Happy birthday, Ann Veronica Lahiff

All totally baffled? Oh fine, apart from classic movie lovers, I’m not surprised. I’d love to think that if I said she’s better known as Nancy Carroll, that a few more might know who I’m talking about, but maybe not? Oh fine, thanks to issues with Paramount/Universal, and making her movies more available, there’s a fair chance you dont know her. Shame, you dont know what you’re missing out on. Oh, yes, technically at least, she was 113 yesterday, though sadly she died in 1965. Not that she’d be likely to be alive now anyway, but 61 was still quite young.

Nancy was a fine actress, singer, and dancer from the very end of silent movies, and the beginning of sound. She did make a few more movies after that, but mainly in small roles. Not to worry folks, because she was plenty busy enough working in theaters, when not living, and doing business around the world. Indeed, the main reason it was discovered she had died, was when she didnt turn up for a performance, and her daughter went and found her dead, in her apartment, a brain aneurism having taken her from this world.

If you believe what the studios said, Nancy didnt help her career, because of temper issues. But fine, if you believed everything put out by the studios…rolls eyes! I’m not saying she was sweet and innocent, she was Irish American, and a redhead, so… But yes, if she was that much of a diva, theaters wouldnt have been rushing to employ her, lets face it!

Me, I’ve only known Nancy myself for a couple of years, but grown to love her in that time. She’s made a fine support actress to Jean, Clara and others in my stories since then, but enough of that. For those she can mainly blame the bountiful number of pictures of her dressed as a witch, a cat, and the like! So, how did I discover her? Well, 2 years ago, having discovered the Clara Johnson past life for the first time, I went on a discovery hunt for her. As I have discovered, that was easier said, than done. Found a few pieces of info, but no definite pictures. And thats where Nancy came in! I put the name Clara Johnson in Google images, and found plenty of Clara Bow, who I instantly recognized. But then I found this one, that I didnt recognize, was clearly from that era, and no name.

clara-johnson

So was it actually Clara, I asked? No, my hopes were quickly dashed, when I was told that it was Nancy Carroll! But yes, she was cute, and I loved the hat, so I looked into her more, and have been hooked since.

So yes, for yesterday, Happy Birthday, Nancy, or Ann, or Diane, as one reader of this will get that joke! 😉

OK, video time. So lets introduce my readers (if needed) to Nancy Carroll. I think the best way to describe this, is that when sound came creeping in, all sorts of short pieces were put together, to test out the new system. Some were good, some, err, werent! As this is the only bit I’ve seen of this session, I have no idea how good the rest of it was. But yes, the singer, and dancer, is Nancy Carroll, and fine, let me imagine that one of those chorus line dancers could just be Clara Johnson!

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A tribute to a legend

Yes, you’re getting a bonus, extra blog this weekend, due to the fact that today would have been Lillian Gish’s 123rd Birthday, if anyone actually lived that long! She actually managed to live within 8 months of her 100th Birthday, but thats beside the point. Its pretty fair to say that she is one of the absolute legends of the silent movie era, though it actually needs to be pointed out that her final movie role was actually 75 years after her first, in 1987, at the age of 93!

In a sense, you could say she lives on today, though not strictly true, as someone delightfully provides postings for her, on Twitter, under the handle of @MsLillianGish which I’m sure isnt really her, but who knows, it might be her ghost lol? Regardless, the person posting for her does it in the most wonderful way, and I’m sure she’d approve! Not sure that Marion Davies would approve of her teasing of her, or maybe she would?

Its fair to assume that nowadays no one is going to have a movie career that lasts 75 years! Even when not making movies, she worked in the theater, never seemed to stop. She never married, it has to be said, probably because she could never find the time to stop, to fit it in. I suppose it is possible that her preferences couldnt be solved by marriage back then, but in truth, if that was the case, surely by now, someone would have said something about the dear old lady, and no one ever did!

Until this time last year, I dont think I’d seen her in a major role, but then in an amazing twist of fate, while I was in Hollywood, TCM decided to show one of her famous movies, The Wind, on an afternoon/evening (might have been her birthday, not sure?), and I wasnt going to miss that for the world. Yes, she truly was an amazing actress, and if you get the chance to see this, or any of her other major roles, take it!

So I’ll close by saying, Happy Birthday, Miss Gish, wherever you may be. And if that really is you on Twitter, then you already knew!

The video, I did think of a film clip, but in truth, if you want to do that, just go on You Tube, and find one. However, in 1991, shortly before her death, The Smashing Pumpkins released their debut album, and called it Gish, as a tribute to her. This is a live version of an apt song from that album

Everyone could be a winner?

You know how every so often, you find an article that revives your faith in human nature, you might say this is one of them?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12187042/Chocolate-makes-you-smarter-study-suggests.html

So yes, in that case, if anyone wants to make me smarter, then you could always buy me some chocolate for my birthday on Wednesday. Because, lets face it, at 58 (as I will be then), I need all the help I can get! It doesnt even have to be expensive chocolate, I’d take any offers at present! I know, anyone in the US reading this, or reading it after the event, then fine, you missed it, but knowing me, I still wouldnt say no to an offer of chocolate!

Alright, fine, if someone wants to do the exact opposite to me, turn me into a mindless obedient being, then that would be good by me too, especially at present, as I could then have no further concerns about all this ghastly job hunting lark! Oh, and besides which, I’d enjoy every moment of it, anyway! If anyone wants to do that to me for real, or in a really intense play session, then I’d say that could be the perfect birthday present. Mind, unless you’re in the UK, you’re going to have to pay for me to come, and be brainwashed, but feel free to do so!

Just maybe, I wouldnt say no to a full body, metallic silver bodysuit, with, or without mind controlling electrodes, just saying… 😉

Oh, right, if there is some wealthy person out there, with more money than they need, and the desire to spend some of it, 4 more weeks in a Hollywood apartment would probably do me the world of good! I know, I know, no expectations whatsoever. Mind, if there is a Hearst (of either gender) out there, looking for their Marion Davies, let me know lol! Mind, a job offer from LA would just be amazing!

Yes, I cant say I’m overly looking forward to my birthday, because lets face it, at the moment, life isnt great! Agreed, a job could pick things up a lot, but just at the moment, the words, hitting my head against a brick wall, seem apt on that count! Maybe thats why the idea of having all those nasty thoughts removed from my head might seem so popular with me at present! So please!

The video, is going back to where we started this blog, something that could make us all feel like winners. You buy me some chocolate, I get smarter, and probably happier too. You feel good for making some poor church mouse’s day, by buying her a small treat. Yes? So as the song says…

This blog has been kidnapped!

OK, fine, before I let someone else take over for 1 night (Yes, I know, but I have news they need to know!), just one quick piece of news. Yes, I’m beginning to feel better at long last, and seemingly solid food is beginning to stay down, without issue, so fingers crossed, tomorrow, I should be back to normal. However, I requested the interview to be delayed, as I wouldnt have been at my best (even more so, after a 70 minute bus ride, and 20 minute walk), and the firm concerned have graciously put it back till Monday afternoon, so…

Ow! Ouch! Leave me alone, you can have the computer now, OK? Right, as mentioned, you have a special guest writer tonight, so I’d better let her get on with it!

……………………

“Right, fine. How do I use this weird looking type writer then? Oh, right, like that, and when I’ve finished, you’ll do the clever stuff? OK! Fine, fine, I’ll do the mind meld later, as promised!” 😀 “Yes, and if Boris Karloff can get that weird machine of his to work, look just like me too!”

Hi there, modern day gentlemen, and ladies, my name’s Harlean, but you know me better by another name, Jean. Ring a bell around here, or six, maybe? 😉 Yes, I’m here today to mention that its my birthday today, March 3. Not looking bad for 105, if I say so myself. Alright, fine, if you’re being fussy, I know, I died 79 years ago, but where’s the excitement in that?

Yeah, time travel. I know Myrna (Loy) and Clara (Bow) said not to mention it, but hey I’ve got to explain how I’m able to use this computer thingy, anyway. Besides which, the amount of times Clara, and Brooksie, have had their pictures taken, using their cell phones, sheesh! Bill (Powell) has told me not to say anything nasty about Louis B (Mayer), and being I’m a good girl, fine by me.

Alright, if anyone had told me back in the 1930’s, that I’d still be amazingly popular 80 years on, I’d have laughed at them, I wasnt that great an actress, surely? But yeah, fine, its nice to know, all the same, thanks so much. 🙂

Right, lastly, before I let that boring, modern day person take her blog back over, lets kill off a few silly rumors.

1. My Mother did not stop Doctors, or Nurses seeing me in my dying days, she just didnt trust the ones that Mr Mayer wanted to use, and I dont blame her for that. Oh, and if they had worked out what was wrong with me earlier, no change, nothing could be done for kidney failure back then. 10 years or so later, yes, maybe, but back then, no chance.
2. My kidney issues did not relate to the bleaching/coloring of my hair, being beaten by anyone (nope, not done), or any of the other silly stuff suggested. I got scarlet fever as a teenager, and that caused issues with my kidneys, though no one knew it. Might have been fine, if I hadnt smoked heavily, had a drink, or six, but given I did…they gave up the fight!
3. The real me, was the one you see in the later movies, not the wild sex tiger, of the pre code days. Yes, fine, it was fun (at times) playing those sort of roles, but important word, play. Yes, fine, I wasnt ashamed of my body, and I might not have been a virginal angel between relationships, but at other times…
4. Yeah, those 60’s biog movies they made of me. Sheesh, pure fiction! Yeah, Bill got hold of a copy, and we spent the night wondering who they were based on, sure wasnt me. Laugh, you bet we did! There’s a good, but hard to get one, written not so long ago, by a guy called David Stenn, thats accurate at least! Maybe you can find it online, if nothing else?

Oh right, I’m told I have to put up a video. You’re not going to like this, its me, singing. Yeah, fine, wasnt my strong point, not that I was a great dancer either, but anyway… So you might want to be brave, or you might want to pass on this.

Yeah, sorry, normal, boring service will be resumed on this blog now, I’m afraid. Who knows, 1 year from now, I might bully her off here again! 😀

Bye! Jean xxx

The most incredible present ever

Well, yes, today officially was the big day, I hit 57. Unless you have done so elsewhere, feel free to leave greetings. OK, lurkers, I know you wont, but no harm in asking.

But in all truth, because of the way things work out with life, it was actually Saturday that proved to be the magical day this weekend. It wasnt in my plans to have Saturday off, but it suited work, due to the Cheltenham Festival and all that, but it made for a nice change.

And due to Nicole being elsewhere this evening, we took that chance to have my birthday celebration meal a couple of days early. And I took the chance to wear a strapless, green dress, most suitable for this weekend, given the cricket yesterday (not too much about that please), and the fact that its St Patricks Day tomorrow. Yes, I know its a silly thing, but I do love wearing a strapless dress nowadays, even if I’m not giving a big show of cleavage in doing so.

So fine, just after 6.30, we get back home, and I have an email from a friend, asking me for some personal details, for ‘something’. Given I know him well, I passed them on, hey, it was only my name as on my passport, nothing more anyway. He had mentioned leaving messages on Facebook, and Yahoo messenger as well, so I went off to those, to let him know the deed was done. He was still on Yahoo, so we started chatting. All I was told at this point was that something would be waiting for me in LA.

No, not a mad scientist who was literally going to turn me into Jean Harlow lol! Though given its Hollywood, there may well be one!

So fine, after a little while, the news came out, and for those who havent read the follow up comment on the last blog, its basically this. I am going to that party in Hollywood, and I dont have to concern myself about the cost, as the ticket, and dinner have been paid for, and given to me as the most wonderful present by James (yes, he was the one I was talking to), and Kate (who I soon ended up talking to as well). Words cannot describe how lovely a gesture this is, and now all I’ve got to decide is which dress I’m wearing!

Today has been calmer, got some nice stuff designed to make me even more beautiful from the folk here this morning as well, though I’m not sure how much of a miracle me looking stunning would take! But anyway…should look better after tomorrow, as I have a massage, and facial booked for the afternoon.

Oh, the cricket. Ireland did well, won more games than England in fact, but didnt make the quarter finals. But even so, its been a great few weeks, watching them down under. Hopefully at some point this summer, I’ll get to see them in the flesh, though job finding, and schedules may play a part in seeing how much, and when.

The video, from a time when U2 took themselves less seriously. And it sums up perfectly the gift received, from two truly wonderful friends, on Saturday evening. Just under 5 weeks from now, ‘Jean’ will go to the ball!

A day of remembrance, a day of celebration too

Well, seriously, given the date and everything, what else were you expecting tonight?

Strictly, the centenary of the significance of the 11th November is still 4 years away, but given this is the centenary of the start of World War 1, its a major landmark anyway. And at the 11th hour today, we have, or will (depending on your time zone) remember them.

Not that we just remember those who fell during that awful war, but on the battlefields everywhere, ever since. I suppose, strictly, those who died before too, but its fair to say that 1918 was of course the day that Remembrance Day over here, Veterans Day in the US, is the one that all are remembered for.

No, I’m not going to get political on the matter, though its fair to say that in hindsight, the leaders on both sides in WW1 didnt think too much about planning.

But anyway, for all those brave souls who died then, and since then, I remember, and respect all you did for us, who followed you.

Oh, the celebration? Well, two friends, one long term, one who I have only got to know recently both celebrate their birthday today.

The new one, that wonderful lady who showed Kate, and I around Cherryvale, less than 2 months ago. I think it was towards the end of last year when we first made contact, due to a posting I made about, yes, going to Cherryvale, the home town of Louise Brooks. Finally, I got to meet her in September, and she was just as wonderful to me in real life, as she had been in cyberspace.

Thanks, Tina, hope you’ve had a wonderful day.

Its fair to say I’ve known James a lot longer, though I’m not sure now, just how many years it has been. But in that time, he has become a true friend, a confidant, my editor, to name but 3 things! This man is simply amazing, believe me. Oh, and to top all this, he is the one who has invited me, in less than 2 weeks now, to celebrate Thanksgiving with him, my first time doing so.

So yes, as well as remembering the brave who died fighting for us, I am celebrating the birthday of 2 wonderful people.

The video, well yes, its a war related one, though possibly not one that people would immediately relate to events.

From the underworld

And yes, the title is purely for the video, one of those incredible songs from the 60’s that never got the credit it deserved.

Jean Harlow passed on from this world in 1937, before colour films were generally being made. Therefore most pictures of her, are only in black and white. The thing is, there are artistic geniuses who have the talents, and skills to colourise these pictures, and bring a whole new look to a modern audience. What we truly cannot know is, if the colours are correct of course, but thats a minor concern.

Today, as a birthday delight, not only did I get the gift of one such picture from a wonderful friend, Kris, this one

jean harlow coloured 2

and there is also a guy on Facebook, under the guise of Colorised Hollywood, who does lots of these images, but chose today, my birthday, to post one of Jean Harlow, while not knowing the significance of doing so

jean harlow coloured

I love both of them, it has to be said! Thanks so much, both of you. Hopefully on Tuesday, I will look even more like her, after my hair is restyled, though I’m sure I will never be as beautiful as her, despite the lookalike comments.

So, despite being long departed, colour images of Jean Harlow still appear, if not strictly from the underworld. Which leads me to that video

The other main news of the day, I wore the pink flapper dress out in public tonight, albeit it with hose, as firstly its too cold out there not to, and secondly, its above the knees, and my knees shouldnt be seen in public! But it was fun, and lovely to wear it again, all the same.