HALL OF DAME
Why Aren’t You and I Gertrude Lawrence?

Why Aren’t You and I Gertrude Lawrence?

Growing up, I was under the impression there were glamorous actresses who could do what they want, buy what they want, seduce whom they want.  They began sentences by drawling the word “darling”, and they punctuated those sentences with pouts and eyelash fluttering, all of which came ...
Dorothy Lamour’s “Jungle Princess” Rocked My World

Dorothy Lamour’s “Jungle Princess” Rocked My World

Be honest, what part of the phrase “Jungle Princess” do you not like? When I was in 4thgrade, I chanced upon a movie where a young girl and tiger cub are orphaned and end up growing up together in the jungle (as you do).  Now, I haven’t seen this movie for decades, so I could be ...
Barbara Nichols Wasn’t a Bosomy Bimbo

Barbara Nichols Wasn’t a Bosomy Bimbo

Barbara Nichols was THE go-to woman when you wanted an actress whose very casting spoke volumes about the character. Why use exposition or the script to communicate that a character has had to use her appearance and sexuality to get through life when you could just cast Barbara? Her blonde ...
I Want Thelma Ritter To Be My BFF

I Want Thelma Ritter To Be My BFF

If there’s some kind of cafeteria in heaven, I want to sit next to Thelma Ritter. She’ll give me the low-down, tell me who’s full of it, and, the best part, make me laugh. Here on Earth I would love to have a wise, warm, witty woman to talk to, hang with, alert me to bullshit and ...
Barbara La Marr: Too Beautiful, With a Pretty Crazy Life

Barbara La Marr: Too Beautiful, With a Pretty Crazy Life

When a woman is tagged “too beautiful”, my first instinct isn’t one of pity.  So normally Barbara La Marr’s soubriquet – “The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful” – would generate more eye-rolling than sympathy.  But although the phrase was meant to describe her dangerous effect on the ...
Valerie Harper, Rhoda and Me

Valerie Harper, Rhoda and Me

I cried when Valerie Harper died.  It felt like losing a mother, a sister, a mentor, a friend.  I met her just once – I had an on-air gig on Pure Oxygen, a show on the then-new channel.  In the make-up chair I was telling some of the crew how much she’d meant to me growing up, ...
Paulette Goddard Collected Jewels and Geniuses

Paulette Goddard Collected Jewels and Geniuses

Paulette Goddard had this whole dame thing down pat. Wrapping a genius around her little finger, becoming a major movie star, marrying a millionaire -- it all came as easily to her as breathing.  When I was a girl I was very interested in any blueprints I could find on how to be a woman. ...
Meet Lulu: Vintage Clothing Entrepreneur and a Very Stylish Dame

Meet Lulu: Vintage Clothing Entrepreneur and a Very Stylish Dame

I’ve been obsessed with vintage clothes my entire life. In those hoary days before the Internet, my best source for 40s frocks were the vendors I’d haunt at flea markets and thrift shops. Some go into selling antiques because they’d rather deal with things than people.  The technical term ...
Gypsy Rose Lee: Burlesque Queen of Dames

Gypsy Rose Lee: Burlesque Queen of Dames

People who think Madonna invented reinventing herself have clearly never heard of the equally versatile, equally scandalous no-last-name-needed sexual iconoclast who rose to national attention more than three-quarters of a century ago. Her name was Gypsy Rose Lee, and her incredible life and ...
Jean Harlow: Blonde Patron Saint of Hollywood Dames

Jean Harlow: Blonde Patron Saint of Hollywood Dames

Sexy blondes from Marilyn to Madonna owe 1930s movie superstar Jean Harlow a huge debt. (As does Clairol.)  It may be hard for contemporary minds to understand, but blonde has been the sexy shade for a relatively short time. Before Jean Harlow -- aka the “Blonde Bombshell” -- came on the ...
Aretha Franklin’s Rules For Life

Aretha Franklin’s Rules For Life

Aretha Franklin wasn’t just a soul singer.  Aretha's soulful pursuits extended well beyond the stage and recording studio. Spirituals weren’t just songs to Aretha – spiritual discipline was a way of life. Not that we need it, but on my wall hangs proof. More about that in a ...
Out of the Mouths of Dames…

Out of the Mouths of Dames…

As you know, dames, like Dorothy Parker here,  sure give good quote! Now you can have the best of women's wit and wisdom at your fingertips.  How would you like a FREE booklet with some of the best dame-y quotations ever? Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box and ...

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