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Professor Young Takes Attendance

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Dec 16, 2011

A surefire yuk-getting staple of classic Hollywood’s cat-fight scenes is the left-handed compliment. You know, when a society dame slings some mud disguised as a kudo: “Oh, what a darling dress. I so hope that style comes back someday!” Cue to slow burn on face of long-suffering heroine, who, read more

Professor Young’s Entrance Exam

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Dec 8, 2011

You’ve just arrived, a little late, for a big meeting or a big party. So, now you’ve got a choice: Slink in spouting some half-baked excuse…or take a lesson from Loretta Young and Make an Entrance. Today, Professor Young is going to tell us how (and why) the proper entrance can make your profession read more

Composition 101 with Professor Young

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Nov 2, 2011

I love to start conversations with the phrase “when I was in Paris…”. It’s a guaranteed traffic-stopper, plus, you get instant street creds for whatever follows. In this case, pardon my French while I make a point about salads. No, this isn’t a diet column, although that’s certainly part read more

Kate flies her freak flag

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Oct 7, 2011

Remember the TV show, My Favorite Martian? Earthling Bill Bixby housed a friendly Martian he called “Uncle Martin.” And no matter how Uncle Martin tried, he never really caught onto normal human behavior. The entertainment landscape is littered with such curiosities: Samantha the witch, Diana Prince read more

Signal your turn, Barbara

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Sep 23, 2011

Barbara Stanwyck went from being nightclub chorine to Ziegfeld hoochie to silent film star on the strength of her raw emoting power. While other actresses were known for improving take after take, Stanny gave it her all, right up front. The result was a performance you feel in your gut. However, our read more

Work it, Norma

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Sep 1, 2011

When you list the reasons Norma Shearer shouldn’t have become a movie star, you wonder how on earth she managed to make it in Hollywood at all, much less become one of the Silver Screen’s true femme fatales. Per Flo Ziegfeld, the era’s supreme girlie-show impresario, Norma had “bad legs, poor read more

Maureen never mumbles

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Aug 17, 2011

Some of us find our role models in classic movies; others of us are fortunate enough to find one hovering over our cradles. Flame-haired Maureen O’Hara had the luck of the Irish from the get-go. Her mother, Marguertia Lilburn FitzSimmons, was (according to her admiring daughter and extant photograph read more

Stay sweet, Janie!

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Aug 11, 2011

    3. “Eventually, the magic would appear”: I think this is my favorite phrase because it’s so packed with truth. Jane states she had to try on many garments and endure many fittings until “the magic” appeared. (Bonus Tip: Jane knew clothes rarely fit you right off the hanger!) How can read more

Natalie, Natalie, let down your hair…

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Aug 4, 2011

Unlike other members of that tribe, Natalie’s career didn’t end when her big teeth grew in because she had something the other kids didn’t: My Mother, The Tank. Marie had orchestrated every aspect of her daughter’s career and wasn’t about to stop now. She had no intention of allowing Natalie read more

What’s the occasion, Joan?

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jul 27, 2011

Same song, 2nd verse. Because Joan’s next suitor, the rather effete Franchot Tone, seemed sensitive and aristocratic to her, she practiced graciously handling  her ornate antique silver teapot in private before asking him to tea. Tone found her “more ladylike, sophisticated, and cultured” than read more

You look a little hungry, Joan…

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jul 19, 2011

“Look around you. Every pretty girl here under contract to M-G-M wants to do exactly what YOU want to do. It’s the Big Lottery. The producers here don’t know one pretty face from another. So, what you have to do is take yourself out of the lottery.” With that, Williams Haines (one of the biggest read more

Gilding the Gilda

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jul 13, 2011

According to Rose Marie Reid: An Extraordinary Life Story (by her daughter Carol Reid Burr and Roger K. Petersen), this plucky designer got her start in the early 1930’s when a swimsuit she crafted for her husband made quite a splash. When he, a competitive swimmer,  complained about  the awful read more

Just brow-zing

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jul 8, 2011

Here’s why: as any beautician worth her salt will tell you, brows frame the eyes and the eyes are one of the most important assets in your beauty arsenal. A good set of well-defined brows will instantly make you look younger, fresher, more alert, livelier, and as if you’d had a facelift. No kidding! read more

Mrs. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jun 28, 2011

She campaigned for her daughter’s private dressing room, arguing that doing so would save 45 minutes of travel time. Since the studio was a business first and last, they complied. (Certainly, Ginger was her mother’s daughter, working harder than almost anyone in Hollywood, even after attaining star read more

Don’t flinch, Lucy, it’s only color!

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jun 22, 2011

In her charmingly understated autobiography, Love, Lucy, she deadpans: “I was changed the minute I got over there.” She sure was. MGM’s genius backstage wizards sized up Lucy’s billowing red hair and beautiful features and saw a smoldering, Technicolor goddess lurking within the mouthy, blowsy read more

Audrey’s Coup de Grace

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jun 16, 2011

Many of us picture the staggeringly chic Audrey Hepburn as the elfin creature from Sabrina or Roman Holiday. Give her a hankie, she makes it a darling little neckscarf. A dishtowel she nimbly knots around her impossibly teeny waist becomes the world’s cutest apron (too bad the effect was wasted read more

Turn the other cheek, Claudette!

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jun 7, 2011

After Myrna Loy, Miriam Hopkins, Constance Bennett, and Margaret Sullavan turned down the part of Ellie, spoiled heiress and all-around brat in 1934’s It Happened One Night, director Frank Capra turned to Claudette Colbert. Well, the moon-cheeked actress didn’t want any part of this. Her first film read more

More Powell to ya

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on Jun 2, 2011

The 52-person-strong MGM makeup department (according to film scholar Jeanine Basinger in her juicy book The Star Machine) bragged that they could make “any plain-looking woman beautiful in one hour and any beautiful woman hideous in four minutes”. Eleanor Powell (see last week’s post) fell into read more

Tap like you mean it, Eleanor!

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on May 26, 2011

So, I’m reading the totally fascinating book, The Star Maker, by incredibly knowledgeable, terrific film scholar and all-around amazing lady, Jeanine Basinger (chair of film studies at Wesleyan University). One of the first Silver Screen goddesses Basinger discusses is Eleanor Powell, who is practic read more

Connie’s beauty secrets revealed…!

Movie Star Makeover Posted by Kay Noske on May 19, 2011

To remove the cream, just go over it with a REAL Kleenex. Connie would have loved how much more sanitary Kleenex was—in fact, it was created for just this purpose—to remove cleansing creams! What does her comment mean: “It doesn’t grow fuzz”? Simply that her cold cream has preservatives, read more