Parisian Showgirl Minstinguett´s Remarkable Headwear

Jeanne Bourgeois (1875-1956) made her debut as Mistinguett at the Casino de Paris in 1895 and went on to appear in venues such as the Folies Bergère, Moulin Rouge and Eldorado.

Her risqué routines captivated Paris, and she went on to become the most popular French entertainer of her time and the highest paid female entertainer in the world, known for her flamboyance and a zest for the theatrical. In 1919 her legs were insured for 500,000 francs.

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Mistinguett by Lucien Waléry, 1920s via

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Mistinguett, 1920s via

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Mistinguett by Lucien Waléry, early 1920s via

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Mistinguett by Lucien Waléry, ca. 1925 via

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Mistinguett, ca. 1930 via

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Mistinguett by Paul Stone Raymor, 1920s  via

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Mistinguett by Paul Stone Raymor, 1920s  via

Vintage Photos of the Original “Boop Oop a Doop Girl” Helen Kane

Helen Kane’s (1904 – 1966) first performance at the Paramount Theater in Times Square proved to be her career’s launching point.

When singing “That’s My Weakness Now”, she interpolated the scat lyrics “boop-boop-a-doop”. This resonated with the flapper culture, and four days later, Helen Kane’s name went up in lights – her signature song was “I Wanna Be Loved By You”.

Kane’s voice and appearance were a likely source for Fleischer Studios animator Grim Natwick when creating Betty Boop, itself a style originating from Baby Esther.

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Helen Kane  via

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Helen Kane  via

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Helen Kane via

 

Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano (1912)

Yvonne Arnaud (1890 – 1958) was a French pianist, singer and actress.

After beginning a career as a concert pianist as a child, Arnaud acted in musical comedies.

until 1911, she performed with leading orchestras throughout Europe and the US. In 1911 she decided to try the stage instead of the concert hall and obtained an engagement at London’s Adelphi Theatre as understudy to Elsie Spain in the role of Princess Mathilde in The Quaker Girl, first going on stage in that role on 7 August 1911. She next played the leading role of Suzanne in the musical The Girl in the Taxi (1912), earning popularity with her vivacity and charming French accent.

Around 1920 she switched to non-musical comedy and drama and was one of the players in the second of the Aldwych farces, A Cuckoo in the Nest, a hit in 1925.

She also had dramatic roles and made films in the 1930s and 40s, and continued to act into the 1950s.

She occasionally performed as a pianist later in her career.

by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

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© National Portrait Gallery, London

by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

© National Portrait Gallery, London

by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912
Yvonne Arnaud by Bassano, whole-plate glass negative, November 1912

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© National Portrait Gallery, London

 

Photos of the Infamous Soprano Rosa Ponselle (1897 – 1981)

Rosa Ponselle (1897 – 1981), was an American operatic soprano with a large, opulent voice. She sang mainly at the New York Metropolitan Opera and is generally considered by music critics to have been one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years.

During the early 1910s she hand her sister were a headlining act on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit, appearing in all the major Keith theaters and earning a substantial income in the process. The sisters’ act consisted of traditional ballads, popular Italian songs, and operatic arias and duets.

In 1918 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora in Verdi’s La forza del destino, opposite non other than Caruso. It was her first performance on any opera stage and she scored a tremendous success, both with the public and with the critics. Her professional career lasted 21 years. Her last operatic performance was as Carmen in1937, in a Met tour performance in Cleveland.

Ponselle later said that she never missed performing after she retired. She built a luxurious home with her husband near Baltimore, Maryland, the Villa Pace, where she lived the rest of her life.

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Rosa Ponselle

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Rosa Ponselle

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Rosa Ponsella as Violetta in Verdi´s La Traviata

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Marion Telva as Adalgisa and Rosa Ponselle in the title role of Bellini’s Norma.

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