40s Halloween Starlets revisited
A couple of years ago I did a post on the above image in which I puzzled over the Vitagraph watermark hidden in the bottom right-hand corner. I said at the time that “unless someone can identify these Hollywood starlets, or the particular costumes that they are modelling, the date of this photo is likely to remain a mystery”. Well no-one has explained the watermark or identified the starlets [they have now, see my UPDATES below], but I have made some progress on the costumes. Examine them closely. One is a wrap-around, the other, not.
Now check out the following photos:
Notice anything? (Apart from the fish-net stockings!) Yep, they are the same costumes. One of each, which is pretty neat. Unfortunately, I still don’t know who any of the women are, or when the photos were taken, so it is not much to add after two years of collecting. But they are pretty cool pictures anyway. And I have now doubled the chances that someone will recognise one of the models. If you do, let me know!
[UPDATE 27 Oct 08: Well, you people are Gods! Three of my starlets now have names: Penny Edward and Barbara Bates are the two women in the first photo; and Martha Vickers is the woman in the second photo. All that remains is to identify our diva with the fishnet stockings!
Not only have I been given some names to work with, but someone has already raced ahead (like swift-footed Achilles) and found a French magazine that uses the first photo—but coloured and cropped—on its cover (V [no. 296] for 4 June 1950). I have, of course, immediately ordered a copy. When it arrives I will post it and anything else I find in the meantime.]
[UPDATE 8 March 09: An anonymous reader has identified our final anonymous starlet as Gale Robbins, aka Betty Gale Robbins, whose career started in 1944 (when she was 23). Whoever you are: thank you!]
[UPDATE 2 April 09: My copy of V with Penny Edward and Barbara Bates on the cover (mentioned above) has now arrived, it is beautiful, but is too big to scan. The photo below is the best I can do for the moment, but I plan on doing a proper post on this soon!]