Pretty in the past: Louise Brooks

Perhaps the most iconic star of the silent movie era Louise ‘Lulu’ Brooks is a beauty whose allure is as strong today as it was then.
Publish date:
August 22, 2012
hair, Hollywood, bob, liza minnelli, louise brooks, silent movies

She lived recklessly marrying and divorcing twice while having numerous affairs, including one with Charlie Chaplin. In fact, so headstrong and rebellious was Brooks that her bosses at Paramount blacklisted her and had her first talking part in The Canary Murder Case was dubbed by Margaret Livingstone.

Louise Brooks

As a result a rumour that Brooks voice was ‘unsuitable’ for ‘talkies’ was born. In fact this was one of the best moves of her career insuring her legacy as one of the greatest silent movie actresses was untouched.

Her famous bobbed haircut was imitated by thousands, it perfectly framed those big brown eyes and that intoxicating gaze.

She heavily influenced Liza Minnelli during her preparation for playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret,

“I went to my father, and asked him, what can you tell me about thirties glamour? Should I be emulating Marlene Dietrich or something? And he said no, I should study everything I can about Louise Brooks.”

I don’t believe pictures really do someone like Louise Brooks justice. Of course she looks amazing but on screen she outshines everyone else and all eyes are on her.

As the French film historian Henri Langlois famously said,

“There is no Garbo, there is no Dietrich, there is only Louise Brooks.”

Picture Credit: Rex Features