Friday, June 21, 2013

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo

Date of Birth
18 September 1905, Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden 

Date of Death
15 April 1990, New York City, New York, USA (pneumonia) 

Birth Name
Greta Lovisa Gustafsson 

The Face 
The Swedish Sphinx 




Lived the last few years of her life in absolute seclusion.

Letters and correspondence between Garbo and poet, socialite and notorious lesbian Mercedes de Acosta were unsealed on April 15, 2000, exactly 10 years after Garbo's death (per De Acosta's instructions). The letters revealed no love affair between the two, as had been rumored.

Once voted by The Guinness Book of World Records as the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Her personal favourite movie of her own was Camille (1936).

She disliked Clark Gable, a feeling that was mutual. She thought his acting was wooden while he considered her a snob.

Left John Gilbert standing at the altar in 1927 when she got cold feet about marrying him.

Before making it big, she worked as a soap-latherer in a barber's shop back in Sweden.

In the mid-1950s she bought a seven-room-apartment in New York City (450 East 52nd Street) and lived there until she died.

1951: Became a US citizen.

Garbo's sets were closed to all visitors and sometimes even the director! When asked why, she said: "During these scenes I allow only the cameraman and lighting man on the set. The director goes out for a coffee or a milkshake. When people are watching, I'm just a woman making faces for the camera. It destroys the illusion. If I am by myself, my face will do things I cannot do with it otherwise."

Garbo was prone to chronic depression and spent many years attacking it through Eastern philosophy and a solid health food regiment. However, she never gave up smoking and cocktails.

Except at the very beginning of her career, she granted no interviews, signed no autographs, attended no premieres, and answered no fan mail.

She was as secretive about her relatives as she was about herself, and, upon her death, the names of her survivors could not immediately be determined.

Never married, she invested wisely and was known for her extreme frugality.

Although it was believed that Garbo lived as an invalid in her post-Hollywood career, this is incorrect. She was a real jet setter, traveling with international tycoons and socialites. In the 1970s she traveled less and grew more and more eccentric, although she still took daily walks through Central Park with close friends and walkers. Due to failing health in the late 1980s, her mobility was challenged. In her final year it was her family that cared for her, including taking her to dialysis treatments. She died with them by her side.

Popularized trenchcoats & berets in the 1930s.

Spanish sculptor Pablo Gargallo created three pieces based on Garbo: "Masque de Greta Garbo à la mèche," "Tête de Greta Garbo avec chapeau," and "Masque de Greta Garbo aux cils."

(Masque de Greta Garbo aux cils)

Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's song "Vogue"

Pictured on a 37¢ USA commemorative postage stamp issued 23 September 2005, five days after her 100th birthday. On the same day, Sweden issued a 10kr stamp with the same design. The likeness on the stamps was based on a photograph taken during the filming of As You Desire Me (1932).

Once lived in the famed Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles (8221 Sunset Boulevard).

Was offered the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950), but she turned it down. Gloria Swanson was cast instead and she went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.

Garbo's dramatic eye make-up was the inspiration for many a Hollywood starlet - including Marilyn Monroe - and not without good reason. To create the look, she would apply a super-thin layer of petroleum jelly over the eyelids, cover with neutral skin-toned powder all the way up to the brow line and blend a dark shade into the crease for a theatrical, deep-set appearance. She'd also line the upper lid with eyeliner made from a blend of  petroleum and charcoal pigment, and finish with mascara.

Get the look
Using Petroleum jelly and neutral powder does work, but to avoid your eyeliner running, go for a great primer like Benefit's Lemon Aid

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lupe Vélez

Date of Birth
18 July 1908, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Date of Death
13 December 1944, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (suicide)

Birth Name
María Guadalupe Vélez de Villalobos

Mexican Spitfire


Johnny Weissmuller (8 October 1933 - 1939) (divorced)

Lupe wanted to be remembered; that was her one wish. Since she was not being remembered by her films, she decided to be remembered by her suicide. She had everything planned; the pretty silk night gown, and make-up, the position. She knew that picture would make front cover news the next day.

She was pregnant at the time of her death, and in her suicide note named Austrian actor Harald Maresch as the father.

The most popular Italian crossword weekly magazine, "La Settimana Enigmistica", which typically features the picture of a star on its cover page puzzle, had Lupe Velez on its no. 1 issue back in the '30s.

She had one brother and two sisters. When she was a child, her father, a Mexican Army officer, died during a revolution, and she had to work for a living. Her mother was an opera singer (though some say, she was a prostitute), with whom she first saw what stage life was like.

Was best friends with Mrs. Jack Oakie and retired actress Estelle Taylor and, who was the last person to see her alive.

Velez' estate, valued at $125,000 and consisting mostly of her Rodeo House home, two cars, jewelry, and personal effects were left to her secretary Beulah Kinder with the remainder in trust for her mother, Mrs. Josephine Velez.

Personal Quotes
The first time you buy a house you think how pretty it is and sign the check. The second time you look to see if the basement has termites. It's the same with men.

[on divorcing Johnny Weissmuller] Marriage - eet stinks.

Lucille Ball

Date of Birth
6 August 1911, Jamestown, New York, USA 

Date of Death
26 April 1989, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (acute aortic aneurysm) 

Birth Name
Lucille Désirée Ball 

Technicolor Tessie 
Queen of the B movies (during the 1940s)
The First Lady of Television 
The Queen of Comedy 

Gary Morton (19 November 1961 - 26 April 1989) (her death)
Desi Arnaz (30 November 1940 - 4 May 1960) (divorced) 2 children

Trade Mark
Red hair and blue eyes

Mother of Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr..

During a Barbara Walters interview, Jane Fonda claimed that her father, Henry Fonda, was deeply in love with Lucille Ball and that the two were "very close" during the filming of Yours, Mine and Ours (1968).

Was the first woman to own her own film studio as the head of Desilu Productions.

Was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6436 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Television at 6100 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

She signed her first promotional agreement with Max Factor in 1935 and again in 1942. Of all the stars, she had the longest association with the Max Factor company.

Lucy and her son, Desi Arnaz Jr., appeared together on the very first cover of "TV Guide" magazine in 1953.

Died the morning of April 26, 1989, the fifty-sixth birthday of her friend Carol Burnett. That afternoon Burnett received the flowers that Ball had ordered for her birthday.

During the 1933 filming of Roman Scandals (1933), young Lucille Ball, portraying a slave girl, needed to have her eyebrows entirely shaved off. They never grew back.

Before her movie career, Lucille was a model at Hattie Carnegie's in New York. She mainly modeled heavy fur coats, because she was startlingly thin as a young lady.

Lucy and Desi Arnaz began "I Love Lucy" (1951) in the hopes of saving their crumbling marriage.

She was fired from working at an ice cream store because she kept forgetting to put bananas in banana splits.

She put her Chesterfield cigarettes in a Philip Morris package to please her sponsor (of the "I Love Lucy" (1951) show).

TV Guide picked her as the greatest TV star of all time.

Was one of the 20 original "Goldwyn Girls", along with Virginia Bruce; Ann Dvorak; Paulette Goddard and Betty Grable.

Was known for a while as Dianne Belmont back when she was a model.

Pictured on a 34¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, issued 6 August 2001.

Felt that she did not deserve the title of "Queen of Comedy" and felt that it belonged to her idol, Carole Lombard.

While still contemplating whether to do the "I Love Lucy" (1951) shows, she claimed that in her dream, Carole Lombard came to her and told her to "Give it a whirl".

Was of Irish, Scottish, French, and English descent.

Suffered three miscarriages with husband Desi Arnaz. First miscarriage was in 1942. Second miscarriage was in 1949. Third and last miscarriage was in 1950.

Comedian John Belushi was a fan of her and knew every detail of her life and career.

Lucille suffered from ornithophobia, the fear of birds.

Hedy Lamarr

Date of Birth
9 November 1913, Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]

Date of Death
19 January 2000, Orlando, Florida, USA (natural causes)

Birth Name
Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler

The Most Beautiful Woman In Films


Lewis J. Boies (4 March 1963 - 21 June 1965) (divorced; separated 15 October 1964)
W. Howard Lee (22 December 1953 - 1960) (divorced)
Teddy Stauffer (12 June 1951 - 1952) (divorced)
John Loder (27 May 1943 - 17 July 1947) (divorced) 2 children
Gene Markey (5 March 1939 - 3 October 1941) (divorced) 1 child
Fritz Mandl (10 August 1933 - 1937) (divorced)


Children: Antony Loder (b. 01 March 1947), Denise Loder (b. 29 May 1945), James (b. 06 March 1939 - father John Loder; adopted 16 October 1939 as James Markey Lamarr).

Sued Mel Brooks for mocking her name in his film Blazing Saddles (1974) (they settled out of court)

Sued software company Corel Corporation for using her photo on the cover of software product CorelDRAW. [April 1998]

After a screen test, it was Louis B. Mayer who changed her last name to Lamarr in honor of silent film star Barbara La Marr.

Arrested for shoplifting in January 1966. Found not guilty.

Arrested for shoplifting in 1991. One year probation.

During her marriage to screenwriter Gene Markey, the two adopted a son, James. She soon after gave birth to two children, Denise Hedy and Antony, while married to actor John Loder.

One of the few stars with whom costume designer Edith Head admitted she didn't like working. The others were Claudette Colbert and Paulette Goddard.

Was co-inventor (with composer George Antheil) of the earliest known form of the telecommunications method known as "frequency hopping", which used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or to jam. The method received U.S. patent number 2,292,387 on Aug. 11, 1942, under the name "Secret Communications System". Frequency hopping is now widely used in cellular phones and other modern technology. However neither she nor Antheil profited from this fact, because their patents were allowed to expire decades before the modern wireless boom. She received an award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997 for her pioneering work in spread-spectrum technology.

For her appearance in Ecstasy (1933), Hedy is credited as being the first nude woman as well as portraying the first sex-scene in film history. Scenes were cut and additional ones added in order to be able to release it in some countries. However, she was actually at least 18 years too late to be the first nude woman in film, as both Inspiration (1915) and Lois Weber's Hypocrites (1915) had beaten her to it.

Her profile was the most requested in the 1940s by women to their plastic surgeons.

The mansion used in The Sound of Music (1965) belonged to her at the time.

Became a naturalized citizen of the United States on 10 April 1953.

Was the inspiration for Anne Hathaway's performance of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

She was the inspiration for the DC Comics Anti-hero and love interest of Batman, Catwoman.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Carole Lombard

Date of Birth
6 October 1908, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA 
Date of Death
16 January 1942, Table Rock Mountain, Nevada, USA (airplane crash) 
Birth Name
Jane Alice Peters 
The Profane Angel 
The Hoosier Tornado 
Ma (by Clark Gable)
5.2 or 5.3
Clark Gable (29 March 1939 - 16 January 1942) (her death)
William Powell (26 June 1931 - 16 August 1933) (divorced)
A 1926 auto accident badly cut her face. Advanced plastic surgery and adroit use of make-up covered the scars. However, at the time the belief was that use of anesthetic during the operation would leave worse scars, so she endured the reconstructive surgery without an anesthetic.
A natural tomboy with athletic prowess and spirit far exceeding her size (she was a petite child who stood 5' 2", with shoes) the future screen star frequently joined her brothers in roughhousing.
Was called the "Queen of Screwball Comedy".
Considered by many to be the prototype for the icy blondes in Alfred Hitchcock's films.

Carol Lynley (born as Carole Jones a month after the actress' death) was named after Lombard.
She was of English and German heritage.
Carole Lombard had a little dachshund named Commissioner that ignored Clark Gable completely. After her death in 1942, the dog would not leave Gable's side.
Just before her relationship with Clark Gable began in earnest, Carole read and loved the book "Gone With the Wind". Excited, she sent a copy of the book to Gable, with a note attached reading "Let's do it!". Gable wrongly assumed she was making a sexual advance to him, and called Carole to organize a date. When he found out Carole wanted to make a film of the book with him as Rhett Butler and herself as Scarlett, he refused, and kept the copy of the book she had given him thereafter in his toilet.

According to Garson Kanin, she never had a dressing room when shooting a movie. Instead, she preferred to socialize with the cast and crew members during her breaks.

Carole Lombard raised over $2 million in war-bonds in one day.