Wednesday, March 27, 2013

VERONICA LAKE : The girl with the peekaboo hair

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ALAN LADD THIS GUN FOR HIRE : And other classics

With seductress Veronica Lake, who he would team up with in several films. 
Stunning petite Veronica Lake never took her career too seriously.
Both Veronica Lake & Alan Ladd were short in stature, they had great chemistry also. 
Once Veronica Lake  cut her famous 'peek-a-boo' hair,  her career was never the same.
Both actors  died young at just 50, Alan Ladd a heavy drinker. 
Posted by PicasaI am a huge Film Noir movie fan, and have been weeding my way through several Film Noir DVD  box-sets. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


This photo was from a shoot for her 1965 BOAC AIRLINE ad
THE WICKED QUEEN MARLENE DIETRICH full version of my 1996 artwork
Marlene and Gary Cooper from DESIRE
rare shot of Marlene in the late 30's at the train station in full travelling attire
Marlene was always camera ready, even posing while lighting a cigarette
A rare shot from Billy Wilder's A FOREIGN AFFAIR
Marlene as Ringmaster at Madison Square Garden 1950's
Marlene as Ringmaster: with  John Ringling North & Gloria Vanderbilt
In the 50's Marlene wowed Las Vegas 
Here her Jean Louis gown looked see-through, then more sequins were added
Marlene's Ringmaster outfit was certainly tailored to show off her best assets
Marlene... late 50's at the time of The Monte Carlo Story, with handsome escort half her age
The famous legs (late 40's) alternate shot.
With the Beatles at the Royal Variety Performance, who were just as excited to meet her, especially John Lennon
After a show, ever youthful Marlene passed out autographed postcards sitting atop her waiting car
Marlene's glorious worldwide concert career lasted from the mid 50's to mid 70's
Posted by PicasaIn the 50's, when marlene began her Las Vegas shows at the Sahara, she wowed audiences in her so called see-through transparent Jean Louis gowns. After opening night, she told the press she added more sequins for modesty's sake. But in reality, she wore a cleverly constructed skin coloured foundation garment, that she stepped into, that gave her the girlish figure and the illusion of nudity. But time stands still for no mortal, and Marlene, the greatest of all the Love Goddesses, needed all the help she could get, if her second career as a cabaret and concert performer was to last. In order to look much younger than her actual mid 50's, Marlene resorted to wearing metal clamps under her wigs at the back of her neck, to pull any excess skin tight. To create the strong jawline, a fine gold chain was worn tight
up  against her throat and up under her jaw.
After returning from 4 long years in the trenches tirelessly  entertaining the troops, she felt she looked tired at 45.  She wanted to look youthful in the upcoming color film Kismet, where she would paint her famous legs gold.
So she and her hairdresser Sydney Guilaroff (MGM head hair department 1934-late 70's) developed this very secret instant facelift method by combing her own hair under her wigs  into tight plaits ..... pulling them tighter and tighter, and her skin tauter and tauter...and then anchoring the plaits into a tight knot until her scalp bled.  So in Kismet this gave her eyes that 'oriental dreams' look, and made her face look years younger.  The results were so spectacular she used this method for the rest of her life, harrowing as it was, as well as the occasional  real dabble with cosmetic surgery of course. Over the years rumours spread that she went to Switzerland for secret lamb intestine injections, but the reality was more painful and more demanding. Marlene had many other beauty tricks, from her expert knowledge of lighting, and her amber light spots, to her makeup artistry. After her death, in one of her Paris lofts, a makeup kit was found. There were the match sticks she would use to kohl  her eyes, and the fine gold dust she would shower her hair. Marlene always had luminous misty eyes, and her eyebrows changed shape every few years. They were highest at their peak in The Devil is A Woman, her last film with Josef Von Sternerg in 1935. And that was her favorite film, because she never looked more beautiful. Marlene early in her career often had a mirror brought to the set, where she would sit and do her makeup for the coming scene. She would sit under a light placed high above her head, giving her the famous Von Sternberg shadowing under her nose jaw and cheekbones. She would then use a darker shade of foundation powdering in the shadowed areas, she developed known as facial contouring. These layers would lighten to the main areas of the face not cast in shadow. The tops of her cheekbones and middle of her eyelids would be highlighted, and she would also draw a white line  along her bottom eyelids, and down the middle of her nose. This would be smudged, and then a darker shade along the sides of her nose added to make it appear more narrow. This facial contouring method is still widely used today, but Marlene pioneered it. She was ahead of her time, and a perfectionist. Every detail was dealt with. And each decade she updated her look to flatter her features, and make her appear always current and fashionable. Keeping the Dietrich myth alive and forever youthful was an ongoing job that just got harder and harder. No one in the history of cinema remained as youthful and glamorous, and for as many decades as did Marlene Dietrich. The woman continues to fascinate to this day with the release of most her films to DVD and more books about her every year. Today she has become a cult icon, a legend, and a star we will never forget.