Thursday, August 9, 2012

Those Were the Days...

I found a great book at work a few weeks ago called Hollywood and the Great Fan Magazines by Martin Levin. I have a subscription to Star and InTouch magazines because I am a bit of a celebrity gossip nut (plus, I like the crosswords) so I really love reading the old Photoplay magazines from the classic film era. The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn has a newsstand with old magazines all along it and it is my favorite part of the museum to go to. They even have a few issues you can look through, even better!

After reading through this book, I wanted to share some of the tidbits I found. The one that really jumped out at me was that one article hinted at a romance between Myrna Loy and Ramon Novarro. I'm gonna have to go with "no" for that rumor. Myrna was Ramon's type, ya know?

"Yes, I suppose it is strange, and still I'm not surprised. When she was young you couldn't help but believe in her. You couldn't help but have confidence in her. I speak as her brother, of course, but there was something about her that made you have faith in her...She always wanted to act. Even when she was very young. It was just in her, I guess. Sometimes it does seem strange that she should be as popular as you say she is. You see, I can't help but think of her as my little sister. It's difficult for me to think of her as a famous person. She will always be, to me, my little sister, in whom I couldn't help but believe in." ~~ Greta's brother, Sven, when asked about his sister's fame.

"I positively will not cash in on the fame which my dad earned by his years of hard work and suffering in the grotesque roles he played. I know that I wouldn't have received a contract so soon if I hadn't been his son but that's as far I want to travel on that basis....I don't think Dad would have objected that I told him I wanted to be an actor. I knew he would rather see me in business, so while he lived, I did not reveal my desire to go on the screen. If he were here today, he would cuss a little, grin a bit, and then tell me to go to it." ~~ Creighton Chaney aka Lon Chaney Jr.

"Call me rough-neck! Call me taxi-dancer! Call me ham actor, if you wish. But, listen, friends: Don't call me gigolo!" ~~ George Raft

"The two hardest things I've had to learn in Hollywood are how to smile, and how to talk about myself. I used to think I had the homeliest smile - and for that reason all my early portraits were glum affairs. Eventually, I practiced cheering up before my mirror, and now I can grin without feeling like a darn fool!" ~~ Jean Harlow

"People knew how to live a century or two or three years ago, graciously, with artfulness and taste. When I play in costume pictures it seems I have returned to those days and feel in sympathy and tune with them." ~~ Olivia de Havilland

"I don't know what I would do without my studio romances. I have never made a picture that  did not fall in love with some man in the cast. None of these harmless affairs ever lasted beyond the length of the production, but I think all concerned enjoyed them thoroughly. Nothing really serious - just like the like sailors: I have a sweetheart in every part!" ~~ Betty Compson

"Having a baby means that you can no longer be self-centered. A screen star thinks too much of herself - or her hair, her complexion, her clothes. It is the most essential part of her life. Of necessity she must think of these things if she is successful - and wants to make progress. The ego must be developed - or she is buried under small criticisms, biting sarcasms, those frightful moments when she doubts her own abilities." ~~ Helen Twelvetrees [she had a son named Jack Woody Jr. in 1932]

"I do not like to talk about myself at any time and I particularly dislike to talk of intimate matters for publication. Once you have told your fans everything, they say, 'Well, we know all about her now. Let's find somebody else, somebody new.' Too often when this happens, actors blame the public, charge their fans without fickleness. It is not fickle to lose interest when no mystery remains. I do not care if I am misunderstood as you say I am. I do not care how many stories are written about me giving wrong ideas - that is, if they are interesting ideas. But I do not want to be so well-known as to be uninteresting." ~~ Marlene Dietrich

"You know, I loathe beads and jewelry in general. But I must always wear bracelet - I adore them. I like long drooping earrings with formal evening clothes. And I love pretty clothes. I never had so many until I went to Hollywood. In New York I always wore black and white - really my favorite. But in Hollywood everyone goes in for bright colors, and I've joined the ranks. Of course, being a a blonde my favorite color is blue." ~~ Bette Davis

"I don't believe in fairy tales any longer. That about covers everything. I don't believe that black is black or white white. Which makes everything confusing. I don't believe in people any longer, not as I did. I know, now, that I can count my real friends on the fingers of one hand - and have some fingers to spare. I used to have ideals and expect people to live up to them and be bitterly hurt and disappointed if they didn't. I haven't any ideals now and I can't be disappointed. I used to be critical and exacting. People had to fit, exactly, the pattern I'd cut for them or I'd have none of them. I know better now." ~~ Janet Gaynor

"I think my previous roles will prove that sophistication does not need smutty lines, lewd scenes or display that is vulgar. The sophistication lies rather in that they deal with the real emotions which sway men and women and complicate their lives. We should not be afraid of sex on the screen, so long as it avoids vulgarity. I would be the first to decry vulgarity in pictures, but it is the more daring and more sophisticated side of life which forms the most interest." ~~ Norma Shearer

"I hate to be interviewed about marriage. Articles about marriage are always being written. And writers write such mushy, oogly-woogly stuff about Joan and me." ~~ Douglas Fairbanks Jr. [on being asked about what makes a marriage happy]

"I was working in Speed Girl and one night I had an extraordinary dream. It was one of those vivid dreams where everything is intensely real so that when you wake up you're lost for an instant. It seemed as if I were going up a gravel walk toward an enormous white Colonial house that was surrounded by a wide-spreading lawn. The rooms were filled with actors I knew who were dead - John Bunny and Barbara La Marr among them. The only two there who were alive at the time were Valentino and Mabel Normand. They came to meet me and asked if I intended to join them. I told them I was sorry but I couldn't stay." ~~ Bebe Daniels

"Yes, Johnny and I are finished. He wants a Mexican divorce but I won't have it. We will get an honest-to-goodness California divorce though, just as soon as we can file the papers. Johnny is madly in love with Lupe Velez. I do not know whether or not she loves him or if they will get married but I've known about the affair for some time. I've tried to fight it out. It's no use, the gossips win. Marriage can't be victor in Hollywood." ~~ Bobbe Arnst

"Hollywood girls marry for love! That's shown by the failure of most of their marriages. They don't think carefully about husbands. They are not designing. They marry the men they love without thinking of the consequences. I know of no actress who has married primarily to advance herself. Most film actresses marry inferior men. Just as brilliant men usually choose inferior women. Why? I don't know. Maybe there is less strain with a common place mate." ~~ Sylvia Sidney

"Audiences are becoming more sophisticated all the time, and care less about whether the heroines are already spoken for off screen. But I think the fans have a subconscious hope that the stars will stay single. This enables one to dream that someday one may meet and win the beautiful creature or handsome hero." ~~ Anita Page


  1. Hi Jessica,
    Awesome entry!I love photos with the tidbits.
    Great Job, Miss Keaton!

  2. Thanks Theresa! I loved reading the articles in the book. Very cool.

  3. excellent post excellent quotes! Thanks Miss Keaton

  4. Thank you Sir Billy! I thought they were a cool find too.