December 2 Book Signing for My Biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood

Join me on Saturday, December 2, from noon to 4 p.m., for the Hollywood Heritage Museum’s 6th Annual “Afternoon With the Authors.”  I will be signing copies of my newly-released biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood (published by the University Press of Kentucky and sold by the museum), after briefly lecturing about Barbara’s tempestuous life and her contribution to cinematic history as one of the silent screen’s most laudable—and infamous—sex sirens.

The event will feature fourteen authors of books pertaining to Hollywood’s Golden Age (including Darrell Rooney [Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital, 1928-1937], Charles Epting [Bebe Daniels: Hollywood’s Good Little Bad Girl], and Mary Mallory [Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays: 1920-1970, Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found, and Hollywood at Play: Celebrating Celebrity and Simpler Times]), all of whom will present lectures and sign books.  (See below for a complete listing of attending authors.)  A percentage of book sales will go toward upkeep of the museum.

The museum is located at 2100 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood, in the fully-restored Lasky-DeMille barn, one of Hollywood’s first film studios.  Parking and admission to the event are FREE.

Attending Authors: Brian Anthony, Manoah Bowman, Peggy Stern Darling, Charles Epting, Josh Hickman, Jay Jorgensen, Harry Langdon Jr., Mary Mallory, Manny Pacheco, Alan K. Rode, Darrell Rooney, Nat Segaloff, Sherri Snyder, and Diane Vallere.

***Those unable to make the event may purchase Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood from the University Press of Kentucky, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Book Reviews:

“The ‘Girl Who Was Too Beautiful’ moniker is both a blessing and a curse for Barbara La Marr’s legacy.  It ensures her place in the pantheon of Hollywood’s most intriguing figures, but at the same time discourages modern audiences from viewing her as anything more than Roaring Twenties eye candy.  Therefore, the task that Sherri Snyder has undertaken is invaluable; Snyder manages to humanize an actress who is all too often defined merely by her physical appearance and freewheeling lifestyle.  Expertly researched and captivatingly written, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood manages to paint the most complete picture of La Marr’s life to date.  A scholarly work on Barbara La Marr was long overdue; the silent film community as a whole should be thankful that Snyder was not only up to the task, but has created a work that will serve to define La Marr’s life and career for decades to come.” ―Charles Epting, editor, Silent Film Quarterly  

“Snyder’s work is fresh and enthralling.  Her dedication and compassion for her subject shines through.  And we are richly rewarded with a truly well-written biography of a long-forgotten star.” ― Stephen Michael Shearer, author of Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life, Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr, and Gloria Swanson: The Ultimate Star

“Sherri Snyder peels away the gossip to reveal the truth of the life of Barbara La Marr.  Snyder illuminates La Marr’s artistic struggles and personal demons with depth and sensitivity.  Scandal seekers take note!  The truth is far more compelling than any fictional account on record.” —Karie Bible, co-author of Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays: 1920-1970, film historian, and Hollywood Forever tour guide

“Sherri Snyder digs deep into the life of Barbara La Marr, giving an in-depth look at the intelligence and talents of the ‘Girl Who Was Too Beautiful.’  We see the real three-dimensional La Marr for the very first time, a thoughtful, generous, and creative woman who died much too young.”  —-Mary Mallory, film historian and author (Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays: 1920-1970, Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found,  and Hollywood at Play: Celebrating Celebrity and Simpler Times)

“Snyder beautifully steps up to the task of providing film scholars a thoughtful and well-researched depiction of La Marr’s life, career, and legacy.  Snyder’s work offers an honest and incredibly personal perspective of La Marr’s life.  Snyder’s prose justly portrays both the rewarding and challenging moments throughout La Marr’s life and career.” —- Annette Bochenek, Hometowns to Hollywood

“Snyder’s completed manuscript is impressive in both its scope and detail . . . . A fluid and captivating narrative.”  —- Christina Rice, author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel

My Barbara La Marr Biography Has Been Released: Receive 20% Off!

My biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, was released by the University Press of Kentucky on November 15, 2017!  Those who purchased the book directly from the University Press of Kentucky will receive their order any day now.  Book shipments will be making their way to Amazon and other booksellers over the coming weeks.  The University Press of Kentucky is currently running a 20% off holiday sale on orders (for the cloth version) placed via their website.  Be sure to enter the discount code provided when ordering.

Barbara All Dolled Up: Celebrating the Work of Gregg Nystrom

Known as “the girl who is too beautiful” since 1914—-when law enforcement declared her, then seventeen, “too beautiful” to be on the loose in Los Angeles and subsequently banished her from the city—, silent screen legend Barbara La Marr has been the muse of many an artist.  Indeed, in her time, her exquisite beauty and smoldering allure captured the imagination of painters, photographers, poets, and filmmakers—and continues to inspire today.

Modern-day artist Gregg Nystrom discovered Barbara in his teens, while indulging his passion for the renowned beauty icons of 1920s-1950s Hollywood, fashion, film, and drawing.  Her “stunning,” exotic looks, specifically, her dark hair and green eyes,* “really spoke to me as an artist,” recalled Nystrom.  Later, as a published paper doll artist who honors the timeless glamour of twentieth century film stars and models through his work, Nystrom recreated Barbara’s beauty and essence in paper doll form many times (his favorite renderings are pictured below; in the center photo, Barbara is depicted in her costume from The Prisoner of Zenda [1922]).  “Barbara has long been my favorite silent star!” Nystrom admits.

Considered works of art, Nystrom’s paper dolls feature hand-painted, textured garments immortalized by the wearer: designer gowns and movie costumes, often adorned with glitter, sequins, and, on occasion, feathers.  Nystrom anticipates that his latest Barbara La Marr doll (pictured above on the right) will one day be available to Barbara’s fans and “will have her gorgeous film wardrobe.”

Whether in her surviving films, in photos, or as one of Nystrom’s paper dolls, Barbara certainly lives up to her epithet.  “To me,” Nystrom says, “Barbara La Marr truly is ‘the girl who is too beautiful.'”

 

*Amazingly, Barbara’s eyes were said to change color, at times appearing green, blue-gray, deep blue, and hazel.

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View more of Gregg Nystrom’s dazzling work on his Facebook page and Amazon

My Upcoming Performances as Barbara

Join me, Sherri Snyder, as I don my seamed stockings and paint on my bee-stung lips to portray Barbara La Marr in a one-woman performance piece that I wrote about her extraordinary, oftentimes scandalous life.  (I adapted the piece from the Barbara La Marr performance I did for the Pasadena Playhouse and Pasadena Museum of History production, Channeling Hollywood, a play centering on the life stories of five famous figures [each actor wrote their own character’s part].)  Upcoming performances include:

*Sunday, October 8, 2017, at the Homestead Museum’s annual Ticket to the Twenties festival – My performance takes place upon the museum’s lawn stage and begins at 3 p.m.  Following the performance, I will lecture about Barbara’s commendable career and contribution to cinematic history.  The entire festival is FREE to attend and features silent film, vintage jazz, dancing, performers, and more!  For additional information, click here.

*Saturday, October 21, 2017, at Hollywood Forever My performance is part of the Los Angeles Art Deco Society’s 34th Hollywood Forever Cemetery tour.  Also featured on the tour are the stories—told by performers and historians—of silent screen god Rudolph Valentino, action hero Douglas Fairbanks, actress and William Randolph Hearst mistress Marion Davies, filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, slain director William Desmond Taylor, and over twenty other legendary stars, movie moguls, and pioneers who made Hollywood and history.  Tickets are selling quickly!  For tour times, ticket information, and more details, click here.

(Photo: Barbara La Marr [left] and me as Barbara [right].)

 

My Barbara La Marr Interview on The Junot Files

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed about Barbara and my soon-to-be released (December 2017) biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, by Jim Junot, host of The Junot Files, an online show featuring Jim’s conversations with authors, artists, and celebrities.  Listen to the interview here.

(Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood is available for pre-order on Amazon and the University Press of Kentucky website.)

Honoring Barbara’s Birthday With New Photographs

To celebrate the genius and beauty that was Barbara La Marr on the anniversary of her birth (July 28, 1896), I am pleased to share the following selection of film stills and portraits.  As those who follow this blog know, I have spent the past decade researching and writing Barbara’s biography, per the request of her son, Donald Gallery (the book, titled Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, will be released in December 2017 and is currently available for pre-order here and here).  Over the years, Barbara La Marr fans the world over frequently contacted me, asking that I include many photographs in the book.  Although my publisher, the University Press of Kentucky, allowed me to include seventy-six photographs, choosing the photographs was a challenge; I had amassed quite a collection over the years!  Rather than allow the photographs that weren’t used in the book to go to waste, I offer some of them below (more will follow in future blog posts).  Enjoy!

Barbara as she appeared in an advertisement for Richelieu pearls, 1924

 

 

 

 

 

 

1924

Barbara in Sandra (1924)

Barbara with Doris Pawn in The Hero (1923)

Barbara and George F. Marion in The White Monkey (1925)

Barbara and Charles De Roche in The White Moth (1924)

Barbara and Arthur Sawyer, her manager (on left), cameraman Rudolph Bergquist (center), and director Phil Rosen (on right) on the set of The Heart of a Siren (1925).

Barbara and Eleanor Boardman in Souls for Sale (1923)

Barbara (third from left among those seated in the front row) with company members from Souls for Sale (1923); director Rupert Hughes is on her left, Frank Mayo is second from her right, Richard Dix is seated on the far right, Eleanor Boardman is on his right. William Haines, with whom Barbara would soon become romantically involved, is standing [in white shirt] behind Hughes.

Barbara, Percy Marmont (center), and Lew Cody (on right) in The Shooting of Dan McGrew (1924)

The Shooting of Dan McGrew (1924)

Promoting The Shooting of Dan McGrew (1924)

Barbara (first on right in middle row) pictured with a portion of the Quincy Adams Sawyer (1922) cast and crew; she is seated next to director Clarence Badger.

Barbara and Earle Williams in The Eternal Struggle (1923)

Strangers of the Night (1923)

1923

Barbara pictured with Stuart Holmes (standing) and Ramon Novarro (seated, center) in The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)

Barbara poses on the set of Trifling Women (1922) in a bed formerly belonging to renowned dancer and actress Gaby Deslys. Director Rex Ingram imported the bed from France for the film.

Barbara photographed by Hoover Art Studios

Barbara in The White Moth (1924); photographed by Paul Grenbeaux

A film slide featuring (left to right) Barbara, Lionel Barrymore, and Bert Lytell in The Eternal City (1923)

Barbara and Jack Daughterty, her final husband, return to work at Universal Studios two days after their wedding in May 1923

Barbara and William V. Mong in Thy Name Is Woman (1924)

Barbara, E. H. Calvert (on left), and Lewis Stone (center) in The Girl From Montmartre (1926)