CONSTANCE TALMADGE : PRETTY BUT TROUBLED SILENT FILM STAR

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This vintage real photo postcard features pretty film actress, Constance Talmadge (1898-1973). She was a silent film star and the sister of actresses Norma and Natalie Talmadge. Constance was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents were poor and her father was an alcoholic who abandoned the family in Constance’s early childhood. Her mother worked as a laundress. Mom’s friend suggested that she should try to get Norma a modelling job in flickers, which were shown in nickelodeons. Mom followed the suggestion and that led all three sisters into acting careers. It also led to mom becoming a stereotypical “stage mother”. Constance made her film debut in a Vitagraph comedy short entitled “In Bridal Attire” (1914). Her first substantive role was in D. W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” (1916). Talmadge became a popular star and appeared in more than 80 films during her career. Many of the films were romantic comedies. She also formed her own film production company. She was friends with Anita Loos, a very successful early screenwriter. Loos said she appreciated Talmadge’s “humor and her irresponsible way of life”. Constance left the film business with the introduction of “talkies”. In fact, all three sisters retired around the same time. Apparently, their squeaky Brooklyn accent was not compatible with sound films. Constance became a successful real estate and business investor. Unfortunately, only a few of her films survive. In some ways, Constance lived a tragic life. She became a reclusive alcohol and drug abuser. She also had many affairs and relationships end badly. She was married four times but never had any children. Her first marriage, to a Greek tobacco importer, lasted two years. Marriage number two was to a Scottish soldier and the couple’s union lasted one year. Her third marriage was only two years duration. The fourth time must have been the charm, as she and her stock broker husband were married about 25 years. The marriage only ended upon his death. In 1973, Constance Talmadge died from pneumonia. This vintage real photo postcard was published by Ross Verlag. It was part of a series (no.2033/1). The postcard has the logo of “Fanamet” in the lower right hand corner of the image. “Fanamet Films” was an Austrian film distribution company. The logo for “First National Pictures” is located on the bottom left hand corner of the image. First National Pictures was an American motion picture production and distribution company. The company was founded in 1917 as a theater chain. It then began distributing movies and in 1924 it began producing films. In 1929 the company was absorbed by Warner Brothers. The vintage portrait postcard has residue on the reverse stemming from it’s former residency in a postcard album. However, the postcard is in very good condition and has great clarity (see scans).

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3139

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Published in: on July 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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).

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

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