Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Miss Anita Page

Oh Miss Anita Page! She was such a cutie. And she was so recognizable, even in older pictures. Colleen Moore and Louise Brooks had the hairstyles...Anita had the eyebrows. I don't know why, but that is the one thing that really stands out about her for me. They were just unique!

Anyways, God bless her for staying around so long. She was one of the last silent film stars still living until her death recently. Actually, I don't think any are left, with an exception for maybe some of the child actors. She was a fun blonde flapper who starred along some big names in her time and was a lovely lady.

Anita Page was born Anita Evelyn Pomares on August 4, 1910 in Flushing, Queens, New York. Her mother Helen was a secretary and her father John was a chauffeur. She had one brother, Marino.

Her introduction into films was kinda like that of Lillian and Dorothy Gish...through a friend who had already made it in the business. In Anita's case, it was through her friend Betty Bronson. An agent spotted her picture in Betty's room and was intrigued by the beautiful girl. With her mom's urging, Anita called up the agent.

She was offered a contract from both Paramount and MGM. Anita chose MGM. Her second film was alongside Dorothy Sebastian and Joan Crawford in Our Dancing Daughters in 1928. She was a lucky one, because she became quite famous rather quickly. A year later she had a starring role alongside Bessie Love in the film The Broadway Melody, which was a huge success at the time. It was also her first talkie, a smooth transition for her.

During the 1930s she was a busy lady! She appeared with Buster Keaton, Clark Gable, Lon Chaney on screen...lucky girl! She also at one point was receiving more mail than any other actress at the time.

Her contract with MGM expired in 1933, and at age 23, Anita shocked everyone by announcing her retirement from film.

She made a few films years and years later but they weren't anything stellar. The one thing she did enjoy was being known as one of the last silent film stars. She loved answering fan mail and talking about her career with various reporters, biographers, and fans.

Anita Page passed away on September 6, 2008 of natural causes. She was 98 years old.

She was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego, California.

She was married twice. First was to composer Nacio Herb Brown in 1934, but it was annulled a year later because Brown's previous divorce had yet to be finalized. Her second marriage was to Hershel House, a Lieutenant in the Navy in 1937. They stayed married until his death in 1991. The couple had two daughters, Linda and Sandra. Her daughter Sandra actually passed away before her she did.

Benito Mussolini used to write to Anita constantly and asked her to marry him numerous times.

Her best friend was Marion Davies. The two lived together for a time after Anita's marriage to Brown ended.

Dorothy Sebastian, Joan Crawford, and Anita

She claimed years later that one of the reasons that she left the film industry was because of repeated sexual advances of Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer. Here's the thing...Mayer, I might believe because I think I have heard a few snippets of this kind of rumor before. I know he had a huge crush on Greer Garson for one. But, Thalberg...I don't think so. He had Norma Shearer as a wife and she was enough for him to handle. And with his weak heart, I don't think he was the kind of guy who leeched onto starlets.

Even as she got older, she would still wear the dresses she wore in the 1920s. How cute is that?!

She said that her favorite costar was Ramon Novarro, because he was so nice to her. I can believe it, he seemed like he was a real sweetheart. Good looking and nice?! Of course he was gay! *sigh*

She had a brief relationship with Clark Gable after they appeared together in a film. But didn't everyone? I would have! (If it weren't for Buster of course...)

Anita almost had a relationship with none other than Harry Thaw, famous murderer of Stanford White in the Nesbit/Thaw/White love triangle. She didn't know anything about his past, but thank goodness her mother did and forbade her daughter from associating with him. Thank you Mrs. Pomares!


  1. Apparently she returned to acting in 2000 but unfortunately it looks like they were in bad horror films, "The Crawling Brain" & "Frankenstein Rising". I'm tempted to try and find at least one of these direct to DVD films. They may be terrible but I bet she had fun making them. Seems to fit with her personality.

  2. It is interesting that a lot of the greats went into low budget horror films. Crawford...Davis...what was the appeal??

  3. Maybe it was as simple as getting to work again. I watched the trailers for both of those films I mentioned, “The Crawling Brain” & “Frankenstein Rising” on YouTube. Low budget doesn’t even come close to describing it. It was pretty bad. Anita looked like she was in it for only a few minutes, which was a disappointment.