Hollywood Daughters Of Vintage Stars

We’ll begin with the scandalous story of the very beautiful Loretta Young who had an affair with Clark Gable during the making of ‘Call Of The Wild’ and had to adopt her own daughter from an orphanage. Loretta and Gable in 'Call Of The Wild'Clark Gable did not want to acknowledge the child and Loretta could not for if she had she would have lost her career.  Little Judy Lewis ( After Loretta’s second husband ) didn’t find out she was Loretta’s biological daughter until she turned 31.Loretta Young and Judy Lewis She’d had her suspicions though as  Gable’s ears were a dead give-away.  Around the same era Joan Crawford famously adopted a daughter ( not biological ) who wrote a book about the experience of living with the star who was an extra fussy clean freak entitled ‘Mommy Dearest’.

Christina Crawford was by no means happy and was often made to do her mothers bidding at the oddest of hours.

Things like cleaning the floors at midnight an arranging clothes in her mothers wardrobe according to style and colour.  This was probably because she had to learn to arrange her own wardrobe accordingly in mini me mode.  Joan liked to dress her in matching outfits for photo shoots. When Christina grew up and  got an acting job on a daytime soap Joan literally stole her part.

Almost as bad was Bette Davis whose daughter B.D. ( Barbara ) also wrote a book. ‘My Mothers Keeper’. Not quite as scathing as Christina’s book on Joan but also very damaging to her mother’s reputation. B.D was in awe of her mother though and spent much time with her on the set. Bette was portrayed in the book as a drunken sloth who cared little for her daughter’s wellbeing yet felt the need to interfere with everything she did.  B.D. had been adopted by Gary Merrill who had romanced her mother on the set of ‘All About Eve’. He drank too much and was irresponsible and B.D didn’t like him at all.

This caused  trouble in the mother daughter relationship and became a wedge between them. Bette too never seemed to approve of B.D.s relatioships and was particularly rude to B.D.s husband and made every attempt to ruin the marriage.

Anyway through it all Bette was the star and B.D. the carer. A compromised relationship but not without love and respect.

The love between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher was very obvious and Debbie would often have her daughter on stage with her
as was the case, with Judy Garland and Liza Minelli. Both had close relationships with their daughters who turned out to be equally as talented as their famous mothers.This does not mean to say the relationships were without friction entirely. Carrie Fisher once wrote that she felt felt very insecure around her mother as Debbie Reynolds was always so cute and charming while Carrie was just ‘Bovine’ and not really into laying on the charm factor. In the film made on their relationship ‘Postcards From the Edge’ their mother-daughter issues were thrown into the public arena. These were issues that many could relate to.

As for Judy and Liza the similarities are just so obvious. Both with huge stage presence and voices to match.  Even their personalities were similar. I personally adored Judy Garland due to her complete sincerity and the raw emotion she shared with the public. I had the honour of seeing Liza Minelli in concert and she had the same magic.  Different yet same.

Liz Taylor had a close loving relationship with both her daughters Maria Burton and Liza Todd. They had not a bad word to say about their mother who apparently devoted herself to them even when miles away on set in another country.  They grew up quite normal and decided not to follow in their mother’s footsteps in Hollywood although Liz would have been cool with that. Maria is a well known artist and Liza works with abandoned animals.

Jane Mansfield was a wonderful mother and her daughter Mariska Hargitay is a star in her own right. Mariska did not know her mother very long , however, as Jane died young in a car accident.

Zsa-Zsa Gabor, on the other hand, lived a very long and full life but had a rather fraught relationship with her daughter Franchesca Hilton whose billionaire father, Conrad Hilton, had denied her any of his fortune when he died. Zsa-Zsa married many times. Even more than Liz. She only had one child though and that child was never happy.
Franchesca’s final new father , Prince Von Anhalt,  also disinherited her and Franchesca died young homeless and alone.



Lana Turner’s daughter ,Cherlyl Crane, takes the cake, however, when it comes to loyalty. When her mother’s boyfriend, mafia hitman, Tony Stompanato, beat Lana senseless and tried to kill her she was saved in the nick of time by her daughter. Cheryl stabbed her mothers aggressive lover to death. Apparently Stompanato had also sexually abused Cheryl and so this also added to her motive. Her parents had remained friends and her father ,Steven Crane ,stood beside both mother and daughter fending for their honour. Cheryl Crane is a successful real estate broker and a writer. There are many more Hollywood mother-daughter stories that abound in Hollywood and these are just a few to show that no matter who we are we all have issues with our mothers.  Young or old, rich or poor, famous or infamous we all must find our own way and be proud of who we are.Unlike Yasmin Khan, we can’t all have Rita Hayworth for a mother and a prince for a father but we can all allow our special ‘Princess’ to shine from within. Hollywood eat your heart out!










Vintage Hollywood Candids

I have neglected this blog for a while mainly because I am at present working on another book.  I do have two vintage Hollywood books out at present. ‘Hollywood Dreamers And Schemers’ with Joan Crawford on the cover and ‘One Small Step-One Giant Leap’ with the lovely Gene Tierney.

Joan in a fluted black and white figure hugging gown this time in the centre of a revolving door.

Both books feature stars of the thirties and forties in scenes from their films with captions underneath. You can find them listed on ‘Amazon’ and on ‘Blurb Books’ Just google the titles.  Anyway I also have a facebook page ‘Vintage Movie Star’ which features mostly candid shots of vintage Hollywood stars at play.

I thought I would do a blog with just candids adding a little information on each for your further research just for fun. Always interesting to find out who was related, married or had an affair with who. For example Judy Garland and Micky Rooney were forever friends. Judy and Micky at MGM school learn Spanish1946-ava GardenerHe would go on to marry Ava Gardener when Judy turned him down.  Shirley struggled to make it in films as an adult where Judy thrived. Shirley laughsShirley did, however,  make some good teen movies  like ‘Honeymoon’.Shirley Temple in 'Honeymoon Shirley was to be teamed up with Garland and Rooney in three fims but the studio decided to pull her out as they were afraid that Judy and Micky would upstage her and ruin her comeback.
Ava and Micky RooneyMickey, of course, was unstoppable and would go on to star in may great films as well as marrying many more times. His films would include ‘National Velvet’ with Liz Taylor. Yep that’s Liz with the dog in the tub.
He and Ava didn’t work out and she went on to marry Frank Sinatra. Judy and Frank performed on stage together many time . Shirley also made a film with Frank Sinatra in 1963 called ‘The Victor’ It was a small world back then eh?ava and Frank

‘La La Land’under the ‘Moonlight’

la-la-landWell Oscars 20017 will remain memorable for a long time to come. For the first time in fifty years it looked like a musical would beat all. Right up until the very last minute … literally.  Just as best picture was announced and the cast of ‘La La Land’ were up on stage ready to take their accolades it was announced that a serious drama had won instead. The movie that won, ‘Moonlight’, what’s more, had an all black cast. Where ‘La la Land’ is pretty ‘Moonlight’ is gritty. Fortunately, I had seen both.  Let’s start with ‘La La Land’  A film very much based on the musicals of the 1950s with 1930s art deco style and 1980s cool. debbie-and-gene A veritable artists pallet of bright colours and gorgeous scenery. I saw so many of my favourite musicals being paid homage to. Mostly Gene Kelly in ‘Singing In The Rain’ and ‘American In Paris’. The influence of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire too was strong in the ballroom dancing scenes.Fred and Ginger mirror
There were also ideas from ‘Sweet Charity’ with Shirley Maclain particularly the scene with the four girls dancing down the street in party dresses.Dean & Natali Woodlala-lovers There were also touches of ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, a fifties drama with James Dean and Natalie Wood, in there.Fred and Ginger hand kiss la-la-girls
The opening scene on the freeway was reminiscent of the eighties blockbuster musical ‘Fame’.sweet-charity-lift There were quite a few others in there too.lalaland-gosling The story was similar to a film made with Doris Day and Frank Sinatra,’Young At Heart’, in which she is a struggling singer and he is a struggling jazz musician establish himself.

movie-young-at-heartThis film has a little of everything and yet retains its originality. The direction and cinematography are a feast for the eyes and the chemistry between the two stars is palpable.
So great to see a return to the musical genre in all its flamboyant glory.

Now to ‘Moonlight’.Full moon on sea A film about a black neighbourhood and the problems faced by young black Americans growing up in poverty surrounded by drug addicts. moonlight-sea Add to the mix a gawky black kid who just happens to be gay and is bullied as a result. In fact the kid that bullies him is the same kid with whom he has just shared his first gay experience. moonlight-movieThis is a film that would never have been made in the fifties. Probably not even in the eighties. This too is a film about love but its no walk in the park.  It was hard to watch.  Very real.  With the farce that is America at present maybe this is what they need. A dose of realism.