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

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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.

Postcard 1 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).

Postcard 2 was also published by “Ross Verlag”.  Billie Dove looks beautiful in this portrait. Note the old style phone she is using. The postcard was sold exclusively by Ballerini & Fratini of Florence, Italy. The firm was known for producing a large number of postcards, including film stars of the 1920’s. I do not know why there were two publishing firms involved in producing this postcard. Perhaps there was a distribution agreement of some kind between the two companies. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2543 POSTCARD 1

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Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2543

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Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3545

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Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) 3545

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TWO PORTRAITS OF PROVOCATIVE GERMAN SILENT FILM STAR RUTH WEYHER

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This vintage real photo postcard features German silent film actress, Ruth Weyher (1901-1983). She was born in Neumark, East Prussia, Germany.  Weyher grew up in Danzig where she studied painting until she switched to a conservatory to study singing. An illness robbed her of her singing voice and in 1919 she travelled to Berlin where she studied a Max Reinhardt’s theatre school. Reinhardt was a well known director and producer. She appeared in 48 films between 1920 and 1930. She starred in director Georg Wilhelm Pabst’s film “Secrets of the Soul” (1926). She also produced a film in 1929. During her career, Weyher only appeared in a few sound movies and she abandoned acting after marrying publisher Hans Geiselberger in 1932. It is reported that she retired at her husband’s request. The video clip below features Miss Weyher in her appearance in the film “Shadows: A Nightly Hallucination” (1923). The film title translation was done by “google translate”. Weyher’s costar in this film was Austrian stage and film actor Fritz Kortner (1892-1970). A review of this film describes Weyher as “beautiful and passionate”.  Ruth Weyher’s appearance in this film can be described as risque or provocative. One of the themes of this film is infidelity. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (no. 3529/1). The portrait of Miss Weyher was taken by Alex Schmoll, a photographer located in Berlin, Germany. There is Italian print on the reverse of the postcard that roughly translates as “Exclusive sale publisher: Ballerini and Fratini, Firenze (Florence, Italy). A bit of research reveals that the publishing house, Ballerini & Fratini Montespertoli began in Florence in the year 1912.                                     The second postcard featuring Ruth Weyher was also published by Ross Verlag. The postcard is part of a series (no. 3089/1). This portrait of Miss Weyher  has her posed in position to display her bare back. She has an engaging smile and holds a large fan of dark feathers. Some may find this image somewhat sexually provocative. The photographer of this photograph is Kiesel of Berlin, Germany.

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