Monday, January 9, 2017

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, part three

A massive project which I have been working on (in between other projects) is Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985, a page on the Louise Brooks Society website. It is a work in progress.

Louise Brooks was 78 years old at the time of her death. All together, her life ran over the course of 28,758 days. She accomplished a great deal in her lifetime, appearing in 24 films, writing a book, appearing on radio, and performing hundreds of times on stage as a dancer. She also taught dancing, and worked as a professional ballroom dancer. However, relatively speaking, little is known about what Brooks was doing on any given day.

From the mass of material I have gathered, Brooks' activities can be traced to approximately a thousand days throughout her lifetime. Best documented is the 18 year period – running from 1922 through 1940, a period of 6939 days – when Brooks worked as a dancer and actress and many of her activities were a matter of public record.

Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985 attempts a day-by-day account of Brooks' life. It contains entries both significant and mundane, and is based on multiple sources including, first and foremost,  dates and events found in the Barry Paris biography. I also contains entries recorded by Brooks in her notebooks (which she kept from the mid-1950s through her death); other dates were gathered from various magazines and newspapers (especially those published where Brooks was resident), along with other disparate sources, such as census records  and passenger manifests.

I encourage anyone interested to check out what I have so far accomplished at Louise Brooks: Day by Day 1906-1985. There is more to come. If you can suggest documented specific dates related to Louise Brooks, please contact the LBS. In the meantime, here are a few highlights for the 1930s.

Jan. 9, 1930
New York Daily Mirror reports crooner Harry Richman says that Brooks will reunite with Eddie Sutherland.

Jan. 26, 1930
Attends cocktail party at Clifton Webb's. Also present are Fred Astaire and his sister Adele, authors Edna Ferber and Carl van Vechten, singer Libby Holman, actresses Marilyn Miller and Ruth Donnelly, and others (Edward Wasserman, Blanche Knopf ?).

Feb. 25, 1930
Attends performance of The Last Mile, a play by John Wexley, at the Sam H. Harris Theatre in New York. Among those in the cast is Spencer Tracey.

April 2, 1930
Book columnist William Soskin reports what a few celebrities are said to be reading (Clara Bow, Hulu), and somewhat incredulously notes Brooks is reading Hermann Sudermann's The Mad Professor and Stefan Zweig's The Case of Sergeant Grischa.

Aug. 10, 1930
Syndicated columnist Radie Harris reports Brooks is living at Lois Moran's Malibu home, Halikalani. (Neighbors include John Boles and Ronald Colman.)

Aug. 23, 1930
Syndicated columnist Louella Parsons reports Brooks, "still wearing the distinctive Dutch bob," was seen dining at the Coconut Grove.

May 1, 1933
Brooklyn Daily Eagle columnist Art Arthur reports seeing Brooks at the Ha-Ha Club in New York, where she joined a table with Peggy Fears and Lupe Velez. Other current and former stars were also in attendance, including Mae Murray.

Aug. 17, 1934
Crooner Harry Richman joins Brooks and Dario on the bill at the Blossom Heath Inn near Detroit, Michigan.

Jan. 16-19, 1935
Brooks and Dario dance at the Embassy Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Also on the bill is Enric Madriguera's Orchestra, and French singer Lucienne Boyer.

Jan. 28, 1935
Brooks and Dario begin dance engagement at the Patio in Palm Beach, Florida. Also performing is singer Bruz Fletcher.

Oct. 17, 1935
Brooks meets with G.W. Pabst in New York City to discuss a proposed film of Faust.

Oct. 20, 1935
Arrives in Eureka, Kansas to visit her father, who is in the hospital after having been injured in an automobile accident.

August 4, 1936
Syndicated columnist Sidney Skolsky reports Brooks and Addison Randall "were sitting in the bamboo room at the Brown Derby munching peanuts."

Feb. 27, 1938
Los Angeles Times reports that Brooks and Travis Banton put in an appearance at Bruz Fletcher’s Club Bali, a popular nightclub in Los Angeles.

April 19, 1938
Syndicated columnist Erskine Johnson reports that Brooks and Travis Banton put in an appearance at Bruz Fletcher’s Club Bali.

Aug. 10, 1938
Production of Overland Stage Raiders begins in Southern California, with location shooting done at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, California.

June 23, 1939
Syndicated columnist Louella Parsons writes that Brooks and Lew Brice dined together (possibly with John McClain and Paulette Goddard).

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