Old Hollywood Uncovered: Real Names

May 28, 2020
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Vintage Blogger, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, Classic Movie Stars, Real Names of Old Hollywood Stars, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne

Ever wondered if the stars from yesterday were really born with names like Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, James Cagney, Carol Lombard, or Clark Gable? Well, some of them were and some of them weren't.

Changing the names of actors is a reminder of how much control the film studios had on them.  It also shows how much simply changing a persons name can alter how we may view them. 

Here are some classic films stars and their real birth names:

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Rita Hayworth = Margarita Carmen Cansino

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 Cary Grant = Archibald Leach


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 Barbara Stanwyck = Ruby Katherine Stevens 

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John Wayne = Marion Robert Morrison

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Lauren Bacall = Betty Joan Perske 

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John Garfield = Jacob Julius Garfinkle

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Veronica Lake =  Constance Frances Marie Ockelman

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 Tony Curtis = Bernard Schwartz

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Mary Pickford = Gladys Louise Smith

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Kirk Douglas = Issur Danielovitch

A Vintage Nerd Recreates: Bonnie and Clyde (1967): Bonnie Parker

May 23, 2020
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The story of Bonnie and Clyde is legendary. They have been portrayed in films, tv shows, and episodes within tv shows. They lived how they died, fast and violent. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway was the first time their story was put up on the big screen. Faye Dunaway's performance as Bonnie Parker was mesmerizing. I remember that this was the very first film I saw her in. I was dazzled by her charm, her sense of style, and the chemistry she had with the always dashing, Warren Beatty. In the film we watch what we think happened to the iconic, historic couple and follow her from directionless waitress to wanted criminal. 

Bonnie's look was created by costume designer, Theadora Van Runkle who also did costumes for Same Time, Next Year (1978), The Jerk (1979), and Troop Beverly Hills (1989). Van Runkle famously rejected Edith Head's advice to make all the costumes for Bonnie and Clyde (1967) in chiffon. Instead she followed her instincts and created a look that resinated with the audience so much that after the film was released women everywhere were looking for ways to recreate Bonnie's style in the film. This film was Van Runkle's very first film as a costume designer and she certainly made her mark.

I loved how she dressed Bonnie but every time I watch a "period" film made in the sixties it still somehow looks sixties to me. I do love how she paired the the knee length skirt and top with a beret. Its simple but with the right color combinations it can really make people turn their heads for a second look. For my recreates of Bonnie Parker I used a thrifted skirt I scored for a few bucks, a mustard top that I had in my closet already, a vintage scarf I purchased eons ago, and a beret. Simple yet affective. Accessories can really alter a look and I think the accessories I choose for this particular recreates of Bonnie Parker did the trick. And yes that is a real book written by Clyde Barrow's sister in law Blanche Caldwell Barrow called My Life with Bonnie and Clyde. It's a great read and I will definitely review it for you all soon. 

What did you think of my latest recreates? What recreates would you like to see in the future?

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Outfit: Skirt was thrifted, Yellow Turtleneck from J Crew, Scarf is 1960's Vintage, 
Mustard Beret from Urban Outfitters, and Sunglasses are 1930's Vintage

Old Hollywood Uncovered: At Home

May 18, 2020
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Many of us are spending more time at home than we usually do these days. And that's okay. There are so many things you can catch up on when you are home. You can learn new recipes, practice hairstyles, catch up on some reading, do lots of spring cleaning and organizing, watch a lot more movies, and just spend some quality time with loved ones. Nothing wrong with opening a little extra time at home.

I love candid photos especially of classic film stars. Theres some endearing about seeing your favorites silver screen star cooking a meal or simply combing their hair. How do you spend your time at home these days?

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Ernest Borgnine chopping food in his humble Los Angeles kitchen.

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 Jimmy Stewart reading in his family home after returning from World War II in 1945.

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Ingrid Bergman sits with her then 11-month-old twins, Isabella and Ingrid, 
at their home in Naples, Italy in 1953.

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Fred Astaire teaching his son some moves at their home in 1940.

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Bette Davis relaxing with the morning papers at her home in 1939.

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Lucy and Desi playing music together at home in 1955.

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Shirley Temple answering fan mail at her Los Angeles home in 1944.

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Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward photographed at home in Beverly Hills in 1958

Be Inspired: I am not ⓟⓔⓡⓕⓔⓒⓣ

May 14, 2020
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Style Blog, Retro Style Fashion, Sixties Style, Gap Wide Legged Jeans, JCrew Tee, I am not perfect, Red Beret, Vintage Hats, Curvy Blogger, Disabled Fashion, Fashion for over 40, Inspirational Mother, Mom Blog, Retro Blog, Retro Blogger, Inspirational Tee, Casual Retro, Casual Vintage. Being not Perfect

I can easily list the ways I am not perfect. Sometimes I get cranky. Three pregnancies in four years has altered my body. My disability alters my body every year. I am aging. I am no longer a size 8 in clothing. My walking is all wobbly now. Grey and white hairs are making more of an appearance. I have been known to lose my cool with my children. I nag. I organize so much that I have been known to lose things because I can't remember where I put it. My memory is like swiss cheese some days. I can be prideful. I have compared myself to others. I have over twenty scars all over my body not including all the needle scars from all the procedures and surgeries I have had. My hands and feet are crooked because of my disability. I could go on and on.

I'm not perfect. I have never wanted to be. I watched enough movies in the 80's to know the girl who aimed to be perfect always ended up miserable. I made decisions early on that I didn't want to strive to be something no can really be. Its the reason I don't even like the word. The only time you may hear me use this word its when I describe myself as perfectly imperfect. 

And that's what I am. I may not always say the right things and do the rights things in just the right ways but I always try to be better than I was the day before. Women tend to be really hard on themselves and mothers even more so. We expect so much from ourselves all the time.  And because we expect so much from ourselves we put all of this pressure on ourselves. If only we can remember that its okay not to be perfect. That its okay to have stretch marks, scars, grey hairs, and crooked parts of your body. Its okay to gain weight, forget things, be late for things, get grumpy, to lose your temper, to be annoyed, and lose patience. 

Repeat after me. "I am not perfect". "I am not perfect". "I am not perfect". And thats okay. 

Outfit: Gap Wide Legged Jeans, I am not Perfect Tee from J Crew, Red Cardigan
 from Old Navy, Red Beret is 1960's Vintage, White Peter Pan Collar from
Magnus Clothing Co, and Large White Looped Earrings from Etsy.

AVN Book Club: Old Hollywood Mother's Day Edition

May 07, 2020
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Mother's Day has us all thinking about our mothers or those who were like mothers to us. It has us reflecting about them, missing them, spending time with them, or wondering more about them. Mother's Day was a tough day for me for many years. The first year after my mother passed I was in 3rd grade and they had us make flowers for our mothers out of paper. They encouraged us to put perfume on it and give it to them. I don't know why they had me participate knowing in detail of what I went through less than a year before. All I can say is that it was the eighties and they didn't do what they could have but I am sure they did their best. Still, I can remember holding onto that paper flower for years. It made me sad and confused to hold it. Having a gift for someone who will never receive it or hold it was still confusing and bewildering to me. But now Mother's Day is one my favorite days of the year. What was once a sad and confusing day is now a day that I get to celebrate my own experience with motherhood.

For those who have lost a parent it is often helpful to either talk about them or write about them. Its a healing thing to do but also something that needs to be done. My husband mentioned to me the other day that I talk about my mother everyday in some way. Now I see that I do I know its my way to make her present to make her real. Because even though I know she was real, it has been so long that she often feels almost like a dream.

Quite a few children of Old Hollywood stars have found their way through their feelings about their famous mothers by writing about them. Many of you are aware of the biographies written by the daughters of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. They are both quite scandalous and infamous but I wanted to share with you some books you may not have heard of. These sons and daughters wrote about Debbie Reynolds, Natalie Wood, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, and Loretta Young openly and full of compassion.

If you find biographies and autobiographies as fascinating as I do, click on the titles below. Are there other biographies of Old Hollywood Stars written by their children that you have read and know about? I would love to hear about them.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher






Uncommon Knowledge by Judy Lewis

Vintage Spring Fashion Inspiration

May 04, 2020
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Fashion Blog, Spring Vintage Fashion, Vintage Spring Fashion Inspiration, Sixties Spring Fashion,  Vintage Inspiration, Vintage Spring

Spring is in the air here in New York despite the current circumstances at the moment. The trees in my neighborhood are getting greener, we laid out fresh mulch in our front yard, and every morning we can hear the birds singing. Our cats are in their happy place when I open a few windows and let the spring air in. I cannot blame them. Spring brings a freshness to our environment that you can't help but feel a sense of new beginnings. 

Our spring fashion changes by using our coats less and our cardigans more. Colors like green, pink, and yellow come to mind when I think of spring. Florals and plaids make me think of picnics in the park and long walks with the fresh spring air breezing through my hair. The winter blues become a thing of the past and spring fashions can really perk up your mood. What spring pieces are you looking forward to wearing? What about vintage spring fashion do you enjoy the most?

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A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Fashion Blog, Spring Vintage Fashion, Vintage Spring Fashion Inspiration, Sixties Spring Fashion,  Vintage Inspiration, Vintage Spring
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Fashion Blog, Spring Vintage Fashion, Vintage Spring Fashion Inspiration, Sixties Spring Fashion,  Vintage Inspiration, Vintage Spring
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