Monday, September 14, 2015

New book - Sally Phipps: Silent Film Star

There is a new book out that silent film fans will want to know about. It's Sally Phipps: Silent Film Star by Robert L. Harned. It is a self-published work, issued under the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform imprint (Amazon). Don't let the fact that it is self-published stop you from checking out this book. It is a worthwhile subject, and a labor of love. I purchased a copy recently, and liked it.

Here is the publisher description: "Sally Phipps was only three years old and the veteran winner of several beautiful baby contests when she appeared as the Baby in the film Broncho Billy And The Baby. It was made at the Niles California Essanay Studio in late 1914. This book follows her amazing life and a career that culminated in her receiving the Rosemary (for remembrance) Award shortly before her death in 1978. Her memories of the early years at Essanay include sitting on Charlie Chaplin’s lap and enduring a frightening stage coach accident. In her teens, she was a Fox Studio star appearing in 20 films, including a cameo in the classic Sunrise. There were bad times also. She was on the set of her Fox two-reel comedy Gentlemen Preferred Scotch in 1927 when word reached her of the scandalous death of her father, a state senator. But in that same year, she was selected as one of the 13 Wampas Baby Stars, starlets that were considered destined for future success. Despite her popularity in Hollywood, she left for New York where she became the darling of gossip columnists, particularly Walter Winchell. She appeared in two Broadway shows, made a Vitaphone comedy short, and married and divorced one of the Gimbel department store moguls before she darted off for India and around the world travel. Back in New York, there was another marriage, two children, and later a stay in Hawaii. Earl Wilson wrote about her in 1938 when she was working for the Federal Theatre Project during the WPA period -- headlining his column “Wampas Ex-Baby Lives On WPA $23 – And Likes It.” Her images – especially her pinup photographs – have become highly collectible. The book features 150 pictures from Sally’s personal and professional life, including glamorous portraits and pinups."

Robert L. Harned was born in Des Moines, Iowa, but grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a professional research librarian and has worked at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and in several universities and law firms in New York City. He now resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, with his partner, food journalist, cookbook author, and broadcaster Arthur Schwartz. Robert’s interests are film history, Greek and Roman archaeology, and singing. He has recorded four CD albums. And is also the son of Sally Phipps.

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