My gorgeous grandmother, Mitzi Cummings. She could’ve been a goddess of the silver screen but as far as I know, other than a bit part in one or two Ramon Novarro movies, she was not allowed to pursue this.
Was this right? Who’s to say.
But she was a talented writer and lyricist and wrote in the MGM script and music departments, and later had a column for Photoplay Magazine. She also wrote pieces here and there for other magazines like Vanities and Jolly Roger. Hollywood was her playground and she knew literally everyone – in front of and behind the camera.
Mitzi was also an epic letter writer and I have a stack of letters between her and my grandfather, Sol Baer Fielding, from 1939, the year they were courting. Her letters are on MGM letterhead and sent in MGM envelopes and stamped with whatever was the new release, such as ‘The Women’ with Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford and ‘The Wizard of Oz.’
In her letters she talks about her crazy home life with her youngest brother, Sonny, and her mother, Ida, and maids who give up and stay for just a week. She talks about working at MGM and her hopes and dreams. There’s plenty of juicy gossip and detail about squabbles between writers etc. She talks about going to the movies with her pals – people whose names are on marquees at the time.
WHAT. A. LIFE!
I remember one day watching her magically whip on her red lipstick absolutely perfectly without mirror. I asked her how she did that.
Her response: “I know where my lips are!”
I wish I had understood more about her story as a kid – not only would I have mercilessly begged her for stories about old Hollywood, but I would’ve been more understanding.
All I can do is honor now, as I do.
Love you, Grandma Mitzi 😘💃💄
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