Thursday, November 24, 2022

The Unlikely Louise Brooks, number 3 in an occasional series

This post is the third in an occasional series focusing on unusual finds, unusual material, and unusual connections all related to Louise Brooks - even if only tangentially. I run across these sorts of things regularly... and this is one way to share them with my readers. Scroll through the preceding blog posts to read the first two entries in this series.

I suppose I could have titled this blog post, "The time that Louise Brooks partied with Louise Brooks." The Washington D.C. newspaper clipping shown below appeared in the Washington Times on Monday, April 7, 1930. It documents a day in the life of the silent film star, and the time she encountered another (lesser known) celebrity of the time with whom she shared a name.

Remarkably, our Louise Brooks (who was the guest of sometime paramour George Marshall), is described as an "erstwhile Movie star," suggesting her career was thought to be over. In fact, it was slowly grinding to a halt, though within a year, Brooks would be cast in three more films.

The other Louise Brooks (1912-1965) was born Evalyn Louise Brooks; as mentioned in the article, she was the daughter Mrs. Cromwell MacArthur, an American socialite whose four marriages included seven years as the first wife of General of the Army and future WWII legend Douglas MacArthur. (There is no indication that the General was in attendance.) Mrs. Cromwell MacArthur was at one time "considered one of Washington's most beautiful and attractive young women".

After her father's death, her mother married prominent investment banker Edward T. Stotesbury.If that name sounds familiar, it should, as his Palm Beach villa, El Mirasol, was the estate that was trashed by W.C. Fields and company (including Louise Brooks) in the 1926 film, It's the Old Army Game! Read more about that location shoot on John Bengtson's superb blog, Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more).

And here they all are, together. How unlikely!

The Louise Brooks Society blog is authored by Thomas Gladysz, Director of the Louise Brooks Society. ( Original contents copyright © 2022. Further unauthorized use prohibited.

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