Louise Brooks Tribute
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Uploaded on Apr 29, 2008
Here is a classic song by the great singer Gene Austin, chosen to illustrate the very special beauty of legendary Louise Brooks.
Louise Brooks (1906 -- 1985) was an American dancer, showgirl, and silent film actress. She became, by the end of her life, a writer and critic of the silent film era. Born Mary Louise Brooks in Cherryvale, Kansas, she was the daughter of a lawyer and an artistic mother, a talented pianist who played the latest Debussy and Ravel for her children, inspiring them with a love of books and music. Brooks began her entertainment career as a dancer in 1922. Brooks almost immediately found employment as a chorus girl in George White's "Scandals", followed by an appearance as a featured dancer in the 1925 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. As a result of her work in the Follies, she came to the attention of Paramount Pictures producer Walter Wanger, who signed her to a five-year contract with the studio in 1925. Brooks made her screen debut in the silent "The Street of Forgotten Men", in an uncredited role in 1925. Soon, however, she was playing the female lead in a number of silent light comedies and flapper films over the next few years, starring with Adolphe Menjou and W. C. Fields, among others. She was noticed in Europe for her pivotal vamp role in the Howard Hawks directed silent "buddy film", "A Girl in Every Port in 1928". Her distinctive bob haircut, which became eponymous and still recognised to this day, had helped start a trend (Cyd Charisse wears this singular bob in her nightclub dance scene with Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952); for her Oscar-winning film role in the 1972 movie musical "Cabaret", Liza Minnelli was coached by her father, Vincente Minnelli, to fashion her character's appearance on Louise Brooks), as many women in the Western world began to wear their hair as both she and fellow film star Colleen Moore did. Soon after, Brooks left for Europe to make films for G. W. Pabst, the great German Expressionist director. Once in Germany she starred in the remarkable 1929 film "Pandora's Box", directed by Pabst. Louise then starred in the controversial social dramas "Diary Of A Lost Girl" (1929), also directed by Pabst, and "Prix de Beauté" (1930), the latter being filmed in France, and having a famous, but mesmerizing, shock ending. These three films were later recognized as masterpieces of the Silent Age, with her role of Lulu now regarded as one of the greatest performances in film history. When she returned to Hollywood, in 1931, she was cast in two mainstream films: "God's Gift to Women" (1931) and "It Pays to Advertise" (1931). Brooks retired from the screen after completing one last film, the John Wayne western "Overland Stage Raiders" in which she played the romantic lead with a long hairstyle that rendered her all but unrecognizable from her "Lulu" days. French film historians rediscovered her films in the early 1950's, proclaiming her as an actress who surpassed even Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo as a film icon. It would lead to the still ongoing Louise Brooks film revivals, and rehabilitated her reputation in her home country. Brooks is considered one of the first naturalistic actors in film, her acting being subtle and nuanced compared to many other silent performers. The close-up was just coming into vogue with directors, and her almost hypnotically beautiful face was perfect for this new technique. She remains today one of the most mythical actresses in film history.
Enjoy Louise's fabulous beauty!
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