Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Portrait of a Lady

A while back I did a photo essay of some handsome movie star men who were the beneficiaries of flattering portrait photography during the hey day of Hollywood. Today, I'm giving the ladies a shot as we take a look at some eye-catching, colorful portraits of some of the cinema's notable ladies. Some are more famous than others, some more beautiful, but hopefully there is someone in here who's a personal favorite of yours!

Kicking things off is this dreamy rendition of Rosalind Russell.
The elegant and sophisticated Myrna Loy.
Florally festooned Loretta Young.
A similarly blooming Betty Hutton.
And Maureen O'Hara, whose garden is also growning!
Here is a later shot of Miss O'Hara, who is an Underworld favorite.
The divine Angela Lansbury, sporting a fun hairdo.
Mysterious Merle Oberon.
Ava Gardner, outdoing the beauty of a rose.
Maria Montez also goes the rose route...
...as does Gene Tierney.
While Ann Miller opts for a gigantic bouquet!
Dolores Del Rio keeps the blossoms on the print of her colorful dress.
As does Vera Ellen.
Lena Horne makes use of a parasol.
And Rita Hayworth does the same.
Here we find a gilded Alice Faye.
And here is a burnished Eleanor Parker.
Lovely Linda Darnell (love the lips!)
Pretty Ella Rains.
A rare color photo of Katharine Hepburn.
Likewise, Hedy Lamarr seemed most often filmed in black and white.
Fresh as a daisy Elizabeth Taylor.
And here is Ms. Taylor after maturing slightly, yet still looking amazing.
Good girl who turned bad to score an Oscar nomination, Ann Blyth.
Good girl practically all the time, Janet Leigh.
Good girl unless you were asking Eddie Fisher (and sometimes Carrie!), Debbie Reynolds.
Good girl unless you asked Joan Fontaine, Miss Olivia de Havilland. (We love you, Liv!)
And the perennially sunny good girl, Doris Day.
Sandra Dee also built a career on being a good girl...
...while Joey Heatherton built one on being bad... Both fell out of favor with the manstream before too long.
Singer Peggy Lee swathed in red.
Famous redhead Susan Hayward.
Temporary redhead Judy Garland.
Part-time redhead Jeanne Crain.
Real redhead Piper Laurie.
A famous redhead sporting darker locks than usual (and looking so relaxed and natural in the bargain!), Rhonda Fleming.
Redhead who's run the gamut from ingenue to bimbo to serious actress, even singing and dancing along the way, Ann-Margret.
And the most famous redhead who ever boarded the S.S. Minnow, Tina Louise.
One-time novice nun June Haver.
Never a nun, Lana Turner.
Mamie Van Doren.  No comment!
A freshly dried-off Esther Williams.
A heavily made-up Marlene Dietrich.
Who was ever more intense-looking than Carolyn Jones in this shot?
An interesting shot of Miss Barbara Stanwyck.
Jean Simmons in repose.
We love the way Miss Jane Wyman looks here, even if she does seem to be groping a "breasty" looking pillar!
Briefly blonde Hollywood Survivor Patricia Neal.
Regal even before the princely marriage, Grace Kelly.
A beauteous moment for Miss Kim Novak.
The nearly disembodied head of Sophia Loren.
Sultry Gina Lollobrigida.
Pneumatic Anita Ekberg around the time of her greatest fame.
The reflective beauty of Miss Joan Collins.
And the last one, in which the hair, eyes, jewels and makeup all combine for a devastatingly glamorous effect, Miss Dorothy Lamour.


Gingerguy said...

Fab pix Poseiden! I love the Merle Oberon, in my mind she's always in period costume, so interesting to see her with a contemporary hairdo.

Skippy Devereaux said...

Ann Blyth did not win the Oscar. Nominated yes, but alas, no win for "Mildred Pierce". Wish she had won it. Everyone remembers Veda.

Poseidon3 said...

Duh! Not sure how I got that one wrong. It's fixed. Thanks for your input.

Dave in Alamitos Beach said...

These are really interesting. Are a handful of them hand-tinted black and white photos? I wonder.

Lana Turner looks nothing like herself, and I think the Anita Ekberg photo is the best I've ever seen her look. I think both of them got their portraits done after a two week fast or something. :-)

I love the bright backgrounds of red, orange, and magenta. I think maybe so many of them have florals because it was a way to ensure the correct color was being printed? Like the one of Ann Miller?

And I'm strangely hypnotized by Betty Hutton's portrait. It doesn't look like her and is all sorts of fug, but I can't stop looking. Is it the fabric design in the back and/or the strange Princess Leia flower hairdo? Not sure.

Anonymous said...

Lots of beautiful women in this post. Ava Gardner and Hedy Lamar were breathtakingly beautiful, but Myrna Loy has always been a favorite of mine.

Poseidon3 said...

Gingerguy, I also loved that one of Merle. There's a softness to it all that is appealing.

Dave, I do believe several of these are tinted, though none (to my knowledge) are the newer types done with Photoshop, etc.. I'm sure Linda Darnell's is a b&w that's been hand tinted. There's just something about that old school photo processing & printing that is very elegant. As for Betty Hutton, I would never have realized it was even her! It's so different... If I did accidentally include any contemporarily-tinted shots, this would be the one. Looking at it closely, I'm skeptical now. That floral on the sides of the head thing was quite an unusual trend, wasn't it?!

Armando, thank you for commenting! I do wish I had a better picture of Myrna Loy for this. I love her, too.

NotFelixUnger said...

I love it. Some of these pictures are absolutely amazing. Susan Hayward, Piper Laurie and Gene Simmons are among my favorites but the first one of Rosalind Russell is by far my favorite. She has that far off look on her face you see in a lot of her movies but especially the later ones.

And, as requested, "no comment" on Mamie VD.

joel65913 said...

What a great group of photos Poseidon! All are so wonderful I could write something about them all but I'll keep it to the ones I found the most striking.

I of course have to start with my girl Linda Darnell. She looks so beautiful and I've never seen this one before! Thanks for finding it.

That picture of another of my all time favorites, Jean Simmons is one I've always loved. Her expression, the pose and the composition are all so splendid.

Although it looks a bit more retouched than some of the others that is an utterly amazing photo of Dorothy Lamour.

Angela Lansbury's hair is a marvel of studio system Hollywood, probably courtesy of Sydney Guilaroff.

I couldn't help but notice how much they loved that golden hue in so many of the pics. Alice Faye, that first picture of Elizabeth Taylor and Ann Miller are all positively glowing with sunshine! Peggy Lee's flaming red picture is terrific too even if her teeth are so white to be borderline blinding.

Love Kate Hepburn's expression in that photo that to me seems like it would be an ad for a ski resort.

I'm always rather shocked how pretty Janet Leigh was when she was young. Once she cut her hair, switched to platium and maintained that ultra thin look she became so hard looking to me.

Love that Chinese inspired blue dress with the silver dragon on Susan Hayward even if her stare is disturbingly vacant.

And speaking of disturbing Carolyn Jones is more than a little scary in that snap. I watched one of those biographies they use to present on A&E before it became the joke it is now. She was naturally blonde which I had noticed in her early films but after wearing a dark wig in a film realized the darker hair defined her look making her stand out from the pack and so she dyed it black for many years.

Finally Joan Collins's hair is half way between a horror and kind of stunning. It very cool how the mirror creates totally different expressions on her face.

Again fantastic collection Poseidon! Anxious to see what you come up with next for us!

Gobi said...

thanks Poseidon! love those glamour shots.

i just watched a 70's Lovecraftian flick with Sandra Dee opposite Dean Stockwell. She, for most of the movie, held her own. i was rather surprised.

shame ms vivien leigh wasn't more of a glamour-puss.

Narciso Duran said...

The photo of Alice Faye astonishes. So clear… and the hair, the glow, the cane. My gosh, your choice of the word, "gilded" is appropriate.

Poseidon3 said...

Joel, I used to LOVE watching the A&E Biography programs. They were so well done. There was a tie-in magazine for a while, too, which was TERRIFIC, but it fell apart during an economic (and probably cultural!) downturn. And you are so right about Joan Collins' expression(s) - same pose, but the two angles are radically different! Neat! Lastly, TCM's current star of the month is Janet Leigh and she was so fresh and pert and pretty at the start, but, as you say, grew increasingly brittle and harder as the years wore on.

Gobi, thanks for commenting! I have seen The Dunwich Horror, too. I feel bad for the way Ms. Dee's career (and life) went. She was so popular and effervescent and then receded into virtual obscurity.

Narciso, good to see you again. Alice has a lot going on in that portrait! I always think about the guts it took for her to one day simply get in her car and drive off the lot right near the peak of her stardom! Didn't come back for about 17 years!