CARRIE PERKINS : RISQUE PHOTO : WORE THE TIGHTEST DRESSES IN VAUDEVILLE

The pretty woman seen in this cabinet card portrait is actress, Carrie Perkins. Her acting included productions on Broadway, as well as, appearances on the Burlesque and Vaudeville stage. One of Perkins’s claims to fame, is that she was considered to be the actress that wore the tightest fitting costumes in all of vaudeville. She appeared in much advertising such as premium cards for cigarette brands. The website, “Broadway Photographs” provides a biography of Miss Perkins. She is described as “a vaudevillian with a trim body and a smart tongue”. The site states that “she plied both the visual and verbal dimensions of entertainment”. Although she was known for her tight gowns, the biographer states that “it was her urban girl wit that won her a ticket to Broadway”. She became known to the theatrical world in Garrick’s burlesque “Thrilby” (1895). She wasn’t considered beautiful enough to play lead roles. Instead she played roles that showcased “feminine audacity”. She appeared in nineteen Broadway productions according to the Internet Broadway Database (IBDB). These appearances occurred between 1888 and 1911. These performances included “Jack and the Beanstalk (1898), “The Casino Girl” (1901), and “The Merry Shop Girl’s” (1905). Her final show was “The Fascinating Widow”. which was a touring production with the popular actor and female impersonator Julian Eltinge. There seems to be agreement that Perkins was long on personality and appearance, but short on talent. Perkins rarely received praise from theatre critics. She found her place on the stage as a supporting actress/dancer/singer. This cabinet card photograph was taken by the Sparks Photo-Publishing Company. The studio was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The artist/manager of the studio was Elliott Houseworth. The 1880 census lists Elliott A. Houseworth as being born in 1855, residing in San Francisco, California, and working as a photographer. Houseworth also appears in the 1900 census as living in Norwood, Pennsylvania and working as a manager. These demographics fit the photographer of this image, since Houseworth managed Sparks Photography Studio and Norwood is only about eleven miles from Philadelphia. A stamp on the reverse of the image states “Russell Brothers, 126 Tremont Street, Boston”. Perhaps the Russell Brothers were photograph collectors or a photo gallery that sold celebrity photographs. Photographs of Miss Perkins are rare and this image is beautiful remnant of turn of the century Broadway theater. SOLD

LUCY GERARD : BEAUTIFUL FRENCH STAGE AND FILM STAR : (AKA LUCY MAREIL)

IMAGE 1  (SOLD)

IMAGE 1 CLOSE-UP      (SOLD)

IMAGE 2 SOLD
IMAGE 2 CLOSE-UP SOLD

Image 1 is a vintage postcard that features French actress Lucy Gerard (1872-1941). She appeared both on stage and in film. She began her stage career in 1888 at the Theatre de la Renaissance and continued her career in France through 1900. She was absent from the performance scene for quite awhile until she returned to the stage with a “new” name, Lucy Mareil. During her stint away from the stage, she became an antique dealer. Equipped with her new name, Gerard landed numerous roles in theater and cinema from 1911 to 1923. In  The IMDb credits Gerard with 24 film roles. The IBDb reports that she appeared in one Broadway play, “A Night with the Pierrots / Sesostra / The Whirl of Society” (1912). Lucy Gerard was a very pretty actress and her photo on this postcard shows her in what appears to be a Middle Eastern costume. On the top left hand corner of the front of the card is the word “Vaudeville”. At the time that this photo was taken, Miss Gerard was appearing at the “Theatre du Vaudeville” in Paris. The photographer of this postcard photo was Charles Pierre Ogerau (1868-1908). He was a Frenchman and was considered an excellent photographer. He was also known to be an anarchist activist at the beginning of the twentieth century. Ogerau opened his photographic studio on boulevard Montmartre in around 1885. He specialized in photographing actresses and his subjects included Cleo de Merode and Emma Calve. This vintage postcard portrait is uncommon.   (SOLD)

Image 2 is a Cabinet Card portrait of the Miss Girard. She looks beautiful in this photograph. She is dressed in a fancy gown. This photo was taken at the celebrated Reutlinger studio. 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 began running the studio in 1890 and operated the business until 1930 when he lost an eye in an accident involving a champagne cork. A stamp on the reverse of  this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City. (SOLD)

IMAGE 1  (SOLD)

IMAGE 2: REVERSE SOLD

BETTY COMPSON : PROLIFIC AND PRETTY AMERICAN FILM ACTRESS : SITS IN SPORTS CAR

This vintage real photo postcard features American actress and film producer, Betty Compson (1897-1974). She was nicknamed “the prettiest girl in pictures”. Compson was born in a mining camp in Beaver, Utah. Her father was a mining engineer, a gold prospector, and grocery store owner. Her mother was a maid in hotels and private homes. Betty graduated from Salt Lake High School. She was hired as a violinist at age 16 in a theater in Salt Lake City. She then played in vaudeville touring companies and it was during this stint she was discovered by a film producer (Al Christie) who signed her to a contract. She began her career during Hollywoods’s silent film era. Her debut film was “Wanted, a Leading Lady” (1915). After this film, her career rocketed. She appeared in 25 film in 1916. All but one, were shorts. In 1918 she was offered a contract by studio head Mack Sennett. She rejected the offer because the salary was too low. She continued to make numerous short films until the middle of 1918. She was frequently paired with Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. She started making only feature films. She became a rising star after appearing opposite Lon Chaney in “The Miracle Man” (1919). Paramount became interested in her and signed her to a five year contract. In 1921, Compson established her own production company in order to have creative control over screenplays and financing. The first movie she produced was “Prisoners of Love” (1921). After she completed acting in “The Woman With Four Faces” (1923), Paramount refused to give her a raise. She wanted an increase in her $2500 per week salary. Compson was angry enough at Paramount, to leave the company, and sign with a British film company. She made four films in England, two of them were films penned by Alfred Hitchcock. Paramount lured her back to Hollywood from England by offering her a top dollar contract. She then appeared in a movie by director, James Cruze. The pair married in 1924, but divorced four years later. The divorce from Cruze nearly ruined her financially because of debt accrued by Cruze. After Paramount did not offer her a contract renewal, she began freelancing in lower budget films. In 1928 she appeared in a “part talkie” called “The Barker”. She played a manipulative carnival girl. She was nominated for a “Best Actress” for this role by the Academy Awards. In 1929, she gained much recognition for her role in “The Docks of New York”. She played a suicidal prostitute. These two films resulted in her popularity returning to it’s previous high level. She appeared in many “talkie” films. Unlike a lot of silent film stars, Compson made a successful transition into sound films. In fact, she even appeared in a number of early musicals. When she played singing parts, her voice was dubbed. Her career flourished. In 1930, she appeared in 9 films. Her last “hit’ was in “The Spoilers”. Her costar was Gary Cooper. Her popularity waned and she only got roles in low budget, less successful studios. Her last film was in 1948. After retiring from her movie career, she started a cosmetic line and assisted her husband in a business named “Ashtrays Unlimited”. In total Compson was married three times. Her second marriage, to agent/producer Irving Weinberg ended in divorce after four years. Her third marriage was to a professional boxer. The marriage lasted 18 years and ended upon his death in 1962. She had no children. She died in 1974 after suffering a heart attack. She had much impact on the early movie industry. The IMDb reports 209 film credits between 1915 and 1948. This vintage postcard is in excellent condition (see scans). Take a look at the YouTube video below. The video features Betty Compson appearing in the silent film, “The Docks of New York” (1928). The music accompanying this video is obviously modern, but, in my opinion, it is excellent. Compson demonstrates incredible acting ability. Her facial expression and her eyes speak for her. SOLD

Betty Compson in “The Docks of New York” (1928)
Music: “Marry Me” By Dave Pagett and Viv Jones (Sax)