Icon of an Era

Louise Brooks never made it in Talkies. Not because she wasn't good enough, but simply because she didn't care enough to take her film career seriously. She was the living embodiment of the flapper ideal, but with far more sophistication than any flapper could have hoped for. Movie stardom meant nothing to her, and she paid the price for failing to play the Hollywood game in the late '20s and early '30s.

Born and raised in Cherryvale, Kansas, Brooksie began her show business career as a dancer with the well-known Denishawn Dance Company in the same period as Martha Graham. From Denishawn, she went on to Broadway in George White's Scandals and the Ziegfeld Follies. She lived the 1920's Broadway chorus girl high life fast and furious until the movies beckoned.

Brooksie's American film career at Paramount was progressing nicely through the late '20s, although she hadn't quite achieved full-fledged "star" status by the time she went to Germany in 1928 to film G.W. Pabst's "Pandora's Box" and "Diary of a Lost Girl". These are the two films on which her modern "cult status" were primarily founded. Personally, I don't particularly like either film very much, but Brooksie's charisma and magnetism are irresistable.

If you'd like to learn a little more about our Miss Brooks, check out the Louise Brooks Society.

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