Retroogle

A Tribute To Our Vintage Crushes

mr-craig:

Theodosia Burr Goodman, better known as Theda Bara, was born this day in 1885. She was one of the cinema’s earliest sex symbols, rising to fame with her femme fatale screen persona for whom the term “Vamp” was coined. Her publicists invented countless wild stories about her life; for example, the ‘fact’ that Theda was born to Egyptian royalty under the shadow of the pyramids. In reality she was born to a Jewish family in Ohio. In contrast to her public image, Theda was a modest woman who liked nothing better than to curl up at home with a good book.

Another [legend] concerned a woman who kicked a hole in a poster of Theda outside a theater, happily paying ten dollars for the damage, claiming, “it was worth it!” Wacky fan (and non-fan) letters were invented for the public’s entertainment. One was from an Oriental gentleman requesting a photo of the ‘honorable Theda’ as ‘honorably naked as possible.’

~ from “Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara” by Eve Golden

Though she acted in 43 films, only six are still in existence, making her the star with the highest percentage of lost films of anyone on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ava Gardner (born this day in 1922) on the beach.

Ava Gardner (born this day in 1922) on the beach.

Louise Brooks, born this day in 1906.

Louise Brooks, born this day in 1906.

Burt Lancaster, born this day in 1913, and Ava Gardner in the 1946 film noir classic The Killers.

Burt Lancaster, born this day in 1913, and Ava Gardner in the 1946 film noir classic The Killers.

Greta Garbo, born this day in 1905. Promotional still from Mata Hari.

Greta Garbo, born this day in 1905. Promotional still from Mata Hari.

Fay Wray, born this day in 1907. Promotional still for King Kong, of kourse…

Fay Wray, born this day in 1907. Promotional still for King Kong, of kourse…

Joan Crawford circa 1932. An amazing promotional still from Letty Lynton.

Joan Crawford circa 1932. An amazing promotional still from Letty Lynton.