Louise Brooks from A to Z: C for Cherryvale, Chaplin, Collier, The Chaperone, and Much More.

Cherryvale, Kansas, is the town where Louise was born and lived until around age 12. It was also where she made her dancing debut.

 

 

Clara Bow was someone whom Louise knew and revered highly. She felt Clara to be the first natural actress in Hollywood, a title originally put upon Brooks herself. Brooks spoke often of her in interviews, discussing the tumultuous time that Clara had with the studio system over her Brooklyn accent and upbringing. Brooks can be seen discussing Bow in this interview clip from the Hollywood series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAgVeTW7hNA

 

 Louise in a publicity still for  The   City Gone Wild  (1927)

Louise in a publicity still for The City Gone Wild (1927)

The City Gone Wild was a film that Brooks starred in during 1927.  Her character went by the name Snuggles Joy, which I'm sure produced in her a giant eye roll. The film was produced by the Famous Players-Lasky, distributed by Paramount and is now, unfortunately, lost.

In an discussion with Kevin Brownlow, Brooks referred to Buster Collier as “the only actor I ever cared for” (Paris, 159). She claimed to have fallen in love with him while they were making Just Another Blonde in New York. The two of them spent nearly every moment together during production, as is evidenced by the many candid shots of them together on set.

 Louise and Buster Collier, aka the love birds, 1926

Louise and Buster Collier, aka the love birds, 1926

 Chaplin by Edward Steichen, 1931

Chaplin by Edward Steichen, 1931

Charlie Chaplin was one of the people whose talent Brooks most respected. She is frequently quoted as saying that she “learned everything about acting from watching Martha Graham dance, and learned everything about dancing from watching Charlie Chaplin act.” Brooks and Chaplin had a wild fling for a couple of months in 1925, during which time his film, The Gold Rush, was premiering in New York and Brooks was dancing in the Ziegfeld Follies.  There is a notorious story about herself, Chaplin, A.C. Blumenthal and Peggy Fears locking themselves into a hotel room together for a long weekend of lascivious activities, but we won't go into that just now-

 

 

The Chaperone is an excellent novel that is loosely based on the early life of Louise Brooks, specifically focusing on her move to New York to dance with Denishawn at age 15. We will be interviewing the author of this book, Laura Moriarty, in the upcoming months, and we’re very excited.

 

 

 

Dan Callahan is an author, film journalist and film historian who has provided us with one of our best interviews about Brooks. Callahan has been reading about her from a young age, and his insights have proven to be truly eye opening. We look forward to sharing some of his interview with you soon!

 Interview with Dan Callahan, November 2016

Interview with Dan Callahan, November 2016