Lana Turner: Breathless Blonde.

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  drinking a coke at Schwabs milkbar her rise to fame was , nothing short […]

via Lana Turner: Breathless Blonde. — Bourgeoise Bloomers

Lana Turner: Breathless Blonde.

lana-turner-at-doorLana 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 Schwabs milkbar  her rise to fame was , nothing short , of miraculous.lana-turner She was a beautiful child/woman who brought out the protective side in men. In her first film ‘They Won’t Forget’ Turner wore a sweater. She actually looked so great in the sweater which emphasised her curves that she became known throughout America as ‘The Sweater Girl.  Turner, Lana (Ziegfeld Girl)She went on to make some truly great films. Notably Ziegfeld Girls, Johnny Eager and ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’lana-turner-postman Until ‘Postman’ Turner had mostly played pretty girl roles and relished the chance to play the conniving temptress who would stop short at nothing to become rich.
Inlana-turner-musketeers-gene-kelly-2‘The Three Musketeers’ she was positively evil.

Her life often reflected her film roles though and the men she picked were often volatile and abusive. She married eight times. That’s once more than Elisabeth Taylor. lana-turner-and-taylor-johnny-eagerjpg Lana’s men included Arty Shaw, Lex Barker ( Of Tarzan fame ) and mafia front man Johnny Stompanato. She was, by her own admission, an alcholic who suffered bouts of depression and maybe it was the danger that kept her enthralled long enough to forget her miseries. Her father had been murdered in an alley many years before she became famous after winning some money at cards. In ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ she and Garfield plan the murder of her  character’s husband who likewise has won some money.  In ‘Johnny Eager’ with Robert Taylor she is attracted to a mob frontman who is murdered. Turner’s gangster boyfriend, Stompanato , was murdered by her own daughter.In the film ‘Peyton Place’ she has a daughter faced with a similar dilemma. Only it’s more about the crimes of racism than plain old domestic abuse.lana-turner-portrait Like many stars of the 1940s she was cast with Clark Gable for a few movies. These included ‘Honkey Tonk’ and ‘Green Dolphin Street’ lana-turner-and-gable-rumour-mill They really steamed up the screen just as her predecessor Jean Harlow had done with the same leading man.  Harlow had died only six months before Turner was discovered.  Unlike Harlow, though ,Turner lived a relatively long life and died at the age of 74 from throat cancer.

Loved Lana in the 1940s.




Carmen Miranda The Tutti Fruitti Lady

Carmen Miranda hatCarmen 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 a radio star and was Brazil’s most famous samba singer.  Her gramophone records were incredibly popular especially in Rio in the 1930s. Miranda made her Broadway debut in a show called ‘Streets of Paris’ and was an instant success with her audiences. Carmen Mirand in 3.DNot a conventional beauty she had devised a character with zest. verve and comedic timing who could fit well into any staged scenario.  She and the character she devised soon became inseparable and the warm, funny, talented Brazilian Bombshell was born. She had actually started working at only fourteen in a hat shop and it was there that she learned to make those crazy hats for which she would later become so famous.

miranda-carmen full gold Always cast in roles where she could shine as a problem solving show stopper there to lend her zany style of wisdom to  main characters who got themselves into romantic difficulties.  In her very first major film made in 1940,she starred with Betty Grable, Don  Ameche and Cesar Romero, three of the most famous stars of the day, and held her own as a loveable ,wise cracking performer who becomes friend and confidante to Betty Grable. This would become the formula for all her future films.Carmen Miranda 'That Night In Rio 2'  But while extremely popular in the U.S. she was frowned upon in Brazil for her stock portrayal of Latin American women. For this reason she did not return to Brazil for many years and was extremely hurt by the animosity she felt from her own country. In films such as ‘That Night In Rio’ and ‘ The Lady In The Tuitti Fruity Hat’ she continued to play the same type of character and by 1945 was Hollywood’s highest paid actress.

Carmen Miranda married David Sebastian who had been the producer on one of her films. carmenmirandaIt is said that it was not a happy marriage and that he was abusive toward her. Whatever the truth is she was dead by the age of 46 of a heart attack.  Carmen Miranda was , in actual fact , a creative genius, a one off who is imitated all over the world. That is something that cannot be said for many of the traditionally ‘Beautiful’ actresses who graced Hollywood in it’s golden age.  So all of you girls who are unique take heart and be the very best you can at what it is you do.

I… I … I .. I like you very much…..

© Renee Dallow

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( Hybiscus Bloom )