Dolores del Rio : Reportedly slept for 16 hours a day to maintain her beauty.
Marlene Dietrich: She was the first German actress to be nominated for an Academy Award.
- Marlene was one of the first artists to use surgical tape to pull back the skin on her face, thus giving her a ‘facelift’. She hid the tape in her hairline or under a wig.
Jean Harlow : She was the first actress with ‘platinum blonde’ hair. Her hairdresser used peroxide, ammonia, Clorox and Lux flakes to create the color.Obviously, the mixture was toxic for her hair and near the end of her life Jean wore wigs because her hair was falling out.
- Jean and fellow actress Hedy Lamarr were the primary inspirations for Catwoman.
Ava Gardner : When she was a teenager she had a big crush on future co-star Clark Gable.
- Although Ava drank plenty, she did not even like the taste of alcohol. She often drank because she was shy and nervous and it helped her feel at ease in social situations and in front of the camera
Katharine Hepburn : As a child, Katharine cut her hair off, wore boys’ clothes and made people call her Jimmy.
- When she was growing up, it was normal in the Hepburn household to take ice-cold baths or showers daily. She continued to do this for the rest of her life and would give it as health advice to people.
James Stewart : He was head male cheerleader at Princeton.
- James was one of the first stars to receive a percentage of the gross of his movies, a common practice today
Elizabeth Taylor : She was known to be at least ten minutes late for everything. So at her request, her funeral began 15 minutes after it was scheduled to begin.
- She was reportedly so poorly educated that she needed to use her fingers to do basic arithmetic,something that bothered and emberassed her when she started seeing the intelligent Richard Burton.
Cary Grant : He sunbathed everyday for thirty minutes to ‘keep that healthy glow’.
- He was very good friends with his colleague Ingrid Bergman. Cary was one of the few who supported her throughout her notorious affair with director Rossellini and he accepted her Best Actress Oscar for her in 1958 while she was in exile in Italy.
Grace Kelly : All of her leading men were old enough to be her father (with the exception of William Holden, who was 11 years older than her)
- In her senior yearbook, her classmates predicted that she was certain ‘to become a great stage and screen star’.
‘Miss Marilyn Monroe calls to mind the bouquet of a fireworks display… as spectacular as the silvery shower of a Vesuvius fountain. She walks like an undulating basilisk, scorching everything in her path but the rosemary bushes. ‘Her voice, of a loin-stroking affection, has the sensuality of silk or velvet. The puzzling truth is that Miss Monroe is a make-believe siren, unsophisticated as a Rhine maiden, innocent as a sleepwalker. 'She is an urchin pretending to be grown up, having the time of her life in Mother’s moth-eaten finery, tottering about in high-heeled shoes and sipping ginger ale as though it were a champagne cocktail. 'She is strikingly like an over-excited child asked downstairs after tea. She romps, she squeals with delight, she leaps on to the sofa. It is an artless, impromptu, high-spirited, infectiously gay performance. It will probably end in tears.’
‘A photographic beauty is someone who photographs well. ’Grace Kelly is a case in point. If she did not photograph well, we would scarcely stop to look at her on the street… If both sides of her face were the same as the right half she wouldn’t be on the screen. That side is very heavy, like a bull calf, but the left side is intensely feminine and creates the counter-point. 'She has unerringly good taste and an unerring sense of comportment.’
‘She’s everything I dislike. I have always loathed the Burtons for their vulgarity, commonness and crass bad taste, she combining the worst of U.S. and English taste. 'I treated her with authority, told her not to powder her nose, to come in front of the cameras with it shining. 'She wanted compliments. She got none. “Don’t touch me like that,” she whined! Her breasts, hanging and huge, were like those of a peasant woman suckling her young in Peru. On her fat, coarse hands more of the biggest diamonds and emeralds… And this was the woman who is the greatest “draw”. In comparison everyone else looked ladylike.’
‘It is a rare phenomenon to find a young girl with such inherent “star” quality. Yet she has too much innate candour to take on the gloss of artificiality Hollywood is apt to demand of its queens. 'Her stance is a combination of an ultra-fashion plate and a ballet dancer. Her features show character rather than prettiness. Her voice is peculiarly personal, with its unaccustomed rhythm and sing-song cadence that develops into a flat drawl that ends in a childlike query. It has a quality of heartbreak. 'Intelligent and alert, wistful but enthusiastic, frank yet tactful, assured without conceit and tender without sentimentality.’ (Audrey Hepburn)
Julie Andrews, an almost unknown girl who had the talent and luck to land the whopper of the part of Eliza [Doolittle, in the Broadway version of My Fair Lady], was almost unbelievably naïve and simple. She was angelically patient at the many fittings of her clothes and never expressed opinion. 'One day, due to exhaustion at rehearsals, she keeled over in a dead faint while fitting her ball gown. 'A cup of cold water was enough to revive her and she reproached herself that her mother back home in Walton-on-Thames would be ashamed of her. “Oh, Mummie, what a silly girl I am,” she kept repeating.’
‘Most striking of her features is her whiteness, which would put the Moon or a white rabbit to shame.'She has, or has acquired, the necessary temperament of the film star; never in a hurry; her pace is slow, her perseverance phenomenal.'She will spend 12 hours being photographed in the studio, and, without regrets, tear up every proof next morning if they are not to her complete satisfaction.’ (Marlene Dietrich)
‘I was quivering to see the Astaires. They look so marvellous. Especially him. His head looks perfect. I was delirious with happiness all the time either of them were on the stage. She is so American and perfect, so slim and graceful. I adore her ugly face and the pearls tight around her neck. She is perfect and he is marvellous also. They are so clean and fresh and ripping. I thought that Adele Astaire was rather like Felix the Cat, but oh so much nicer. I did adore them and their dancing is just too extraordinarily marvellous to describe.’
‘Cecil Beaton: Portraits & Profiles’, edited by Hugo Vickers, by Frances Lincoln. (x)
Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy Brigitte Bardot and Jacques Esterel Grace Kelly and Edith Head Elizabeth Taylor and The Fontana Sisters Ava Gardner and Christian Dior Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent Marlene Dietrich and Travis Banton Romy Schneider and Coco Chanel Greta Garbo and Gilbert Adrian
Maxim’s is a restaurant in Paris known for its Art Nouveau interior decor. Jean Cocteau said of Maxim’s: “It was an accumulation of velvet, lace, ribbons, diamonds and what all else I couldn’t describe.” It was immensely popular with the international celebrities of the 1950s. In 1981 the fashion designer Pierre Cardin bought it. Maxim’s was featured in the movies Gigi, Bonjour Tristesse and Jean Renoir’s 1937 masterpiece Grand Illusion. It was also the background for scandal, such as the headline grabbing moment when Brigitte Bardot was photographed leaving the restaurant barefoot in 1967.