This morning Mr Swish and I went to an Antiques shop in Alexandria called Lunatiques. As we were walking around, looking at all the vintage pieces, imagining what we would put in our own underpinnings shop (it’s still the dream!), I caught sight of a pile of old photos. There were photos of well-known Hollywood stars, as well as burlesque stars and other men and women that I didn’t recognise. We initially looked through them to see if we could find stocking heels, or pretty foundations. We did indeed find some images of stockings and some other beauties too.
After I got the images home, I noticed that the collector had written the names of the women on the back of the photo. So I looked them up, and found out a little more about them! Some of them I was already familiar with, others were new to me.
Fifi D’Orsay (April 16, 1904 – December 2, 1983) was a Canadian-born actress. As a young typist, she had a desire to become an actress, so moved to New York to pursue her dream. She never became a superstar but worked with some very high profile stars, such as Bing Crosby and Buster Crabbe. For years, she kept alternating her appearances in film with continued performances in vaudeville and when age put an end to the glamour roles, she readily took jobs in television.
Elizabeth Ruth “Betty” Grable (December 18, 1916 – July 2, 1973) was an American actress, pin-up girl, dancer, and singer. Throughout her career, Grable was a celebrated sex symbol. Her bathing suit poster made her the number-one pin-up girl of World War II, surpassing Rita Hayworth. It was later included in the Life magazine project “100 Photographs that Changed the World”. Hosiery specialists of the era often noted the ideal proportions of her legs as thigh (18.5 in (47 cm)), calf (12 in (30 cm)), and ankle (7.5 in (19 cm)). Grable’s legs were famously insured by her studio for $1 million as a publicity stunt.
May Allison (June 14, 1890 – March 27, 1989) was an American actress whose greatest success was achieved in the early part of the 20th century in the medium of silent film, although she also appeared on stage. When Allison was cast that same year opposite actor Harold Lockwood in the Allan Dwan directed romantic film David Harum, audiences quickly became enamored of the onscreen duo. The pair starred in approximately twenty-five highly successful features together during the World War I era.
Doris Hill (March 21, 1905 – March 3, 1976) was an American film actress of the 1920s and 1930s, mostly in B movies. First working as a vaudeville dancer, she received her first film acting role in 1926 when she starred alongside George O’Hara in Is That Nice?. She starred in seventeen films from 1926 to 1929, and unlike many silent film stars, she made a successful transition to talking films.
Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, 9 November 1914 – 19 January 2000)was an Austrian and American film actress and inventor. After an early and brief film career in Germany that included the controversial film Ecstasy (1933 – in which Lamarr is seen swimming in the nude and running naked), she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer, and secretly moved to Paris. There, she met MGM head Louis B. Mayer, who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood, where she became a film star from the late 1930s to the 1950s.
At the beginning of World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers.
Helen Fairweather was born on October 22, 1908 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1927) and Stand Up and Cheer!(1934).
There is very little online about Helen (that I can find).
Nancy Carroll (November 19, 1903 – August 6, 1965) was an American actress. In 1928 she made eight films. One of them, Easy Come, Easy Go, co-starring Richard Dix, made her a star. Under contract to Paramount Pictures, Carroll often balked at the roles the studio offered her and she earned a reputation as a recalcitrant and uncooperative actress. In spite of her ability to successfully tackle light comedies, tearful melodramas, and even musicals, and as well as garnering considerable praise by the critics and public, she was released from her contract by the studio. In the mid-1930s under a four-film contract with Columbia Pictures, she made four rather insignificant films and was no longer an A-list actress.
There are three other photos that I bought. The first one is from a 1928 movie called ‘His Unlucky Night’. I chose this image because the lady on the left has some little nylon wrinkles and the lady on the right is showing her seams.
I don’t know where these two photos are from, but they are stunning! If anyone has any information about them, please feel free to comment below.
*Please note that the above information is taken from Wikipedia.