Two kids at the Academy Awards:
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. judges the net – mixed doubles. “Big Bill” Tilden (standing far left), the first American Wimbledon champion, taught tennis to movie stars after he retired from competition. This photo was taken by Len Weissman and is dated 1940:
Singing at a local nightclub — the trooper phase — 1964:
Performing at the Greek with a broken arm with Martha Raye, Johnny Mathis, and Mickey Rooney – 1965:
Listen poppets, you can’t have a blog by “Vickie Lester” without a nod to Judy Garland. Forgive the quality of the first two photos, I just included them because I don’t imagine you’ve seen them before. And, there’s an arc here that’s kind of emblematic of both Judy Garland and Hollywood: stellar talent, exploitation, fruition, adoration, corruption, tremendous work ethic, burn out… An unholy mix? Not really. It’s just the human condition magnified, if you’re one of the lucky (or unlucky) ones, by money and fame.
Once upon a time (when I was oh so much younger) I cracked wise to my pop – something about Hollywood being a cesspool, or something equally unpleasant and I’ll give you his unvarnished response.
“Jesus Christ! Everybody thinks people in Hollywood are godless, bottom-feeding philistines who wouldn’t know quality if it kicked them in the ass. Movie making is the single greatest culture of creativity the world has ever known. And! No doubt! The biggest f—ing employer of artists, ever!”
I really can’t top that, now can I?