Vintage Photos of Berlin Cabaret Artists (1920s-1930s)

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Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992). Her earliest professional stage appearances were as a chorus girl on tour with Guido Thielscher’s Girl-Kabarett vaudeville-style entertainments, and in Rudolf Nelson revues in Berlin. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel (1930) brought her international fame and resulted in a contract with Paramount Pictures. Photo of Dietrich by Ruth Harriet Louise, c 1930 via

Trude-Hesterberg

Trude Hesterberg (1892 – 1967) was a German stage and film actress, cabaret artist, chanson singer, soubrette and operetta singer, as well as founder and director of a cabaret stage. It is thought that she was an early consideration for the lead role in The Blue Angel, before it was given to Marlene Dietrich via

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Margo lion (1899 – 1989) first came to Berlin in 1921 and made her debut at Trude Hesterbergs cabaret ‘Wild Bühne’ (The Wild Stage) in 1923 . She is best known for her role as Pirate Jenny in director G.W. Pabst’s 1931 French language adaptation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) via

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Anita Berber (1899 – 1928) was a German dancer, actress, and writer. Her hair was cut fashionably into a short bob and was frequently bright red, as in 1925 when the German painter Otto Dix painted a portrait of her, titled “The Dancer Anita Berber” via

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Valeska Gert (1892 – 1978) could be considered one of Germany’s most ambiguous and overlooked artists. She was a dancer, actress, film and cabaret star. She was a pioneering performance artist who is said to have laid the foundations and paved the way for the punk movement via

Kate-Kühl

Kate Kühl (1899-1970) nicknamed ‘The Red Nightingale’ went on to perform in all the major cabaret venues of the time including the Wilde Bühne, Kadeko and the Katacombe via

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Blandine Ebinger (1899 – 1993) was a German actress and chansonniere. Ebinger became acquainted with Friedrich Hollaender in 1919, and with him she became heavily invested as a performer, writer, and composer in the Berlin cabaret scene in the 1920s, beginning in the cabaret Schall und Rauch and the Café Größenwahn. Photo of Blandine Ebinger performing Lieder eines armen Mädchens, 1925 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

 

Vintage Photos of Ava Gardner & Frank Sinatra Wedding (1951)

Ava Gardner married Frank Sinatra on Nov. 7, 1951, at a friend’s home. Sinatra had left his wife, Nancy, for Gardner. Sinatra was blasted by gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, the Hollywood establishment, the Roman Catholic Church, and by his fans for leaving his wife for a noted femme fatale.

The marriage was turbulent, with many well-publicized fights and altercations. During their marriage Gardner became pregnant twice, but aborted both pregnancies, the reason being that MGM had all sorts of penalty clauses about their stars having babies. Years later she said:

“We couldn’t even take care of ourselves. How were we going to take care of a baby?”

The couple formally announced their separation on October 29, 1953, through MGM. Gardner filed for divorce in June 1954, at a time when she was dating matador Luis Miguel Dominguín, but the divorce was not settled until 1957. It was Gardner’s third and final marriage.  She would later say in her autobiography that Sinatra was the love of her life. Sinatra continued to feel very strongly for her, and they remained friends for life. He was still dealing with her finances in 1976.

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Frank and Ava at their wedding in 1951. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Frank and Ava at their wedding in 1951.

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Frank and Ava at their wedding in 1951.

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