John Cecil Pringle was born on July 10, 1897, in Logan, Utah. His parents were both stock company actors, and after their divorce his mother married Walter Gilbert. After many years on the road, the family settled in California. Jack, as he was nicknamed, began working at Thomas Ince’s studio in 1915, graduating from bit parts to more substantial roles over the next five years. He married Olivia Burwell in 1918, but they separated a year later. Continue reading
Madonna’s third album, True Blue, was released on June 30, 1986. Recorded during the honeymoon period of her stormy marriage to Sean Penn, and revealing a sleeker, more sophisticated style, True Blue yielded a slew of classic pop singles, affirming Madonna’s status as one of the decade’s musical icons. Thirty years on, you can read my expanded review here.
Anthony Bushell, Barry O'Neill, Colin Clark, Disraeli, Fredric March, George Arliss, Her Cardboard Lover, Jealousy, Jeanne Eagels, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, Marilyn Monroe, The Prince And The Showgirl
Anthony Arnatt Bushell was born in Westerham, Kent on May 19, 1904. He was educated at Magdalen College School, and later Hertford College in Oxford. He was a champion boxer, rower, and member of the Hypocrites Club, infamous for its wild parties. After graduating, Bushell trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and made his theatrical debut in Diplomacy (1924), opposite Gerald Du Maurier. Continue reading
I first discovered Prince in 1983, while scrabbling for singles in a bargain bin. The song was ‘Controversy’, and its B-side, ‘When You Were Mine.’ Then along came Purple Rain, and so much more.
Born in the same Midwestern summer of ’58 that brought us Michael Jackson (the entertainer), and Madonna (the provocateur), Prince Rogers Nelson – the maestro – headed the holy trinity of Eighties pop.
Sign O’ The Times heralded a new age, and rock ‘n’ roll’s last hurrah. Technology rules now, but Prince stood alone.
Ever since the death of David Bowie in January, there has been an outpouring of public grief. Not corporate-led, but a genuine groundswell of feeling from generations of fans to whom Bowie was not just an idol, but an inspiration.
‘Art Decade‘ was, of course, an instrumental track from his 1977 album, Low – first in the Berlin Trilogy. It’s not surprising, then, that the cover of Art Decades: Volume 7 shows a glimpse of editor Jeremy Richey’s personal collection. ‘I took this particular photo using only the solitary candle (a nod to one of the most striking images from Bowie’s final album) as the sole light source,’ he comments. ‘The photo also contains the actual copy of the very first Bowie album I bought almost 30 years ago in my mid-teens, as well as nods to a Bowie/Kentucky connection, his interest in the occult and his most underrated album (see if you can spot the clues.)’
Inside, Bryce Wilson looks back at Bowie’s 2002 album, Heathen, and Steve Langton and Michael A. Gonzales share memories of growing up with his music. Emily Clare Bryant and Anthony Crowley contribute Bowie-themed poetry; artist Giles Glasscock draws on Bowie’s many visual guises, while filmmaker Niremberg maps his influences, and the musicians he inspired. There are also two photo shoots, based on ‘Lady Stardust’ (by Whitley Brandenburg) and ‘Teenage Wildlife’ (by Kelley and Jeremy Richey.) Sadly, Bowie isn’t the only rock legend we’ve lost lately, as Heather Drain reminds us in her tribute to Lemmy.
Elsewhere, Jeremy interviews Peter Guralnick, acclaimed biographer of Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, and most recently Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records. I was interested to learn that Peter also writes fiction. Post-punk icon Andi Sex-Gang, ‘scream queen’ Erin Russ, and Kentucky performance artist Rob Hampton are also profiled. There are reviews of Tinto Brass’ Paprika on Blu-Ray, and a look back at the films of the Wachowskis. An extract from Marcelline Block and Barry Nevin’s latest book, French Cinema and the Great War, and ‘Can’t Fall Down’, a short story about New York nightlife by screenwriter Les Bohem, are also featured.
Finally, my review of Madonna’s Rebel Heart – from the album leak to the tumultuous tour – is spread over eight pages. It was a labour of love for me, and after seeing the lavish layout, I felt I’d been given the star treatment! As always, Art Decades: Volume 7 is available from Amazon (at £12.53 in the UK, or $18 in the US.) And if you’d like to make a direct subscription, click here.
Alexander Hamilton, Bette Davis, Darryl F. Zanuck, Disraeli, Florence Arliss, George Arliss, Hamilton, J.M. Barrie, Jeanne Eagels, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, Knickerbocker Theatre, Maria Reynolds, The Professor's Love Story
Augustus George Andrews was born in London on April 10, 1868. He was educated at Harrow, one of Britain’s leading public schools. He worked for the publishing house owned by his father, William Joseph Arliss Andrews, before leaving at eighteen to pursue a life on the stage. After a long apprenticeship in provincial theatre, George Arliss established himself as a supporting actor in London’s West End. Continue reading
Leslie Howard Steiner was born in Forest Hill, South London, on April 3, 1893. His mother, Lillian Blumberg, came from an upper middle-class family who initially disapproved of her choice of husband, the Hungarian Ferdinand Steiner. The Steiners briefly moved to Vienna, returning to London when the rift was healed. They had four more children, and changed their name to the less Germanic ‘Stainer’ at the outbreak of World War I. Continue reading
A.H. Woods, Actors Equity Association, Actors Fund, Brooklyn, Evening of Happiness, Gilbert Miller, Her Cardboard Lover, Jacques Deval, Jeanne Eagels, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, Laurette Taylor, Leslie Howard, Montauk Theatre
Loretta Helen Cooney was born in Harlem, New York on April 1, 1883, to Irish parents. Her mother, Elizabeth Dorsey, was the owner of a successful millinery, and the family breadwinner. Loretta had two younger siblings. A gifted mimic, she was encouraged by Elizabeth to pursue a life on the stage, though her father, James Cooney, disapproved. Continue reading
Gloria Swanson, Her Cardboard Lover, Herbert Marshall, Jeanne Eagels, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, Joseph M. Schenck, Joseph P. Kennedy, Louella Parsons, Man Woman and Sin, Rain, Raoul Walsh, Sadie Thompson, Silent Movies, United Artists, Will Hays
Gloria May Josephine Swanson was born in Chicago on March 27, 1899. Her father was in the US army, and the family moved frequently during her childhood. After an aunt took her to visit Essanay Studios in Chicago, she left school to work as an extra. She made an uncredited debut in The Song of Soul, and acted alongside Charlie Chaplin in His New Job (1915.) Continue reading
Lucille Fay LeSueur was born in San Antonio, Texas, on March 23, 1904. Her father, Thomas E. LeSueur, abandoned her mother, Anna Bell Johnson, and her two eldest children, while she was still pregnant. Anna began a new relationship with Henry J. Cassin, and the family lived with him in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he ran the Ramsey Opera House. After Cassin was accused of embezzling, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1916. Continue reading