Vintage Photos of Celebrated Star of London Musicals Evelyn Laye

Evelyn Laye (1900 – 1996) was an English theatre and musical film actress, who was active on the London light opera stage.

Born as Elsie Evelyn Lay in Bloomsbury, London, and known professionally as Evelyn Laye, and informally as Boo. Her parents were both actors and her father a theatre manager. She made her first stage appearance in August 1915 at the Theatre Royal,Brighton as Nang-Ping in Mr. Wu, and her first London appearance at the East Ham Palace on 24 April 1916, aged 16, in the revueHoni Soit, in which she subsequently toured.

For the first few years of her career she mainly played in musical comedy and operetta, including Going Up in 1918. Among her successes during the 1920s were Phi-Phi (1922), Madame Pompadour (1923), The Dollar Princess, Blue Eyes (1928) and Lilac Time. She made her Broadway debut in 1929 in the American première of Noël Coward’s Bitter Sweet and appeared in several early Hollywood film musicals. She continued acting in pantomimes such as The Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

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Evelyn Laye via

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Evelyn Laye via

ziegfeld star - evelyn laye (aka boo laye) - by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Evelyn Laye via

Evelyn Laye (aka Boo Laye) - c. 1915-1920s

Evelyn Laye via

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Evelyn Laye via

French Silent Film Era Photos of France Dhélia (1894-1964)

She was born Franceline Benoit, in a village near Blois in 1894, thus raised in the area of the famous French royal castles along the Loire river. She debuted in film under he name of Mado Floréal in 1912, in the film L’Ambitieuse by Camille de Morlhon. Afterwards she played in various comedies with the character Fred, directed by René Hervil,who also played Fred himself. During the First World War she took the name of France Dhélia, did her first film with director René Le Somptier and appeared in her first feature-length film: L’instinct est maitre by Jacques Feyder (1917). In 1918 she rose to stardom when playing Sultane Daoulah in La sultane d’amour (r. René Le Somptier/ Charles Burguet). It was the first film shot at the new Victorine studios in Nice and had sets designed by Marco de Gastyne. At age 45 France Dhélia quitted cinema, and quietly died in Paris in 1964 – a quarter of a century after.

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France Dhélia via

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France Dhélia via

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France Dhélia via

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 France Dhélia via

Brigitte Helm as Scheming Baroness Sandorf in L’Argent (1928)

L’Argent (“money”) is a French silent film directed in 1928 by Marcel L’Herbier. The film was adapted from the novel L’Argent by Émile Zola, and it portrays the world of banking and the stock market in 1920s Paris. Marcel L’Herbier insisted that the film should be updated from the 1860s to the present-day.

The plot revolves around rival Paris bankers Saccard and Gunderman. Saccard sees an opportunity to rescue his failing bank, Banque Universelle, by financing the solo transatlantic flight of Jacques Hamelin, a pioneering aviator, and then capitalising on his popularity to set up a colonial business project in Guyane. He also hopes to seduce Hamelin’s wife Line in his absence. When a rumour circulates that Hamelin has crashed, Saccard exploits the false reports to manipulate shares at the Bourse.

Gunderman disapproves of Saccard and his methods, and has secretly bought shares in his bank as a future weapon against him. The Baroness Sandorf, a former lover of Saccard, acts as a spy to assist Gunderman’s interests, and more particularly her own. Brigitte Helm stars as the scheming baroness.

Today L’Argent is regarded by many to be ground-breaking work and one of the cinema’s greatest achievements.

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Brigitte Helm in L’Argent via

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Brigitte Helm in L’Argent via

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Brigitte Helm in L’Argent via

Theda Bara in Lost Film Salomé (1918)

Salomé is a 1918 American silent drama film produced by William Fox and starring actress Theda Bara. This film is now considered to be a lost film.

– Salome uses her wiles in pursuit of King Herod, whose power she desires. She has disposed of Herod’s chief rival, and causes his wife to be killed through her own treachery. John the Baptist, who has secured a hold on the people, denounces Herod and his court. Herod has John thrown in jail for fomenting sedition. There Salome meets him, and becomes crazed with passion, but when John rejects her she seeks revenge. With a sensuous dance she gains the approval of Herod, and demands John’s head as her reward. This act brings her own punishment when she is crushed to death beneath the sharp spokes on the shields of the Roman legionnaires.

Although the film proved to be popular with some theaters charging extra for tickets to see it, Salomé also proved to be controversial. For example, St. Louis, Missouri churches of varying denominations organized to protest the showing of the film. They objected not only to Bara’s attire, but also to the divergence of the plot from Biblical text, such as scenes where John the Baptist was preaching in Jerusalem and where Salome declares her love to John, and to the youthful appearance of John. Objections were also made that children were attending showings of the film.

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Theda Bara, Salomé 1918 via

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Theda Bara, Salomé 1918 via

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Theda Bara, Salomé 1918 via

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Theda Bara, Salomé 1918 via

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Theda Bara, Salomé 1918 via

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Theda Bara, Salomé 1918 via

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Theda Bara, Salomé 1918 via

Grace Moore as Opera Singer Jenny Lind in “A Lady’s Morals” (1930)

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Milton Brown, Grace Moore and Reginald Denny in “A Lady’s Morals” directed by Sidney Franklin, 1930 via

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Milton Brown, Grace Moore in “A lady’s morals” directed by Sidney Franklin, 1930 via