Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fun Finds: Circa 1960 British Movie Star Cards

Oh duckies, our work life has been nothing short of avalanche-level over the past week or so. The boss is on vacation, which leaves extra duties in my lap, and the building season is in full swing, so there is an endless string of orders, questions and emergencies to contend with, thus the scarcity of posting lately. I'm gearing up for a hefty post next week, but in the meantime I toss you this collection of vintage cards from around 1960. They were made by a British company called F.P.F., Ltd. and came in the size of postcards and half-postcards for greeting purposed (back when people used to write!) Take care and I'll be back ASAP with more fun and frolic.
This is a familiar sort of publicity shot of our Paul, much more of who can be glimpsed right here!
I really want to be like everyone else and like Gregory Peck, but I usually find myself only enjoying about a third of the performances I see him in. Somehow he's just not my type (which is probably more a reflection on me than him!)
Rough and tumble Mitchum was a very effective actor, but sure didn't like to be caught doing it. The profession didn't seem to match his vision of what a man ought to do for a living.
We feel a special connection to Miss Clooney since she was reared only a few miles away from where we were. In fact, I go to her hometown every year or two (and the last time, even got to spend twenty minutes chatting up Rosie's sister-in-law, who happens to be George's mother!)
The always energetic and effervescent Miss Gaynor is such a delight and is still going at age eighty-five.
Burly Mature sometimes seemed to have bigger breasts than his leading ladies.
This isn't really the greatest shot of Calhoun, though if you blur your eyes a little there's an unexpected resemblance to Roch Hudson, who he shared an agent with.
Ms. Blyth seemed to handle things right. Work a little while, nab an Oscar, marry and raise a family (five kids!) and basically only act when you feel like it! She's also still with us today at eighty-eight!
The opera singing movie star dazzled audiences of the 1950s, but struggled to maintain a leading man-level weight. The result of his trying to pare down for a future role was a fatal heart attack at only age thirty-eight.
Rennie was such a busy actor during his prime, though he could hardly be described as dynamic. If you've ever wondered why you never saw him after 1971, it's because an aneurysm claimed him that year at only age sixty-one.
At the time of this portrait, Mr. Bogarde was a British cinema heartthrob, though he would soon begin tackling more challenging roles and embarking on a more distinguished acting career than he initially enjoyed. What many of his fans didn't know was that Bogarde lived a devoted existence with a male lover for more than three decades.
Mr. Murphy's movie career came courtesy of his being one of the most highly-decorated soldiers ever to emerge from WWII. There wasn't one available medal for combat valor that he didn't receive (among many others.) Though his career had its high points and its low ones, he was about to reignite it (similar to the way Randolph Scott did) when a plane crash took him at age forty-five.
Steel was a big hit in 1950s British films until a stormy marriage to Anita Ekberg and and unfulfilling trip to the U.S. derailed things more than a little. He continued to work, but never got back on the seemingly sure career track he'd initially been on.
By the time this card was printed comedic actress Laverick had already filmed her last feature, though she segued into TV for five years before retiring altogether. She's still alive today at eighty-six.
Nader's movie career was waning by this time and he began to work more heavily on television (and eventually in European action cinema.) You can read all about George right here!
Singer and funnyman Bygraves really wasn't predominantly a movie actor, though the few that he'd done were released around the time of this card.
The Scottish Swanson was a 1950s actress who, very soon after this card was published, retired from the screen to marry a Viscount and produce seven children (one of whom was stillborn.) Her title was Countess of Dudley.
I'm so sorry Tommy, but I just can't... Mr. Steele was an exuberant, talented dancer, but that HUGE screen persona (on display in Finian's Rainbow and The Happiest Millionaire) was always too much for me, though I've tried to get on board several times. He's another one of the few here who is still with us (at eighty.)
The versatile Mr. Britton's screen career spanned more than six decades, most often in supporting parts in movies such as Sunday Bloody Sunday, Day of the Jackal and The People That Time Forgot. He's still kicking today at ninety-three!
Brynner in the role for which he's most identified, both on stage and in the film version of The King and I, though he worked steadily in hordes of other movies as well.
We love this beguiling portrait of Miss Kerr, who, of course, was alongside Brynner in the movie of The King and I and starred in many other films as well.
We consider Mr. MacRae one of the (if you'll pardon the pun) most unsung musical talents of the big screen. His gorgeous voice never seems to get all the credit it's due and it's practically our favorite of its type. (And he was a handsome fella, too, until booze took its toll.)
The rather troubled Mr. Ladd is another one we've just never been able to warm up to much... Most of the work I've seen is his later stuff, after alcohol and drugs had taken a toll. (He was dead thanks to a combination of both by age fifty.) Someday I'll have to dig further back to see what I think.
Primarily known for his TV series 77 Sunset Strip, Edd Byrnes (who I've never seen credited as "Eddie!") also worked on several Warner Brothers movies, but by 1959 that was behind him. His TV commitments kept him from accepting several outside roles and before long he was in career trauma, which he never completely recovered from. He's still alive today at eighty-three.
The amazing and inimitable Ms. Johns looks quite lovely here. Incidentally, it was her first husband (and the father of her only child) who wound up as Dirk Bogarde's life partner! She married and divorced three more times. She is ninety-three at present.
British singing sensation Richard was at his zenith around this time, and soon was also appearing in several movies, though that only lasted primarily through the 1960s. At seventy-six, he's not only still alive, but among the youngest represented here.
One of several potential threats to Marilyn Monroe, Ms. North didn't really come into her own until she aged a bit, dropped the white-blonde hair and turned in some knowing, gritty performances on TV and quite a few movies.
This is a pretty surprising portrait of Ms. Dors to those of us who know her principally as a platinum blonder with heavy eye makeup. (Not to mention the bawdy, buxom, busty presence in Berserk!) I always find it surprising that she was once the wife of Richard Dawson (of Hogan's Heroes, Match Game and Family Feud fame.) Ovarian cancer claimed her at only age fifty-two, an event which led her widower to commit suicide just several months later.
Well, this post is leaning a little bit tragic here and there (but then, so am I as a rule!) The glamorous Ms. Kendall died in 1959 of Leukemia at only age thirty-two. Her husband at the time, Rex Harrison, made the decision not to tell her that she was dying, instead leading her to believe she had a severe iron deficiency!
Crooner Martin was about four years out of his famous pairing with Jerry Lewis (which didn't end amicably) and was on the verge of solidifying a solo acting career after the sputtering start with Ten Thousand Bedrooms. Soon, he'd be a steadily-employed, box office name.
Brando, one of the cinema's most famous names, was right near the beginning of what would amount to a career decline. The Fugitive Kind hadn't done particularly well and the costly, troubled productions of One Eyed Jacks and Mutiny on the Bounty were on the horizon. Things would go from bad to worse until The Godfather reestablished him. Some appealing, even revealing, shots of him can be found here.
Ms. Scott was a child actress who successfully transitioned to adult roles. She was still a working actress when she retired from the screen in the late-'60s, wedding Mel Torme the in 1966 and having two children with him. They divorced after about a decade and she is still alive today at age seventy-eight.
Moore, perhaps best known for Mighty Joe Young and Peyton Place, has worked in every decade since 1940 giving her a startlingly lengthy span on film from 1940 to 2016! She's currently eighty-eight years of age.
One of Italy's most notable cinematic exports, Miss Lollobrigida was a sought-after sexpot in quite a few films from the '40s on. Now eighty-nine and off-screen for about two decades, she has been generous with her time and money towards a number of causes.
Garner was freshly embarking on a big screen career having won the lead in Darby's Rangers when Charlton Heston departed and then proceeded to Up Periscope and Cash McCall. Even greater fame was to come when he teamed up with ladies like Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, Doris Day and others, with a solid return to TV in The Rockford Files.
We love our Tab, though we prefer a little more meat on his bones than at this stage. Having costarred with Natalie Wood a couple of times, headlined Damn Yankees and even become a top-selling vocalist with "Young Love," he was just about to see his fame decline as the late-'60s and 1970s came about. Now eighty-five, he's been back in the limelight thanks to a successful auto-bio and accompanying documentary with details about being gay in old Hollywood.
Mr. Greene had been a busy movie actor prior to WWII and picked up again reasonably afterwards, but his biggest claim to fame was starring in The Adventures of Robin Hood during the mid-to-late '50s on British television. he was also wed to Patricia Medina for ten years long before she was Mrs. Joseph Cotten.
Lord, yes, we're all familiar with Miss Marilyn. Having just taken part in the staggering success Some Like It Hot, she was to see a decline in the importance (not to mention number!) of her movies. Completing only Let's Make Love and The Misfits before her death at only age thirty-six, she remains a worldwide icon, one whose demise is still shrouded in mystery and speculation.
Animal-loving Elizabeth was said never to be without a pet in tow during her years as a child star. She then, of course, went on to a wildly successful adult career and a wild succession of husbands. Having receded from movies by the late-1990s, she was a tireless advocate for those affected by AIDS as well as other charitable endeavors.
Our last star is a chiseled and handsome Dale Robertson. This is quite a change from the burly, boisterous and big-bellied brawler who costarred on the first season of Dynasty as Walter Lankershim, which is how I first ever saw him. Robertson was the star of many a big-screen western and also of the TV series Tales of Wells Fargo, of which he made more than 200 episodes!


petercox97 said...

victor mature can do no wrong by me. i'll take his man breastuses any day without reservation just so long as the hefty kielbasa featured in that candid black and white photo of mature relaxing on a top bunk is included. seriously though, mature possesses irresistible charisma and presence which i think was most effectively displayed in samson and delilah. hedy lamarr is a dazzling feast for the eyes the likes of which will not be presented again until joan collins debuts on dynasty, but even lamarr's treacherous beauty was not enough to keep me from endlessly gazing at mature.

Scooter said...

Funny, I've never warmed to Gregory Peck either. Though, I do enjoy his performance in To Kill a Mockingbird but that is about it.

Poseidon3 said...

petercox97, I don't believe I've ever seen "Samson and Delilah!" Maybe on TNT a hundred years ago, cropped and grainy. If it's run on TCM or a high-def movie channel I will definitely watch. Love the term "breastuses" (and, yes, I've seen that intriguing photo. Interesting way to read a paperback book...! Ha!)

Scooter, this is confession day, obviously. I've never seen TKAM either! I just read the book for the first time last summer. I make it a point to pick at least one "literary" type of novel to read by the pool every summer and that was last year's. I'm not saying Peck isn't solid and effective at times, but there's such a staid, stiff, reserved quality to him that I cannot get into and even when he tried to break it I mostly felt embarrassed for him. I think I liked him best when he played very hard, driven, determined men (such as in "The Bravados") and I did like "The Omen," but so many of his other pictures either leave me wanting or I like them more due to his costars (as in the case of "Arabesque.")

petercox97 said...

i haven't seen samson and delilah on even tcm in over a decade. luckily for me i have it remastered on dvd and before that i owned the vhs two pack. in a random thought i even used to own at play in the fields of the lord in vhs two pack format. oh, i wish they would release tom berenger in all his glory on dvd, but i don't think that's ever going to happen because he's full frontal in several scenes and it would show up really well on dvd.

i have never seen peck in to kill a mocking bird which is ironic since i essayed the role of tom robinson in a community theatre production of to kill a mockingbird almost two decades ago in 1999. the one movie where i really love peck is in hitchcock's notorious. peck is gorgeous in black and white and he seems so vulnerable and lost in that movie i just want to kiss him better too like ingrid bergman. i actually loathe peck in the omen. he seems so neutered. lee remick leaves him in the dust as her spider senses tingle all over the place and yet peck remains willfully ignorant of the danger engulfing him. he didn't even have the balls to stab a little devil boy until his wife was defenestrated.

petercox97 said...

correction: i was thinking hitchcock's spellbound, but i wrote notorious. freudian slip. in that movie ingrid is castigated by carey grant for playing whore to the nazis to save the free world.

Gingerguy said...

I knew as soon as I saw the work "British" there would be a pic of Diana Dors. Live for her in "Berzerk" but when she was younger she was really quite pretty. Apparently Mitzi Gaynor is second only to the Gabors in fame if you are Hungarian (I am dating one). Sad about Mario Lanza (truck driver?) didn't know he died so young and in that way. I have seen movies where he and Katherine Grayson sang their heads off together and made a nice couple.
Dirk Bogarde bravely did the scorcher "Victim" in the 60's so I always felt like he was a little out. There is a British documentary on Judy Garland, and he is refreshingly candid about making "I could Go On Singing" with her.
When I see Terry Moore I think of her overheated character in "Peyton Place" as well as her later-in-life Playboy spread(sorry), and the disputed marriage to Howard Hughes. Fun cards, fun post, thanks!

Robert Heikkila said...

Your info on Richard Dawson doesn't jive with wikipedia or this link about his death he was divorced from Dors and he died of cancer

Poseidon3 said...

Peter, I certainly agree with your assessment of Lee Remick in "The Omen!" What a face... (And I really enjoyed your using the word "defenestrated." I'm never too old to learn something!) I used to have a video recording of ATITFOTL and, of course, would await Berenger dropping trou, but something about it always seemed odd, like he had on a pantyhose-like bodysuit on over his nudity. Nothing moved (or was exceedingly clear to me.)

Ginge, that's neat about Mitzi and her Hungarian fans! I wonder why... (Maybe they saw her thrilling rendition of "Georgy Girl" at the Oscars that year!) I almost mentioned "Victim" but wound up not doing so. He did play gay a couple of times when it was daring to do so. I have a friend who swears that any actor who plays gay onscreen three different times is thus proclaimed so IRL... LOL One of Terry Moore's greatest contributions was her very cute son, who also got naked in the movies! ;-)

Robert, I really don't seek to jibe with a site like Wikipedia, but in any case, what I wrote was that Diana Dors was ONCE married to Richard Dawson, followed by her death information and the trivia about her widower (who was not Dawson, but her third of three husbands.) I'm sorry if my condensed caption on her caused any confusion and prompted a "correction," but it never dawned on me that anyone would think that Dors and Dawson were married up through the mid-80s when she died...! Thanks.

petercox97 said...

lol@poseidon. i can't take full credit for defenestrated. i learned it from dr. alana bloom once she learned the the truth about hannibal and his grisly escapades.