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 running a 20% off holiday sale through January 31, 2018, on orders (for the cloth version) placed via their website. Be sure to enter the discount code provided when ordering.
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 ). “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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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.
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.
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!
My upcoming biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, to be released in December 2017, is now available for pre-order at 30% off through June 30, 2017! Use discount code FS30 on the University Press of Kentucky’s website.
Since I had a window of time between deadlines as my upcoming biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, nears publication, I compiled and added film synopses for the six films Barbara wrote during her story writing days with the Fox Film Corporation and the twenty-six films encompassing her meteoric career as one of the silent screen’s leading actresses. They may be viewed on the Filmography page.
In the future, I’ll be writing more blog posts spotlighting specific films comprising Barbara’s screenwriting and acting careers. Meanwhile, feel free to browse my previous blog posts (see the “Categories” section located on the right—you’ll need to scroll down a bit—and select “Barbara’s Film Acting Career” and “Barbara’s Screenwriting Career” from the drop down menu). I also have many film stills and other photos pertaining to Barbara’s films in the “Galleries” (see the tab at the top). Of course, Barbara’s films are additionally discussed at length in my book, scheduled for release in early December 2017 by the University Press of Kentucky.