BETTY BRONSON: BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS BEST KNOWN FOR PLAYING PETER PAN IN THE 1924 SILENT FILM

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POSTCARD 2   (SOLD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features American actress Betty Bronson (1906-1971).She began her career in silent films and later appeared in sound films and television. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (1095/1). At the time when this postcard was released, Miss Bronson was working for Paramount Film. She appears to be quite young when she sat for this portrait. She moved to California as a teenager determined to start an film acting career. She landed a bit part at age 16 and a year later she was interviewed by the author of  Peter Pan (J M Barrie) and chosen to play the lead role in the film version which was released in 1924. Gaining this part was quite an accomplishment considering more seasoned actresses including Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford sought the role. She became became lifelong friends with two members of the Peter Pan cast (Mary Brian and Esther Ralson). Miss Bronson had major roles in the silent films Ben Hur (1925) and a Kiss for Cinderella (1925). Betty Bronson made a successful transition into talkies. She co-starred with Al Jolson in the sound film, The Singing Fool (1928). In 1933 she took about a four year break from actingto marry a wealthy North Carolinian named Ludwig Lauerhass. While she was filming Peter Pan, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. developed a crush on her. The IMDb reports that Bronson had 41 film and television appearances during her career (1922-1971). Included in her television career were roles in Run For Your Life and My Three Sons. Overall, it is reported that Betty Bronson never lived up to her original promise. She was expected to be a major competitor to Mary Pickford but it is thought that her roles after Peter Pan were not effective vehicles to showcase her talent and to help her rise to superstardom. The YouTube clip below shows Miss Bronson in her role as Peter Pan.                                                                                                             The second postcard offers another portrait of Betty Bronson. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag and has the logo of Paramount Pictures. This postcard shows her in a movie role but the movie title is unidentified.                                                                                                            The third postcard is a portrait of Miss Bronson that was published by Iris Verlag as part of a series (#504). Iris Verlag was the most important Austrian publisher of film star postcards. It operated from Vienna during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The film star looks quite beautiful and is wearing a fancy dress, long white gloves, and a tiara. Imbedded in the photo of the actress is a logo for “Fanamet Films”.  Fanamet was an Austrian film distribution company.

     Postcard 4 features a portrait of Betty Bronson published by Picturegoer as part of Series 88 (no.207b). The company was based in London. Picturegoer was a British fan magazine focussing on contemporary films and the actors and actresses who performed in them. Picturegoer also published postcards. In fact, they produced over 6500 different real photo postcards of 2000 actors and actresses.

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BETTY BALFOUR: “BRITAINS QUEEN OF HAPPINESS” (3 VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARDS)

 

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Have you ever heard of Betty Balfour? You would definitely know who she was if you lived in England during the silent film era because she is considered the most popular actress there during the 1920’s. She was known as the “British Mary Pickford” and “Britain’s Queen of Happiness”. Her fans knew her best for her “Squibs” series of films. Betty Balfour (1903-1977) was also known for her stage career. She made her stage debut in 1913 and worked in theater for several years before entering the film industry. She did not attempt to extend her career to Hollywood  but she did star in a number of German films. In Britain she starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Champagne” (1928). Her sound era debut was in “The Nipper” (1930), Her popularity began to drop in the 1930’s though she still was getting film roles. In all, she appeared in more than 35 films. Balfour was married to composer Jimmy Campbell but the marriage fell apart in 1941 after a ten year run. She attempted a theater comeback in 1952 but it failed. She died in Weybridge, Surrey, England at the age of seventy-four. This vintage real photo postcard was produced by Picturegoer as part of a series (no. 2a). The company was based in London. Picturegoer was a British fan magazine focussing on contemporary films and the actors and actresses who performed in them. Picturegoer also published postcards. In fact, they produced over 6500 different real photo postcards on 2000 actors and actresses.

The second real photo postcard see here is of unknown origin. The publisher is not identified nor is the photographer. Interestingly, just as in the first image, Miss Balfour is wearing pearls. She certainly was quite pretty.

The third real photo postcard features Miss Balfour in costume wearing a headpiece with very large feathers. Her v-neck dress is very beautiful. The portrait of Miss Balfour was taken by the Maull and Fox studio. The postcard was published by Cinimagazine and was part of a series (no. 84). Henry Maull (1829-1914) was a British photographer known for his portraits of famous individuals. He became a member of the Royal Photographic Society in 1870. During his career he had several partnerships. One of these partnerships (c1856-1865) was with George Henry Polyblank and the pair were very talented and produced great photographs. Between 1879 and 1885 Maul partnered with John Fox (1832-1907). The partnership with Fox was ended due to bankruptcy. However, the studio’s name was maintained after the bankruptcy by Fox’s son Herbert. Examination of the date of Maull and Fox’s partnership, it is clear that this photograph was produced by a photographer operating after the reign of Maull and Fox. Much of Maull’s work can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

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LILY DAMITA: BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED ACTRESS AND EX WIFE OF ACTOR ERROL FLYNN

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This vintage real photo postcard features actress singer Lili Damita (1904-1994). She was born Liliane Marie Madeleine Carre in Blaye, France in 1904. She was educated in convents and ballet schools in several European countries. She was a pretty and talented star actress of silent movies as well as early talkies. Her filmography includes 33 film appearances between 1922 and 1937. Damita started dancing professionally at sixteen years of age and made her film debut in 1922. As a teenager she danced in music halls and appeared in the revue of the Casino de Paris. She also worked as a photographic model. She starred in the film “The Queen was in the Parlor” (1926) by Noel Coward. She appeared with Ronald Colman in Sam Goldwyn’s film “The Rescue” (1929). Goldwyn feared that Damita’s accent would be a deterrent for success in talkies so Damita worked to change her accent and she appeared in her first talkie, “The Cockeyed World” (1929). Goldwyn eventually dropped her partially because she had been too honest with the press about her millionaire lovers. During her career, Damita worked with celebrated actors including Gary Cooper, Laurence Olivier, Cary Grant, Maurice Chevalier, and James Cagney. She had more than one marriage. Her second husband was actor Errol Flynn. They married in 1935 and were divorced seven years later. Cooper’s infidelities contributed to the dissolution of their marriage. The couple’s son, Sean Flynn, disappeared while photographing the Vietnam War, and was never found. She married again; this time to a dairy farmer named Allen Loomis. Her marriage to Loomis dissolved in 1962. In 1994 Damita died of Alzheimers disease in Palm Beach, Florida. A YouTube tribute to Lili Damita can be seen below.

Postcard 1 is part of the “Picturegoer Series (No. 375” ) and was published in London, England. Picturegoer was a British fan magazine focussing on contemporary films and the actors and actresses who performed in them. Picturegoer also published postcards. In fact, they produced over 6500 different real photo postcards on 2000 actors and actresses. Miss Damita looks quite lovely in this photo portrait.

Postcard 2 provides another postcard view of Miss Lili. She looks stunning in her flapper like outfit. This photo postcard was published by Ross Verlag as part of a series (no.4154/3). Thi initial FPS are in the lower right corner of the image.

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