April 8, 2020 – A sincere thank you to Film Matters Magazine for their review.
“Sherri Snyder, the author of Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, aims at shedding a well-deserved light on silent cinema’s forgotten actress. . . [She] grants La Marr her final close-up, but instead through the medium of writing rather than cinema. Snyder’s written biography fulfills the glory La Marr lusted for and acts as homage to the life of a female film figure Snyder describes as ‘an incredible, multitalented woman’. . . It is a poignant portraiture of a phoenix, in this case Barbara La Marr, that arose from the ashes of film history and has been renewed by Snyder’s meticulous research and writings.”
November 7, 2019 – Many thanks to Dixie Laite, a wonderful writer and mayor at Dametown, for reading my book and spotlighting Barbara in Dametown’s Hall of Dame. Dixie writes, “Get ahold of Sherri Snyder’s definitive biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. Sherri has the intelligence, insight and sensitivity to get Barbara’s complexity.” Dixie’s post may be read here.
August 31, 2019 – My Barbara La Marr Book Signing at Cinecon
I will be at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival on Saturday, August 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., signing copies of my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. Book signings, part of the festival’s Memorabilia Show, will be located in the third floor meeting area at Lowes Hollywood Hotel (1755 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles 90028). Information on the festival’s film screenings and other events may be found here. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.
June 25, 2019 – Thank you to Cinema Retro magazine for reviewing my book, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood.
“Through archival research, as well as talking to family and friends, Snyder has been able to untangle the myths and lies and find the truth at the heart of Barbara La Marr’s short but dramatic life. This book provides much needed insight into the workings of a young Hollywood, but more than that, it ensures that Barbara La Marr has now been rescued from obscurity and can rightly be remembered not only for the importance of her film career, but for her life as a daughter, friend, wife and mother.”―Cinema Retro
March 30, 2019 – “Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood” Performance, Lecture, and Book Signing Event in Cave Creek, Arizona
Silent screen actress Barbara La Marr was a legend in her time, leading an astounding life described by newspapers of the day as “a wilder story than she ever helped to film.” Join me, Sherri Snyder, on Saturday, March 30 at the Desert Foothills Library, 38443 North Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek, Arizona 85331, as I portray Barbara in a self-authored performance piece, then lecture about her, detailing her oftentimes scandalous life from her humble beginnings to her tragic death at age twenty-nine in 1926. Barbara’s banishment from Los Angeles at age seventeen for being “too beautiful”; her notable careers as a dancer, a vaudevillian, a screenwriter, and an actress; her impact upon cinematic history; and her fierce determination to forge her own destiny amid the constant threat of losing it all to scandal and, ultimately, death will be spotlighted. I will also answer questions about Barbara and sign copies of my book, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. The event, beginning at 11 a.m. and roughly an hour and a half long, is being held in the library’s Jones/Coates lecture hall and is FREE to attend. Attendees are advised to call 480-488-2286 or click here to reserve seats, as this is an encore presentation and seats may fill up again.
November 27, 2018 – Holiday Sale
My book, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, is currently 50% off on the University Press of Kentucky website as part of their big holiday sale. The sale will last through January 31, 2019. (Be sure to enter the specified discount code when checking out.) Happy Holidays!
November 19, 2018 – My Interview on The Online Movie Show with Phil Hall
Thank you to film journalist and historian Phil Hall for interviewing me about Barbara La Marr and my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, on his podcast, The Online Movie Show with Phil Hall. I had a great time discussing Barbara’s commendable careers as a stock company actress, dancer, vaudevillian, storywriter for the Fox Film Corporation, and film actress; her turbulent early years as “the notorious Reatha Watson”; and more. The podcast may be accessed here.
October 19, 2018 – 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 astonishing 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.
October 13, 2018 – Barbara La Marr Performance and Book Signing at Hollywood Forever
Join me 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 Angelinos.
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!
September 1, 2018 – Cinecon Book Signing
I will be signing copies of my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival on Saturday, September 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Book signings will be held alongside the Memorabilia Show in the Hollywood Ballroom (Mezzanine Level [2nd Floor]) at Lowes 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 do not plan to attend the festival’s screenings.
July 18, 2018 – “Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood” Performance, Lecture, and Book Signing Event in Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Silent screen actress Barbara La Marr was a legend in her time, leading an astounding life described by newspapers of the day as “a wilder story than she ever helped to film.” Join me, Sherri Snyder, on Wednesday, July 18 at the Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes, California 90275, as I portray Barbara in a self-authored performance piece, then lecture about her, detailing her oftentimes scandalous life from her humble beginnings to her tragic death at age twenty-nine in 1926. Barbara’s banishment from Los Angeles at age seventeen for being “too beautiful”; her notable careers as a dancer, a vaudevillian, a screenwriter, and an actress; her impact upon cinematic history; and her fierce determination to forge her own destiny amid the constant threat of losing it all to scandal and, ultimately, death will be spotlighted. I will also answer questions about Barbara and sign copies of my book, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. The event, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and roughly an hour and a half long, is being held in the park’s McTaggart Hall and is FREE to attend.
May 31, 2018 – Film Matters Interview
When I was recently interviewed about Barbara La Marr and my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, for Film Matters Magazine, my interviewer, Lily Frame, kindly told me, “To say I had the time of my life reading this book is truly an understatement.” Lily’s review of Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood will run in an upcoming print issue of Film Matters. My interview, meanwhile, is featured on the Film Matters website.
May 17, 2018 – Fox News Interview
Many thanks to Stephanie Nolasco and Fox News for the opportunity to discuss Barbara La Marr and my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. The write-up may be viewed here.
March 24, 2018 – Barbara La Marr Performance, Lecture, Film Screening, and Book Signing at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre
Join me, Sherri Snyder, for an afternoon of legendary silent screen siren Barbara La Marr and swashbuckling adventure at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, March 24. I will be portraying Barbara in a self-authored performance piece, then lecturing about her, spotlighting her tragically short, oftentimes scandalous life, notable career, and impact upon cinematic history. I will also sign copies of my recently released book, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood. A screening of the 1921 box office sensation The Three Musketeers, starring Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, Barbara La Marr, Nigel De Brulier, and Adolphe Menjou, will follow. Click here for details and tickets.
December 28, 2017 – Thank you to film historian Thomas Gladyz for selecting my newly released biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, as one of the Huffington Post’s “Best Film Books of 2017.” Check it (and some other good reads) out here.
Additional thanks to Alan Petrucelli of The Entertainment Report for including Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood in its “Best Celebrity Bios of the Year” listing.
December 5, 2017 – WIN a copy of my new Barbara La Marr book!
Classic Movie Hub, in conjunction with the University Press of Kentucky, is giving away SIX COPIES of my newly-released biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood! Winners will be selected on the following dates: December 9, December 16, December 23, December 30, and January 6. For more information and to enter the giveaway, visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog. The sixth winner will be chosen January 6 via Classic Movie Hub’s Facebook page (get the details for the Facebook version of the contest here). The sooner you enter, the more opportunities you have to win! Good luck!
December 2, 2017 – 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. (Scroll down 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.
November 15, 2017 – My biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood has officially been released by my publisher, the University Press of Kentucky! Those who ordered books directly from the University Press of Kentucky should 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 of the book) placed via their website. Be sure to enter the discount code FHOL or FSNO when ordering. Happy reading!
August 17, 2017 – Today I submitted my completed index, the final installment of my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, to my publisher.
On this same day ten years ago, I received a much hoped-for phone call from Brad Macneil, co-producer of Channeling Hollywood, a production involving five notables from Hollywood’s Golden Age and produced by the Pasadena Playhouse and Pasadena Museum of History. I still recall how my heart fluttered as I dialed my voicemail and listened to Brad’s message: I had been chosen to play silent screen legend Barbara La Marr. The joy of that moment remains with me to this day—as does Brad’s voicemail message.
I had first heard the name Barbara La Marr only days earlier. Karie Bible, a film historian and friend of mine, had informed me she had given Brad my name when he asked her if she knew an actress who could both portray Barbara and write an account of her life in monologue form (the five actors’ parts would then be interwoven to create the play). I immediately began researching Barbara, culling all I could from readily obtainable, meager resources. Greatly inspired by her inherent strength, unshakeable will, and laudable achievements, I hurriedly wrote my audition piece and anxiously performed it for Brad and the show’s other producers a day and a half later, little imagining the journey that awaited me.
Donald Gallery, Barbara’s only child, flew to Los Angeles from his home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to see my performance. Merely three years old when Barbara passed away at age twenty-nine in 1926, he harbored a lifelong dream that his mother’s story would be written. After the play’s conclusion, he rushed to the reception area to meet me, engulfing me in a hug when I appeared with the other actors. He returned to Puerto Vallarta days later, declaring, his wife, Patricia, later told me, “I finally met the person who is supposed to write Barbara’s book!”
Shortly before his passing at age ninety-two in 2014, Don told Patricia repeatedly to continue thanking me for undertaking to author Barbara’s biography. Yet it is I who am grateful for the honor of sharing the extraordinary life story of such a fascinating, incredibly talented woman.
Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, to be released December 6, 2017, by the University Press of Kentucky, is now available for preorder on Amazon and the University Press of Kentucky website.
“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
May 4, 2017 – 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.
March 13, 2017 – My Barbara La Marr biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, scheduled for release in early December 2017 through the University Press of Kentucky, may now be pre-ordered on Amazon!
Writer and cinema historian Annette Bochenek recently read the book and interviewed me about it. Creator of the Hometowns to Hollywood website, Annette offers a fascinating look at the oftentimes modest beginnings of Old Hollywood’s biggest icons. Read my interview with Annette and her review of Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood on her blog.
January 29, 2017 – The University Press of Kentucky recently sent me a photo of the cover of my biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood, and I couldn’t be happier with it. UPK is publishing the book this coming fall. Stay tuned for updates!
December 19, 2016 – I’ve now finalized the title of my Barbara La Marr biography with my publisher, the University Press of Kentucky. Look for Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood to be released sometime in the fall or winter of 2017. Meanwhile, I’ve been working away on a preliminary index in order to get a leg up for when things move into the proof stages. This has been a thrilling (albeit all-consuming) process these past many years, and I dare say that the end is in sight! Happy Holidays to everyone!
September 23, 2016 – My Barbara La Marr biography will be published by University Press of Kentucky!
The acquisitions editor at University Press of Kentucky informed me this afternoon that their board members “wholeheartedly approved” my completed manuscript, (tentatively titled) Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful, and are thrilled to publish it. The book will be published in their Fall 2017 Screen Classics series.
Since submitting my completed manuscript to University Press of Kentucky, it has been evaluated by their panel of readers; I sincerely thank the readers for their time and wonderful feedback. I thank UPK for taking me on; I’m honored to be working with them. Many thanks to Christina Rice, author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel (also published by UPK), for suggesting that I submit my manuscript to UPK in the first place. Thank you to all who have offered much-appreciated encouragement and expressed interest in this biography and Barbara. Finally, I thank Barbara’s son and only child, the late and greatly missed Donald Gallery, for asking me to write this biography. It was Donald’s dream that his mother’s life story be published; it has been a dream come true for me to fulfill that dream.
I’ve truly been putting a tremendous amount of work and research, my heart, and my soul into this project these past so many years and am extremely excited to get Barbara’s incredible story out there!
July 28, 2016 – On the anniversary of Barbara’s birthday, July 28, 1896, I’m very happy to report that, after submitting the manuscript for my completed biography, (tentatively titled) Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful, to a publisher several months back, they distributed it to an anonymous panel of expert readers (authors, film historians, etc.) and it has received wonderful feedback thus far.
Here’s what a couple non-anonymous readers have to say:
“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’s completed manuscript is impressive in both its scope and detail…a fluid and captivating narrative.” —Christina Rice, author (Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel)
January 2016 – I’m happy to report that my completed biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful (working title), written at the request of Barbara’s son, Donald Gallery, is in the hands of an interested publisher and, per their request, I’m editing it down to comply with their length specifications. More details to follow over the coming months!
December 2015 – I’m thrilled to announce that my Barbara La Marr biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful (working title), is officially finished! I’ve truly enjoyed every moment of this amazing journey (eight and a half years long and counting) and I’m extremely excited to put Barbara’s entire life story—including many new revelations—out into the world.
I’m incredibly grateful for the messages I receive from people around the world who are awaiting the book’s publication. It’s wonderful that there are others who are equally passionate about Barbara, her life, and her manifold accomplishments. Were Donald Gallery, Barbara’s son and my friend, still alive (he passed away last year), knowing this would bring him great happiness.
When I completed the first draft of the book, Donald’s wife, Patricia, was the first person I called. “Don would be so thrilled to hear this,” she told me. “He would be crying right now. You made his dream come true.” Working on Barbara’s life story as both an actress and biographer has been, for me, nothing short of a dream come true.
I’m currently in the process of working out the book’s publication details; more updates will follow soon!
Fall 2015 – Today, October 2, 2015, is a momentous day in my life. It’s the day that I completed a draft of my Barbara La Marr biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful (working title). Over the coming weeks, I’ll be reading it from start to finish many times, fine tuning it. I’ll most definitely post updates as events progress, particularly as the book nears publication. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has contacted me expressing interest in Barbara and this book. Please stay tuned!
On Saturday, October 10, I’ll be donning my seamed stockings and painting on my bee-stung lips to portray Barbara in a one-woman performance piece that I wrote about her life. The performance, taking place at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, is the finale to the Los Angeles Art Deco Society’s annual celebration of some of early Hollywood’s most outstanding figures interred at the cemetery. This event is a 2 1/2-hour living history tour narrated by a fantastic group of performers and historians. Come hear Barbara’s fascinating tale as well as learn about the intriguing lives and works of others who made Hollywood and history, including director Cecil B. De Mille, action hero Douglas Fairbanks, silent screen god Rudolph Valentino, and many more. For show times and ticket information, please visit: http://adsla.org/info/content/oct-10-hollywood-forever-cemetary-tour
Here’s what Donald Gallery (aka Marvin Carville La Marr), Barbara’s son, had to say about this performance : ” In regards to the Barbara La Marr show as performed by Sherri Snyder, I have had the privilege of seeing it on several different occasions. I was amazed and thrilled to see this very beautiful and talented young woman step back in time to recapture the tempestuous life of my mother during the silent days of Hollywood.”
Summer 2015 – I’m very pleased to report that I’m currently in the middle of writing the second to last chapter of my Barbara La Marr biography, Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful (working title). The epilogue will follow and then I’ll begin the process of reviewing the manuscript as a whole. It’s hard to believe that there are sections of this book that I haven’t read for a few years now, as it seems it wasn’t so long ago that I began this incredible journey into Barbara’s unbelievable life. My goal from the start has been to get to know her—and those who significantly impacted her life—on the deepest possible level. A purely intellectual understanding based solely on what seeming facts appear to indicate wasn’t enough for me. Rather, I’ve also sought to acquaint myself with the societal forces influencing the ways of thinking and behaviors of the times, to turn these people inside out and understand them. While there’s still a bit of work to be done, this biography is nearing its finish!
Early Fall 2014 – I’m pleased to report that my eight-inch stack of additions to be incorporated into earlier chapters of Barbara’s biography is steadily dwindling. It’s indeed incredible how, nearly every time I’ve paused from the writing end of things to explore an additional research lead, I uncover many more potential leads. My theory is that it’s better to pursue everything and come up empty-handed than to wonder what might have been missed by not checking.
From time to time, Barbara’s father’s newspaper articles have proven to be valuable portals into Barbara’s early family life. I’m currently due to receive a few reels of long-awaited microfilm containing surviving issues of one of his newspapers from the late 1800s/early 1900s. (I submitted the order back in July; acquiring such items can be a lengthy process.) Aside from this, only one more batch remains before I’m officially done with the dozens of microfilm orders I placed. (A huge thank you to Julia Butler at Heritage Library for working her magic and fulfilling these orders for me, despite the obstacles we’ve encountered in obtaining some of them!) Once I’ve finished with the microfilm, and upon completion of the final round of additions to be made to earlier chapters, I’m back to writing the last major section of the biography.
Summer 2014 – All continues to proceed very well with my biography on Barbara. I’m still in the process of going back and adding to earlier chapters as I’ve been accumulating even more material. One of my latest projects has been to comb through several years’ worth of non-digitized daily newspapers on microfilm. Given that Barbara performed onstage as a child actress in numerous cities, and that her father wrote for multiple newspapers in many more, it has been quite an undertaking—but all very worth it whenever I strike gold.
I ‘ve also been approached regarding participating in special events once the book has been published. Representatives from the American Cinematheque/Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, as well as the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, have expressed interest in having me present lectures on Barbara. It’s tentatively planned that the lectures will involve screenings of Barbara’s films. I’ll definitely post updates as plans are solidified in the future.
For those who can’t wait to learn more about Barbara, I’ll be presenting a one-woman performance piece that I wrote about her life on October 11, 2014. The performance, which will take place at Barbara’s crypt in Hollywood Forever’s Cathedral Mausoleum, is the finale to the Art Deco Society’s annual celebration of some of early Hollywood’s most fascinating—and scandalous—figures. Ticket information will soon be available at: http://adsla.org/info/events-view/ .
Some snaps of me portraying Barbara:
Winter 2013 – I’m honored to announce that the foreword of my Barbara La Marr biography will be penned by Donald Gallery, Barbara’s son. Don’s wife, Patricia, recently paid me one of the kindest compliments I’ve ever received. “Don said the other day that he felt you have brought Barbara back to life for him,” she wrote in one of their e-mails to me. “Also a peace inside him that he has never had before about his mother and how she felt about him. Thank you for giving this to him.”
It is I who am thankful. I’m grateful to Don for asking me to write a story I’m honored to share.
SPRING 2013 – At the request of Barbara’s only child, her son, Donald Gallery, I’m currently writing her biography. After nearly six years of extensive, ongoing research, twenty-two chapters have been completed and I’m working away on Chapter Twenty-Three. For someone who died so young, Barbara led an incredibly full, extraordinary life and I estimate the book to be about two-thirds finished. I’ll post periodic updates as they unfold, including when the book will be available.
Thank you for your interest!