Deathiversary: Black Dahlia (January 15, 1947)

Today marks the deathiversary of Elizabeth Short aka The Black Dahlia. 72 years ago, Short was found dead, severed in half, drained of her blood with a smile carved into her mouth. Her killer has never been found. The grisly murder case remains unsolved to this day. What are some of your theories? Any favorite books on the case?

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The Day I Met Carrie Fisher

𝙾𝚗 𝙳𝚎𝚌𝚎𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛 𝟻, 𝟸𝟶𝟷𝟻, 𝙸 𝚖𝚎𝚝 𝚖𝚢 𝚏𝚒𝚛𝚜𝚝 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎, 𝙲𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚎 𝙵𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚛.

𝚆𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚏𝚒𝚟𝚎-𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜-𝚘𝚕𝚍, 𝙸 𝚜𝚊𝚠 "𝚁𝚎𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙹𝚎𝚍𝚒" 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚜𝚖𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚗 𝚊𝚗 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚗 𝚜𝚖𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚒𝚍𝚍𝚕𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚃𝚎𝚡𝚊𝚜. 𝙰𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚍𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚛𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚍, 𝚖𝚢 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚙𝚎𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚞𝚙. 𝙸 𝚍𝚎𝚌𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚐𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚞𝚗 𝚊𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚝𝚘 𝚊 𝚐𝚊𝚕𝚊𝚡𝚢 𝚏𝚊𝚛, 𝚏𝚊𝚛 𝚊𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚓𝚘𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚒𝚛 𝚏𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚊𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚕 𝚎𝚖𝚙𝚒𝚛𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚜𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚞𝚜𝚞𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚊𝚗 𝚊𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚌𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚢 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝙿𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝙻𝚎𝚒𝚊 𝚋𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚙𝚘𝚗 𝚖𝚎 𝚊 𝚖𝚎𝚍𝚊𝚕 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚘𝚛 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚖𝚢 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚊𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚕. 𝙸 𝚍𝚒𝚍𝚗'𝚝 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚒𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚗, 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕 𝙿𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝙻𝚎𝚒𝚊 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚋𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚠 𝚞𝚙𝚘𝚗 𝚖𝚎 𝚊 𝚋𝚊𝚍𝚐𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚘𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚢 𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚛𝚝𝚢 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛. 𝙸 𝚝𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝙲𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚎 𝙵𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚗 𝟸𝟶𝟷𝟻 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙸 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝙸 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚣𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚐𝚊𝚢. 𝚂𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚘𝚠𝚕𝚎𝚍, 𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜𝚗'𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚒𝚛𝚜𝚝 𝚐𝚊𝚢 𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚏𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚒𝚗 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚑𝚎𝚛. 𝚂𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚞𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚌𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚎, 𝚜𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚎𝚣𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚎, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚔𝚒𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚢 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚎.

𝙾𝚗 𝙳𝚎𝚌𝚎𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛 𝟸𝟽, 𝟸𝟶𝟷𝟼, 𝙲𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚎 𝙵𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚍𝚒𝚎𝚍. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚗.

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The Dandridge Sisters: Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

The Dandridge Sisters are an all black girl singing trio in the 1930's whose most famous member, Dorothy Dandridge, will go on to be the first black woman nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award in 1955 for her role in "Carmen Jones." The Dandridge Sisters are comprised of Dorothy and her older sister Vivian and their friend Etta Jones - not to be confused with the well-known jazz vocalist, Etta James. You'd be surprised how many articles incorrectly list James as a member of this trio. The Dandridge Sisters find success on radio shows and in Los Angeles nightclubs. It was in one of these nightclubs that they are invited to perform at the iconic Harlem nightclub, the Cotton Club. The Sisters are so popular at the Cotton Club that they are given a regular spot in the show. They are only 14-years-old at the time.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Last year, my grandmother died somewhat unexpectedly. Yesterday would have been her 90th birthday, and in honor of my grandmother, I watched one of her favorite movies for the first time: Meet Me in St. Louis. I don't know how I've gone this long without bearing witness to this technicolor triumph, but now that I have, I can't get it out of my head. For a "romantic musical comedy," Meet Me in St. Louis sure has its fair share of dark moments. Because of this, my grandmother must have known that I would fall head-over-heels for Tootie and the entire Smith family! Smith was also my grandmother's last name. My grandmother told me once that she and my grandfather would watch Meet Me in St. Louis whenever they were feeling down. Before the credits rolled, my grandfather would take her hand, and they'd slow-dance around the living to Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in the background. I'd like to think that watching Meet Me in St. Louis was my grandmother's gift to me this Christmas.

A Judy Garland Christmas

"Meet Me in St. Louis" lives on as one of Judy Garland's most iconic films. A technicolor holiday classic even though only about 25 minutes of the movie takes places at Christmas. "Meet Me in St. Louis" marks the debut of the now holiday standard, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Garland owns that song now and forever.

“Meet Me in St. Louis” influenced a number of future filmmakers. The Halloween sequence with Tootie and Agnes would inspire the color scheme of John Carpenter’s Halloween in 1978, and Woody Allen would update the six-month family tale to 1996 Manhattan in his movie musical "Everyone Says I Love You."

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A Natalie Wood Christmas

Upon its release, "Miracle on 34th Street" is deemed "morally objectable" by the Catholic Legion of Decency - true-believers on a mission from a motion picture hating god. They hated the soon-to-be Holiday classic because Maureen O'Hara's character was a divorcee with a little girl. Heavens to Betsy, I do declare. Natalie Wood plays O'Hara's daughter, the non-believing Susan. In real life, Wood still believes in Santa: “I guess I had an inkling that maybe it wasn’t so, but I really did think that Edmund Gwenn was Santa." Gwenn wins the Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Macy's Santa Claus. "I had never seen him without his beard because he used to come in early in the morning and spend several hours putting on this wonderful beard and mustache. And at the end of the shoot, when we had a set party, I saw this strange man, without the beard, and I just couldn’t get it together.”

NANCY WILSON DEAD AT 81.

𝙰𝚝 𝟺 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚘𝚕𝚍, 𝙽𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚢 𝚆𝚒𝚕𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚕𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚢 𝚔𝚗𝚎𝚠 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚊 𝚟𝚘𝚒𝚌𝚎. 𝚂𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚠 𝚞𝚙 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝚒𝚖𝚙𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚓𝚊𝚣𝚣 𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎 - 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚊𝚋𝚎𝚕 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚖𝚞𝚌𝚑 𝚘𝚏 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚌𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚎𝚛. 𝙵𝚘𝚛 𝚊 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎, 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝙲𝚊𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚘𝚕 𝚁𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚜’ 𝚋𝚒𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚜𝚝-𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜 — 𝚜𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚗𝚕𝚢 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙱𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚕𝚎𝚜. 𝚆𝚒𝚕𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝚍𝚒𝚎𝚍 𝚙𝚎𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚝𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚊 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚊𝚝 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝙿𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚗, 𝙲𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚗𝚒𝚊. 𝚂𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝟾𝟷. 𝚆𝚑𝚘 𝚔𝚗𝚎𝚠 𝙽𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚢 𝚆𝚒𝚕𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝙿𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚗!?! 𝙸 𝚠𝚘𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚏 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚙𝚘𝚙𝚙𝚎𝚍 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝙿𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚢 & 𝙷𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚝'𝚜 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚙𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎?

Can't Get You Out of My Head

Whenever I finish a zine, I always have a hard time letting go and moving onto the next one. I haven’t been able to totally move on from Natalie as I start work on the next two issues of Dead in Hollywood: Dorothy Dandridge and Tab Hunter.

CLICK HERE for the zine DEAD IN HOLLYWOOD: NATALIE WOOD (issue #8)

The Splendor of Youth.

The Splendor of Youth.

Geneva Williams: A Footnote in a Footnote's Footnotes

Hard at work on Dead in Hollywood: Dorothy Dandridge (Issue #9) and I’m finding it difficult to pull myself away from her mother, Ruby’s, story. Ruby was a successful radio and television actress in her own right who left her husband to live with her “companion” in 1922 America. Can you imagine? Sadly, her companion, Geneva Williams, was not a good woman. She overworks Dorothy and her sister, Vivian, and sexually assaults Dorothy one night after Dorothy returns home from her first date with a boy. I’d love to learn more about Geneva, but she’s become a footnote in another footnote’s footnotes.

Ruby Dandridge

Reading up on Dorothy Dandridge's life, I find myself drawn to her mother, Ruby Dandridge. Five months before Dorothy is born, Ruby leaves her husband, Cyril Dandridge, and moves in with her "companion," Geneva Williams. This was 1922! A black woman divorcing her husband was almost unheard of at the time and not to mention the fact that Ruby was also pregnant with Dorothy. But that's exactly what she does. She chooses not only to survive but to thrive in the repressed society of the 1920’s. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for Ruby.