photoset by lady hollywood

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Cecil Beaton’s opinions of the stars:

‘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)

9

Maria Alba (19 March 1910 – 26 October 1996), was a Spanish-American film actress. Originally named Maria Casajuana, she appeared in 25 feature films, including The Return of Chandu (1934), Kiss of Araby(1933) and La fuerza del querer(1930). Her most notable appearance was probably as “Saturday” in the 1932 Douglas Fairbanks film Mr. Robinson Crusoe. 

María de los Ángeles Félix Güereña (8 April 1914 – 8 April 2002) was a Mexican film actress. She is considered one of the most important female figures of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. She was also considered one of the most beautiful film actresses of her time, and one of the greatest erotic myths of Spanish-language cinema. She is known by the nickname La Doña a name derived from her character in the film Doña Bárbara (1943). She is also known as María Bonita. She completed a film career that included 47 films made in Mexico, Spain, France, Italy and Argentina.

Lupe Velez aka María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez (July 18, 1908 – December 13, 1944) was a Mexican film actress.With the arrival of talkies, Vélez’s career took a turn towards comedy. Her characterization of the temperamental, explosive, rebellious and irreverent Latina woman gave her enormous popularity. She enjoyed popularity among Hispanic audiences and also made some films in Mexico. Some of her most memorable films are Lady of the Pavements (1928),The Wolf Song (1929), Palooka (1933), Laughing Boy (1934), Hollywood Party(1934) and the series of films created especially for her: Mexican Spitfire, in the early 1940s. She is associated with the nicknames “The Mexican Spitfire” and “The Hot Pepper”

Dolores del Río born María de los Dolores Asúnsolo López-Negrete; August 3, 1905 – April 11, 1983), was a Mexican film actress. She was a Hollywood star in the 1920s and 1930s, and was one of the most important female figures of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. She was the first Latin American female star to be recognized internationally.Her career flourished until the end of the silent era, with success in films such as Resurrection (1927) and Ramona (1928). In the 1930s, she was noted for her participation in musical films of the Pre-Code era like Bird of Paradise (1932), Flying Down to Rio (1933) and Madame Du Barry. When her Hollywood career began to decline, del Río decided to return to her native country and join the Mexican film industry, which at that time was at its peak.When del Río returned to Mexico she became the most important star of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. A series of films like Flor silvestre, María Candelaria (1943), Las Abandonadas and Bugambilia (1944) are considered classic masterpieces of the Mexican Cinema.

Carmen Miranda (9 February 1909 – 5 August 1955) was a Portuguese Brazilian samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress, and film star who was popular from the 1930s to the 1950s.In 1940, she made her first Hollywood film, Down Argentine Way, with Don Ameche and Betty Grable, her exotic clothing and Latin accent became her trademark. In the same year, she was voted the third most popular personality in the United States, and was invited to sing and dance for President Franklin Roosevelt, along with her group, Bando da Lua". Nicknamed “The Brazilian Bombshell”, Carmen Miranda is noted for her signature fruit hat outfit she wore in her American films, particularly in 1943's The Gang’s All Here. By 1945, she was the highest paid woman in the United States. Miranda made a total of fourteen Hollywood films between 1940 and 1953. Carmen Miranda was the first Latin American star to be invited to imprint her hands and feet in the courtyard of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, in 1941. She became the first South American to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.She is considered the precursor of Brazil’s Tropicalismo cultural movement of the 1960s.

Sara Montiel (also Sarita Montiel or Saritísima; 10 March 1928 – 8 April 2013) was a Spanish singer and actress. She was a much-loved and internationally known name in the Spanish-speaking movie and music industries. Montiel was born in Campo de Criptana in the region of Castile–La Mancha in 1928 as María Antonia Abad (complete name María Antonia Alejandra Vicenta Elpidia Isidora Abad Fernández). After her unprecedented international hit in Juan de Orduña’s El Último Cuplé in 1957, Montiel achieved the status of mega-star in Europe and Latin America. She was the most commercially successful Spanish actress during the mid-20th century in much of the world. Miss Montiel’s film Varietes was banned in Beijing in 1973. Her films El Último Cuple and La Violetera netted the highest gross revenues ever recorded for films made in the Spanish speaking movie industry during the 1950s/60s. She played the role of Antonia, the niece of Don Quixote, in the 1947 Spanish film version of Cervantes’s great novel.

Maria Montez aka María Africa García Vidal de Santo Silas (6 June 1912 – 7 September 1951) was a Spaniard Dominican born motion picture actress who gained fame and popularity in the 1940s as an exotic beauty starring in a series of filmed-in-Technicolor costume adventure films. Her screen image was that of a hot-blooded Latin seductress, dressed in fanciful costumes and sparkling jewels. She became so identified with these adventure epics that she became known as “The Queen of Technicolor”. Over her career, Montez appeared in 26 films, 21 of which were made in North America and five in Europe.

Katy Juradoborn María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García (January 16, 1924 – July 5, 2002), was a Mexican actress who had a successful film career both in Mexico and in Hollywood.She worked with many Hollywood legends, including Gary Cooper in High Noon, Spencer Tracy in Broken Lance, and Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks, and such respected directors as Fred Zinnemann (High Noon),Sam Peckinpah (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) and John Huston (Under the Volcano).Jurado made seventy-one films during her career. She became the first Latin American actress nominated for an Academy Award, as Best Supporting Actress for her work in 1954’s Broken Lance, and was the first to win a Golden Globe Award in 1952.

Rita Dolores Moreno (born December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican actress and singer. She is the only Hispanic and one of the few performers to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards, which include an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony, and was the second Puerto Rican to win an Oscar. She appeared in small roles in The Toast of New Orleans and Singin’ in the Rain. In March 1954, Moreno was featured on the cover of Life Magazine with a caption, “Rita Moreno: An Actresses’ Catalog of Sex and Innocence”. in 1956, she had a supporting role in the film version of The King and I. In 1961, Moreno landed the role of Anita in West Side Story. She starred in Summer and Smoke (1961), Cry of Battle (1963), and afterwards, The Night of the Following Day (1968),Popi (1969), Marlowe (1969), Carnal Knowledge (1971) and The Ritz (1976). From 1971 to 1977, Moreno played many characters on the PBS children’s series.