Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lustre-Creme Shampoo Advertisement


Hollywood stars back in the day probably appeared in as much advertising as they did movies.  Certainly glamour was a huge selling point, especially for a personal care product like shampoo, as pictured above in this Lustre-Creme Shampoo magazine ad.

The movie studios often teamed with advertisers to mutually push each other's products.  Here we see Ann Blyth in her costume from The Buster Keaton Story (1957), posed by a 1920s roadster on the set, with the tag line, "You'll love Ann Blyth in The Buster Keaton Story, A Paramount Picture in VistaVision."

Lustre-Creme Shampoo advertised heavily on radio as well, and many Old Time Radio, or "OTR" fans will recall the commercial jingle that sponsored Our Miss Brooks.  I'm not sure when Lustre-Creme was discontinued, but it's obviously no longer marketed. 


It's a lovely photo, though, the very image of casual elegance, whether for selling shampoo or movie.

***************************



The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.


Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Happy Birthday to Ann Blyth


I join a million or so of her other fans this day wishing a very happy 88th birthday to Ann Blyth.

I would guess this above studio publicity portrait to be from about 1948-49, roughly about the time she made her western, Red Canyon (1949).

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Merry Monahans - Lobby Card with Cast


A charming "parade of years" musical, The Merry Monahans (1944) was Ann Blyth's second film.

Pictured in this lobby card are costars Rosemary DeCamp, Jack Oakie, Peggy Ryan, and Donald O'Connor.

They lead us into the world of vaudeville, with its highs and lows, and hijinks and shenanigans. We discussed it a bit in this post on my Another Old Movie Blog.

It is one of Ann's Universal pictures that has not been released in DVD or, I believe, VHS, and is not shown on Turner Classic Movies, so it's a bit tough to find. 

****************


The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.


Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ann Blyth on a Novel Cover

The book cover below is probably a very early photo of Ann Blyth as a child model. It is, quite surprisingly, currently being used on the cover of a novel.



The Bobby Soxer was first published by the late Hortense Calisher in 1986, and has been reprinted as an ebook by Open Road Media, which seems to be a company specializing in ebook reprints.

At this Getty Images website, which licenses stock photos, we have another photo of a child model.  This most definitely is Ann Blyth.  Here is another pose.

Comparing these Getty stock images with the photo on th book cover, we see the girl is identical, not only in hair and facial likeness, but she's wearing the same clothes, right down to the butterfly pin at her collar.

I'm not sure of her age in this photo; it could have been taken concurrently to her performing in the Broadway play, and later touring company, of Watch on the Rhine, or perhaps even upon her arrival at Universal when she was 14 or 15 years old. 

I don't if the Open Road Media company knows they are using a photo of a famous Hollywood actress as a child to illustrate this novel cover.  I had attempted to contact them for more information some months ago, but never received a reply.

This mystery came to me by way of a very observant fellow writer and blogger, Elisabeth Grace Foley of The Second Sentence blog, and author of many fine westerns and the Mrs. Meade Mystery series.  Here's her author page on Amazon for more info.  Elisabeth first noticed the amazing resemblance on the novel cover and brought it to my attention last year.  My thanks to her for passing along this curious bit of trivia.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer Theatre Souvenirs


This being the height of summer (here in the northern hemisphere, anyway), here's a token reminder that Ann Blyth had a several-decades long career in summer theatre. The above program is for Showboat, in which she starred opposite Terence Monk, and Andy Devine played her father, Cap'n Andy.

You may recall that she and Mr. Devine went way back -- to her third film, Babes on Swing Street and also her next movie, Bowery to Broadway, both released in 1944.  She played Ohio in Showboat for the Kenley Players Productions in 1970.

Those of you who follow the Facebook page for this blog, ANN BLYTH: ACTRESS. SINGER. STAR. will note that recently the son of actor Pernell Roberts contacted me to direct me to his Facebook page honoring his father's career and the several photos he posted of Ann Blyth and Pernell Roberts when they performed together in a summer theatre production of The King and I, which took place at the MUNY in St. Louis in 1967.  See this link for those photos.  My sincere thanks to Mr. Roberts, Jr., for sharing those terrific pictures.

For more on Ann's summer theatre shows, have a look at this previous post at my Another Old Movie Blog, as well as my book, Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star., which has further info.

Did you ever see Ann Blyth on stage?  Let us know.

*************




The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Makeup by the Westmores


Here's a magazine photo clipping of Wally Westmore touching up Ann Blyth's makeup on Top O' the Morning (1949).

Mr. Westmore, of course, was one of the famous band of six Westmore brothers who all had important careers in the field of motion picture makeup. They all worked in different studios. Wally was at Paramount, which produced Top O' the Morning.

Bud Westmore, of Universal, was responsible for Ann's resplendent fish tail in Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948), and in most of her films, as the bulk of her career took place at Universal.  (See Chapter 13 of Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. for photos of the mermaid-creation process.)

Twin brothers Perc and Ern were at Warner Bros. Perc, who rose to head the makeup department there, worked on Mildred Pierce (1945).

Introduced to the business by their father, the entire Westmore makeup clan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

************************



The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Katie Did It (1951) - on YouTube



Katie Did It (1951) is a charming movie in which Ann Blyth, who was known for not doing cheesecake photos, plays a prim New England librarian who poses in a swimsuit for a New York commercial artist because she needs to pay her uncle’s gambling debts to keep gangsters from visiting him.


Cecil Kellaway plays her roguish uncle, and we don’t want him to get his legs broken, either.


Mark Stevens plays her prince charming, here with Ann and Cecil Kellaway in the above lobby card for the movie.


This film was the last movie I was able to obtain when researching my book on Ann Blyth’s career, and for a long, nail-biting, while, I thought I’d never find it.  As with many of Ann Blyth’s films, this one is not on DVD, or VHS, and is not shown on Turner Classic Movies.  Press time was fast approaching, and my year-and-a-half-long hunt came up empty.


Then, with dumb luck, a friend saw a copy for sale on eBay—someone’s home-recorded version—and nabbed it for me.  It’s not a great print, but at last I could fill in the blank in my book.


Wouldn’t you know it? NOW it’s on YouTube.


Someone recently posted this sweet movie, here at this link.  Now you can enjoy Katie Did It, but things have a way of disappearing off YouTube, so catch it while you can.  Below, a still shot that was published in Movie Life magazine of the model and the artist getting to know each other.



********************






The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on Audible.com, and on Amazon and iTunes.