Louise Brooks, silent and talking film actress, most famous for three racy films made in Europe around 1929, and whose career was unofficially blacklisted in Hollywood because of it. Louise went through a series of careers (and lovers) after that. She was famously a “sexually liberated” woman, unafraid to take photos in the nude and sleep with whomever took her fancy. Her films were re-discovered in Europe in the 1950s and she was proclaimed to surpass even Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo as a film icon, to Louise’s amusement. Since then she has remained a known icon though her star is fading with time.

Ruth St. Denis in 1929, performing her dance Tagore Poem, photo by Soichi Sunami.

“Miss Ruth” was a modern dance pioneer who, with her partner Ted Shawn, founded the Denishawn School in Los Angeles in 1915. The school taught all types of dance, as well as classes in gesture and Dalcroze eurythmics for silent film actors. Louise Brooks was their most famous Hollywood pupil.