Louise from A to Z: D for Davies, Davis, Denishawn, Dancing, Dixie Dugan and Documentary of a Lost Girl

 Marion Davies in an MGM still 

Marion Davies in an MGM still 

Marion Davies was an actress and the mistress of William Randolph Hearst.  Brooks was best friends with her niece, Pepi Lederer, who she met during a stay at Hearst Castle in San Simeon.  Brooks muses about Davies extensively in Lulu in Hollywood, specifically in her essay titled Marion Davies' Niece.  

Deering Davis was Louise's second husband. He was a wealthy Chicago socialite with whom she danced professionally for a time.  They were married on October 10, 1933, and it lasted about 6 months before Louise left, supposedly without saying a word.  Here is a link to the newspaper article from the Chicago Tribune announcing their betrothal the day after: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1933/10/11/page/14/article/deering-davis-is-married-to-actress-louise-brooks  

Denishawn was the dance company that changed Brooks' life at age 15 when they came to perform in Wichita, Kansas.  Louise was taken back stage to meet Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis, who founded the company in 1915, and this introduction would result in Louise taking off for New York to attend their classes.  She would later be inducted into the company and booted out in one of the most pivotal moments of her life.  Louise was not known for obeying the "no drinking, no men, no mercy" rules that Ruth St. Denis thrust upon her students. Thus, arriving noisily late with friend Barbara Bennett to a lecture one day, she was dismissed from the company in front of everyone.  Ruth St. Denis' reasoning being that Louise wanted life "handed to her on a silver salver."  In a later interview with Jeffry Rollick she would say that she "just sat in the orchestra pit, cringing-". This is also where she met and worked with Martha Graham, who became one of her heroes.

 Denishawn Performance, 1922, found in the NYPL Denishawn collections

Denishawn Performance, 1922, found in the NYPL Denishawn collections

Dancing- To be brief, Louise wanted to be a dancer, she was a professional dancer through most of her life, and she never stopped being a dancer despite career changes and what would later amount to arthritis of the hip that crippled her.  In one of her most touching and revelatory statements made in her later years, she said sweetly, "In my dreams I am not crippled.  In my dreams, I dance." 

 Louise Brooks and Hal McCoy dancing at the Crestview Country Club in Wichita.  Image rendered from original negative given to us by author Tom Graves, via Margaret Brooks, Louise's sister in law

Louise Brooks and Hal McCoy dancing at the Crestview Country Club in Wichita.  Image rendered from original negative given to us by author Tom Graves, via Margaret Brooks, Louise's sister in law

Dixie Dugan was a comic strip modeled after Louise that took on a life of its own both in theatre and in print, though Louise had little to no involvement and saw nothing from it. She had an offer to perform in the stage production as the lead, but that didn't happen for many reasons. Dixie is pretty on target, looks wise, though.  

Documentary of a Lost Girl? What's that, you ask? Why, gee, it's our film!

 Screen still from  Documentary of a Lost Girl , taken from an interview done in Memphis, TN, with author Tom Graves

Screen still from Documentary of a Lost Girl, taken from an interview done in Memphis, TN, with author Tom Graves

 We are covering the life of Louise Brooks by traveling absolutely everywhere to find archival materials, see the places she worked and lived and how they've changed over the years, and to interview her close friends and film historians who knew her.  We have already been to Kansas, Memphis, Rochester and New York City, and now we are trying to go to Berlin, Paris, London and LA- but we can't do it without your help!  We have 26 days left on our Kickstarter, so go check it out and help us bring Breezy back to life through art.

Here's the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/889269203/documentary-of-a-lost-girl-finding-a-modern-womans?ref=creator_nav

Thanks for reading :)