It’s been a while since I shared some seasonal pin-ups, so
why not ring in the new year with a sampling of fun photos from decades past?
It was a publicity department’s job to round up actresses under contract and
set up photo shoots for every holiday, which resulted in free publicity for the
stars and studios in hundreds of newspapers and magazines around the globe. We
are the latter-day beneficiaries of this tradition and I’m happy to offer some
stills I’ve never used before. Enjoy!
Four cuties salute the arrival of 1934 at Hal Roach studios.
Since the caption is missing from this still I must resort to guesswork, but
that looks like Charley Chase’s leading lady Betty Mack, second from left, and
Lona Andre on the right…but Andre wasn’t working for Roach at this time. (In
1936 she was featured in Our Relations
with Laurel and Hardy.) If any readers have sharper ideas or better
information, please speak up.
Mae West puts on a brave smile as she welcomes the new year
of 1935, although with the enforcement of the Production Code in 1934 her
career took a downward turn. Many people blamed Mae’s sexual innuendos for
bringing on Hollywood’s sweeping act of self-censorship, but muzzling her
double-entendres took a lot of the fun out of her films.
Shirley Temple had to stand on a box to turn the hands of a
clock toward midnight and usher Father Time offstage in this 1935-36 publicity
picture. There was little else Shirley had to reach for at this time when she
was the most popular star in Hollywood! The year 2014 was a little sadder for
the loss of this remarkable woman, but it’s hard to be sad when you see
curly-topped Shirley in her prime.
Rochelle Hudson looks as if she’s been celebrating all night
long in this buoyant pose from the 1930s. Hudson was a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931
and enjoyed a long career, first as a busy ingénue (she was Cosette in the 1935
version of Les Misérables with
Fredric March), then a leading lady, mostly in B movies, and later a character
actress (she played Natalie Wood’s mother in Rebel Without a Cause). She was still in her teens when she posed
for this shot in the 1930s.
Nothing in Hollywood shouted patriotism like a pretty girl
posing with a sailor and a soldier, as Warner Bros. starlet Dolores Moran did
at the Hollywood Canteen in this 1944 still. That was a peak year for Moran, as
she appeared in To Have and Have Not
and the Warners movie called Hollywood
offers a timeless message for any new year, even though this one happens to be
pegged to 1951, when she was working at MGM. Miller was pretty timeless
herself: fifty years after she shot this still she appeared in Mulholland Drive. In fact, she may be
the only performer who could claim to have worked with both David Lynch and The