Dusty Anderson, Glamour Witch, 1944

Here are three images from a (long) series of press photos of Dusty Anderson dressed as a witch. The numbering on the images I have seen suggests there may be as many as fifty photos from this shoot! It is not hard to see why: Anderson is the height of Hollywood glamour.

As IMDB notes, Anderson was (in the 40s) a dazzling dark-haired pin-up model-turned-starlet who signed with Columbia for a few pictures, beginning as one of the cover girls in Rita Hayworth‘s film Cover Girl (1944). Two years later Anderson married Jean Negulesco (a director), retired from acting in 1951 and moved to Majorca.

The shout for each of the press photos is the same:

Hallowe’en Glamour – Dusty Anderson, beautiful Columbia Pictures‘ actress, will need more than that witch’s hat to frighten anyone on Hallowe’en, for she’s just too good looking to be mistaken for a witch. That broom might help if it weren’t such a creation of black velvet with ostrich plumes. Dusty recently finished a role in the Technicolour musical, “Tonight and Every Night,” which stars Rita Hayworth, Janet Blair and Lee Bowman.

As the other images in this blog show, Anderson was by no means “too good looking” to be a witch, but she is certainly one of the most beautiful witches on this blog! Judge for yourself.

Becca (from No Smoking in the Skull Cave ) will recognise these images as probably being the inspiration for the “witchy Dita Von Teese” that she mentioned in a post on Witchy Girls Who Go Bump in the Night over a year ago. In all my searches since then I have only been able to add one image to that used by Becca:

[UPDATE 11 JAN 07: for reasons explained in my next post I have had to remove these images. Sorry.]

BTW: Dita Von Teese, for those of you not familiar with her, is an absolute legend: a “burlesque artist, model and actress” who specialises in 40s- and 50s-style glamour (The gallery section of her site is here).

[UPDATE 26 MAR 08: Todd Mecklem (see feedback) has dated these photos to before 8 August 1944. Quite possibly they were taken during the filming of Cover Girl, which was released on 6 July 1944, and were circulated well in advance of (but for) Halloween 1944.]

12 Responses to “Dusty Anderson, Glamour Witch, 1944”

  1. M. Ashley Says:

    Gorgeous pictures, as usual! They make me wonder though what Dusty’s publicist was going for. To whom were they sending these pictures that dressing her as a witch was going to make her stand out or be particularly appealing? What message were they attempting to send about her as an actress/personality? Maybe that she was playful and although she was absolutely stunning, she didn’t take herself too seriously? Very curious indeed. Beautiful and curious.

  2. Red Witch Says:

    You’re right, it is a strange.

    Halloween Press Photos are photos that were sent out to press agencies before Halloween in an attempt to get some attention for a star. The pictures almost always attempt to be glamorous and are often a little risque, to make them stand out.

    Most of the ones I have seen have been for minor actors or new/young actors. Halloween was simply a (photo-)opportunity for the studios to get some attention for someone who needed the studio machinery continuously cranking in order to build up a public ‘star’ profile.

    The elaborate sets and costumes are another way in which the studios used their muscle to produce a highly professional image, which would appeal to the press agencies and newspaper and magazine editors. I have very rarely seen more than a single image and this is the only time I have seen more than half-a-dozen from a single shoot.

    In fact, the only time I have seen anything like this number of images of an individual, issued by a studio, has been as a part of a suit of press photos from a high-budget, high-profile, heavily-promoted star-vehicle film such as I Married a Witch (1942).

    But even with I Married a Witch, although there are over fifty-five press photos that I know of, there would be no more than a dozen just of Veronica Lake and most of these are on-set photos, rather than studio-shots that we see here of Dusty Anderson.

    The studio was investing a lot of time, energy and money in selling Anderson. Perhaps they hoped they could build her up to be another Rita Hayworth through saturation advertising, sending a different group of these Halloween images via different agencies so that the public would see these sexy witch images everywhere and associate all the pictures with her name/face.

    It would be interesting to know how successful this campaign was. Unfortunately, finding images such as these in magazines is pretty hit-and-miss since most sellers do not give much detail of what is in the mags they sell (and I do not have access to long runs of US movie magazines from the 40s). It is also damn expensive. So, anyone who sees one of these Dusty Anderson press photos in a magazine: please tell me!

    Red Witch

  3. roguederek Says:

    This are gorgeous. The 5th image of Dusty, however, keeps opening up to the detail zoomed shot.

  4. Red Witch Says:

    Well spotted! I have fixed the link now. Thanks,

    Red Witch

  5. Todd Mecklem Says:

    I have an original of the second of these pics, and the “Advertising Advisory Council” approval stamp on the back is dated August 8, 1944, so the shoot was earlier than that. These are wonderful images, thanks for posting them. Todd Mecklem, casadetodd {at} yahoo.com

  6. Ann O'Dyne Says:

    She is beautiful and I love the smirking black moon man behind her.

  7. Ann O'Dyne Says:

    She is beautiful and I love the smirking black moon man behind her.

  8. Ann O'Dyne Says:

    She is beautiful and I love the smirking black moon man behind her.

  9. Love the photos !!! What every witch should look like , hot & sexy …

  10. It’s interesting that she was required to ride the broom “side-saddle” as shown in the first pic.

  11. Beautiful Pictures!

  12. It’s impressіѵe that yoou are getting ideas rom this post as
    well as frrom our ԁiscussion made here.

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