Happy Holidays from the Stars

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Above is Betty Grable spreading holiday cheer, which is my favorite Hollywood Christmas photo. In a former life, I used to work as the managing editor for a video magazine, and each holiday season, we looked for any excuse to use this publicity photo. Not only does Grable rock the color red like no other star, she epitomizes Hollywood glamour decked out in her massive fur coat, which on her does not look out of place in a convertible in sunny California .

CYD CHARISSE

CYD CHARISSE

GROUCHO MARX

GROUCHO MARX

Holiday-themed glamour shots of movie stars pop up a lot on the Internet this time of year. Not surprisingly, they tend to showcase stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood; beloved actors and favorite holiday movies enhance  the nostalgia associated with Christmas. From the silent era through the mid-1950s, the Hollywood studios engaged in well-orchestrated publicity and promotion, including glossy photos of stars. The glamour shots were regularly sent to fanzines and newspapers as well as to fans who wrote to the stars/studios requesting photos of their favorites. Of course, the photos kept the stars in the public eye, but they were more vital to the studio system than that. They helped to construct and circulate the stars’ images, reminding fans of those attributes and characteristics the fans found admirable. They also fed the media’s appetite for information about the stars. The images and stories created by the studios’ p.r. departments were universally positive and optimistic, leaving fans with happy memories and genuine affection.

EACH YEAR, COLONEL TOM PARKER CREATED A UNIQUE CHRISTMAS CARD FOR ELVIS'S FANS.

EACH YEAR, COLONEL TOM PARKER CREATED A UNIQUE CHRISTMAS CARD FOR ELVIS’S FANS.

The studios gave up control over the star system during the 1950s, but the public and press still had an insatiable appetite for information. Studios had downsized their publicity departments and stopped generating year-round publicity, giving rise to tabloids such as Confidential to fill the void for celebrity information. The legacy of those scandal rags has been a decades-long assault on the star system, which has denigrated stars and the very idea of stardom.

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CAROLE LOMBARD IN 1929

Some might say that as a culture we have outgrown our enchantment with movie stars, our belief that they were as special in real life as they were on the big screen. But, I dare you to look at these photos and not feel at least a spark of good cheer.

GLAMOROUS JEAN HARLOW

GLAMOROUS JEAN HARLOW

 

CARY GRANT IN A PUBLICITY PHOTO FOR 'THE BISHOP'S WIFE.' I LIKE THE MOODINESS OF THIS SHOT, WHICH CAPTURES ANOTHER SIDE OF CHRISTMAS FOR SOME FOLKS.

CARY GRANT IN A PUBLICITY PHOTO FOR ‘THE BISHOP’S WIFE.’ I LIKE THE MOODINESS OF THIS SHOT, WHICH CAPTURES ANOTHER SIDE OF CHRISTMAS FOR SOME FOLKS.

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CHEESECAKE AND BEEFCAKE FOR CHRISTMAS: JANET LEIGH AND ROBERT MITCHUM IN A PUBLICITY SHOT FOR ‘A HOLIDAY AFFAIR.’

LEAVE IT TO NORMA SHEARER TO ADD CLASS TO THE HOLIDAYS.  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.

NORMA SHEARER ADDS CLASS TO THE HOLIDAYS.

LEAVE IT TO GINGER ROGERS TO DOUBLE THE HOLIDAY CHEER WITH MULTIPLE SANTAS. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL THE MORLOCKS AND OUR READERS.

LEAVE IT TO GINGER ROGERS TO DOUBLE THE HOLIDAY CHEER WITH MULTIPLE SANTAS. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL THE MORLOCKS AND OUR READERS.

 

9 Responses Happy Holidays from the Stars
Posted By swac44 : December 21, 2015 4:30 pm

Great images! I can look at them while listening to my LP of Hark, The Hollywood Stars Sing! which has a misleading title as Bob & Dolores Hope are really the only major stars who on it (doing Silver Bells, natch), but the music by Les Brown & His Band of Renown (recorded live at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Crystal Room) is terrific. Ed Platt supposedly sings on it, but only as part of an all-star choir, so you don’t get to hear the dulcet tones of “The Chief” in all their glory.

http://www.discogs.com/Various-HarkStars-Of-Hollywood-Sing-Featuring-The-Voices-Of-Christmas/release/5138328

Posted By Emgee : December 21, 2015 9:16 pm

Groucho looks as if he’s planning to run off with the presents.
And Harlow’s hair is the same color as her curtains!

Nice seasonal pics which indeed cheer me up, so thanks!

Posted By kingrat : December 22, 2015 4:17 am

Thanks for the holiday cheer! I especially love the Betty Grable and Jean Harlow pictures. Grable makes this absurd situation look perfectly natural, what every woman would be doing at Christmas.

Posted By LD : December 22, 2015 10:38 am

Thank you for the photos. I especially liked the ones of Harlow and Grant. Happy holidays to all the Morlocks and their readers!

Posted By AL : December 23, 2015 1:01 am

Cyd Charisse–what a Beauty. She gets my award for having the all-time best NoseJob–perfection. Kael said “She’s not much of an actress, but when she wraps those gorgeous legs around Fred Astaire you forgive her for everything…”

Posted By Maryann : December 23, 2015 4:13 am

Boy Bob Mitchum looks like he’s having a good Christmas

Posted By Emgee : December 23, 2015 8:22 am

“you forgive her for everything…” For what? Being beautiful?

Posted By Anna : December 26, 2015 5:07 am

Short YOUTUBE Ordinary families and communities from long ago celebrating Christmas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywZzZ80UXWc&feature=youtu.be

Posted By robbushblog : February 9, 2016 8:02 pm

I’m really, really late on this. I just wanted to add…Cyd. Good golly!

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