in Lancaster, England. Turner, accompanied by members of his family, collected her from the hotel and took her to his family home in Aigburth, Liverpool, where he and his family nursed her until some of her children arrived to take her back to New York where she died at the age of 57.She is interred in Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California, as Gloria H Grahame.

    • Vincent Curcio, Suicide Blonde: The Life of Gloria Grahame (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1989)
    • Peter Turner, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (New York: Grove Press, 1987)

    Year Film Role Notes
    1944 Blonde Fever Sally Murfin
    1945 Without Love Flower girl
    1946 It’s a Wonderful Life Violet Bick
    1947 It Happened in Brooklyn Nurse
    Crossfire Ginny Tremaine Nominated – Best Actress in a Supporting Role
    Song of the Thin Man Fran Ledue Page
    Merton of the Movies Beulah Baxter
    1949 A Woman’s Secret Susan Caldwell aka Estrellita
    Roughshod Mary Wells
    1950 In a Lonely Place Laurel Gray
    1952 The Greatest Show on Earth Angel
    Macao Margie
    Sudden Fear Irene Neves
    The Bad and the Beautiful Rosemary Bartlow Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
    Nominated – Golden Globe
    1953 The Glass Wall Maggie Summers
    Man on a Tightrope Zama Cernik
    The Big Heat Debby Marsh
    Prisoners of the Casbah Princess Nadja aka Yasmin
    1954 Human Desire Vicki Buckley
    Naked Alibi Marianna
    The Good Die Young Denise Blaine
    1955 The Cobweb Karen McIver
    Not as a Stranger Harriet Lang
    Oklahoma! Ado Annie Carnes
    1956 The Man Who Never Was Lucy Sherwood
    1957 Ride Out for Revenge Amy Porter
    1959 Odds Against Tomorrow Helen
    1966 Ride Beyond Vengeance Bonnie Shelley
    1971 Blood and Lace Mrs. Deere
    The Todd Killings Mrs. Roy
    Chandler Selma
    1972 The Loners Annabelle
    1973 Tarot Angela
    1974 Mama’s Dirty Girls Mama Love
    1976 Mansion of the Doomed Katherine
    1979 A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square Ma Fox
    Head Over Heels Clara
    1980 Melvin and Howard Mrs. Sisk
    1982 The Nesting Florinda Costello

  • ^ Obituary Variety, October 14, 1981.
  • ^ a b Dorothy Roe, Gloria Quits Films To Star as Mother, The Milwaukee Sentinel, 7 April 1959
  • ^ a b Vincent Curcio, Suicide Blonde: The Life of Gloria Grahame, William Morrow, 1989
  • ^
  • ^
  • ^ Vincent Curcio, Suicide Blonde: The Life of Gloria Grahame, William Morrow, 1989, page 101
  • ^ Live Fast, Die Young. Simon and Schuster. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  • ^ Nicholas Ray and Susan Ray, I Was Interrupted, University of California Press, 1995, page xliii.
  • Anne Gwynne

    Anne Gwynne

    Anne Gwynne, Yank (1943) Born Marguerite Gwynne Trice
    December 10, 1918(1918-12-10)
    Waco, Texas,
    United States Died March 31, 2003 (aged 84)
    Woodland Hills, California,
    United States Occupation Actress Years active 1939-1970 Spouse Max M. Gilford (1945–65) his death

    Anne Gwynne (December 10, 1918 – March 31, 2003) was an American film actress of the 1940s. Known as one of the first scream queens because of her numerous appearances in horror films, the actress-model was also one of the most popular pin-ups of World War II.


    In 1939 she became a model for Catalina swimwear. Gwynne was a television pioneer, appearing in TV’s first filmed series, Public Prosecutor (1947–48), 26 mysteries each 17½ minutes in running time. When aired, the DuMont Television Network stopped the film before the climax and a live three-member panel would try to guess the identity of the culprit. Other TV stations could buy rights to air this series but usually did not use panelists.[1]

    Gwynne was born in Waco, Texas, the daughter of Pearl (née Guinn) and Jefferson Benjamin Trice, an apparel manufacturer.[2][3] Gwynne married Max M. Gilford in 1945. The couple had two children, Gregory and Gwynne, an actress. Gwynne Gilford’s children are actress Katherine Pine and actor Chris Pine. Gwynne died March 31, 2003 of a stroke following surgery at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

    Gwynne, a 1939–40 model for Catalina swimwear, was featured on the January 30, 1940 cover of Look.

    • Unexpected Father (1939)
    • Bad Man from Red Butte (1940)
    • Black Friday (1940)
    • Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
    • The Green Hornet (1940)
    • The Black Cat (1941)
    • Nice Girl (1941)
    • Washington Melodrama (1941)
    • Broadway (1942)
    • Ride ‘Em Cowboy (1942)
    • We’ve Never Been Licked (1943)
    • House of Frankenstein (1944)
    • Weird Woman (1944)
    • Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947)
    • Arson, Inc. (1949)
    • Teenage Monster (1958)
    • Adam at Six A.M. (1970)

  • ^ Anne Gwynne, A Universal Treasure
  • ^ Paula Allen (2001-12-16). “Don’t know much about S.A. history? These books can help.”. San Antonio Express-News.
  • ^ “Anne Gwynne, 84, Actress Who Worked in Horror Films”. The New York Times. 2003-04-14.
  • Vivian Blaine

    Vivian Blaine

    from State Fair (1945) Born Vivian Stapleton
    November 21, 1921(1921-11-21)
    Newark, New Jersey Died December 9, 1995 (aged 74)
    New York City, New York Years active 1942–1985 Spouse Manny Franks (m. 1945–1956) «start: (1945)–end+1: (1957)»”Marriage: Manny Franks to Vivian Blaine” Location: (linkback:
    Milton Rackmil (m. 1959–1961) «start: (1959)–end+1: (1962)»”Marriage: Milton Rackmil to Vivian Blaine” Location: (linkback:
    Stuart Clark (m. 1973–1995) «start: (1973)–end+1: (1996)»”Marriage: Stuart Clark to Vivian Blaine” Location: (linkback: death)

    Vivian Blaine (November 21, 1921 – December 9, 1995) was an American actress and singer best known for originating the role of Miss Adelaide in the musical theater production Guys and Dolls.


    Born Vivian Stapleton, the cherry-blonde-haired Blaine appeared on local stages as early as 1934 and was a touring singer with dance bands starting in 1937. In 1942, her agent and soon-to-be husband Manny Franks signed her to a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox, and she relocated to Hollywood, sharing top billing with Laurel and Hardy in Jitterbugs (1943) and starring in Greenwich Village (1944), Nob Hill (1945), and State Fair (1945), among other films.Following her Fox years, Blaine returned to the stage, making her Broadway debut in the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls in 1950. Her character Adelaide has been engaged to inveterate gambler Nathan Detroit for 14 years, a condition which, according to her song “Adelaide’s Lament“, can foster physical illness as well as chronic heartbreak. After the show’s 1200-performance run on Broadway, in which she starred opposite Sam Levene as Nathan Detroit and Robert Alda as fellow gambler Sky Masterson, she reprised the role in London‘s West End in 1953, and then on film in 1955, with Frank Sinatra playing Nathan and Marlon Brando in Sky’s role.Blaine also appeared on the Broadway stage in A Hatful of Rain, Say, Darling, Enter Laughing, Company, and Zorba, as well as participating in the touring companies of such musicals as Gypsy. As she reached age 50, her television career took off, with guest roles on shows like Fantasy Island and The Love Boat. On the 25th annual Tony Awards in 1971, she appeared as a guest performer and sang “Adelaide’s Lament” from Guys and Dolls, providing a visual recording of the performance for posterity.[1]Blaine in her later years was managed by Rob Cipriano and L’Etoile Talent Agencies in New York City. Cipriano spent the early 1980s developing projects for Blaine including Puppy Love a TV sitcom with Jake LaMotta and Pat Cooper. She always shared in meeting that working with Cipriano reminded her working with her first husband Manny Franks.Blaine’s first marriage, to Franks, lasted from 1945 to 1956. She then married Milton Rackmil, president of Universal Studios and Decca Records, in 1959, and recorded several albums prior to their 1961 divorce. In 1973, Blaine married Stuart Clark. In 1983 she became the first celebrity to make public service announcements for AIDS-related causes. She made numerous appearances in support of the then fledgling AIDS-Project Los Angeles (APLA) and in 1983 recorded her cabaret act for AEI Records which donated its royalties to the new group; this included the last recordings of her songs from Guys and Dolls.She died of congestive heart failure in 1995 at age 74.

    Vivian Blaine in 1946 film Doll Face.

    Pin-up photo of Vivian Blaine for the Sep. 1, 1944 issue of Yank, the Army Weekly.

    • Thru Different Eyes (1942)
    • Girl Trouble) (1942)
    • He Hired the Boss (1943)
    • Jitterbugs (1943)
    • Greenwich Village (1944)
    • Something for the Boys (1944)
    • The All-Star Bond Rally (1945) (short subject)
    • Nob Hill (1945)
    • State Fair (1945)
    • If I’m Lucky (1946)
    • Doll Face (1946)
    • Three Little Girls in Blue (1946)
    • Skirts Ahoy! (1952)
    • Main Street to Broadway (1953)
    • Guys and Dolls (1955)
    • Public Pigeon No. One (1957)
    • Richard (1972)
    • The Dark (1979)
    • The Cracker Factory (1979)
    • Parasite (1982)
    • I’m Going to Be Famous (1983)
    • Murder, She Wrote (1984) Appeared as Rita Bristol in episode “Broadway Malady”

  • ^ The 25th Annual Tony Awards (1971) at Internet Movie Database
    • Oderman, Stuart, Talking to the Piano Player 2. BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 1-59393-320-7