Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wanted: Katharine Hepburn in a Car, Circa 1930s


Being the "odd bird" that I am--"odd bird" was a term my grandmother used to describe eccentrics--Something I've been desperately searching for is a photograph of Katharine Hepburn, from the 1930s, in California, at the wheel of a car, with a Spanish Villa-style home or building in the background. It's an image I've burned into my mind and it's imagery defines the very concept of Hollywood Dreamland. I recently managed to find the above photograph, but it doesn't look like the 1930s; maybe early-fifties and it doesn't embody that 1930s fantasy. Anyway, if someone out there knows of a Katharine Hepburn photo with her at the wheel of a convertible, please contact me! I'm sure such a photo exists and I'd love to see it.


In fact, I intend to track down pics of any 1930s/40s movie star at the wheel of or posing with their cars. It sounds like the theme for a coffee table book: Stars and Their Cars In Hollywood's Golden Age. I found this absolutely wonderful Rita Hayworth photo. It's tantalizingly close to what I'm looking for--no, please don't use Photoshop to put Kate into the image!--it captures the leisurely pace of early Hollywood and I love photographs of the stars at play, especially when it's in and around Los Angeles. The whole idea of the photo, the time frame, and that locale are all part of my shameless glorification of Hollywood's Golden Age. There's just so much about all of this that captivates me.

9 comments:

  1. I'll keep my eyes open! (I know how it is, I have a couple of "wanted photos" myself.) Maybe you'll like this 1933 photo of Gloria Swanson and her then-husband Michael Farmer? Really extravagant car, haha.

    http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/8585/gloriaswansonandmichael.jpg

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  2. That really is a wonderful photo of Rita Hayworth. I really loved this post. Maybe you should write that book. =D

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  3. If you get the photos I would love to see the book ;) I think that's a great idea. I always find it fascinating to see the old stars at play.

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  4. You can read more about the above picture of Katharine Hepburn in a blog post here. The picture is of Hepburn in Jamaica.
    http://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/2008/06/19/katharine-hepburn-in-jamaica/
    Don't forget the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Theater opens August 1, 2009 in Old Saybrook, Ct...Hepburn's beloved seaside town.

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  5. Does this happen to be one of em?
    http://www.geocities.com/khahck/1930car.html
    Just for the record, my best friend found it, not me. :D

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  6. http://www-ig.udayton.edu/Stories/Story/?contentId=24729
    John Heitmann is a professor of history and the Alumni Chair in the Humanities at the University of Dayton. He specializes in the history of the automobile and its impact on American culture.
    His new book, The Automobile and American Life, explores how the automobile transformed business, life on the farm and in the city, the nature and organization of work, leisure time and the arts.
    I know John, I am not him:-) It's a new book, not on Hollywood but there could be something in there.

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  7. Good luck. I'd love to see a pic like that. The Hayworth pic is a great treat. Thanks for giving us it in a large size!

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  8. Here's one of Vic Damone, Pier Angeli and thier car.
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Q-XSQpNE8FM/SiRKJqYDy5I/AAAAAAAAAYM/Bpoyg-wfqio/s1600-h/Damone,+Vic+and+Pier+angeli.jpg

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  9. Wow! I agree with what everyone else said, I'd totally buy the book! I want to decorate my office with vintage photos of stars with their cars - I'm in love with Clark Gable if anyone knows where to buy the poster!

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