Marian Marsh – chocolate exec’s doll faced daughter

"The new Trilby, Svengali'a victim, is Marian Marsh, a newcomer to featured screen roles. A few months ago she was an extra girl in Hollywood," New York Times review, April 26, 1931. Oh, how I love this photo. Unlike the highly posed publicity shots featuring Mitzi with a movie star like Harlow in her beautiful … Continue reading Marian Marsh – chocolate exec’s doll faced daughter

The boring places where obsessions are born

"At some point, while I was still on the article's first page, the young man hopped into the doctor's office. I kept reading. He would need stitches for sure. The receptionist kept typing. It occurred to me this would be the perfect gig to write your novel. Answer the phone, greet the sick and wounded, … Continue reading The boring places where obsessions are born

Now Showing! The Mitochondrial Candidate

As I think about these descendants of mine - far into the unknown future - I can almost feel myself fade and flicker like a faulty hologram. Why is it that so few of us know anything about our families past two or three generations? I am lucky enough to have a fairly well documented … Continue reading Now Showing! The Mitochondrial Candidate

Jean “Baby” Harlow. Dead at 26.

"It doesn't matter what degree of talent she possesses ... nobody ever starved possessing what she's got." Variety Magazine's review of Jean Harlow in the 1930's Howard Hughes' film Hell's Angels. This is a tough one because the more I stared at this photo and then researched it, the more convinced I became that it … Continue reading Jean “Baby” Harlow. Dead at 26.

Irene Mayer Selznick – first producer of A Street Car Named Desire

As I watch the Tony Awards at home in Sydney, Australia on a rainy, stormy day - as always from a distance to those major events that my family was involved in - I am inspired to post this series of photos of my cousin Irene Mayer Selznick with her sister Edie. Edie and Irene … Continue reading Irene Mayer Selznick – first producer of A Street Car Named Desire

What I Will Look Like in 40 Years

"She was driven, passionate and unstoppable. It is uncanny to me how alike she and LB were in sheer determination..." It dawned on me recently as I looked at photos of my grandmother Mitzi and my great-grandmother Ida Mayer Cummings that I was looking at me in a few decades. The resemblances are uncanny in … Continue reading What I Will Look Like in 40 Years

Rabbi Magnin and the Moguls

“He was the right rabbi in the right temple in the right city at the right moment in time. If he had not presided over our B’nai B’rith, God and Louis B. Mayer - whose overpowering presences tended to overlap - would have had to create him. Or maybe they did." Budd Schulberg, screenwriter and … Continue reading Rabbi Magnin and the Moguls

Mitzi Transformed by Wizard of Oz Make-up Artist Jack Dawn

I am fascinated by amber that contains a trapped primordial insect inside. One moment it is minding its own business on a tree, the next, it is captured in a rolling drop of sticky sap. A millenia later we can hold this same moment in time as fossilized amber in our hands. For me, my … Continue reading Mitzi Transformed by Wizard of Oz Make-up Artist Jack Dawn

Mitzi Joins the MGM Star Factory

Oh, that smile... My grandmother Mitzi is probably in her early 20s in this photo and appears to be signing in at MGM's employee entrance. From the smile, and with a photo to document the occasion, she may very well be doing this for the first time. There's naturally a fine line between nepotism and … Continue reading Mitzi Joins the MGM Star Factory

Friends? Lovers? Enemies? Yes.

"...these people lived lives - were friends, were lovers, were enemies. They bickered, they shouted, the cried, they laughed. They went home, flopped down, dropped hats, kicked off shoes and sighed. " Updated 30 July, 2012: Here is another sensational 1920's photograph from our family's collection. Like the one of Ruth Harriet immediately below it, … Continue reading Friends? Lovers? Enemies? Yes.