Monday, January 31, 2011

x Dorothy Dandridge x

Parent's split up shortly after her birth

With sister was a vaudeville acted called "The Wonder Sisters"

Skipped School

Great Depression ruins The Wonder Sisters

Move to New York

Re-name themselves "The Dandridge Sisters"

Performed at The Cotton Club

Got into Film Work

Married Dancer and had child

Child Born brain damaged

Couple Divorce

Starred with John Wayne

Carmen Jones

Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress
First African American to be nominated for Best Actress

Island In The Sun

No more film parts come

She sings in nightclubs again

Marries Jack Denison

Domestic Abuse Rumours

Divorces him

Swindled out of money

Owes taxes

Sells Hollywood Home

Puts Daughter in Mental Institution

Dorothy Suffers Nervous Breakdown

Earl Mills starts arranging her "comeback"

Comeback never comes.

Overdose of Antidepressant

Dies aged 42.

x Lupe Velez x

Father ashamed of her career so she wasn't allowed to use his surname

Moves from Mexico City home to Texas

Moves to California

Got parts in movies

Accused of promoting communism

30 and still not a huge star

Leaves Hollywood for Broadway

Gets Pregnant

Following her catholic upbringing refuses to have an abortion

Cannot bear to give birth to the child

Commits Suicide

To Harald: May God forgive you and forgive me, too; but I prefer to take my life away and our baby's, before I bring him with shame, or killing him. Lupe.

Edie Sedgwick plays Lupe in the Warhol film "Lupe"

x Peg Entwistle x

Mother died when young

Father re-married

Family emigrate to America

Step Mother died

Father killed by hit and run

Has success on broadway

Marries a man

Divorces him over charges of cruelty and she claims she didn't know he was married before with a child

Get's a part in a film

Commits suicide by throwing herself off the "H" in the hollywood sign

Film released

Her grave remained unmarked until 2010

Her suicide note: I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

x Mabel Normand x

Broke up with film producer

Made her re-evaluate her life

Developes close friendship with a director

He's murdered

Her drug use becomes talked about news

Her chauffeur, a millionaire and a golfer all become wounded by her pistol

She's a heroin addict for most of her life

She dies of tuberculosis aged 37.

x Florence Lawrence x

The "biograph Girl"

Achieved her life-long dream of buying a massive estate and grew roses

Had a fight with her husband

He left and sent her letters about how he was going to commit suicide

They Reunite

She retired from films

Induced to work on last few films

Stage fire breaks out on set

Lawrence gets burnt and suffers a fall

Blames husband for making her do that film

They divorce

Never regains career

Gets married again to someone new

They divorce.

Marries someone else

He's abusive

They divorce

Travels to Hollywood to regain career

MGM pay her $75 a week for bit parts

Alone and discouraged she suffers from myelofibrosis

Commits suicide by eating ant paste

Buried in an unmarked grave until 1991 when Roddy McDowall pays for a memorial marker.

x Vivien Leigh x


Manic Depressive

Numerous breakdowns


"I'm not afraid to die." - Vivien Leigh

x Tallulah Bankhead x

Mother Died when she was a baby

Drug Addictions

Sex issues - "I'm as pure as the driven slush"

Five Hour Hysterectomy due to venereal disease - she then said to the doctor after " Don't think this has taught me a lesson!"

Her last words? "Codeine.. Bourbon"

Monday, January 24, 2011

x Damsel in Distress x

I love the cross over between art and fashion; I was totally enamoured and enthralled by the Art and Fashion exhibition at The Royal Academy. I was also enthralled by Sketch's pop-up eatery at the venue. Sandwiches wrapped like delicate french knickers with cute pastel bows, latte's in fine bone china with dainty roses on them; should food be this gorgeous at the end of a fashion focused exhibition?

As I bit into my sandwich and sketched away, I looked up and saw Claudia Schiffer in a variety of prints by Jake and Dinos Chapman, playing the "Damsel in distress" on illustrated horror backgrounds. Almost swallowed by the skull of doom she still manages to get her lush red lace bra out and shows off that vintage 'do.

Why am I talking about this on here?

Well, she reminds me of an old family friend Ingrid Pitt, who sadly passed away last year. The actress infamous for her roles in the hammer horror films, she was amazing. She survived a concentration camp childhood, married three times, held a black belt in Karate and a pilot's license.

One of my favourite illustrations/artworks ever is the poster I have for her "Countess Dracula" film for Hammer. It hung on my wall for about four years before I moved to London, and in it she's a fiendish yellow with cherry lips.

Are Damsels in distress ever really helpless? Are vixens true life vampires? The roles that cinema has projected onto women leave them confused about who to be; the cold vixen or the over emotional damsel in distress? I feel it's only now that women are finding their own feet, and they will, as long as they don't get sucked up by crappy rom coms.

P.S. Emma Forrest's new book "Your Voice in My Head" you just have to read.