Lana Turner had a voice that was like that of a child pouting when a new toy is taken away . It had a breathless quality and made her appear at once vulnerable and just a little needy. First discovered at drinking a coke at … Continue reading Lana Turner: Breathless Blonde.
Carmen Miranda, she of the crazy fruity hats , colourful costumes and ridiculously high platform shoes, was a multi talented singer, dancer and actress who created a sensation when she was first discovered in Hollywood. Before making her first Hollywood film, however, she had been … Continue reading Carmen Miranda The Tutti Fruitti Lady
Born in Tasmania Australia Errol was actually a bit of a petty criminal before he became a big Hollywood star. He also loved ships and sailed the South Pacific on fishing trawlers looking for adventure. Errol was the full package. He was indeed the perfect specimin which , ironically, was the title of one of his earlier films . Flynn made his first Australian film ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ having been discovered by film makers while sailing through to New Guinea. He followed this up by travelling to England and joining a repertory company where he gained his acting experience. Of course it wasn’t long before Hollywood took notice after a Hollywood producer caught one of his stage performances. It was probably Errol’s well honed physic and chiselled good looks that made first impression rather than his acting talents which were still quite raw. Flynn also had incredible charm, a cheeky sense of humour and a keen intellect.He was also a ladies man and usually managed to win over his leading ladies. Errols first big film for Hollywood was ‘Captain Blood’ with Olivia De-Havilland and this film made him a huge star immediately. He was a sensation. He went on to star in …’They Died With Their Boots On’ ,which was the story of General Custer,
‘The Charge Of The Light Brigade’ and of course the film for which he’s probably most famous, ‘Robin Hood’
Errol was equally adept at Westerns and was wonderful in ‘Dodge City’ and in’San
Antonio’ with Alexis Smith. He had many leading ladies along the way including ‘Anita Louise’ and even Bette Davis in ‘Elisabeth And Essex’ but the one with whom he made the most films was Olivia De-Havilland.They made a total of eight films together.
All down to chemistry. She was soft, calm and demure while he was all energy. They were apparently very attracted to each other but never acted upon it. Probably very wise of Olivia for Errol was not exactly the faithful type. He married three times notably to Lili Damita and Patrice Wymore. Errol died in his 50s and had many different diseases. He drank, he partied and he slept around until the day he died. Yep he certainly lived it up while he had the chance. He was still beautiful in a wasted sort of way when he died. Loved you Errol. There’ll never be another you.
She was the toast of Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s and swam her way to the top. Esther was a national swimming champion and had won several titles before Hollywood made her an aquatic star. In fact she was responsible for the ‘Aqua Musical’. These were musicals with generally flimsy stories centred around a hotel pool, an idyllic island retreat or on a famous beach. Even The English sea side resorts were not safe. Hollywood hit the jackpot in 1952 by casting Esther as Annette Kellerman, the first woman to swim the English channel. Not only was she a great swimmer but she was also exceptionally beautiful with a figure that was the envy of every woman in America and probably everywhere her films were shown. Her synchronised swimming scenes in films like, ‘Neptune’s Daughter’, ‘Jupiter’s Darling’ and ‘Million Dollar Mermaid’ were stunning but also very dangerous. Esther actually broke her neck during one of the dives in ‘Million Dollar Mermaid’ and had to cut off her affair with her co-star,Victor Mature, while recuperating. She had many very famous co stars including Ricardo Montalban, Howard Keel, Van Johnson, Fernando Lamas, just to name a few. All were required to join her in the pool for a romantic swim scene. She even swam with Tom and Jerry.
Esther actually married Fernando. I would have chosen Ricardo. But that is bye the bye. Anyway before being discovered whilst working in a department store to make ends meet Esther had wanted to compete in the Olympics but couldn’t go due to the outbreak of World War 11. During the 1940’s ,she was instead, assigned to war work touring hospitals as her film career began to soar while other stars sold war bonds. She married four times and died at 91. Well I guess that’s what comes of being fit and fabulous.
We still favour Esther Williams style latex swimsuits today although I don’t know of anyone who can wear it the way she did. Figure hugging swimsuits which supported a woman’s figure and at the same time made her look amazingly slim. In fact ,Esther, personally made sure that all the nurses in the hospitals she toured in the Pacific were equipped with the right swimming attire. It is also largely due to Esther that synchronised swimming became accepted as an Olympic sport and the world is still looking for another one like her . I doubt this will ever happen as she was, pardon the pun, one in a million.