Sunday, January 30, 2011

One big silent family

Colleen Moore and Mickey Rooney

I wanted to talk about what an amazing bunch of people the silent film fan community is. We all know people in our lives that think, "You like silent movies? That is kinda weird." But talking to each other online and sharing pictures, movies, is just awesome. I have a few friends that I have met through Facebook that have sent me some silent films that I hadn't been able to get a hold of which made me smile from ear to ear. I also do the same for them (I gotta send Gone with the Wind tomorrow actually). Also, so mnay people have posted information about film stars on here that I had never heard and wouldn't be able to find anywhere. And family members as well post on here which is just the coolest thing! That really tickles me when family members post...uber jealous of those blood lines!

Thank goodness for the internet community and the awareness being raised about how wonderful these films and actors were/are. I love them. I love talking about them. And I love meeting people who love them too.

So, thanks again guys! It's little things like this that can put a smile on my face.

I don't know if I have posted this video on her before, but if I have, too bad. It is one of my favorite pieces of the silent film era. It has the big male movie stars in it and it is just a fun little piece!

Ziegfeld Girls VI

Some film-goers may recognize Madeline and Marion Fairbanks because they did appear in a few films for the Thanhouser Film Company. But, they were also members of the Follies. The big draw was that the girls were identical twins which has been a big entertainment draw since the days of Shakespeare! Twins and midgets = fun apparently. The Follies were blessed with two sets of twins...the Dolly sisters and the Fairbanks sisters.

The girls were born November 15, 1900 in New York. Their mother Jennie was an actress and their father, Nathaniel (I believe this to be his name, considering that he was named after his father). They joined older brother Robert.

They followed in their mother's footsteps and made their stage debut in 1909 alongside stage star, Nora Bayes.

In 1910, the girls signed with the Biograph film company but left after two years to sign with Thanhouser. There, they were dubbed the "Thanhouser Twins." They were not two girls with one mind though, because they shared different career goals. Marion wanted to be a serious actress, while Madeline wanted to venture into comedies. They also didn't appear in films together all the time, they made separate film appearances.

It is interesting how the Fairbanks's career worked backwards in the sense that they appeared in films first before heading to the Ziegfeld Follies. They appeared in the 1917, 1918, 1919, and 1921 edition of the Follies and also in the 1920 edition of the Midnight Frolic.

The girls eventually switched their career aspirations. Madeline set her sights on my dramatic roles while Marion enjoyed staying in musicals. The separation didn't last long, and about a year later they began to perform together again in The George White Scandals. They also appeared in various stage shows and revues up until the 1930s.

When the talkies arrived, the girls career stalled. Marion continued to appear in stage shows before eventually retiring and opening a beauty parlor. She also struggled with this new lifestyle and had a brief problem with alcohol addiction.

Marion Fairbanks passed away on September 20, 1973. She had been married three times. First to McCormick Steele in 1927, then to Ray Smith, and finally to William Delph. I am pretty sure she was still married to Delph at the time of her death. She never had any children.

Madeline Fairbanks passed away on January 15, 1989 of respiratory failure. Madeline was married for a time to a man named Leonard Sherman in 1937, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1947. They had a daughter named Kate.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The gang's all here!

Oh how I WISH I could have been at this party! Although, if I was there...Natalie Talmadge would not be there and I would be with Buster! Anyways, here we have a group of amazing people gathered at the home of William Randolph Hearst. See if you can spot them: Irving Thalberg, Buster Keaton, John Gilbert, Norma Shearer, Greta Garbo.

Speaking of parties I would have liked to have attended...this is from a costume ball that was held at the Hearst mansion. Pictured here are Gloria Swanson, Marion Davies, and Jean Harlow all costumed up. And Constance Bennett in a beautiful gown. Four wonderfully talented ladies.

A lot of star power in one picture! Swanson, Chaplin, and Davies. Supposedly Marion and Charlie had a fling and some even speculate that this affair was the reason behind Thomas Ince's death. I am not a big Chaplin fan...mainly because I am a fullblown Buster fan, but the man had talent. Can't deny it.

Looky looky! Dolores Costello and John Barrymore AKA Drew Barrymore's grandparents. Two beautiful people.

This is the wallpaper of my cellphone. The woman isn't a famous actress, but I am still v. v. jealous of her. If I was her, I would have grabbed him and threw him on the table!

Two of my favorite ladies right in the middle. Clara Bow and Jean Harlow.

These were publicity cheesecake photos taken of Anita Page, Joan Crawford, and Dorothy Sebastian for the movies the girls were in together. How adorable are they? See, back in the Golden Age of Hollywood these starlets were fully clothed (for the most part) and manage to look even more beautiful than the scantily clad actresses now. I'm not trying to date myself, just stating the truth. When I am famous, I promise to bring back the beauty of yester year.

I just love this picture. Ann Pennington is absolutely adorable, Jacqueline Logan has that sultry glance fixed on the camera, and Billie Dollie is quite stylish with that fantastic headband. I wish we could have pictures like they do in Harry Potter, where they come alive and wave and talk. I might have to minimize the amount of pictures I have on my walls though because it would get VERY noisy in here!

John and Greta, such a glamorous couple. If they actually did go through with getting married, I honestly don't think it would have lasted long. With Greta's personality and her early retirement from films and seclusion, it just wouldn't have worked. They had quite an amazing relationship it seems though, filled with excitement and passion.

Jimmy Cagney and Alice White. He was amazing and she just absolutely adorable. I think if I had lived back in the 1920s, I would have looked like her with the curly platinum bob and cutesy smile. I am still mad that I have yet to view one of her films! Grrr!!

Former roommates, Fanny Brice and Ann Pennington. Two little women with big personalities! I am sure those two had a lot of fun living together! Hey, I would have roomed with them too!

One of my favorite DVDs that I own is my Keaton/Arbuckle/St John comedy shorts pack. They really are funny and wonderful silent shorts that shows just how much of a genius these guys were. I love this picture too. How in the world they got Luke to stand still for so long is beyond me, even though judging by the films he was in, he was a very well trained dog. Also...Buster's smile is beautiful and his arms? Wow!

This is the first picture that I saw of Roscoe Arbuckle. It was in the book Hollywood Babylon and it was the picture next to the story about Roscoe and Virginia Rappe. Thank goodness I read more about it and found out for myself that the book was trash and he was completely innocent.

This is a picture from the wedding of Jack Pickford and Marilyn Miller. Recognize any other faces? Well, front and center is Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, and next to Jack is Mrs. Charlotte Pickford aka Mrs.Charlotte Smith. You can also see Charlie Chaplin peeking out of the crowd too.

How happy and in love Olive and Jack look in this picute! I know they had some troubles, but they were just two young, wild, and rich 20 year olds living in the gay times of the 1920s. Poor kids, such a tragedy.