Posts Tagged With: Barbara LaMarr

9 Mar 1926 – Barbara LaMarr Gave Fortune to Charity

Barbara La Marr, one of the highest paid screen stars in moviedom until her recent fatal illness, left an estate appraised at less than $10,000, according to her father William M. Watson.  Although she was making more than $10,000 monthly when she was stricken on the set during the filming of her last picture, Miss La Marr died comparatively penniless, having given her thousands to charity.  ‘Barbara derived her greatest pleasure in lavishing her wealth on others and watching the fruits of her charity’ the aged father appointed executor of the estate, declared in an interview.  ‘She gave away more money than she ever spent on herself.  She spent thousands of dollars every month towards orphanages, hospitals and film struck girls in need of financial assistance.  Hundred benefited regularly by her benevolence. ‘Since her death, we have had visits from more than a score of prominent actresses who came to tell us how Barbara gave them money.’  The movie industry gave more than $1,000,000 to Barbara La Marr.  ‘She received $10,000 for her first six scenarios, which she dictated to me while I typed,’ said Watson.

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1924 -Barbara LaMarr’s Poems

The Moth

I hate them. Because to me they seem like the souls of foolish women who have passed on.  Poor, illusioned fluttering things, that find, now as always, irresistible The warmth of the flame. Taking no heed of the warning, that merely singed their wings. They fluttered nearer and nearer, till wholly consumed to filmy ashes of golden dust. I fear them yet, I watch them fascinated.  They make me see the folly, that what it seems women are created for.

The Savage

For women’s life was love, since life beginning and the hypocrite alone calls sinning. But if ever the highway of sin, I would trod straight on. Till, I returned unto dust and sod, and then as the blood ran riot in my veins, two lips trembling with ecstacy and pain.  I would call out for death, though I knew full well, I had gained a paradise thru the gates of hell.

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1930 – Has Barbara LaMarr Matrimonial Aphasia?

Former husbands should have the grace to keep silent in regard to their erstwhile wives, but when one’s erstwhile spouse is a famous movie star, the temptation to spill the matrimonial beans must be to hard to resist.  Phil Ainsworth, one-time husband of Barbara LaMarr this year’s sensation in movie circles, so far forgot his chivalry as to my, when arrested on a bad check charge, and queried as to his former wife’s whereabouts. “I don’t know where she is. That woman has matrimonial aphasia”. Probably Phil hadn’t consulted the dictionary on just what matrimonial aphasia is. Now what did Phil mean? Certainly, he did not mean that as a married young woman Barbara LaMarr was at a loss for words. Barbara would never impress anyone is over at any time for loss for words.  Talking is one of the best things she does.  Could he have meant that Barbara suffered from matrimonial aphasia? In view of the dictionary’s definition it is quite likely that Phil simply confused these scientific terms.  For Barbara herself admits that once she is through with a person, he or she means no more to Barbara less than a candle flame that he’s been born out. He simply ceases to exist to her.  To illustrate her point, she pointed to a pair of giant candle sticks on her fireplace mantle. It is a new home, just moved into, and utterly man less, except for the small new son who Barbara says she coos at him in orthodox mother fashion, is her only sweetheart.  Barbara is neither single but is currently separated from her present husband Ben Deeley.  Barbara refuses to comment on her married life or rather married lives because as she says “I am through with marriage” I do not want a divorce from Mr. Deeley. I do not want to be in a position ever to marry again. I want to forget that there is such a thing as marriage. And since my former husbands have absolutely nothing to do with my present life, and I have forgotten those unpleasant experiences, I really couldn’t think of anything to say about them. Barbara s powers of forgetfulness are indeed admirable and who can blame her for wanting to keep her matrimonial career a thing apart from her movie fame. But Barbara’s life is so in keeping with her personality that it is impossible to resist the impulse to tell what we know about her life. The public is not all in possession of the facts will certainly feel charitable towards this woman who is little more than a girl in years, who has been wedded four times. Barbara is one of those women who will always be getting married and unmarried by no chance will men ever leave her alone.

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1922 – Barbara LaMarr


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Kissing Rudy Valentino: A High-School Student Describes Movie Going in the 1920s [Personal Account]

I am a girl-American born and of Scotch descent. My grandparents came to America from Glasgow, Scotland, and grandfather became a minister (Presbyterian). Mother was the youngest of nine children and was born in New York. Dad came from New York also; his parents were of Scotch and English stock. I was born in Detroit, July 1, 1913. I have one brother. Stating us in order of birth, we are: Mary, 16, and Edward, 12.My religious denominations have been varied. Mom put me in the cradle-roll of a Congregational Church, but I have been a member of the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Christian Science, and Methodist Episcopal churches. All of which indicates that either I’m very broad-minded religiously or unable to make up my mind. The latter is more plausible. Was a member of a Camp Fire Girls group for several years and was greatly interested in its activities. I reached the second rank in the organization. My mother has no occupation. One calls her a housewife, I guess, but she isn’t home enough for that. She travels in the winter and fall. Dad is a Lawyer. My real father is dead. He died when I was very young. His work was in the appraisal business. My clearest picture of him is playing his violin. He played beautifully. Mother plays the piano and when she accompanied him I used to listen for hours. I love music. . I have tried to remember the first time that I went to a movie. It must have been when I was very young because I cannot recall the event. My real interest in motion pictures showed itself when I was in about fourth grade at grammar school. There was a theater on the route by which I went home from school and as the picture changed every other day I used to spend the majority of my time there. A gang of us little tots went regularly. One day I went to see Viola Dana in “The Five Dollar Baby.” The scenes which showed her as a baby fascinated me so that I stayed to see it over four times. I forgot home, dinner, and everything. About eight o’clock mother came after me-frantically searching the theater. Next to pictures about children, I loved serials and pie-throwing comedies, not to say cowboy ‘n’ Indian stories. These kind I liked until I was twelve or thirteen; then I lost interest in that type, and the spectacular, beautifully decorated scenes took my eye. Stories of dancers and stage life I loved. Next, mystery plays thrilled me and one never slipped by me. At fifteen I liked stories of modern youth; the gorgeous clothes and settings fascinated me. My first favorite was Norma Talmadge. I liked her because I saw her in a picture where she wore ruffly hoop-skirts which greatly attracted me. My favorites have always been among the women; the only men stars I’ve ever been interested in are Tom Mix, Doug Fairbanks and Thomas Meighan, also Doug McLean and Bill Haines. Colleen Moore I liked for a while, but now her haircut annoys me. My present favorites are rather numerous: Joan Crawford, Billie Dove, Sue Carol, Louise Brooks, and Norma Shearer. I nearly forgot about Barbara LaMar. I really worshiped her. I can remember how I diligently tried to draw every gown she wore on the screen and how broken-hearted I was when she died. You would have thought my best friend had passed away. Why I like my favorites? I like Joan Crawford because she is so modern, so young, and so vivacious! Billie Dove is so beautifully beautiful that she just gets under your skin. She is the most beautiful woman on the screen! Sue Carol is cute ‘n’ peppy. Louise Brooks has her assets, those being legs ‘n’ a clever hair-cut. Norma Shearer wears the kind of clothes I like and is a clever actress. I nearly always have gone and yet go to the theater with someone. I hate to go alone as it is more enjoyable to have someone to discuss the picture with. Now I go with a bunch of girls or on a date with girls and boys or with one fellow. The day-dreams instigated by the movies consist of clothes, ideas on furnishings, and manners. I don’t day-dream much. I am more concerned with materialistic things and realisms. Nevertheless it is hard for any girl not to imagine herself cuddled up in some voluptuous ermine wrap, etc. The influence of movies on my play as a child-all that I remember is that we immediately enacted the parts interesting us most. And for weeks I would attempt to do what that character would have done until we saw another movie and some other hero or heroine won us over. I’m always at the mercy of the actor at a movie. I feel nearly every emotion he portrays and forget that anything else is on earth. I was so horrified during “The Phantom of the Opera” when Lon Chaney removed his mask, revealing that hideous face, that until my last day I shall never forget it. I am deeply impressed, however, by pathos and pitifulness, if you understand. I remember one time seeing a movie about an awful fire. I was terrified by the reality of it and for several nights I was afraid to go to sleep for fear of a fire and even placed my hat and coat near by in case it was necessary to make a hasty exit. Pictures of robbery and floods have affected my behavior the same way. Have I ever cried at pictures? Cried! I’ve practically dissolved myself many a time. How people can witness a heart-rending picture and not weep buckets of tears is more than I can understand. “The Singing Fool,” “The Iron Mask,” “Seventh Heaven,” “Our Dancing Daughters,” and other pictures I saw when very young which centered about the death of someone’s baby and showed how the big sister insisted on her jazz ‘n’ whoopee regardless of the baby or not – these nearly killed me. Something like that, anyway; and I hated that girl so I wanted to walk up to the screen and tear her up! As for liking to cry-why, I never thought of that. It isn’t a matter of liking or not. Sometimes it just can’t be helped. Movies do change my moods, but they never last long. I’m off on something else before I know it. If I see a dull or morose show, it sort of deadens me and the vim and vigor dies out ’til the movie is forgotten. For example, Mary Pickford’s movie-“Sparrows”-gave me the blues for a week or so, as did lil Sonny Boy in “The Singing Fool.” The poor kid’s a joke now. This modern knee-jiggling, hand-clapping effect used for accompanying popular music has been imitated from the movies, I think. But unless I’ve unconsciously picked up little mannerisms, I can think of no one that I’ve tried to imitate. Goodness knows, you learn plenty about love from the movies. That’s their long run; you learn more from actual experience, though! You do see how the gold-digger systematically gets the poor fish in tow. You see how the sleek-haired, languid-eyed siren lands the men. You meet the flapper, the good girl, ‘n’ all the feminine types and their little tricks of the trade. We pick up their snappy comebacks which are most handy when dispensing with an unwanted suitor, a too ardent one, too backward one, etc. And believe me, they observe and remember, too. I can remember when we all nudged one another and giggled at the last close-up in a movie. I recall when during the same sort of close-up when the boy friend squeezes your arm and looks soulfully at you. Oh, it’s lotsa fun! No, I never fell in love with my movie idol. When I don’t know a person really, when I know I’ll never have a chance with ’em, I don’t bother pining away over them and writing them idiotic letters as some girls I’ve known do. I have imagined playing with a movie hero many times though that is while I’m watching the picture. I forget about it when I’m outside the theater. Buddy Rogers and Rudy Valentino have kissed me oodles of times, but they don’t know it. God bless ’em!

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