Today 8th of August our dear Louise has passed away
“Louise Brooks, the silent movie actress from small-town Kansas whose helmet of bobbed brunet hair became her trademark and a symbol of the disdainful flapper of the 1920’s, died of a heart attack Thursday at her home in Rochester. She was 78 years old and for nearly 30 years had lived in retirement in a small one-bedroom apartment, sick, poor, proud and alone. Discovered in a Broadway chorus line as a teen-ager in George White’s ”Scandals” in 1924, she went from modeling semi-nude for a theatrical photographer to posing for a classic head shot by Edward Steichen” read more on
The New York Times
From “Lulu In Hollywood” by Louise Brooks:
Louise Brooks (1906-1985) one of the most famous actresses of the silent era, was renowned as much as her rebellion against Hollywood as for her performances in such classics as Pandora’s Box and Diary of A Lost Girl. Collected here are eight autobiographical essays by Brooks, vividly describing her childhood in Kansas, her early career as a Denishawn dancer and Ziegfeld Follies ” Glorified Girl”, and her friendships with Martha Graham, Charles Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart and others.
“In Hollywood, I was a pretty flibbertigibbet whose charm for the executive department decreased with every increase in her fan mail. In Berlin, I stepped onto the station platform to meet Pabst and became an actress. I would be treated by him with a kind of decency and respect unknown to me in Hollywood. It was just as if Pabst had sat on my whole life and career and knew exactly where I needed assurance and protection”
“And it was during the making of Diary of A Lost Girl-on the last day of the shooting to be exact- that Pabst moved into my future…”Your life is exactly like Lulu’s”, he said,”And you will end the same way””
“Louise Brooks cannot act, one critic wrote. “She does not suffer. She does nothing”. As far as they were concerned, Pabst had fired a blank. It was who was struck down by my failure, although he had done everything possible to protect and strengthen me against this deadly blow”
“When I departed Hollywood forever, in 1940, I thought that getting away from the place would automatically cure me of its pestiferous disease, playfully referred to there as “going Hollywood”. I retired first to my father’s home in Wichita, but there I found that the citizens could not decide whether they despised me for having once been a success away from home or for now being a failure in their midst, In 1943, I moved on to New York, where I found that the only well-paying career open to me, as an unsuccessful actress of thirty-six, was that of a call girl. I blacked out my past, refused to see my few remaining friends connected with movies, and began to flirt with fancies related to little bottles filled with yellow sleeping pills”
From Wedekind’s Lulu to Alban Berg’s , I embodied a modern Lulu, in suspension. It was me. It wasn’t. It was Lulu. It wasn’t.
“Lulu In Suspension” is available at Optical Sound Records & Fine Arts