Annette Kellerman (1886 – 1975) was an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star. She was credited with being the first women to wear a one piece bathing suit in place of pantaloons. It’s also said that she was the first woman to do a nude scene in “A Daughter of the Gods.” Unfortunately, the film has been lost. This ad is from 1916.
Ever since there were movie stars there have been star product endorsements.
Corporations and their advertising companies were quick to understand that those larger than life figures floating like angels on the silver screen were potent persuaders. Thus, the synergistic relationship between one product, the movie star, and a consumer product—cigarettes, perfume, makeup, whatever—was born, and continues with increasing power and sophistication to this very day.
The idea is simplicity itself: Buy me, be me.
Wallace Reid (1891 – 1923) was, for a brief and shining period, the most popular matinee idol in silent films. He was the boy next door, brash but lovable. Tragically, he was badly injured during production. The studio physician put him on morphine in order to keep Reid working. Unfortunately, Reid became addicted. His life and career crashed and burned. Reid died in a sanitarium while attempting recovery.
Seraphic Secret wrote about the lovely Joan Bennet (1910 – 1990) yesterday. In 1947, before scandal marred her career, Joan was a popular spokeswoman for beauty products.
Lucky Strike takes advantage of the ravishing Hedy Lamarr (1913 – 2000) and her starring role in Cecil B. De Mille’s hugely popular “Samson and Delilah, 1949.”
Madeleine Carroll 26 February (1906 – 1987) was one of the most beautiful leading ladies in movies. British born, she was highly educated, fluent in French and a true lady. Carroll was the first British actress to be offered a major American film contract. She signed with Paramount. But her very best role was in Hitchcock’s brilliant “The 39 Steps” 1935, in which she costarred with Robert Donat. During the war her beloved sister was killed in a German air raid. Carroll gave up her acting career and worked tirelessly for the war effort for which she was awarded the American Medal of Freedom. No doubt, Carroll never knew that she was advertising spark plugs. Under contract, Paramount probably made the deal with the advertiser and pocketed the profit—a common practise at the time. A wonderful actress and patriot, Madeleine Carroll deserved better.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and meaningful Shabbat.