Author Archives: Sherri

“The Lady That’s Known as Lou”

Barbara is pictured below as she appeared in The Shooting of Dan McGrew (1924), a film said to have been at least partially adapted by her from Robert William Service’s poem of the same name.  Barbara portrayed “the lady that’s known as Lou,” a dancer who falls prey to a cunning gambler (Lew Cody) while trying to make a better life for herself, her husband (Percy Marmont), and her son (Philippe De Lacy).  Oozing with sex appeal, Barbara’s heated, heartfelt performance was deemed a success by several critics upon the film’s release—though Film Daily warned that her “near-nakedness” would likely prompt scrupulous censors in certain areas to ban the film.

(This photo is among the many in my collection that weren’t included with the seventy-six allowed in my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood [2017].  There will be more photos to come.)

The Shooting of Dan McGrew (1924)

My Barbara La Marr Performance, Lecture, and Book Signing at the Shakespeare Club in Pasadena

I’m very excited to be appearing as Barbara La Marr in my self-authored, one-woman performance about her life; lecturing about her; and signing copies of my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood (University Press of Kentucky, 2017), at the historic Shakespeare Club villa in Pasadena, California, on Friday, October 19, 2018.  This event, hosted by the Pasadena Museum of History, will also feature live jazz by the John Reynolds Trio, appetizers, and hooch aplenty.  Period dress is encouraged, and all flappers, sheiks, gangsters, and molls are welcome—but no Prohibition agents, please!

To get the scoop and purchase tickets, click here.

(L to R) Barbara La Marr; me (Sherri Snyder) as Barbara; my Barbara La Marr biography.

My Barbara La Marr Performance and Book Signing at Hollywood Forever on October 13, 2018

The dead do tell tales—at least, Barbara La Marr does.

Join me, Sherri Snyder, at Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 13 as I don my seamed stockings and paint on my bee-stung lips to once again portray silent screen vamp Barbara La Marr in the one-woman performance piece I wrote about her astounding life.  My performance is the finale to the Los Angeles Art Deco Society’s 35th Hollywood Forever Cemetery Walking Tour.

Visit the gravesites of early Hollywood stars, movie moguls, and pioneers as performers and historians “dig up the dirt” on Hollywood’s history—and several of its scandals.

Also featured on the tour are the stories of those who mapped Hollywood—including Col. Griffith J. Griffith and Hollywood founder Harvey Wilcox—and others who put Hollywood on the map: silent film swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks, heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, actress and William Randolph Hearst mistress Marion Davies, filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, slain director William Desmond Taylor, and over twenty other legendary Los Angelenos.

Signed copies of my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood (University Press of Kentucky, 2017), will be on hand.

For additional details and to purchase tickets, click here.  Tickets sold out last year!

(L to R) Barbara La Marr on the cover of Motion Picture Classic magazine; me as Barbara; my Barbara biography.

Tune in to Turner Classic Movies Tonight, September 9 (September 10 for those on EST), to watch Barbara La Marr in The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)!

Directed by Rex Ingram, The Prisoner of Zenda, a gripping tale of deceptions and ill-fated love affairs, was deemed a “sensational and instant triumph” and “Ingram’s best” by Moving Picture World, and near perfection by the Philadelphia Inquirer after its release.  Barbara, appearing in the film in the supporting role of a cast-off woman who helps defeat a coup by betraying her deceitful lover, likewise garnered praise.  Period trades commended her heartfelt performance, proclaiming her one of the screen’s most beautiful women and an actress of exceptional ability, and declaring that she alone was worth the admission price.  Also featured in the film are the acclaimed performances of Lewis Stone, Alice Terry, and Ramon Novarro.

The Prisoner of Zenda airs at 12:30 a.m. EST.  (To view the TCM schedule, click here.)

Ramon Novarro and Barbara La Marr in The Prisoner of Zenda (1922).

My Barbara La Marr Book Signing at Cinecon September 1

I will be at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival on Saturday, September 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., signing copies of my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. Book signings will be held alongside the Memorabilia Show in the Hollywood Ballroom (Mezzanine Level [2nd floor]) at Loews Hollywood Hotel (1755 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles 90028). Admittance to the Memorabilia Show is free to festival ticket holders; Memorabilia Show Dealers Room Only passes will be available for $10 per day for those who don’t plan to attend the festival’s film screenings. Information on the festival’s film screenings and other events may be found here.  I hope to see you there!

Named one of the “Best Film Books of 2017” by the Huffington Post and one of the “Best Celebrity Bios of the Year” by The Entertainment Report.

 

Happy Birthday to the Lovely Barbara La Marr (July 28, 1896 – January 30, 1926)!

“The girl who was too beautiful,” “the world’s wickedest vamp,” “immoral woman”…  Barbara La Marr wore many labels throughout her short, oftentimes scandalous life and meteoric career as one of the silent screen’s brightest stars.  Yet to those who loved Barbara, she was far more than the debauched women she played, her demons, and the shocking headlines she spawned.  Ramon Novarro, Barbara’s friend and costar in three of her films, saw beyond what he termed the “glittering, enchanting personality” Barbara erected around herself; he found in her a sincerity, humility, and “kindness that made her lovable.”  Alice Terry, Barbara’s Prisoner of Zenda (1922) costar, affirmed, “[Barbara] was as lovely in her personality as she was in her ravishing looks…She was very big-hearted and generous and loved to please people.”  Indeed, Barbara’s generosity knew no bounds; she routinely donated large sums to charities, allowed struggling artists to live with her until they found steady work, and bestowed lavish gifts upon friends and co-workers.  Reporters and columnists, expecting Barbara to behave in person as her impious screen characters would, were pleasantly surprised when meeting her for the first time, encountering instead a charming, “regular girl” who “radiates good fellowship.”  Directors, her castmates, and film crew members consistently spoke of what a joy she was to work with.  A film critic, praising Barbara’s performance in her final film, The Girl from Montmartre (1926), noted that the picture depicts Barbara in her real nature, “a whole-souled and loving girl.”  Writer Willis Goldbeck was said to believe Barbara’s virtues to be “of the mind and spirit,” and that her weaknesses were “all of the flesh.”

Barbara in one of her Prisoner of Zenda costumes, 1922.

(To learn more about Barbara, check out my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, recently published by the University Press of Kentucky and also available on Amazon, from Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.)

Notes:

“glittering, enchanting personality”: Ramon Novarro, “Ramon Novarro Tells of His Screen Loves,” Movie Weekly, April 25, 1925, 5.

“[Barbara] was as lovely”: Terry quoted in Jimmy Bangley, “The Legendary Barbara La Marr,” Classic Images, May 1996, 17.

“regular girl”: Regina Cannon, “‘My Private Life’s My Own Affair,’ Declares Barbara La Marr,” Movie Weekly, May 31, 1924, 3.

“a whole-souled and loving girl”: New York Graphic quoted in “Newspaper Opinions,” Film Daily, February 28, 1926, 197.

“of the mind and spirit”: Goldbeck quoted in Adela Rogers St. Johns, “The Life Story of Barbara La Marr,” Liberty Magazine, December 15, 1928, 67.