There’s something so very stylish about a lot of the stars of the screen from the 1920s upwards but one of the women who always makes me stop and stare whenever I see a picture of her is Dorothy Lamour.
Dorothy was born in 1914 in New Orleans of French, Spanish, and Scots-Irish heritage. Fortunately, it was mostly the dark, sultry, Spanish blood that dominated her appearance; I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with curly ginger hair and freckles but let’s just agree that it’s unlikely we’d have heard the name Lamour being mentioned much if her genetic make-up had been jiggled around a bit.
Lying to enter a Miss New Orleans contest (she was underage), she nevertheless won it and used this as a stepping stone in persuading her mother to take her first to Chicago and then New York. In both of those cities she sang in hotels and while singing in One Fifth Avenue she landed a radio contract with NBC. When NBC took the series “The Dreamer of Songs” to Los Angeles she followed and the proximity of Hollywood meant it wasn’t long before she’d auditioned, taken a screen test, and been signed up by Paramount. She was given star billing in her first movie, The Jungle Princess, and that started a long career in the film industry that saw her receive most fame for her appearances with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the Road to… movies.
All of which is very nice but I’m mostly posting this so that I’ve got a good excuse to get some pictures of Dorothy Lamour up too. I’m so very, very shallow. Forgive me.
Dorothy Lamour sitting atop a sign post pointing out all the destinations of the Road to… films. Her vertigo put an end to the proposed run of twenty movies, something for which Bob Hope never forgave her.
I love the cut of the dress in this shot which almost makes it look like she’s got butterfly wings. She doesn’t have butterfly wings, of course. If she had then we’d have probably heard of Dorothy Lamour as the star of Freaks but nothing else.
Sometimes a girl just can’t help laughing while brushing her hair. I don’t know why. Who can fathom the workings of a woman?
Dorothy Lamour rubbing her hands on something hard and scaly. Well, if that doesn’t attract sexual weirdos to the site then nothing will.
Lovely, classic glamour photo from the golden age of cinema stars’ photography. Depth of field, lighting, disinterested look: all perfect.
What’s that? You want to know who’d win in a fight between Ms Lamour and an ostrich? Well, wonder no more!
Another great photo showing off a great pose and lovely detail in Dorothy’s clothing. Photography fans will spot wonderful use of the rule of thirds in this shot which make it so appealing. That, and Dorothy, of course.
Dorothy Lamour checking her pulse rate here. Feel free to check your own.
Why show one pulse-checking shot when you can show two? Lovely lighting here.
A simple, soft shot of Ms Lamour which really shows off just how many spiders were killed for the Hollywood eyelash industry before the invention of synthetic arachnids in 1967.
Bondage: not something I’ve ever found appealing but if you’re one of those that do – and I’m not here to judge deviants – then this picture of Dorothy Lamour in chains might just float your boat.
What’s better than one Dorothy Lamour? Two Dorothy Lamours! Sadly, cloning technology wasn’t great prior to 1962 so film studios utilised trick photography; in this case, a mirror was placed in such a way as to make it look like there were Lamour twins. But there aren’t! Amazing!
Not a fan of Dorothy’s hair in this shot as it looks like it has the texture of those wooden bead car seat covers (I don’t care if they’re comfortable; they look like you’re an octogenarian with piles if you have them) but that dress is stunning. The cut on the chest area is just wonderful.
Dorothy with her leg up, cradling her big balloons. Hey, that sounds a little dirty. That’s probably why she’s smiling. Minx.
You probably think that sunloungers have existed since the dawn of time but, as this picture clearly shows, they’re a modern invention of German tourists during the holiday-taking boom of the early eighties. Cushions were the norm before then.
Dorothy on a fake beach staring out at a fake sea under a fake sun. But the sand is real and it probably got everywhere. Everywhere.
Another simple, classic, glamour/noir shot. Great lighting, shadows, and pose.
Dorothy brought her singing voice into many of her films and she often sung for fun too. A rare moment caught here as she performs Agadoo to herself; she’s in mid-shaking the tree in this photo.
Dorothy Lamour inspired generations that followed (if she’d inspired generations before then she’d have been in violation of the temporal causality prime directive), one of those people being Frank Sidebottom who lifted his “Little Frank” character directly from Dorothy’s own “Tiny Dot”.