BILLIE DOVE: BEAUTIFUL FILM ACTRESS, GIRL FRIEND OF FLORENZ ZIEGFELD AND HOWARD HUGHES

Billie Dove (1903-1997) was an American actress. Her parents were Swiss immigrants. During her teenage years, she worked as a model to support her family. Florenz Ziegfeld hired her as a teenager to appear in the Ziegfeld Follies Revue. She was not a particularly talented dancer or singer, her beauty and acting ability were her major assets. In the early 1920’s she moved to Hollywood and began appearing in silent films. It has been written that Ziegfield’s wife, actress Billie Burke, helped facilitate Dove’s transition to films. Apparently, Burke was trying to separate Dove from her husband because the pair were having an affair. It did not take long for her to become one of the more popular actresses of the 1920’s. Among her better known films was “The Black Pirate” (1926) with Douglas Fairbanks, and “The American Beauty” (1927). Dove was a ravishing beauty and was very photogenic. She married director, Irvin Willat, in 1923. The marriage had a six year duration. She then had a three year romance with Howard Hughes. Dove’s other interests included being a pilot, painter, and poet. After her last film, “Blondie of the Follies” (1932), Dove retired from films. It is thought that she retired because she was distraught about her role in her last film being “trimmed” by her co-star’s (Marion Davis) influential boyfriend (William Randloph Hearst). Hearst was upset because Miss Davis’s acting was overshadowed by Dove’s acting. Mr Hearst owned Cosmopolitan Productions which produced the movie. After retirement, Dove married oil executive Robert Kenaston in 1933 and the couple remained together until Kenaston’s death in 1970. She had a brief third marriage to an architect. It is interesting to note that jazz singer, Billie Holiday, borrowed Billie Dove’s first name when picking out her own stage name. Miss Holiday was an admirer of Miss Dove. The IMDb lists 50 movie credits for Billie Dove between 1921 and 1962, This vintage real photo postcard was published by “Ross Verlag”, The photographer of Miss Dove’s portrait was Defina of First National Pictures. This postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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PRETTY BRITISH STAGE ACTRESS: MISS ALMA GRIFFITHS

This vintage real photo postcard features pretty British stage actress Miss Alma Griffiths. Catherine Hindson’s book, “London’s West End Actresses and the Origins of Celebrity Charity, 1880-1920” mentions Miss Griffiths. Hindson describes a period of time when theaters became a vehicle for raising money for various charities.  Theaters selected certain matinee performances to donate ticket revenues to charity. Stage performers often did their part to further fill the charity coffers. The author mentions that Alma Griffiths, along with other actresses, including Ethel Warwick and Irene Desmond, sold programs and flowers to the audiences and raised significant funds. The writer of the message on the reverse of this postcard, printed the date (1908) he wrote the postcard below Alma Griffith’s photo.The photo was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. The writer of the message states that the postcard was for the addressee’s collection. The writer adds that Miss Griffiths was a “Cardiff girl”, just like the receiver of the postcard. Cardiff is a port city on the south coast of Wales. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

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Published in: on September 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF STAGE PERFORMER MISS NELLIE BODEN (PHOTO BY ERNEST DYCHE OF BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND)

This vintage real photo postcard features dancer and vocalist Miss Nellie Boden. Research revealed a dearth of information about this pretty young woman. The photographer of this image is Ernest Dyche (1887-1973). He operated a studio in Birmingham, England. He was a self-taught photographer who opened his first studio around 1910. His studio was near the Bordesley Palace Theatre and Dyche became very involved with theatrical portraiture. In addition to photographing stage performers, he also produced individual, group, family, and wedding photographs. He was succeeded by his son, Ernest Malcom Dyche (1921-1990). The younger Dyche, photographed a large number of the black residents of Birmingham. His work documented members of that community and has been the subject of modern day exhibitions. This vintage postcard is in very good condition.

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MISS GLADYS GUY: STAGE ACTRESS APPEARING IN MUSICALS AND PANTOMIMES

This vintage real photo postcard features Miss Gladys Guy (1888-1968) as she appeared in the pantomime, “Dick Whittington” (1909) at the New Theatre, Cardiff, England. The actress is a pretty woman. She has a wonderful smile. She is wearing a terrific hat; the large feather really adds to her appearance. I find her long gloves interesting. Why is there a hole in her glove, just under her thumb. It appears to be part of the design of the glove but I wonder about it’s purpose. Gladys Guy was an English actress and singer. Her father was a violinist. She began her career in about 1905 and between then and 1917 she appeared in a number of successful London musical productions. At times, she served as an understudy to both Gabrielle Ray and Phyllis Dare. In 1912 she married George Augustus Guy (1851-1939), an actor who later joined the Indian Army. He rose in the ranks until he became a lieutenant colonel. Miss Guy’s career ended with the birth of her son. Interestingly, the son followed his parents into acting and became quite well known . His name was Basil Henson. This postcard was published by the Metropole Studios in Cardiff. Cardiff is a port city on the south coast of Wales. The postcard is part of the “Panto Series” (Panto=Pantomime). The photographer was C. Corn. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on September 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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CARYN RICHMAN: PRETTY ACTRESS WITH MULTI-FACETED TALENT

This vintage photograph features actress Caryn Richman. The photograph, called a head shot, was sent to a casting director, or other influential person working on a movie; in order for the actress to be considered for a movie role. Accompanying the head shot is the actresses resume. Caryn Richman has appeared in theater, film, and television roles. She played “Sandy” in the Broadway hit musical “Grease”. She also had a recording contract with the group “Tuxedo Junction”. Film credits include “Young Hollywood” and “Angel Fire”. On television, she played Gidget in the TV movie “Gidget’s Summer Reunion”. Caryn also was a regular on daytime dramas including “Another World” and “The Young and the Restless”. Richman is a native New Yorker. She was born in 1956 in Jericho, New York. The IMDb gives her 34 credits from 1978 through 2018. The credits on her resume indicate that this photo and resume were prepared in 1992. The resume states that she was represented by “Halpern & Associates”, a Los Angeles talent agency. The reverse of the photograph reveals that she was also represented by Paul Kohner. Kohner (1902-1988) was a Czech-American talent agent and producer. Among the stars he managed were Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and John Huston. He was married to the Mexican-American actress, Lupita Tovar. Caryn Richman was a pretty actress who possessed multi-faceted talent. This vintage photo is in excellent condition.

 

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A GIRL AND A KNIFE: ACTRESS MISS RITA LEGGIERO IN “A WHITE MAN”

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of child actress Miss Rita Leggiero playing the role of “Little Hal” in “A White Man”. She is holding a knife and from the look on her face, I don’t think she intends to use the weapon to slice bread. Note Miss Leggiero’s black and white checked shoes. Wow! Also appearing in the play were well known performers Lewis Waller, Dorothy Dix, and Nora Lancaster. The photographer was the Foulsham and Barfield Studio. The postcard was published in England by the Rotary Photo Company (no. 4923 A). The message on the reverse of the postcard was written in 1908. The message is directed at a woman named Minnie, and the writer states she had a premonition that Minnie would have a cycling accident before Minnie told her she actually had one. The writer also expresses concern that Minnie may have underplayed her injuries. SOLD

FIVE PORTRAITS OF BEAUTIFUL STAGE ACTRESS ALICE CRAWFORD (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

crawfordPHOTO 1  (SOLD)

alice crawford         PHOTO 2  (SOLD)

crawford 2 PHOTO 3  (SOLD)

crawford 4  PHOTO 4

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POSTCARD 5

These vintage real photo postcards feature a beautiful actress named Alice Crawford (1882-1931). Miss Crawford was born in Bendigo, Australia. Her sister, Ruby Crawford was also an actress. Miss Crawford came to England with actor Wilson Barret in 1902 after appearing with him in Australia. Her London debut was in 1902 in in the play “The Christian”.  She was in the revival of the play in 1907. Other stage credits include “Antony and Cleopatra (1906), Matt of Merrymount (1908), and “The Passing of the Third Floor, Back” (1908). The New York Times (1909) announced her arrival in New York to perform in “These Are My People”. She is credited with film roles in “False Ambition” (1918) and Glorious Adventure (1922). There are fifteen portraits of Alice Crawford in the National Portrait Gallery, eight of which are by the photographer of the top photo postcard (Alexander Bassano}. Bassano  (1829 –1913) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. Crawford was married to George Valentine Williams. He was wounded twice in WW I and was awarded the Military Cross. He later worked as a journalist, mostly in trouble spots. During WW2 he conducted “confidential work” for the British Government. He is best known as an author of Detective Fiction. He died in 1946. This postcard captures Miss Crawford in costume for her role as “Diantha Frothingham” in “Matt of Merrymount” (1908). Alice Crawford certainly qualifies as a “stage beauty” and she has an amazingly engaging smile. Bassano photographed the actress for Rotary Photo’s, Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 R).                                      

The second photo postcard features Miss Crawford looking quite beautiful. Her hair is long and flowing and she has a flower hair band. Her eyes are beautiful and she appears to be holding back a smile. Like the first postcard, this card is also published by Rotary Photo and was part of a series (no. 1852 K). In fact both postcards seen here are part of the same series.  The postcard’s photograph was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. They were the successors to the Biograph Studios as well Adart (a studio that took advertising photos). Examination of the reverse of this postcard (see second postcard below) reveals that it was postmarked in 1907. The message on the back of the postcard is quite interesting because it contains comments about the photo on the postcard. The writer reports that she was charmed by a postcard from the addressee and she asks her how she likes “this one”. The writer also states that she was planning to go see “The Thief” at the St. James Theater. Billboard (1907) contains a review of the musical and describes it as an English version of Henry Bernstein’s “Le Voleur”.  The play was produced by Mr George Alexander and it’s cast included Mr. Alexander, Irene Vanbrugh, and Lillian Braithwaite. 

The third photo postcard portrait of Miss Crawford was produced by Rotary Photo and photographed by Dover Studios. The postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 P) and was printed in England. This photograph captures Alice Crawford appearing quite dismayed.

The fourth real photo postcard in this collection features a close-up portrait of Miss Crawford. This image confirms that Alice Crawford was certainly a stage beauty. The photograph is very similar to the second postcard in this group and the two images were likely taken during the same photo session at the Dover Street Studio. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons and is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage” series (no. T 1148). Raphael Tuck and his wife started their photography business in 1866 in London. Their store sold pictures, greeting cards, and in time, postcards. Their success came from the sale of postcards during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s the firm conducted postcard competitions for collectors of Tuck postcards. These competitions offered cash prizes and they were very popular. The winner of one of these competitions had a collection consisting of over twenty-five thousand cards. Three of Tuck’s four sons participated in the business. The company was devastated by German bombing during World War II. In 1959 the company merged with two other printing companies. This postcard was written and postmarked in 1908. It was postmarked at Bradninch, England. The message on the card is a “Happy Birthday” wish.

The fifth photo postcard features a close-up view of Miss Crawford. She looks pretty with her rolled curl hair and her engaging eyes. This postcard was published by Raphael Tuck and Sons. It is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage”  series (no. T 1202).

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crawford 4 1                                                                        POSTCARD 4

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                                                                        POSTCARD 5

 

RARE PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS MISS MARY GREY

 This vintage real photo postcard features actress “Miss Mary Grey”. A search for biographical information about Miss Grey was not very fruitful. It should be noted that postcard portraits of Mary Grey are rare. Only one other postcard image of Miss Grey could be found, and it was a different pose than the one above. I found a morsel of information about one actress named Mary Grey but I can not verify that the Mary Grey seen in this postcard is the same Mary Grey that I am about to describe. Mary Grey was an actress known for her appearance in the British musical film”His Majesty and Co” (1935). She was married twice. Her first husband was James Bernard Fagan, an Irish-born actor, theater manager,producer and playwright in England. This postcard is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4954 B) published by Rotary Photo. Note the actresses winter coat, collar brooch, and fancy hat. The photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s. This real photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans). 

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BEAUTIFUL ANGLO-GERMAN FILM ACTRESS LILLIAN HARVEY

harvey-2

POSTCARD 1  (SOLD)

harvey 2

harvey 2 1

                                                       POSTCARD 2 (SOLD)

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harvey 5 2

POSTCARD 3

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                harvey 4 1

POSTCARD 4

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POSTCARD 5

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 POSTCARD 6

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harvey7 1 POSTCARD 7

 Real photo postcard #1 features Anglo-German actress and singer, Lillian Harvey (1906-1968). Her acting base was in Germany. Harvey was born in Hornsey, England to an English mother and a German father. During World War I her family was “trapped” in Magdeburg, Germany and Harvey was sent to live with her Swiss aunt. After the war she finished school in Berlin and than studied voice and dance at the Berlin State Opera. In 1924 she earned a role as a revue dancer in Vienna. This was followed by her first movie role which was in an Austrian film named “The Curse”. Thereafter, she starred in multiple silent films. Her first leading role was in “The Passion” (1925). Because of her voice training, Harvey was able to make the transition into “talkies”. She and actor Willy Fritsch became the “dream couple” of German movies. The pair acted together in eleven movies. In the 1930’s Harvey’s films appeared in both German and English and she became popular outside of Germany. She went to Hollywood and made four movies for the Fox Film Corporation (this postcard is from that period). In 1935, Harvey returned to Germany. She appeared in several more films and soon she was under the watchful eye of the Gestapo. Harvey had many Jewish friends in the film industry  and she was supportive of them. By 1939, Miss Harvey was forced to leave Germany, leaving behind valuable real estate holdings. She went to France where, in 1940, she made two movies for director Jean Boyer. In 1943 she was stripped of her German citizenship because she had performed for French troops. When southern France was occupied by the Nazis in 1942, she emigrated to the United States. During the war she did some theatre acting and also worked as a homeside volunteer nurse. After the war, Harvey relocated to Paris. She went on a world tour as a singer and in 1949 made appearances in West Germany. She spent her retirement on the French Riviera (Antibes) where she had a souvenir shop and raised snails for escargot. Harvey was married one time. Her four year marriage to theater director Hartvig Valeur-Larsen ended in divorce. Eventually she settled down with her female partner Else Pitty Wirth (1907-2007). Interestingly, the two women are buried together in Antibes. The imdb gives Harvey 54 acting credits between 1925 and 1940. Interestingly, Lillian Harvey’s name is mentioned in Quentin Tarantino’s film  “Inglorious Bastards” (2009). One of her songs is played on a phonograph and in addition one of the characters in the film mentions liking Harvey’s performance in a film and Joseph Goebbels becomes angry and insists her name never be mentioned in his presence. Click on the link below to hear the Lillian Harvey/Willy Fritsch duet used in the Tarantino movie. The 1936 song is titled “Ich Wollt Ich War Ein Huhn” (I Wish I Was A Chicken). Now would be a good time to discuss this postcard portrait of Miss Harvey. She is looking quite decorated in this photograph. She is wearing a garland of leaves in her hair, a very ornate necklace, a number of large bracelets, two giant rings, and a jeweled clasp on her dress near her cleavage. Note her very notable eye lashes. She is wearing a somewhat provocative dress and it is clear that the aim of the photographer is to emphasize Miss Harvey’s sexiness. The photographer and Miss Harvey succeeded in accomplishing this goal. The postcard was published by the German firm Ross Verlag and was part of a series (no. 8679/1). The postcard credits Fox films.                                                 SOLD                                                                                                                                                                          

The second postcard (postcard 2) features Miss Harvey in a risque costume. She is showing a “lot of leg” which is quite provocative for her time. It is likely that this image captures her in one of her film roles. The postcard was published by Argenta, which was located in Munich, Bavaria.                                                                                                                  SOLD        

The third postcard (postcard 3) presents Miss Harvey is a sexy pose. Note her dark gloves and large hoop earrings. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no. 4288/1). Note the advertising logo for the German film company UFA, located on the bottom right hand corner of the image.

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The fourth postcard (postcard 4) showcases Lillian Harvey’s beautiful smile. Miss Harvey’s not quite plunging neckline was clearly aimed to add a bit of a risque element to the photograph. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag (Berlin) and is part of a series (no. 1019/2). This portrait was taken by the talented photographer, Alex Binder. The photographer of this terrific image was Alexander Binder (1888-1929). He had the largest photo studio in Europe during the late 1920’s and the 1930’s. Many of his entertainment star portraits appear on Ross Verlag postards. It is thought that Binder was of Swiss origin. He was of the Jewish faith. He studied engineering but did not complete his studies. From 1908 to 1910 he studied photography at a school in Munich, Germany. After the completion of his photography studies, he went to Berlin and in 1913 opened his first photography studio. Before long, he became one of the premier photographers in Berlin.  He primarily focussed on fashion and celebrity photography. Since Berlin was the capital of the European film industry, Binder photographed all the stars of the European film industry including, Lilian Harvey, Conrad Veidt, and Lya De Putti. Many of his images were used in popular film portrait postcards. His photographs could be seen in postcards published by Ross Verlag and Photochemie. Binder died in 1929 but new photo cards bearing his signature continued to be published until 1937. 

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The fifth real photo postcard (postcard 5) features Miss Harvey wearing a bathing suit and sitting in a beach chair. Her shoes and stockings don’t seem very appropriate for the beach so it is a good thing that she is actually in a photographer’s studio and sitting in front of a beach backdrop. Obviously, the mission of the photographer was not to convince viewers that Miss Harvey was at the beach. The intent of photographer Alexander Binder was to present Lilian Harvey in a provocative and sexy pose. Mr. Binder certainly succeeded in accomplishing his goal. This photo postcard was published by Ross Verlag.

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Postcard #6 features a hand colored portrait of Miss Harvey published by Ross Verlag. The postcard is part of a series (no. 3543/4). She looks fantastic wearing her print dress and plaid long scarf. I’m not convinced the dress and scarf are matching, but her beauty overcomes any mismatch. As in Postcard #3, the logo for the German film company UFA, can be seen on the lower right hand corner of the image. This photo postcard is from the 1930’s and is in very good condition (see scans).

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Postcard #7 features Lillian Harvey leaning forward as she looks into a hanging bird cage. The photographer likely chose this pose to inject some sexuality into the image. The pose reveals a small amount of the actress’s cleavage. She is wearing a relatively low-cut dress for this time period. Print on the reverse of the postcard reveals that the photograph of Miss Harvey comes from the film “Congress Dances” (1931). Her costar in the film was Willy Fritsch. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no. 6738/1). On the right hand bottom corner of the postcard is the logo for “UFA”, a German film company. This postcard is in excellent condition.

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harvey-1                                                            POSTCARD 1

harvey 2 3

                                                               POSTCARD 2
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  POSTCARD 3
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                                                                    POSTCARD 5
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 POSTCARD 6
harvey7 2                                                                   POSTCARD 7

PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS: MISS MABEL DARK

This vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Mabel Dark. She is quite pretty and is wearing a dress exposing her bare shoulders. This image was produced by the Dover Street Studios. The postcard was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons and is part of the “Celebrities of the Stage Series (no. T 1141)”. Raphael Tuck and his wife started their photography business in 1866 in London. Their store sold pictures, greeting cards, and in time, postcards. Their success came from the sale of postcards during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s the firm conducted postcard competitions for collectors of Tuck postcards. These competitions offered cash prizes and they were very popular. The winner of one of these competitions had a collection consisting of over twenty-five thousand cards. Three of Tuck’s four sons participated in the business. The company was devastated by German bombing during World War II. In 1959 the company merged with two other printing companies. The postcard has excellent clarity and is in very good condition.

 

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