During Hollywood’s golden era studio photographers churned out thousands of photographs that created the iconography of glamour by which Hollywood stars were defined.
There was a library of poses and props that photographers used in order to create and refine particular images. Who can forget Hurrell’s shimmering portrait of Jean Harlow in a skin-tight white gown resting languidly on a white bearskin rug?
One of the more interesting genres of photos was the star-with-pet-shot, usually a dog. These photos are hardly glamorous. In fact, they seem designed to assure the adoring public that their favorite movie stars are just ordinary folk who love their dogs and dote on them just like real people. Usually, the stars are posed with prop dogs, but frequently the dogs looks like they belong with the star.
Silent star Pola Negri looks almost as aristocratic as the dog. Negri was first offered the role of Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” 1950. Luckily, she turned it down and Gloria Swanson assumed the role for which she is best known.
I don't know whether to look at the dog or Buster Keaton's Knickerbocker trousers.
Silent star Corinne Griffith poses uncomfortably with a prop dog.
A very young Carole Lombard seems to be restraining a rather large dog so the photographer can get the shot.
This photo of Margaret Sullavan with a litter of puppies is supposed to project a maternal image.
Completely unposed and refreshing, this is an amateur snapshot of Mae Clarke walking her dog somewhere in Los Angles. Mae, a brilliant but troubled actress, is best remembered as the girl who got the grapefruit smashed into her face by James Cagney in “The Public Enemy,” 1931.
Jayne Mansfield was a dog lover and this photo in her backyard seems touchingly genuine.
A casual snapshot finds Audrey Hepburn and her dog in the door of her trailer on location for an unidentified film.
I have no idea if this dog belonged to MM but Marilyn and the dog seem equally confused about what to do—they're both looking off-screen—which imparts a spontaneity in the photo that just makes me smile.
Animal lover Brigitte Bardot adopted this donkey and the dogs while on location for one of her movies. The donkey was quite sick and BB kept the animal in her rented house where she nursed it back to health. BB's lover told her she had to choose between him and the donkey. Guess whom she chose.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and inspirational Shabbat.