This lovely 1940s & 50s pinup played Danny Kaye’s love interest in a number of films, and in the late 1940s, the Sultan of Morocco declared her beauty to be proof of the existence of God. She could dance too…
Lina Romay was an actress and singer in the 1940s and 50s, with Columbia and MGM. Though she was born in New York, she was daughter to the Mexican Consul to New York City and was typically cast as a Latin American beauty. She sang with Xavier Cugat’s orchestra in the early 1940s. You may have seen her singing with the band in the Fred Astaire/Rita Hayworth flick You Were Never Lovelier (1942) or in Stage Door Canteen (1943). In the clip below, she could be singing about herself…
Jean Harlow was born Harlean Carpenter in Kansas City, Missouri in 1911. In her short life (she died at the age of 26), she became one of film history’s greatest icons, and the original blonde bombshell. She was the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine. In her 10 year acting career, she made 36 movies, including Howard Hughes Hell’s Angels (with her famous line, “Would you be shocked if I changed into something more comfortable?”), Platinum Blonde, Red Dust, The Secret Six, Wife vs. Secretary, Dinner at Eight, and Bombshell. To accompany her escalating career, in 1935 she legally changed her name to Jean Harlow, her mother’s maiden name. She was married three times, and was engaged to actor William Powell when she died of kidney failure (a result of the scarlet fever she had suffered as a child) in 1937. She is buried in the mausoleum in Forest Lawn Glendale, in Los Angeles.
We’ve been getting a lot of hits from our post about Kate Beckinsale playing Ava Gardner in The Aviator. So here’s a few photos of the real thing: Ava Gardner herself.
Ava Lavinia Gardner (24 December 1922 – 25 January 1990) was an American actress with MGM in the 1940s and 50s. Her notable films include The Killers (1946), Mogambo (1953), Bhowani Junction (1956), On the Beach (1959) and The Night of the Iguana (1964). She was married to (in order) Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra (yes, he left Nancy for Ava!). After Sinatra, she had a long relationship with Howard Hughes (as depicted in The Aviator), and later with famed 1950s Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin. A lifelong smoker, she died in 1990 of pneumonia (a complication of her emphysema) at the age of 67. She was buried in her hometown of Smithfield, North Carolina, where there is an Ava Gardner Museum.
Care of Wiki:
Anna May Wong (January 3, 1905 – February 2, 1961) was an American actress, the first Chinese American movie star, and the first Asian American to become an international star. Her long and varied career spanned both silent and sound film, television, stage, and radio.
Born near the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles to second-generation Chinese-American parents, Wong became infatuated with the movies and began acting in films at an early age. During the silent film era, she acted in The Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first movies made in color and Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Bagdad (1924). Wong became a fashion icon, and by 1924 had achieved international stardom.
Frustrated by the stereotypical supporting roles she reluctantly played in Hollywood, she left for Europe in the late 1920s, where she starred in several notable plays and films, among them Piccadilly (1929).
She spent the first half of the 1930s traveling between the United States and Europe for film and stage work. Wong was featured in films of the early sound era, such as Daughter of the Dragon (1931) and Daughter of Shanghai (1937), and with Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg’s Shanghai Express (1932).
In 1935 Wong was dealt the most severe disappointment of her career, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer refused to consider her for the leading role in its film version of Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth, choosing instead the European Luise Rainer to play the leading role in “yellowface”. Wong spent the next year touring China, visiting her family’s ancestral village and studying Chinese culture. In the late 1930s, she starred in several B movies for Paramount Pictures, portraying Chinese-Americans in a positive light. She paid less attention to her film career during World War II, when she devoted her time and money to helping the Chinese cause against Japan. Wong returned to the public eye in the 1950s in several television appearances as well as her own series in 1951, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, the first U.S. television show starring an Asian-American. She had been planning to return to film in Flower Drum Song when she died in 1961, at the age of only 56.