Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Unusual 1954 Louise Brooks image for sale

A rather uncommon news photo, which includes Louise Brooks and a number of other silent film stars, is currently for sale on eBay. What makes it so uncommon, first of all, is that there aren't that many images of Brooks with other actors and actresses. Most images of Brooks are portraits. And secondly, it dates from 1954 - years after Brooks had left  films, was largely forgotten, and was thought to be living a solitary life. And what's more, she is smiling.

The photo was taken at a New York City reception honoring silent film stars and other theatrical personalities. It most likely was occasioned by a series of screenings held in New York at the time.

The image above was taken by a photographer for the Central Press Association. It is quite similar to an image taken by a photographer for International News (another wire service) which ran in newspapers in early April, 1954. That image can be seen below. It's caption helps identify the various individuals depicted in each photo.

Anita Loos, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, Aileen Pringle and Josef von Sternberg can all be seen. Neil Hamilton, who in 1925 starred in The Street of Forgotten Men (the first film in which Brooks had a part - though she was uncredited), stands smiling next to the actress in the first image. In the second image, he stands on the far left. In the following years, Hamilton would make numerous television appearances - and gain pop culture immortality as Commissioner Gordon on Batman.


  1. Wow! What a wonderful find. And everyone seems to have aged quite well at that point. I wonder how many other candid shots are out there...

  2. Fantastic. Its nice to see Louise as Louise.

  3. I remember reading about this reunion in a book. Great picture!


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