Friday, April 15, 2011

Brunettes in a Blonde World: The Lost Diaries of Ann Dvorak and Miriam Cooper

The long lost diaries of two of old Hollywood's most alluring brunettes have been discovered! While Miriam Cooper worked in the teens and early 20s and Ann Dvorak worked primarily in the 1930s and 40s, both seemed to have struggled  against the rule of the Hollywood Blondes. Keep reading for a sneak peek at some of their most provocative inner thoughts. Remember - you read it here first!
Miriam Cooper
Dear Diary:
I am so excited to be working in motion pictures for Mr. D.W. Griffith. He thinks I am a very talented actress and will be using me in his pictures. As I look around me here at the Biograph Studio, I notice that most of the actresses who are getting the big parts (like Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish and Blanche Sweet) are all blondes. I hope that doesn't make a difference. MC

Dear Diary:
Mr Griffith has promised me some interesting parts, but he seems to be favoring the blondes. I hope this changes. I don't want to have to dye  my hair!
p.s. I hear we are travelling out to California to make pictures. Maybe the sun will lighten my hair! MC

Dear Diary: 
Mr. Griffith has given me a very nice role in his "Birth of a Nation." However, the showier roles are going to Lillian Gish and Mae Marsh. Need I say they are BLONDES? Really, what is wrong with men? A little yellow hair and they go nuts. I am not going to tolerate this too much longer. MC

Dear Diary:
Mr. Griffith is making a very big picture called "Intolerance" and I have a very important part. However, the girl I play is very bad and the cause of a lot of trouble. She is called "The Friendless One." I told Mr. Griffith I'd much rather play a nice girl, but he thought that my dark hair made a perfect choice to play a woman of questionable character and virtue. From what I can see, these blondes are not as virtuous off screen as on! MC
Dear Diary:
I have left Mr. Griffith and have married a wonderful director, Raoul Walsh (he likes brunettes!). I think he will go far! I would like to retire from pictures, but he wants me to help him make a movie of Longfellow's "Evalgeline." At first I refused, but when the studio sent a BLONDE actress to play a role so clearly defined as a BRUNETTE I just had to step in and agreed to star! These blondes are everywhere and even girls who were once brunettes are now blondes.I am glad I shall be retiring soon. I feel sorry for other brunette actresses coming up. Mary Pickford, Mary Miles Minter, Lillian Gish and Blanche Sweet have ruined it for us! I wish someone would ban hair bleach and then we'd all be equal! MC

Dear Diary: 
Although I am "retired," I still have to make occasional appearances on a movie set. Why? Because this hussy - Theda Bara - is making a play for my husband! And, knowing his attraction to brunettes, I have to be concerned. Really, does Theda have to  devour every man in sight? (And, I mght add, she looks as though as has devoured one too many). This is one time I wish a blonde was working with Raoul! MC
Ann Dvorak

Dear Diary:
After working in the chorus for years, I have finally been given some great parts at Warner Brothers.  There are several of those blondes (Jack Warner's squeeze, Marilyn Miller, and new kids Bette Davis, Joan Blondell and someone named Jean Harlow) nipping at my heels, but this brunette intends to stay one step ahead of them! By the way - do you think Joan's last name is really "Blondell"? Seems fishy.... AD

Dear Diary:
Still holding my own here at Warner's, though these blondes are getting more platinum by the day. The lighter the hair, the bigger that part, it seems. Harlow may have left the lot, but her hair remains behind. AD

Dear Diary:
Grrrrrr. If you are not a blonde, you are invisible in this town! Joan Crawford at MGM is now a platinum blonde, Bette Davis has been bleached right here and Paramount is throwing Mae West in our faces. I'm still fighting for bigger roles and think I have landed a good one: something called "The Strange Love of Molly Louvain." Can't wait to get started on it! AD

Dear Diary:
(Curse words crossed out). Look what they have done to me! What is it about the blonde hair that drives these men crazy? 
I am ready to quit! If you don't have hay growing out of your head, you're dead in this town. I wonder if Jean Harlow is a natural blonde. I wonder if anyone cares. AD

Dear Diary:
Well, it's been a few years since I left Hollywood in a snit, but I am back. They still have me in the service of the blondes (who the hell is Marie Windsor, any way?) Some things never change.
But, I do have a pretty good little part in a film called "A Life of Her Own" and guess who  the star is - that xx&^%#@# blonde, Lana Turner. I guess I'll just have to wipe the screen with her! AD
Editor's Note
Seems as though the Hollywood blondes were too much for both Miriam and Ann. Both had careers that were eclipsed by famous towheads.

Miriam had to combat the virtuous blondes:
Mary Pickford
Mary Miles Minter
Lillian Gish

Ann had it even tougher:

While the blondes of the 20s were good-girl types, once Jean Harlow hit the scene in the early 30s, every starlet who was reasonably fair was plucked and platinumed to take their place on the Harlow Hair Express:
Alice Faye
Bette Davis
Joan Crawford
Even Garbo was not spared!
And, of course, the one who caused all the ruckus in the 1930s:
"The Baby" herself
Form Harlow to Monroe, Kim Novak to Farrah Fawcett, Carole Lombard to Betty Grable,  Lana Turner to Grace Kelly and Veronica Lake to Julie Christie, still we brunettes ask: Just what is it about those blondes, anyway?



VP81955 said...

Those charming, alarming blonde women, as Marlene used to sing. (And let's not forget that in a few films, even Myrna Loy went blonde -- though I'm pretty certain most times it was in a wig!)

FlickChick said...

Yes - those blondes always seem to get the spotlight! What we brunettes won't do to get some of that attention!

Diane said...

Oh so true...what to do, what to do, with those blondes!! Still causing trouble in the world today. I can only imagine what it was like for Ann or Miriam.

FlickChick said...

Diane - would you be one of those blonde troublemakers? :D

ClassicBecky said...

FlickChick, what a clever idea for a post, and you gave me some good laughs! OMG, Ann looked awful as a blonde, and Garbo -- hideous! So, do blondes really have more fun and get more men? Not in this brunette's experience!

FlickChick said...

Well, we brunettes do manage to hold our own (Ava & Liz did pretty well, too). But there is something undeniably alluring about the blondes (natural & not).

Jan Miner said...

I knew it, I just knew it. Blondes get more attention whether they deserve it or not. Mostly they don't. :)

FlickChick said...

Having been both blonde and brunette (and a few other colors in between), I can tell you that the blonde got more looks. After that, it's up to the head under the hair to do the rest of the work!

Martin S said...

You are having a problem with comments? Has this worked?

Martin S said...

And has this worked?

FlickChick said...

It seems to work if you have a google account, but if the reader doesn't, it won't work. said...

I have always felt we brunettes exude more mystery, romance, and strength than blondes. One of my big crushes: Louise Brooks!

FlickChick said...

As a brunette, I totally agree!

Anonymous said...

As a blonde (and a Lillian Gish fan) I have to say that, while we may get cast in a lot of movies, we still have to deal with slut-calling and rude jokes about the state of our mental health. I don't know how many times I've heard that "smart blondes" and "chaste blondes" are "oxymorons", or that we blondes frequently mistake microwaves for television screens. Fortunately for me, my best friends (who all happen to be brunettes) and I get along marvelously. So I don't blame brunettes, and I appreciate it when brunettes don't blame me. I blame male chauvinist pig directors who think that a woman, no matter her hair color, is nothing more than a pair of breasts and a pretty face. :(