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Louise Brooks (1906 - 1985)

Lifespan: 1906 - 1985

Related: vamp - silent film - femme fatale - sex symbol - movie star - actress

Titles: Pandora's Box (1929)

Valentina by Guido Crepax, inspired by Louise Brooks
Guido Crepax draws delicate girls, many of them inspired by actress Louise Brooks, whom Crepax adored. His subtle, esthetic graphics have earned him fame all over the world.


Born Mary Louise Brooks in Cherryvale, Kansas. She began her entertainment career as a dancer, appearing with the Ziegfeld Follies as well as the Denishawn dance company whose members included Martha Graham and Ted Shawn. Her film debut was in The Street of Forgotten Men in an uncredited role in 1925, but she became famous for the 1928 film Pandora's Box, in which her waiflike role as the doomed flapper Lulu made her an icon of the Jazz Age. Her pageboy haircut started a trend, as women in the Western world cut their hair likes hers.

After the humiliation of being cast in B pictures by studio executives as punishment for her outspokenness and disdain for ill-written scripts, in 1938, she retired from show business, briefly returning to Wichita, where she was raised. "But that turned out to be another kind of hell," she wrote. "The citizens of Wichita either resented me having been a success or despised me for being a failure. And I wasn't exactly enchanted with them. I must confess to a lifelong curse: My own failure as a social creature."

She returned East and worked as a sales girl in a Saks store in New York City. French film historians rediscovered her living in Rochester, New York in the 1950s, and with the help of such film writers as William Paley and Kenneth Tynan, she became a writer in her own right. A collection of her writings, Lulu in Hollywood, was published in 1982.

She was married twice. Her first husband was cameraman Edward Sutherland; they later divorced. Her second husband was Chicago millionaire Deering Davis; they married in 1933, Deering left her five months later, and they divorced in 1937. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Brooks

Louise Brooks - Looking for Lulu (1998) - Hugh Munro Neely

  1. Louise Brooks - Looking for Lulu (1998) - Hugh Munro Neely
    [Amazon US]
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    Produced in 1998 for Turner Classic Movies, this documentary is nearly as exceptional as its subject and just as fascinating. Born in Kansas, Louise Brooks rose from the Ziegfeld Follies to become a silent film icon. As biographer Barry Paris writes for this definitive hourlong profile (narrated by Shirley MacLaine), "Lulu" Brooks was "one of the most intensely erotic screen beauties of all time," and her rise, fall, and resurrection make for a fascinating personal history. Paris charts Brooks's controversial and often self-destructive course from Hollywood to Berlin (where she made cinema history in Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl), while insightful interviews and abundant film clips provide breathtaking proof of Lulu's undeniable beauty. Most revealing are clips from a 1976 interview with Brooks, who remained utterly unique, sharply intelligent, and tragically convinced that she'd failed at everything. Looking for Lulu serves as captivating proof that she was wrong. --Jeff Shannon for amazon.com

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