This tattered page from a mid-1920s movie magazine has inspired me for decades. It is one of my treasures. When I was writing Dangerous Curves atop Hollywood Heels, the stories of 14 young women who became actresses in silent films and suffered in their personal and professional lives along the way, I kept this poem and photograph close to be desk–and heart
When I journey out to modern-day Hollywood, this image goes with me. When I walk or drive down Hollywood Boulevard, I try really hard to imagine the little town that existed in the 1920s, that “silent, resting town” that has “wept, and laughed, and worked, and known desire.” I imagine those earth-bound stars whose faiths were lost and whose plans went awry.
Of the ones I wrote about in Dangerous Curves, I believe it is the tragic lives of Barbara La Marr, Marie Prevost, Olive Borden, and Lucille Ricksen that touched me most. When that project was over, I had trouble letting go of Lucille Ricksen, who joined the heavenly stars in1925. In future postings, I want to share with you items from the scrapbook Lucille and her mother compiled. This enthusiastic teenager, who was thrust into leading lady roles much too early, crammed too much living into her young life. I wish Lady Moon had kept closer watch over little Lucille.