|Who's Who in Dangerous Curves introduces you to the actresses I feature in my upcoming book, Dangerous Curves Atop Hollywood Heels.|
I begin by introducing you to Eve Southern (pictured below), the hard-luck girl who inspired me to once again pick up my pen and write about old Hollywood.
Dangerous Curves is dedicated to Eve.
Mysterious Eve Southern claimed she was Mary Queen of Scots and a priestess in past lives. The actress was a woman of unusual beauty -- almost supernatural in appearance. One writer of the day described her as "creepy."
True, she had the most enormous eyes, made bigger by long, dark eyelashes, than any actress of her day.
Read about how her unusual beauty worked for -- and against -- her in Hollywood.
|With a career that extended from 1916 to the early 1930s, Eve disappeared suddenly in 1932 with one newspaper headline: Actress Has Her Spine Corrected.|
After the accident that almost claimed her life, she made a sudden exit from the big screen and remained invisible to film historians for decades. In Dangerous Curves, her nephew fills in the gaps about this fascinating actress and explains what happened to this exotic beauty of the silent screen.
Of the 14 actresses I researched and wrote about in Dangerous Curves, it is Lucille Ricksen's story that continues to haunt me.
Her career started in the mid-1910s at Essanay Studios in Chicago when Lucille was barely five. In 1920, the family moved to Hollywood, where Lucille gained success as a child actress.
Almost overnight, however, while she was only 12 years old, Lucille was cast in her first adult role and became known as the "youngest leading lady in pictures." For Lucille Ricksen, the grueling climb--and push--to stardom was more than any child should have to endure.
|Fourteen-year-old Lucille Ricksen collapsed in the summer of 1924 from sheer exhaustion and overwork. In the past seven months, the actress had appeared in 10 feature films. Lucille, so full of spirit and youth just a few years before, was broken in mind, body, and spirit.|
|Her illness was mysterious. The press reported that her problems centered around a "nervous breakdown." Lucille was confined to bed and stayed out of sight. In early 1925, her mother, exhausted in her attempt to nurse Lucille back to health, fell dead across her daughter.|
Two weeks later, Lucille, stricken with her grief, joined her mother in death.
Although she died in 1992, silent film actress Alberta Vaughn might still be among the living!
In my research for Dangerous Curves, I talked with neighbors and owners of Vaughn's longtime Studio City, California, home who say they have either seen her ghost or have heard about the haunting. In her later years, she was a recluse who withdrew from the public eye, as her neighhbors recount, but there was a time when Alberta was one of the brightest comediennes of the silent screen.
In addition to examining her career, Dangerous Curves takes you to jail cells and probation offices that Alberta frequented when Hollywood turned its back on her.