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Louise Brooks

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Author Topic: Louise Brooks  (Read 5867 times)
Pandora
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« on: November 14, 2007, 10:32:10 pm »



Born Mary Louise Brooks in Cherryvale, Kansas, she was a daughter of a lawyer who was usually too busy with his practice to discipline his children, and an artistic mother who determined that any "squalling brats she produced could take care of themselves." Although she inspired her children with a love of books and music--she was a talented pianist who played the latest Debussy and Ravel for Louise--Myra Brooks failed to protect her nine-year old daughter from sexual abuse at the hands of a neighborhood predator. This event had a major influence on Brooks's life and career, causing her to say in later years that she was incapable of real love, and that this man "must have had a great deal to do with forming my attitude toward sexual pleasure....For me, nice, soft, easy men were never enough -- there had to be an element of domination." (When Brooks at last told her mother of the incident, many years later, her mother suggested that it must have been Louise's fault for "leading him on.")

Brooks began her entertainment career as a dancer, joining the Denishawn modern dance company (whose members included Martha Graham, Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn) in 1922. A long-simmering personal conflict between Brooks and St. Denis boiled over one day two years later, however, and St. Denis abruptly fired Brooks from the troupe by telling her in front of the other members that "I am dismissing you from the company because you want life handed to you on a silver salver." The words left a strong impression on Brooks; when she drew up an outline for a planned autobiographical novel in 1949, "The Silver Salver" was the title she gave to the tenth and final chapter.

Thanks to her friend Barbara Bennett (sister of Constance and Joan), Brooks almost immediately found employment as a chorus girl in George White's Scandals, followed by an appearance as a featured dancer in the 1925 edition of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. As a result of her work in the Follies, she came to the attention of Paramount Pictures producer Walter Wanger, who signed her to a five-year contract with the studio in 1925.  (She was also noticed by visiting movie star Charlie Chaplin, who was in town for the premiere of his film The Gold Rush. The two had an affair that summer.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 10:33:08 pm by Pandora » Report Spam   Logged


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