Douglas Fairbanks

Lupe Velez (Fake News: Fact Checking Hollywood Babylon Episode 14) by Karina Longworth

Velez, Lupe_01.jpg

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Mexican actress Lupe Velez was the victim of one of Anger’s cruelest invented stories. His fabrication of her manner of death lays bare a vicious racism in addition to Hollywood Babylon’s usual sexism. Today we will sort out the fact of Velez’s life from Anger’s fiction, and consider the star of the Mexican Spitfire series as comedienne ahead of her time.

Lupe Velez and Douglas Fairbanks in The Gaucho (1927) Gaucho

Lupe Velez and Douglas Fairbanks in The Gaucho (1927) Gaucho

Lupe Velez with Johnny Weissmuller, 1934

Lupe Velez with Johnny Weissmuller, 1934

Music:

The music used in this episode, with the exception of the intro and outro, was sourced from royalty-free music libraries and licensed music collections. The intro includes a clip from the film Casablanca. The outro song this week is “Spanish Eyes” by Madonna.

Excerpts from the following songs were used throughout the episode:

Southern Flavors 3 - Martin Gauffin
Club Noir 2  - John Allen
Come Over To Me - Tommy Ljungberg
One Two Three 5 - Peter Sandberg
Yellow Leaves 5 - Peter Sandberg
Latin Passion - Håkan Eriksson
Amor De Danca 3 - Martin Carlberg
El Que Quiera Bailar 2 - Martin Landh
Unsolved - Mythical Score Society
Neblina 4 - Anders Göransson
A Time To Remember 3 - Martin Landh
Eventually Maybe - Oakwood Station

Studio publicity portrait of Lupe Vélez for film Mexican Spitfire, 1940.

Studio publicity portrait of Lupe Vélez for film Mexican Spitfire, 1940.

Credits:

This episode was written, narrated and produced by Karina Longworth.

Editor: Cameron Drews.

Research and production assistant: Lindsey D. Schoenholtz.

Social media assistant: Brendan Whalen.

Logo design: Teddy Blanks.

Stills from Andy Warhol’s 1966 film LUPE starring Edie Sedgwick

Stills from Andy Warhol’s 1966 film LUPE starring Edie Sedgwick

Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: The Flapper and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. by Karina Longworth

Joan Crawford,  Our Dancing Daughters , 1928 

Joan Crawford, Our Dancing Daughters, 1928 

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

Joan Crawford’s early years in Hollywood were like -- well, like a pre-code Joan Crawford movie: a highly ambitious beauty of low birth does what she has to do (whatever she has to do) to transform herself into a well-respected glamour gal at the top of the food chain. Her romance with Douglas Fairbanks Jr -- the scion of the actor/producer who had been considered the King of Hollywood since the early days of the feature film -- began almost simultaneous to Crawford’s breakout hit, Our Dancing Daughters. But the gum-snapping dame with the bad reputation would soon rise far above her well-born husband, cranking out a string of indelible performances in pre-code talkies before hitting an early career peak in the Best Picture-winning Grand Hotel.

Show notes:

Every episode this season will draw from the following books about, and/or based on conversations with, Joan Crawford:

Not The Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, a Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler

Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography by Lawrence Quirk and William Schoell

Conversations with Joan Crawford by Roy Newquist

Sources specific to this episode:

His Picture in the Papers: A Speculation on Celebrity in America Based on the Life of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. by Richard Schickel

The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks by Tracey Goessel

A Woman’s View by Jeanine Basinger

The episode includes audio excerpt from Possessed, also a clip from the movie Grand Hotel and the moonlight singing scene from Untamed.

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman, and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.

Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Douglas Fairbanks / Lucille LeSueur Goes to Hollywood by Karina Longworth

Joan Crawford, 1920's

Joan Crawford, 1920's

Listen, download this episode, or find on iTunes.

In order to understand Joan Crawford’s rise to fame, we have to talk about what Joan -- born Lucille LeSueur, and called “Billie Cassin” for much of her childhood -- was like before she got to Hollywood, and what Hollywood was like before she got there. To accomplish the latter, we’ll focus on Douglas Fairbanks: top action star of the silent era, the definition of Hollywood royalty, and the father of Crawford’s first husband.

Lucille LeSueur

Lucille LeSueur

Joan Crawford, 1926

Joan Crawford, 1926

Show notes:

Every episode this season will draw from the following books about, and/or based on conversations with, Joan Crawford:

Not The Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, a Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler

Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography by Lawrence Quirk and William Schoell

Conversations with Joan Crawford by Roy Newquist

Other books referenced in this episode:

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim by Frederica Sagor Maas

His Picture in the Papers: A Speculation on Celebrity in America Based on the Life of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. by Richard Schickel

The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks by Tracey Goessel

Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr by David Bret

Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford by Donald Spoto

Are the Stars Out Tonight? The Story of the Famous Ambassador and Cocoanut Grove, “Hollywood’s Hotel” by Margaret Tante Burk

The big winners from this list are The Shocking Miss Pilgrim and The First King of Hollywood -- the latter being probably the only silent film star biography on the market to correctly use the term “bromance.” Both books are highly recommended.

This episode was edited by Sam Dingman, written and produced by Karina Longworth with the assistance of Lindsey D. Schoenholtz. Our logo was designed by Teddy Blanks.