Old Hollywood: The most glamorous and glitzy era of the film industry. There is something about this golden age of cinema that has a timeless feel.
Thinking back on some of the great stars of this generation, many names come to mind. Cary Grant, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall are just to name a few.
However, in retrospect, when we look at these actors and actresses, it seems we only know them from the characters they played. Many of these players were so good at embodying their roles, we didn’t get a true sense of who they were.
What were they doing when the cameras weren’t rolling?
This guide will take a look at many rare behind-the-scenes photographs of old Hollywood stars. These one-of-a-kind shots give us a chance to get into the headspace of the actors to see how they prepared for and spent their time between scenes.
This video will examine some unique Behind the Scenes Photos of old Hollywood stars. Keep watching to see if your favorites make the list.
In the 1930s, Jean Harlow was an icon of glamor society. She always carried herself in a picturesque manner. She had prim hair, neat makeup, and was overall perfect at all times.
Her breakout role was the lead in the Howard Hughes infamous film Hell’s Angels.
But how did she always look so good?
This shot shows Harlow, like every other mortal, had to spend time in the hair and make-up department. Here, she waits patiently as one of the crew fixes her platinum blond hair between takes.
Speaking of Jean Harlow, one of her co-stars was James Cagney in 1931’s the Public Enemy.
Throughout the 30s and 40s, Cagney was a go-to gangster type. This reputation came from his many roles in crime films such as White Heat and The Roaring Twenties.
However, Cagney was also a talented singer and dancer as seen in Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Yet his fun-loving nature was not often seen in his film noir parts. However, in this shot, we see Cagney’s softer side as he embraces Jean Harlow on the set of Public Enemy. Both stars look like Hollywood royalty. This video will examine some unique Behind the Scenes Photos of old Hollywood stars. Keep watching to see if your favorites make the list.
Judy Garland had a tough run-in Hollywood. Reported treatment from the studios led to her developing substance abuse and diet issues in her life.
However, for a spell, Garland was among the most talented people in the industry. Her acting and singing were always on display in films such as The Wizard of Oz and A Star is Born.
In this picture, Judy Garland is taking a break between scenes in the 1940 film Ziegfeld Girl.
In the film, she plays a Broadway actress who gets plenty of opportunities to show off. Perhaps the drink in her hand is to lubricate her signing pipes.
Before we take a look at some of these other rare photos, let’s go behind the scenes on this video. If you are enjoying it so far, hit the like button. Also, for similar stories, consider subscribing to the Facts Verse page. This video will examine some unique Behind the Scenes Photos of old Hollywood stars. Keep watching to see if your favorites make the list.
Fred Astaire is seen as the gold standard for dancing on screen.
The film Flying Down to Rio was among his first big films and it began his legend in Hollywood. The film was also his first collaboration with his long-time on-screen dance partner Ginger Rogers. The pair starred in 9 films together.
In this very cool behind-the-scenes photo, Fred Astaire, on the far left, is collaborating on the piano with equally legendary composers Ira and George Gershwin. The trio is putting together and tweaking the tunes for the 1937 musical Shall We Dance.
Lana Turner is a player in many legendary tales from old Hollywood.
She was married 8 times, but the relationship that made the biggest splash in the papers was with mafioso Johnny Stompanato. He was stabbed to death in self-defense by Lana Turner’s daughter.
As far as her film career went, Turner was a sex symbol in the industry. She was nominated for an Oscar in her role in Peyton’s Place. Here, she waits patiently in a bathtub as the crew fixes up her makeup on the set of The Merry Widow. This video will examine some unique Behind the Scenes Photos of old Hollywood stars. Keep watching to see if your favorites make the list.
Marlene Dietrich came to Hollywood in the 1920s from Germany. Her powerful eyes made her a success in silent films.
Yet, she would also make a move into “talkies.” Some of her big films were Destry Rides Again where she worked with Jimmy Stewart and Morocco which landed her an Oscar nomination.
In this shot, Dietrich, still in costume behind the scenes, looks longingly into the distance as she enjoys a cigarette. Smoking was a look she was able to pull off gracefully both on and off camera.
Lawrence Olivier started his career working Shakespeare on the stage. Yet, when you are as talented as he was, it’s not a hard jump to the big screen.
He proved his worth too. For his work in Hollywood, Olivier was nominated was twelve Oscars for both acting and directing. He even carried his Shakespeare history to the screen . He won the best actor for the screen version of Hamlet.
In this unique photograph, Olivier, along with his co-star Joan Fontaine, is taking screen direction from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. This comes from the film 1940’s film Rebecca.
Considering Alfred Hitchcock was a true auteur, it’s no surprise Olivier and Fontaine look to be hanging on to every piece of his advice.
Vivien Leigh was the long-time lover of Lawrence Olivier. The two were involved for more than twenty years.
Although Leigh desperately wanted to co-star with him in the aforementioned movie Rebecca, she lost out to Fontaine.
Yet, she still had an impressive career. Among her credits are Gone with The Wind and Waterloo.
However, perhaps her most iconic role is the one seen here. In this shot, she is on the set of A Streetcar Named Desire. She took home the Oscar for best actress. The photo shows Vivien Leigh sharing a smoke break with her co-star Marlon Brando.
Alfred Hitchcock appears in another cool photo. This time the director is conversing with Jimmy Stewart, the star of his film Rear Window.
Stewart is going over the script as Hitch points something out to him off-screen.
The 1954 film is seen by many as a masterpiece of suspense and thrills. One might imagine that Jimmy Stewart would stand up when talking to the legendary director, but as part of his character in the film, he is wearing a lower-body cast and confined to a wheelchair.
You may be wondering what actors and actresses do between takes when they aren’t in makeup or talking to the directors. It seems some of them play board games.
In this very cool photograph on the set of A Woman of My Own, Robert Mitchum is taking a break with a game of checkers.
The Oscar-nominated actor hunches over the board considering his next move against his co-star Richard Hart.
This is another interesting window into what happens on a movie set that doesn’t make it into the film.
Orson Welles, the mastermind behind Citizen Kane, might be one of the greatest directors to ever live. However, his visions were often interfered with by the studios.
One film that had some interference was 1947’s The Lady from Shanghai. Rita Hayworth was married to Welles at the time.
From the jump, the studio was furious that Welles had Rita Hayworth dye and cut her signature red hair to platinum blond for the film. You can see her new hair-do in the shot here.
Hayworth and Welles are sitting in each other’s chairs on set. The pair turn back to look at a photographer who grabs a shot.
This is a fun photo from a good film despite the differences that Welles and the studio had.
This may be the coolest and most iconic photograph on the list.
Gary Cooper won best actor Oscars for his roles in Sergeant York and High Noon. Yet, his best film might be the one pictured here.
On the set of A Farewell to Arms, Cooper sits lost in a book. But it’s not just any book. Cooper is reading Hemingway’s masterpiece of the same title looking for inspiration between takes on the film.
It is also cool to see him still in his World War I garb in the role of the protagonist Frederic.
In her first film, To Have and Have Not, Lauren Bacall shared great screen chemistry with lead actor Humphry Bogart.
This chemistry grew further in the many films they worked on together. Among the greats were Key Largo, The Big Sleep, and Dark Passage. So natural were the two, that it was no great surprise they got married in 1945.
This photo on one of their films shows how much fun the two would have when rehearsing their lines.
These are great movies from an age in Hollywood that produced many of its biggest stars. It’s fun to take a look at these rare behind-the-scenes photos of Old Hollywood stars. Now, you have a small window into what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling on set.
So, what did you think? What was your favorite picture from this list? Did any of your favorite stars show up in these photos? Sound off in the comments below.
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