Category Archives: Showbusiness

May 14

Oona O’Neill Chaplin. Behind Every Great Man…

… There is a Great Woman. One such woman, Oona O’Neill, was born on the 14 of May 1925,  in Warwick Parish, Bermuda, to talented parents, the prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill and writer Agnes Boulton. We can only assume that this saying must have been true in Oona’s case, as her true character remained an […]

April 30

In the Footprints of Hollywood Fame

On the 30th of April 1927, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford became the first celebrities to leave their footprints in the concrete of the Grauman Chinese Theater forecourt at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard (Walk of Fame). During construction, the owner Grauman ordered an extremely hard concrete to be laid by Jean Klossner, who later became known […]

December 07

Louis Prima: Just a Gigolo

On the 7th of December 1910, Louis Prima, an American trumpet player and singer of Italian descent, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His performances, starting from the jazz infused 1920s right up to the  pop and rock dominated 1960s at the end of his career, were a rich combination of musical showmanship, comic genius and Italian […]

November 06

Jeanette Schmid, the Cross-dressing Whistler

On the 6th of November 1924, Rudolf Schmid was born in Volary, Sudetenland (now in the Czech Republic). In 1941 he enlisted in the Wehrmacht, the German Armed Forces, aged just 17 and served in the beginning of WWII at Udine in Italy. However, Schmid’s constitution was not built for the army. “A delicate young […]

October 26

The “Coogan Act”: Hollywood’s First Child Star

On the 26th of October 1914, Jackie Coogan was born in Los Angeles, CA. From infancy, his actor father enrolled him into roles in vaudeville and film. He was discovered by Charlie Chaplin at the Orpheum Theatre, L.A., where Jackie charmed him with his shimmy dancing and miming talent. Chaplin soon cast him in various […]

July 30

Colour and Meaning in Disney’s Flowers and Trees

On the 30th of July 1932, Flowers and Trees, a Silly Symphonies cartoon produced by Walt Disney and directed by Burt Gillett, was released to American theatres by United Artists agency. It was the first commercially released movie to be produced in the full-colour three-strip Technicolor process after several years of two-colour Technicolor films. Flowers […]

June 30

Showmanship and Mass Frenzy: Blondin’s Niagara Stunt

On the 30th of June 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope. “About 25,000 thrill-seekers arrived by train and steamer and dispersed on the American or Canadian side of the falls (…) Both banks grew “fairly black” with swarms of spectators, among them statesmen, judges, clerics, generals, members of Congress, capitalists, […]