Louise Brooks
Actress, dancer
Louise Brooks
Mary Louise Brooks, generally known by her stage name Louise Brooks, was an American dancer, model, showgirl and silent film actress, noted for popularizing the bobbed haircut. Brooks is best known as the lead in three feature films made in Europe, including two G. W. Pabst films: Pandora's Box (1929), Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), and Prix de Beauté (Miss Europe) (1930). She starred in 17 silent films and, late in life, authored a memoir, Lulu in Hollywood.
Biography
Louise Brooks's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Louise Brooks
News
News abour Louise Brooks from around the web
Substitute Teacher Totally Freaks - The Onion (satire)
Google News - over 5 years
From day one Zweibel intended to employ this new technology for the public good, and for the first two years he devoted much of his airtime to denouncing silent film actress Louise Brooks. Overnight, Zweibel's vitriolic attacks gained sufficient
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The Failure of Welfare Reform Is 'Exhibit A' That the Right's Punish-the-Poor ... - AlterNet
Google News - over 5 years
It's a total failure," said Melissa McClure, a reedy-voiced 50-something with a Louise Brooks bob who successfully managed gift stores before falling on hard times and applying for welfare in early 2007. "If I had a worst nightmare, this would be it,"
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Bill Berkson on Edwin Denby & Frank O'Hara - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Prix de Beaute was also the title of French film starring my favorite actress, the silent film star Louise Brooks. I asked Berkson about the poem, and he told me that he and O'Hara had attended a screening of the Brooks' film in New York City in 1961
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Taskforce To Examine Pet Euthanasia - Razors Edge
Google News - over 5 years
... welfare groups want to phase out pet shops altogether. Critics say so called "puppy farms" are producing a large surplus of animals due to high profits. 2SER's Louise Brooks spoke with Jacqueline Dalziell from the activist group Animal Liberation
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Films | Get your fill of festivals - Kansas City Star
Google News - over 5 years
This year's fest also includes discussion of other Kansas-born filmmakers including Gordon Parks (“Shaft,” “The Learning Tree”), Delbert Mann (“Marty”), adventure filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson, Louise Brooks and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and current
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Banned film resurfaces 90 years after San Francisco scandal - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Thomas Gladysz is an arts journalist and early film buff, and the Director of the Louise Brooks Society, an internet-based archive and international fan club devoted to the legendary film star. Gladysz has contributed to books, organized exhibits,
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Google News article
Go beyond the fringe! We show you how to achieve this season's hottest hair ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Of course, a rash snip of the scissors could leave you with a severe style that doesn't suit — for every Louise Brooks there's an Ann Widdecombe. Your face shape should be taken into account. Paul recommends pulling your hair back in front of a mirror
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10000 days of paying Omar Vizquel to play baseball - Hardball Times
Google News - over 5 years
Ditto Richard Burton, Truman Capote, and Louise Brooks. So was Marvin Gaye—well, at least he was at sunrise. 10000 days ago Marvin Gaye's father killed him. And through it all, Omar Vizquel has kept on a-chooglin. Aside from that, many other events
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Music review: Camille O'Sullivan: Feel - Edinburgh Festivals
Google News - over 5 years
She's half shrouded by a crimson cape pulled up over a Louise Brooks wig that frames her beautiful face, and the red/white/black combination calls to mind that other enchanted character, Snow White - a reference reinforced later, when we hear the
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Google News article
Second annual 'Ladies Night at the Pitt' held at Carnie Smith Stadium - Pittsburg Morning Sun
Google News - over 5 years
Louise Brooks, a Pitt State fan from Columbus who said that she has been attending home games for 50 years, appreciates the social aspect. “Just the fellowship with everybody,” Brooks said, “meeting people I hadn't met since football's over
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Google News article
Amy Winehouse, Bad Girl With a Touch of Genius
NYTimes - over 5 years
“IT’S hard to look that cheap and pull it off,” John Waters said admiringly of Amy Winehouse , some days after the English singer was found dead in her London bed. He was right. It takes a kind of genius. And genius was something Amy Winehouse possessed in abundance; the ill-starred singer, some suggested, had more gifts than she
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NYTimes article
A Bad Girl With a Touch of Genius - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
... molls photographed by the Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger in the 1960s; to a lineage of bad girls extending from Cleopatra to Louise Brooks's Lulu to Salt-n-Pepa, irresistible man traps who always seem to come to the same unfortunate end
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Lou Reed, Frank Wedekind, Metallica and Lulu - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Wainwright admitted in an interview his song suite also owed a little something to his interest in the silent film star, Louise Brooks. She played Lulu in the 1929 film, Pandora's Box. And word broke last month that former Velvet Underground front man
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English National Ballet, Coliseum, London - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
In L'Arlésienne she's a tormenting memory; in Carmen a gamey, sweating feast for the senses; and in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort a Louise Brooks wannabe who moonlights as the Grim Reaper. Jeane Homme, which evolved in 1946 from a Jean Cocteau idea and is
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Mike Mills - Little White Lies
Google News - over 5 years
And I do love Louise Brooks and I do love old Hollywood through the teens, '20s and '30s, because it was being invented then, it was like this whole new entrepreneurial world that was just being discovered. It's a little bit like coming from
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Another view on Glamour of the Gods - The Guardian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
One of my favourite looks comes in a portrait of the silent-movie actor Louise Brooks, from the 1920s. She has a shiny black helmet of hair, a black dress, and a long string of white pearls. Everything about that look works: the monochrome colours,
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Glamour of the Gods: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation – review - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
And in one of the most famous of the 90 or so images selected for this exhibition, Eugene Robert Richee summarises Louise Brooks as nothing but a glowing head and hands, luminous against a pitch-black ground, an immense string of pearls looped between
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Theodore Roszak (1933-2011) - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Louise Brooks (my favorite silent film star) or at least a character based on Brooks plays a part in Flicker. Roszak told me he was a fan of the actress, and had seen her surviving films. If Flicker sounds weird and strange and wonderful and would make
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Beirut unleashes The Rip Tide on new album and tours in hopes of seeing Rip ... - Tiny Mix Tapes
Google News - over 5 years
The man behind Beirut has a new album in the works, so it's goodbye to nights spent exchanging witty repartees with the gin-sozzled ghosts of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Louise Brooks and HELLOOOOO to a four-month-long bus tour through every single city in
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Second oldest in California turns 111 - San Francisco Chronicle (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Rolled Stockings starred Louise Brooks and was filmed in and around the campus at UC Berkeley. Maas' first big success as a screenwriter was The Plastic Age (1925), a smash hit starring Clara Bow, the "It girl." Maas' screenwriting and story efforts
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Louise Brooks
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1985
    Age 78
    On August 8, 1985, Brooks was found dead of a heart attack after suffering from arthritis and emphysema for many years.
    More Details Hide Details She was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, New York. As is the case with many of her contemporaries, a number of Brooks' films, according to the documentary Looking for Lulu, are considered to be lost. Her key films survive, however, particularly Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl which have been released to DVD in North America by the Criterion Collection and Kino Video, respectively. As of 2007, Miss Europe and The Show Off have also seen limited North American DVD release. Her short film (and one of her only talkies) Windy Riley Goes Hollywood was included on the DVD release of Diary of a Lost Girl. Her final film, Overland Stage Raiders, was released on VHS and in 2012 on DVD. Should I be emulating Marlene Dietrich or something? Louise Brooks as an unattainable film image served as an inspiration for Adolfo Bioy Casares when he wrote his science fiction novel The Invention of Morel (1940) about a man attracted to Faustine, a woman who is only a projected 3-D image. In a 1995 interview, Casares explained that Faustine is directly based on his love for Louise Brooks who "vanished too early from the movies". (Elements of The Invention of Morel, minus the science fiction elements, served as a basis for Alain Resnais's 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad.)
  • 1982
    Age 75
    Author Tom Graves was allowed into Brooks' apartment for an interview in 1982, and later wrote about the at times awkward and tense conversation in his article "My Afternoon With Louise Brooks" that is the lead piece in his book Louise Brooks, Frank Zappa, & Other Charmers & Dreamers.
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    A collection of her writings, Lulu in Hollywood, was published in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details She was profiled by the film writer Kenneth Tynan in his essay, "The Girl in The Black Helmet", the title of which was an allusion to her bobbed hair, worn since childhood, a hairstyle she helped popularize. She rarely gave interviews, but had special relationships with film historians John Kobal and Kevin Brownlow. In the 1970s she was interviewed extensively, on film, for the documentaries Memories of Berlin: The Twilight of Weimar Culture (1976), produced and directed by Gary Conklin, and for the documentary series Hollywood (1980) by Brownlow and David Gill. Lulu in Berlin (1984) is another rare filmed interview, produced by Richard Leacock and Susan Woll, released a year before her death, but filmed a decade earlier.
    Brooks published her memoir, Lulu in Hollywood, in 1982; three years later she died of a heart attack at the age of 78.
    More Details Hide Details Born in Cherryvale, Kansas, Louise Brooks was the daughter of Leonard Porter Brooks, a lawyer, who was usually too busy with his practice to discipline his children, and Myra Rude, an artistic mother who determined that any "squalling brats she produced could take care of themselves". Rude was a talented pianist who played the latest Debussy and Ravel for her children, inspiring them with a love of books and music. When she was 9 years old, a neighborhood predator sexually abused Louise. This event had a major influence on Brooks' life and career, causing her to say in later years that she was incapable of real love, and that this man "must have had a great deal to do with forming my attitude toward sexual pleasure.For me, nice, soft, easy men were never enough – there had to be an element of domination". When Brooks at last told her mother of the incident, many years later, her mother suggested that it must have been Louise's fault for "leading him on".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1936
    Age 29
    She attempted a comeback in 1936, and did a bit part in the Western Empty Saddles, which led Columbia to offer her a screen test, contingent on appearing in the 1937 musical When You're in Love, uncredited, as a specialty ballerina in the chorus.
    More Details Hide Details She made two more films after that, including the lead opposite John Wayne in Overland Stage Raiders (1938), a "B" Western in which she played the romantic lead with a long hairstyle that rendered her all but unrecognizable from her Lulu days. Brooks then briefly returned to Wichita, where she was raised. "But that turned out to be another kind of hell," she said. "The citizens of Wichita either resented me having been a success or despised me for being a failure. And I wasn't exactly enchanted with them. I must confess to a lifelong curse: My own failure as a social creature." After an unsuccessful attempt at operating a dance studio, she returned East and, after brief stints as a radio actor and a gossip columnist, worked as a salesgirl in a Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City for a few years, then lived as a courtesan with a few select wealthy men as clients.
  • 1933
    Age 26
    In 1933, she married Chicago millionaire Deering Davis, a son of Nathan Smith Davis, Jr., but abruptly left him in March 1934 after only five months of marriage, "without a good-bye... and leaving only a note of her intentions" behind her. According to Card, Davis was just "another elegant, well-heeled admirer", nothing more. The couple officially divorced in 1938.
    More Details Hide Details Despite her two marriages, she never had children, referring to herself as "Barren Brooks". Her many lovers from years before had included a young William S. Paley, the founder of CBS. According to Louise Brooks: Looking For Lulu, Paley provided a small monthly stipend to Brooks for the rest of her life, and according to the documentary this stipend kept her from committing suicide at one point. She also had an on-again, off-again relationship with George Preston Marshall throughout the 1920s and 1930s (which she described as "abusive"). He was the biggest reason she was able to secure a contract with Pabst. Marshall repeatedly asked her to marry him, but after finding that she had had many affairs while they were together, married film actress Corinne Griffith instead. By her own admission, Brooks was a sexually liberated woman, not afraid to experiment, even posing fully nude for art photography, and her liaisons with many film people were legendary, although much of it is speculation.
  • 1932
    Age 25
    Brooks declared bankruptcy in 1932 and began dancing in nightclubs to earn a living.
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  • 1931
    Age 24
    When she returned to Hollywood in 1931, she was cast in two mainstream films: God's Gift to Women (1931) and It Pays to Advertise (1931).
    More Details Hide Details Her performances in these films, however, were largely ignored, and few other job offers were forthcoming due to her informal "blacklisting". Despite this, William Wellman, her director on Beggars of Life, offered her the female lead in his new picture, The Public Enemy starring James Cagney. However, Brooks turned down the role in order to visit her then-lover George Preston Marshall in New York City, and the part instead went to Jean Harlow, who began her own rise to stardom largely as a result. Brooks later explained herself to Wellman by saying that she hated making pictures because she simply "hated Hollywood", and according to film historian James Card, who came to know Brooks intimately later in her life, "she just wasn't interested. She was more interested in Marshall". In the opinion of Brooks's biographer Barry Paris, "turning down Public Enemy marked the real end of Louise Brooks's film career". She made one more film at that time, a comedy short, Windy Riley Goes Hollywood (1931), directed by Hollywood outcast Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, working under the pseudonym "William Goodrich".
  • 1929
    Age 22
    Once in Germany, she starred in the 1929 film Pandora's Box, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in his New Objectivity period.
    More Details Hide Details The film is based on two plays by Frank Wedekind (Erdgeist and Die Büchse der Pandora) and Brooks plays the central figure, Lulu. This film is notable for its frank treatment of modern sexual mores, including one of the first screen portrayals of a lesbian. Brooks then starred in the controversial social drama Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), based on the book by Margarete Böhme and also directed by Pabst, and Miss Europe (1930) by Italian director Augusto Genina, the latter being filmed in France, and having a famous surprise ending. All these films were heavily censored, as they were very "adult" and considered shocking in their time for their portrayals of sexuality, as well as their social satire.
  • 1928
    Age 21
    She divorced Sutherland, mainly due to her budding relationship with Marshall, in June 1928.
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    She was noticed in Europe for her pivotal vamp role in the Howard Hawks directed silent "buddy film", A Girl in Every Port in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details In an early sound film drama, Beggars of Life (1928), Brooks played an abused country girl who kills her foster father in a moment of desperation. A hobo, Richard Arlen, happens on the murder scene and convinces Brooks to disguise herself as a young boy and escape the law by "riding the rails" with him. In a hobo encampment, or "jungle," they meet another hobo, Wallace Beery. Brooks's disguise is soon uncovered and she finds herself the only female in a world of brutal, sex-hungry men. Much of this film was shot on location, and the boom microphone was invented for this film by the director William Wellman, who needed it for one of the first experimental talking scenes in the movies. By this time in her life, she was mixing with the rich and famous, and was a regular guest of William Randolph Hearst and his mistress, Marion Davies, at San Simeon, being close friends with Davies' niece, Pepi Lederer. Her distinctive bob haircut helped start a trend; many women styled their hair in imitation of her and fellow film star Colleen Moore. Soon after the film Beggars Of Life was made, Brooks, who loathed the Hollywood "scene", refused to stay on at Paramount after being denied a promised raise, and left for Europe to make films for G. W. Pabst, the prominent Austrian Expressionist director.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1926
    Age 19
    In the summer of 1926, Brooks married Eddie Sutherland, the director of the film she made with W. C. Fields, but by 1927 had fallen "terribly in love" with George Preston Marshall, owner of a chain of laundries and future owner of the Washington Redskins football team, following a chance meeting with him that she later referred to as "the most fateful encounter of my life".
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  • 1925
    Age 18
    Brooks made her screen debut in the silent The Street of Forgotten Men, in an uncredited role in 1925.
    More Details Hide Details Soon, however, she was playing the female lead in a number of silent light comedies and flapper films over the next few years, starring with Adolphe Menjou and W. C. Fields, among others.
    As a result of her work in the Follies, she came to the attention of Paramount Pictures producer Walter Wanger, who signed her to a five-year contract with the studio in 1925. (She was also noticed by visiting movie star Charlie Chaplin, who was in town for the premiere of his film The Gold Rush.
    More Details Hide Details The two had an affair that summer).
    Thanks to her friend Barbara Bennett (sister of Constance and Joan), Brooks almost immediately found employment as a chorus girl in George White's Scandals, followed by an appearance as a featured dancer in the 1925 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway.
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  • 1924
    Age 17
    A long-simmering personal conflict between Brooks and St. Denis boiled over one day, however, and St. Denis abruptly fired Brooks from the troupe in 1924, telling her in front of the other members that "I am dismissing you from the company because you want life handed to you on a silver salver".
    More Details Hide Details The words left a strong impression on Brooks; when she drew up an outline for a planned autobiographical novel in 1949, "The Silver Salver" was the title she gave to the tenth and final chapter.
  • 1922
    Age 15
    Brooks began her entertainment career as a dancer, joining the Denishawn modern dance company in Los Angeles (whose members included founders Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn, as well as a young Martha Graham) in 1922.
    More Details Hide Details In her second season with the company, Brooks had advanced to a starring role in one work opposite Shawn.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1906
    Born
    Born on November 14, 1906.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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