Born to prosperous attorney Leonard Brooks, age 40, and Myra Rude Brooks, age 23, she was the second of four children. Myra was inclined to neglect her household conventions to pursue her cultural interests. In fact, prior to her marriage to Leonard, she informed him that he was her escape to freedom and the arts, and that any squalling brats she produced could take care of themselves.
Edit Born Mary Louise Brooks in Cherryvale, Kansasshe was a daughter of a lawyer who was usually too busy with his practice to discipline his children, and an artistic mother who determined any "squalling brats" she produced could take care of themselves.
Although she inspired her children with a love of books and music —she was a talented pianist who played the latest Debussy and Ravel for Louise—Myra Brooks failed to protect her eldest daughter from childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a neighborhood predator.
Brooks began her entertainment career as a dancer, appearing in her teens with the revolutionary Denishawn modern dance company whose members included Martha GrahamRuth St. Denisand Ted Shawn. After being dismissed from Denishawn under a cloud, due to her stubborn temperament, she turned to her influential friends and quickly found work as a featured dancer in the edition of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadwaywhere her beauty was noticed by the then New York -based movie studios.
She was also noticed by visiting movie star Charlie Chaplinin town for the premiere of his film The Gold Rush —the two had an affair that summer.
Hollywood film career Edit Signing with Paramount Studios, where she stayed for most of the remainder of her American film career, her screen debut was in the silent The Street of Forgotten Menin an uncredited role in Soon, however, she was playing the female lead in a number of silent light comedies and flapper films over the next few years, starring with Adolphe Menjou and W.
Fieldsamong others. It has been said that her best American role was in one of the last silent film dramas, Beggars Of Lifeas an abused country girl on the run with Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery playing hoboes she meets while riding the rails. Much of this film was shot on location, and the boom microphone was invented for this film by the director, William Wellmanwho needed it for one of the first experimental talking scenes in the movies.
Her distinctive bob haircutwhich became eponymous and still recognised to this day, had started a sensational trend, as many women in the Western world cut their hair like hers.
Soon after the film Beggars Of Life was made, Louise, who loathed the Hollywood "scene", refused to stay on at Paramount after being denied a promised raise, and left for Europe to make films for G.
Pabstthe great German Expressionist director. It was not until 30 years later that this rebellious move would come to be seen as arguably the most savvy of her career, securing her immortality as a silent film legend and independent spirit.
Unfortunately, while her initial snubbing of Paramount alone would not have finished her in Hollywood altogether, her refusal after returning from Germany to come back to Paramount for sound retakes of The Canary Murder Case irrevocably placed her on an unofficial blacklist.
This film is notorious for its frank treatment of modern sexual mores, including the first screen portrayal of a lesbian. Louise then starred in the controversial social dramas Diary Of A Lost Girland Prix de Beautethe latter being filmed in Franceand having a famous, but mesmerizing, shock ending.
All these films were heavily censoredas they were very "adult" and considered shocking in their time for their portrayals of sexuality, in addition to being highly critical of society.
Although overlooked at the time because "talkies" were taking over the movies, these three films were later recognized as masterpieces of the Silent Age, with her role of Lulu now regarded as one of the greatest performances in film history.
Life after film Edit When she returned to Hollywood, inshe was cast in two mainstream films: Her performances in these films, however, were largely ignored. She found herself effectively black-listed, and never again enjoyed her previous success.
Rumors purportedly sent out by the studios claimed she had the wrong voice for the new sound films, but she actually possessed a beautiful and cultured voice. After the humiliation of being cast in B pictures by studio executives as punishment for her outspokenness and disdain for ill-written scripts, she retired from show business inbriefly returning to Wichitawhere she was raised.
I must confess to a lifelong curse: My own failure as a social creature. Louise unfortunately had a lifelong love of alcoholand was an alcoholic for a major portion of her life, although she exorcised that particular demon enough to begin writing about film, which became her second life.
She was a notorious spendthrift for most of her life, even filing for bankruptcy once, but was kind and generous to her friends, almost to a fault. She was married twice, but never had children—she referred to herself as "Barren Brooks".
Her first husband was director A.
Edward Sutherland ; they Divorced. Her second husband was Chicago millionaire Dearing Davis ; they married inshe left him five months later, and they divorced in Her many lovers from years before had included a young William S. Paleythe founder of CBSwho quietly provided for her while she was an outcast from the entertainment world, and living frugally.
Rediscovery Edit French film historians rediscovered her films in the early sproclaiming her as an actress who surpassed even Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo as a film icon Henri Langlois: With his help, she became a noted film writer in her own right.
A collection of her witty and cogent writings, Lulu in Hollywood, was published in She was famously profiled by the noted film writer Kenneth Tynan in his essay, "The Girl With The Black Helmet", the title of which was an allusion to her fabulous bob, worn since childhood, a hairstyle claimed as one of the ten most influential in history by beauty magazines the world over.
She rarely gave interviews, but had a special relationship with John Kobal and Kevin Brownlowthe film historians, and they were able to capture on paper some of her amazing personality.
In the s she was interviewed extensively, on film, for the documentary Memories of Berlin:No wonder - it was African American musicians who put the Jazz in “The Jazz Age”! There were many fabulous African American flappers.
No wonder - it was African American musicians who put the Jazz in “The Jazz Age”! Mary Louise Brooks (November 14, – August 8, ), generally known by her stage name Louise Brooks, was an American dancer, model, showgirl and silent film .
In , at the age of 20, she was featured as a flapper in A Social Celebrity which launched her film and modeling career and introduced the flapper era.
When talkies explored onto the screen and Paramount used her "unproven" voice as an excuse to renege on a raise, she astonished the studio system by walking out on her contract after 21 silent pictures. Silent film star Jacqueline Logan, circa so much love for this photo. Jacqueline Logan via vogue.
It was the Jazz Age, flappers in fishnets dancing the leslutinsduphoenix.com hosiery trends are having a revival, today. The Great Gatsby movie is bringing back retro thigh highs and stockings that are embellished and embroidered.
so talented and. Jun 05, · Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New leslutinsduphoenix.coms: 4. About The Chaperone.
Soon to be a feature film from the creators of Downton Abbey starring Elizabeth McGovern, The Chaperone is a New York Times-bestselling novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in the s and the summer that would change them both.