Evelyn Nesbit by Otto Sarony (1901)

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Otto Sarony, Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, 1901 via

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Otto Sarony, Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, 1901 via

Evelyn Nesbit by Otto Sarony (1901)

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Otto Sarony, Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, 1901 via

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Otto Sarony, Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, 1901 via

A Collection of Vintage Photos Featuring American Beauty Bille Dove

Billie Dove (1903-1997) was in her heyday known for her voluptuous femininity on the silent screen, rivaled that of Mary Pickford, Marion Davies and Clara Bow in popularity. She retired after only a few years into the talking picture era, however, and is not as well-remembered in today’s film circles as the aforementioned.

She was born Bertha Bohny to Swiss immigrant parents. As a teen, she worked as a model to help support her family and was hired as a teenager by Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld Follies Revue.

However, a burgeoning affair between Dove and Ziegfeld prompted Ziegfeld’s wife Billie Burke to arrange work out West for the young starlet in Hollywood films. She soon became one of the most popular actresses of the 1920s, appearing in Douglas Fairbanks’ smash hit Technicolor film The Black Pirate (1926), as Rodeo West in The Painted Angel (1929), and was dubbed The American Beauty (1927), the title of one of her films.

She married the director of her seventh film, Irvin Willat, in 1923. The two divorced in 1929. Dove had a huge legion of male fans, one of her most persistent being Howard Hughes. She shared a three-year romance with Hughes and was engaged to marry him, but she ended the relationship without ever giving cause. Hughes cast her as a comedian in his film Cock of the Air (1932). She also appeared in his movie The Age for Love (1931).

Following her last film, Blondie of the Follies (1932), Dove retired from the screen to be with her family, although she was at the time still popular. She married oil executive Robert Kenaston in 1933.

Ziegfeld Model - Non-Risque - by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Billie Dove as a Ziegfield Follies Girl, by Alfred Cheney Johnston via

Ziegfeld Model - Risque - 1920s - by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Billie Dove as a Ziegfield Follies Girl by Alfred Cheney Johnston via

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Billie Dove via

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Billie Dove as a Bride via

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Billie Dove via

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Billie Dove via

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Billæie Dove in Blondie of the Follies, her last film (1932) via

Billie Dove (Reprise)

A Collection of Photos Featuring “it” Girl Evelyn Nesbit

Evelyn Nesbit (1884 – 1967) was known to millions before her 16th birthday in 1900. She was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty.

In the early part of the 20th century, her figure and face was everywhere, appearing in mass circulation newspaper and magazine advertisements, on souvenir items and calendars, making her a cultural celebrity. She was a popular cover face on Vanity FairHarper’s BazaarThe DelineatorWomen’s Home CompanionLadies’ Home Journal and Cosmopolitan.

Her career began in her early teens in Philadelphia and continued in New York, where she posed for a cadre of respected artists of the era, James Carroll Beckwith, Frederick S. Church, and notably Charles Dana Gibson, who idealized her as a “Gibson Girl.” She had the distinction of being an early “live model,” in an era when fashion photography as an advertising medium was just beginning its ascendancy.

As a stage performer, and while still a teenager, she attracted the attention of the then 47-year-old architect and New York socialite Stanford White, who became her lover and dedicated benefactor. Nesbit achieved world-wide notoriety when her jealous husband, multi-millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, shot and murdered Stanford White on the rooftop theatre of Madison Square Garden on the evening of June 25, 1906, leading to what the press would call “The Trial of the Century.” and Evelyn became known as “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing.”

In 1955  she was portrayed by Joan Collins in the film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. Marilyn Monroe had been 20th Century-Fox’s original choice for the role.

 

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Evelyn Nesbit by Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr. via

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Evelyn Nesbit via

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Evelyn Nesbit via