Two years ago today, this community was in its infancy, barely over a month old and with relatively few members. That day, I did an entry on an actress other than Carole Lombard (one reason it's called "Carole & Co."); it was the centennial of an actress Lombard knew and respected, and the feeling was mutual.
We are, of course, speaking of Barbara Stanwyck, and above is a publicity still of her from Warners at the time of her 1931 pre-Code gem "Night Nurse." We celebrated Stanwyck by putting her in a Lombard context, investigating what ties there were between the actresses -- there weren't many, but there were some (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/11385.html).
Two years have passed, and we still have yet to find a photo of Lombard and Stanwyck together. (Perhaps only Jean Harlow is deemed more of a "holy grail" as a Carole co-subject in a photograph.) And while 102 doesn't have the ring that 100 does, Barbara is so good, so marvelously versatile, that she deserves additional recognition.
No film actress excelled in more genres than Stanwyck -- not Bette Davis, not Katharine Hepburn, not Joan Crawford. Unlike those three, she never won an Academy Award, perhaps because she did her job with a minimum of fuss. She was so reliable, so the consummate professional, that she was consequently overlooked -- though thankfully she began to be more fully appreciated before her death in 1990.
I could write more about Stanwyck...but, thankfully, I don't have to. Instead, I'm going to direct you to a Web site called "Classic Maiden," run by a lady named Sebina whose areas of expertise include Stanwyck. For the past few days, she has been running a multi-part series on her, featuring rare photographs, articles and more. You'll enjoy the salute as much as I did.
For part 1, which features some Stanwyck fashion spreads from the 1940s, as well as her on the cover of the January 1942 issue of Photoplay (issued in mid-December 1941, so Lombard likely saw it), go to http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-and-edith-head-1940s.html
For part 2, featuring scans from Motion Picture of January 1948 and the American Movie Classics magazine of May 1992, visit http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-week-part-ii-amc-1992.html
Part 3 has a 1987 article from American Film (when she received the AFI Life Achievement award) and an article and cover from Movies magazine in September 1941, one of the best years any actress ever had. It can be found at http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-week-part-iii-magazine.html
And part 4 features a few magazine articles, and it's at http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-week-part-iii-magazine_15.html
Part 5 has an overview of the author's Stanwyck collection, and she explains why she became a fan: http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-week-part-5-her-102th.html
Here's Part 6, featuring some three dozen photos of Stanwyck over the years: http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-week-part-6-various.html
In Part 7, four articles on Stanwyck (cover portraits of her too) from Lady's Circle magazine between 1968 and 1972 (http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-week-part-7-four-ladys.html). The lady aged gracefully.
And finally, Part 8 has a story about "Ball Of Fire" and some portraits: http://www.classicmaiden.com/2009/07/barbara-stanwyck-week-part-8.html.
Turner Classic Movies will show a few Stanwyck films as well. At 6 a.m. (Eastern) is one of her first films, "The Locked Door" from 1929, followed by a pair she made with Fred MacMurray -- the gentle 1940 comedy "Remember The Night" at 7:30 and the 1944 noir classic "Double Indemnity" at 9. At midnight Eastern time, TCM will show "Golden Boy," with William Holden, as part of its salute to the films of 1939.
We'll leave you with this rarity -- Stanwyck, with then-husband Robert Taylor, at the March 1941 downtown Los Angeles premiere of her latest film, "Meet John Doe":