HALL OF DAME
Elizabeth Taylor: In Her Own Words

Elizabeth Taylor: In Her Own Words

Elizabeth Taylor was a dame from the top of her beautiful head to the tips of her probably well-manicured toes.  Elizabeth lived her life in the dame-iest way possible A talented actress and an ardent AIDS activist when people were still spooked or just bystanders, Taylor brought passion ...
Joan Blondell Showed Me the Way

Joan Blondell Showed Me the Way

As a schoolgirl, I never heard about women to admire. Sacajawea might slip in by chance, but most girls my age looked to Josie and the Pussycats as role models. I was given to reading biographies of black women, so if asked I would have named Harriet Tubman, Phyllis Wheatley, and Mary McLeod ...
Helen Menken: So Much More Than Humphrey Bogart’s Wife

Helen Menken: So Much More Than Humphrey Bogart’s Wife

When you think of Humphrey Bogart’s wife, you think of Lauren Bacall, right?  Well, she’s plenty dame-y, but Bogie’s first wife (Lauren was his fourth) is just as dame-tastic herself.  Maybe more so. In the Roaring Twenties, Helen Menken was the queen of Broadway; “people gasped in awe when ...
An Arden Admirer…Eve Arden

An Arden Admirer…Eve Arden

As Mayor of Dametown, dame lover and one of the biggest classic movie nerds around, I’m often asked who I think of as the “ultimate dame”.  That’s an impossibly tough question; it’s like asking someone “Who’s your favorite child?” or “What’s your favorite Dorito flavor?”  There are so many ...
Jane Russell: So Much More Than Just…You Know

Jane Russell: So Much More Than Just…You Know

Jane Russell could have just been a punchline.  A nice Christian girl devoted to faith and family, Howard Hughes put her under contract and relentlessly sold her as two big breasts attached to a brunette.  While most of the 30s and early 40s pin-ups had legs as the primary focus, Jane’s ...
Eartha Kitt: Catwoman is THAT Woman

Eartha Kitt: Catwoman is THAT Woman

Some women invite obsession.  There are women who inspire worship from both sexes.  Well, I’m obsessed with Eartha Kitt.  (OK, I’m obsessed with a lot of people, but Eartha Kitt is way up there.)  Like a lot of people of my generation, I first became aware of Eartha as the coolest, cat-est, ...
Margaret Rutherford Makes Me Happy

Margaret Rutherford Makes Me Happy

Though Margaret Rutherford was a real-life dame, given the British Dame-Capital-D title (DBE) in 1967, to fans she is best remembered and well-loved as Agatha Christie’s super sleuth dame Miss Marple.  (Personally, I most cherish her role as a fantastic Madame Arcati in Noel Coward’s Blithe ...
Anita Loos: Big Dames Come in Small Packages

Anita Loos: Big Dames Come in Small Packages

In my personal pantheon of dames, Anita Loos pretty much sits at the head of the table.  (Albeit on a phone book or two -- the woman was, like, 4’11”.)  Anita was a player in the early days of movies, a “manless Eden” before Hollywood became a chauvinist boy’s club, when women were ...
Audrey Totter: Good at Being Bad

Audrey Totter: Good at Being Bad

Audrey Totter could handle herself.  She had a “knows the ropes” vibe that made her the epitome of the silver screen dame.  Though her apple-cheeked brand of bad girl wasn’t in many movies, she made such an impression in the films in which she did appear that she holds a special place in the ...
Ivy Baer Sherman: Vintage Magazine Queen

Ivy Baer Sherman: Vintage Magazine Queen

"I'm a true believer that every step we take in life is an essential part of the overall journey."  I don't swoon over just any dame.  Maybe Barbara Stanwyck or Eartha Kitt might make me stammer, but they're not longer with us.  But Ivy Baer Sherman gets my fangirl-ish ...
Fleur Cowles: The Queen of FLAIR

Fleur Cowles: The Queen of FLAIR

There are a lot of magazines, past and present.  But there has never been a magazine like FLAIR.  No magazine has ever been more aptly named than FLAIR, Fleur Cowles’ iconic creation that has launched thousands of fans, ideas, collections, not to mention another contemporary marvel ...
Franceska Mann Took Off Her Clothes To Take Out A Nazi

Franceska Mann Took Off Her Clothes To Take Out A Nazi

Most dame stories are essentially happy stories.  This one is not.  This story talks about one of the worst, most cruel and heartbreaking periods in human history.  But this horrific narrative did not crush the damery living inside so many women.  In fact, it often illuminated it.  Franceska ...

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