ISABELLE PIA : FRENCH FILM AND THEATER ACTRESS

Isabelle Pia (1931-2008) was a French theater and film actress. She was known for her film roles in Madame du Barry (1954), Marianne of My Youth (1955), and “Love at Night” (1955). Pia was also a painter. The IMDb reports that she appeared in seven films between 1953 and 1955, She is also credited with two theatre appearances between 1956 and 1957. She mysteriously retired after turning down a MGM contract. The lensman who photographed Miss Pia for this postcard was Sam Levin, a respected and well known celebrity photographer. The postcard was published by the “Globe” as part of a series (no. 413). This scalloped edged photo postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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THEATER STAR YVONNE SAUTROT: PORTRAIT BY REUTLINGER IN PARIS, FRANCE

yvonne12020-06-14_170137 yvonne22020-06-14_170238Yvonne Sautrot is the subject of this 1896 cabinet card portrait by Reutlinger, a well known celebrity photography studio. Miss Sautrot assumes a most seductive pose in this risque image. To view other photographs by this celebrated studio, click on the category “Photographer: Reutlinger”. The reverse of this photograph lists the address of the studio as “Paris 21 Boulevard Monmarte, Paris. A stamp on the back of the image states “Hazebrouco, Incenieur – Opticien Paris”. Miss Sautrot assumes a most seductive pose in this image. Munsy Magazine (1896) published a portrait of Yvonne Sautrot and announced that she was playing in an adaptation of a popular English Melodrama called “The Fatal Card”. The French production went under the name of “La Dame de Carreau” (“The Queen of Hearts”). The writer of the article was preoccupied with Miss Sautrot’s beauty. He described her “charming features” and stated that “her beauty might well fit her to take” the place of actress Amy Busby who acted in the earlier version of the play. The writer also complimented Sautrot’s “special talent for posing effectively” in front of the camera. The Reutlinger Photography Studio was opened by Charles Reutlinger in Paris in 1850. Reutlinger was of German descent. The studio took portraits of many of the world’s beautiful, rich and famous people of the era. In 1880, Charles’ brother, Emile (1825-1907) took over operation of the studio. He was joined by his son Leopold (1863-1937) in 1883. Leopold took over the studio in 1890 and operated the business until 1930 when he lost an eye in an accident involving a champagne cork. This lovely cabinet card is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on June 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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ANTONELLA LUALDI : PROLIFIC ACTRESS OF ITALIAN AND FRENCH FILMS AND TELEVISION

lualdi12020-06-06_113410The pretty actress seen in this vintage real photo postcard is Antonella Lualdi (1931- ). Although she is an Italian actress and singer, she appeared in both Italian and French films in the 1950’s and 1960’s. One of the more noted films was “The Red and the Black” (1954). Lualdi was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Her father was Italian and her mother was Greek. Growing up, she became fluent in Arabic, French, and Italian. Her career was propelled by winning a “new talent” competition held by the cinema magazine, “Hollywood”. She was introduced by the name of “Signorina X” and readers were asked to choose her stage name. Lualdi’s filmography published by IMDb reports that she has 107 TV and film credits ranging from 1949 through 2010. In 1955, she married Italian actor Franco Interlenghi. They had starred together in several films. The couple had two daughters, both of whom became actresses. This postcard was published in 1950 by the Globe (Paris). The card is part of a series (no. 326). The photographer of this portrait photo is Sam Levin (1904-1992). He was born in the Ukraine but emigrated to France when he was two years of age. He is famous for his stage photographs and his portraits of movie stars. His studio was in Paris. Levin was a film photographer for 75 films. He was arrested by the Nazis during World War II and was sent to a camp. His crime was, being Jewish. The fact that he was sent to a detention camp rather than a death camp, indicates there was a high ranking Nazi official acting as his guardian angel. He photographed nearly all the major French and European movie stars of the 1950’s and 1960’s. He is particularly celebrated for his photos of Brigitte Bardot. Levin did over 180 magazine covers in the United States. A number of Levin’s photo postcards can be found in the Cabinet Card Gallery. This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).                       

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ROSANNA ARQUETTE : TELEVISION AND FILM ACTRESS : PRESS PHOTO BY GABOR SCOTT : (1989)

This press photo features award-winning actress (film and television), film director, and film producer, Rosanna Arquette (1959- ). Her movie credits include roles in “Desperately Seeking Susan” (1985), “Pulp Fiction” (1994), and David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996). Arquette was born in New York City. Her mother was an actress, poet, therapist, and more. Her father is a film actor, screenwriter, and producer. Her grandfather (Charley Weaver) was a comedian. She has four siblings that became actors. Must be in the genes. Arquette was one of the victims of Harvey Weinstein’s predatory sexual behavior and she spoke out about her experience early on when Weinstein was being deservedly skewered by the press. She has been married four times and divorced three times. While making a film with Bette Davis in 1978, Arquette was advised by the apparently prescient screen star that mixing a career and a relationship would never work. In 1990 Arquette was on the cover and featured in a nude pictorial for Playboy magazine. The IMDb credits her with 152 acting credits and 3 for directing. This silver print photograph was taken by celebrity photographer, Gabor Scott, in 1989. It is my presumption that the number 89 printed on the reverse of the photo stands for 1989. The Press Gazette reported Gabor’s death in 2014. He was 65 years-old. The article’s headline asserts that he “made his name covering 1980’s glitterati”. The London based photographer once photographed Prince Harry giving him “the finger”.  He was the “house photographer” at Camden Palace, one of the most fashionable London clubs in the 80’s. He photographed many celebrities there and elsewhere. Scott was born in Hungary in 1948 and moved with his family to London in 1956. Scott syndicated his images through a number of agencies. This press photo was distributed by Camera Press. The photo measures about 5″ x 7″ and is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on May 28, 2020 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PEGGY RUSH : PORTRAIT OF A BRITISH AMERICAN CHIGAGOAN STAGE AND FILM ACTRESS

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This vintage real photo postcard features pretty stage and film actress Peggy Rush. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, in around 1898. Her parents relocated to England when she was just three months old. Miss Rush began her stage career playing in musical comedy choruses.  In 1915 she played such a role in New York. She was a member of the company that appeared in “Quinneys” at the Maxine Elliott theatre. The Green Book magazine (1916) reported that for for the first three seasons Rush appeared on stage, she was a chorus girl for the first year, and she was a leading lady for the final two seasons. A reviewer in “The Theatre” magazine described Rush as “fascinatingly girlish”. The New York Times (1916) reported her engagement to to the Honorable George St. John Brodrick, the eldest son of Viscount Middleton and heir to the peerage (definition – those holding title).  George St John Brodrick, 2nd Earl of Midleton (1888 –1979) was an English aristocrat, landowner and soldier. It was not unusual for actresses or chorus girls to meet and marry titled individuals. Some of these men were “stage door Johnnies”. A photograph by the Bassano studio (1923) can be found in Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. I also found a notice of Rush’s divorce from her titled husband. I uncovered a 1924 press photo of Peggy Rush. The caption of the image discloses that the Viscountess Dunsford (Formerly Peggy Rush) was suing her husband, the count, for divorce. He went on to marry two more actresses. Miss Rush had a sense of humor. She once said that she never knew whether to refer to herself as American or English. She quipped that she felt safest calling herself a Chicagoan. This photo postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.A171-2).The card is “hand painted” and part of the “British Beauty” series. The postcard was written and postmarked in 1917. This real photo postcard is in very good condition.

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FRANCOISE FABIAN : PRETTY AND PROLIFIC FRENCH FILM ACTRESS

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The pretty young woman featured in this vintage real photo postcard is Michele Cortes de Leone y Fabianera. Her stage name is Francoise Fabian (1933- ). She is a French film actress and she has appeared in more than 80 French and International films since 1956. She began as a stage actress and performed at the Paris Conservatoire. She trained at the Algerian Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. She is known for acting in “My Night at Maud’s” (1969), “Belle de Jour” (1967), and “Happy New Year” (1973). She acted in films by Eric Rohmer and Louis Malle. Fabian was born in Algiers, French Algeria. Her father was Spanish and her mother was Polish. She was married and widowed twice. Her first husband, Jacques Becker, was a French screenwriter and film director. Her second husband was French film actor, Marcel Bozzuffi. His roles included playing the brutal hit man in “The French Connection” (1971). The photographer of this portrait photo is Sam Levin (1904-1992). He was born in the Ukraine but emigrated to France when he was two years of age. He is famous for his stage photographs and his portraits of movie stars. His studio was in Paris. Levin was a film photographer for 75 films. He was arrested by the Nazis during World War II and was sent to a camp. His crime was, being Jewish. The fact that he was sent to a detention camp rather than a death camp, indicates there was a high ranking Nazi official acting as his guardian angel. He photographed nearly all the major French and European movie stars of the 1950’s and 1960’s. He is particularly celebrated for his photos of Brigitte Bardot. Levin did over 180 magazine covers in the United States. This postcard was published by Kores, a French company. The card is part of a series (#894). The series is comprised of 100 postcard portraits. This postcard is in good condition (see scans).                                     

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DAISY BELMONT : CIRCUS PERFORMER, TALENTED BARE BACK RIDER, SINGER, AND DANCER

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Daisy Belmont (1871-1896) was a circus equestrian and performer. She made her theater debut at three years of age and her career took off. Her repertoire included singing, and dancing and in time, bare back riding. She sometimes preformed with her siblings, Lottie and Charles. Her performing career took her to Asia, Australia, and South America.  In 1889, at age 18, she married William Showles (1857-1924), a “dashing” young equestrian who rode with Sells Brothers circus.   She became the most famous bareback rider in the country.  Tragically, after returning to America after performing “on the road” in Austalia, she died from Bright’s disease at age twenty-five.  Miss Belmont’s obituary indicates that she was a “successful with Barnum’s circus” (P T Barnum) as a bare back rider. Daisy Belmont has been described as “the embodiment of grace and feminine loveliness”. She died and was buried in Chicago, Illinois. This cabinet card features Miss Belmont. She appears to be in her mid teenage years at the time of this photograph. She is displaying a sweet smile. She is posed as if she is jumping rope. Most images that I have seen of Daisy, capture her at a significantly younger or older age than this image. The photo studio that produced this cabinet card portrait is C. C. C. Co. of Chicago.  (SOLD)             

 

MABLE WOODS : A LESSER KNOWN “GAIETY GIRL”

The pretty woman featured in this real photo postcard is Mable Woods. She was a theater actress. I could find little biographical information about her. I did discover that sometimes her name appeared as “Mabel” Woods rather than “Mable” Woods. I stumbled across a couple of real photo postcards in which Miss Woods made an appearance. Two of these cards were individual portraits of the actress but another postcard paired her with an actress name Rose de Vella. Mable Woods and Miss de Vella toured India together, performing in the chorus line for one of the “Gaiety Girls” touring companies. Irish born, George Edwards (1852-1915) was the theater manage of London’s Gaiety Theater. At one point he had sixteen touring companies. He had a propensity for hiring pretty young women to work as “Gaiety Girls”. These women were the chorus girls appearing in Edwardian musical comedies that began in the 1890’s. These women were an important ingredient for staging a successful musical production. They danced and appeared on stage in bathing attire and in the latest fashionable clothing. Unlike the corseted actresses from earlier musical burlesque shows, Gaiety Girls were viewed as respectable and refined. One writer reports that Gaiety girls “were polite, well-behaved young women”. Many Gaiety girls progressed to very successful acting careers. The list of former Gaiety girls reads like a hall of fame of celebrated actresses. Gaiety girls that catapulted to major roles include Marie Studholme, Mabel Love, Ellaline Terriss, Lily Elsie, Gladys Cooper, Phyllis Dare, and Gabrielle Ray. These and other starring alumni of the chorus, kept the moniker “Gaiety Girls”. The young women performing in Edward’s shows peaked the interest of wealthy gentlemen who became known as “Stage Door Johnnies”. They would wait outside the stage door and invite the actresses to dinner at fine restaurants. A number of women accepted the invitation.  Sometimes the women would eventually marry one of these dates. A number of these women married noblemen, while others became the wives of professionals. In the book, “The Gaiety Years”, author Alan Hyman refers to the chorus as becoming “a matrimonial agency for girls with ambitions” to marry titled men. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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VIOLET LLOYD: ENGLISH STAGE ACTRESS AND A PIQUANT SOUBRETTE

PHOTO 1

LLOYD FRONTPHOTO 2

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 Photograph 1 features stage actress Violet Lloyd posing for celebrity photographer Benjamin J. Falk at his New York City studio. Ms. Lloyd is adorned with flowers in her hair and looks quite beautiful as she poses with her rather large fan. Violet Lloyd was an English actress and singing comedienne. The New York Times (1896) published a favorable review of  “The Geisha”, a play appearing at Daly’s Theater. The critic wrote that  “The greatest individual hit last night was made by Violet Lloyd, an English Soubrette (female stock character in opera and theater)……….She is a piquant (engagingly provocative)  little person, with a droll (amusing in an odd way) but pretty face, sufficient voice, a sense of humor, and plenty of agility”.  It is clear that turn of the century newspaper writers were either better writers than today’s journalists, or else, their editors were more likely to  encourage and expect higher quality writing.  As a result, newspaper articles had a more literary style and used advanced vocabulary. Please forgive me for providing the definitions of some of the words in the quotation; I couldn’t stop myself. A stamp on the reverse of this cabinet card indicates that it was once part of the collection of Charles L. Ritzmann. Other photographs from Ritzmann can be viewed by clicking on the category “Charles Ritzmann Collection”.

The second photograph (PHOTO 2) was also done by a well known New York City celebrity photographer. Aime Dupont was of Belgian origin and he captured Miss. Lloyd wearing clothing that was likely costume from a play. Note the fan she holds above her head. Her pose, with her hand on her hip, likely reflects feigned shock or dismay. This cabinet card is also part of the Ritzmann collection. To view more photographs by Dupont and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”.                                                                                                                                                                     Photo 3  is a vintage real photo portrait of Violet Lloyd. It is interesting to note that the squiggly lines on Miss Lloyd’s dress are textured with sparkles. The postcard was published by Philco (no.3026F). The Philco publishing company was located in London, England. This vintage postcard is in good condition (see scans).

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MLLE POLAIRE: FRENCH SINGER AND ACTRESS (PHOTOS BY REULINGER & NADAR)

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Mlle Polaire is actually the stage name used by French singer and actress Emilie Marie Bouchaud (1874-1939). Polaire was born in Algiers, Algeria and began her theatrical career as a cafe singer at the young age of 15. She moved to France two years later and ad0pted the stage name Polaire and became a music hall singer. In 1895, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec drew a sketch of her which appeared in the satirical magazine Le Rire. In 1900 her portrait was painted by Leonetto Cappiello and her popularity rose even more. She began acting in Paris in 1902 and became a major celebrity star. She was thought to be a gifted comedic actress but was also very well known for her beauty. She was famous for her tiny, corsetted waist. She was five feet and three inches tall. She lavishly overdressed in furs and dazzling jewels. In 1911 she appeared in her first silent film role and later appeared in six films of director Maurice Tourneur in 1912 and 1913. She then returned to the stage and toured the United States and England. She later made a reappearance in films, performing in ten (some were talkies). She died at age 65 and was buried in France. This cabinet card photograph (Photo 1) was taken in Paris, France at the studio of Reutlinger. Charles Reutlinger (1816-1860) was a French photographer whose studio operated between 1850-1937 in Paris, France. Among his subjects were many celebrities including the prettiest ladies of Paris. To view other photographs by Reutlinger, click on the category “Photographer: Reutlinger”.                                                       The second photo of Miss Polaire is featured in this vintage real photo postcard (Photo 2). She looks beautiful in this image. She is sitting cross-legged and wearing dark clothing, boots, and a large bow. Examining the print of the front of the card provides some interesting information.  We learn that the photographer of this image is the celebrated and talented Paul Nadar (1856-1939).He was a French photographer. He learned photography by his father, Felix Nadar, also a talented portraitist. Paul eventually ran his father’s studio. The establishment catered to a affluent clientele and was very successful. In 1890 he began shooting photographs from a hot air balloon. The press referred to him as “The Fearless Paul Nadar”. Nadar also photographed sites in Europe and Ssia along the ancient silk route. Some consider his work from that trip to be the first incidence of “photo-reportage”. In 1893 he became an agent in France for Eastman Kodak. The word “Eclair” appears in the bottom right hand corner of the photo. The Eclair Company was a movie production company established in 1907 and headquartered in Paris. The company produced many silent shorts in France beginning in 1908 and it’s American division produced films from 1911 through 1914. Included in their productions was one of the first film version of  “Robin Hood”.  In the top left hand corner of the photograph is the word “Bouffes”. The “Theatre des Bouffes-Parisiens” is a theatre located in Paris and founded in 1855. It was the location of the production that Miss Polaire was appearing in when she posed for this photograph. The name of the production can be seen in the bottom border of the card, “Claudine a l’Ecole”. The translated title of the play is “Claudine at School”. The story is from a 1900 novel by the French writer, Colette. It is a tale about a 15 year-old girl and her brazen conflicts with the headmistress and fellow students in her school. This vintage postcard has a great deal of back story. It is in excellent condition (see scans).

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polaire 3 2020-05-01_075923 PHOTO 2