Dangerous Curves atop Hollywood Heels: The Lives, Careers, and Misfortunes of 14 Hard-Luck Girls of the Silent Screen

Dangerous Curves Atop Hollywood Heels:
The Lives, Careers, and Misfortunes of 14 Hard-Luck Girls of the Silent Screen

*** Named one of the top ten silent film books of 2010***

“We were like dragonflies. We seemed to be suspended effortlessly in the air, but in reality, our wings were beating very, very fast.” – Mae Murray

“It is worse than folly for persons to imagine that this business is an easy road to money, to contentment, or to that strange quality called happiness.” – Bebe Daniels

 “A girl should realize that a career on the screen demands everything, promising nothing.” – Helen Ferguson

In Dangerous Curves atop Hollywood Heels, I examine the lives, careers, and disappointments of 14 silent film actresses, who, despite the odds against them and warnings to stay in their hometowns, came to Hollywood to make names for themselves in the movies.

On the screen, these young hopefuls became Agnes Ayres, Olive Borden, Grace Darmond, Elinor Fair, Juanita Hansen, Wanda Hawley, Natalie Joyce, Barbara La Marr, Martha Mansfield, Mary Nolan, Marie Prevost, Lucille Ricksen, Eve Southern, and Alberta Vaughn.

Dangerous Curves follows the precarious routes these young ladies took in their quest for fame and uncovers how some of the top actresses of the silent screen were used, abused, and discarded.  Many, unable to let go of the spotlight after it had singed their very souls, came to a stop on a dead-end street in Hollywood: Heartbreak Lane.

Pieced together using contemporary interviews the actresses gave, conversations with friends, relatives, and co-workers, and exhaustive research through scrapbooks, archives, and public records, Dangerous Curves offers an honest, yet compassionate, look at some of the brightest luminaries of the silent screen. The book is illustrated with over 150 photographs.

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